After ‘The Rise of Skywalker' the future of Star Wars is on Disney+

There’s a slate of TV shows, comic books, novels and feature film trilogies still in the works from Lucasfilm and Disney

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What to Know

  • Ewan McGregor will reprise his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi in a Disney+ series.
  • A new season of “Star Wars: Clones Wars” would debut in February 2020.
  • K-2SO and Cassian Andor from “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” will appear in a yet untitled prequel show on Disney+.

The Skywalker saga has ended.

With the release of “The Rise of Skywalker” on Friday the nine-film epic has concluded, but that doesn’t mean the end of Star Wars. There’s a slate of TV shows, comic books, novels and feature film trilogies still in the works from Lucasfilm and Disney.

However, mixed reviews for the final installment in this part of the franchise has raised questions about the future. But, those reservations can be quelled with two words — Baby Yoda.

Star Wars fans have always had divisive opinions about their beloved franchise. New movies have been both too tied to past ones and strayed too far and new characters are seemingly adored and loathed equally by a fractured fandom.

The only thing that appears to unite everyone is a small green alien known only as the Child. The breakout star of Disney+’s “The Mandalorian” is proof that Star Wars can strike a balance between nostalgia and innovation and that the franchise doesn’t need to be in theaters to thrive.

The show, which streams its season one finale on Dec. 27, currently holds a 94% “Fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and has been one of the most talked about shows of 2019. A second season is already in production, although it is unclear when those episodes will be released.

“The Mandalorian” follows a bounty hunter in the years after the end of “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi,” as the world adjusts to the fall of the Empire and seeks to build a New Republic.

The shorter, serialized episodes, with a succinct plot and lots of action, have appealed to Star Wars fans and casual TV watchers. And its weekly installments have kept subscribers engaged, particularly after a cliffhanger in its seventh episode.

It’s unclear if this format will be used for the other two live action Star Wars shows coming to Disney+. The company has already confirmed that audiences will be getting an Obi-Wan Kenobi series, featuring Ewan McGregor as the Jedi Master, as well as a series that follows K-2SO and Cassian Andor from “Rogue One.”

Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy said in August that all of the episodes for the Obi-Wan Kenobi spinoff have been written and they will begin shooting soon.

Deborah Chow, who directed three episodes of “The Mandalorian,” will direct the series based on Hossein Amini’s (“47 Ronin”) scripts.

The story line picks up sometimes after “Revenge of the Sith,” but before “A New Hope.” It will explain what’s happened since Obi-Wan safely placed Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa in their adoptive families and how he is dealing with the fall of the Jedi Order.

The yet untitled Cassian Andor and K-2SO series hasn’t announced a showrunner yet, but Tony Gilroy, who wrote the screenplay for “Rogue One” is set to return to write the pilot.

The series will star Alan Tudyk as the reprogrammed imperial droid K-2SO and Diego Luna as rebel fighter Cassian Andor in the years before the events of “Rogue One.”

For context, “Rogue One” took place just before “A New Hope” and is actually the lead in to the opening scene of the 1977 film.

Fans can likely expect an edgy tone much like the one seen in “Rogue One.” The film was a gritty war story about scrappy rebels doing whatever it takes to thwart the Empire. It gave viewers a less squeaky clean image of the Rebellion, showing that sometimes the good guys have to do bad things to win the day.

Notably, during his first appearance on screen in the film, Cassian shoots and kills an informant that was about to be captured by the Empire. There is also a plot line in which a Rebel leader tells Cassian to kill the scientist Galen Erso instead of retrieving him from the Empire’s grasp.

No release date has been given for either the Cassian Andor or the Obi-Wan Kenobi series.

In addition to these live action shows, Disney+ will also feature a new 12-episode season of the much-loved “Star Wars: Clone Wars” animated show, which launched in 2008, but was cancelled in 2014.

There were initially meant to be eight seasons of the show, but it only aired six. “Clone Wars” takes place during the stretch of time between “Attack of the Clones” and “Revenge of the Sith” during the an intergalactic conflict between the Republic and its clone army and a group of Separatists and their droid army.

The series is best known for introducing Ahsoka Tano, a female Togruta who was the Padawan of Anakin Skywalker before he became Darth Vader. Voiced by Ashley Eckstein, Ahsoka has become one of the franchise’s most beloved characters and the first female Jedi to be categorized as a main character in the “Star Wars” universe.

The upcoming seventh season of the show will be its last, according to showrunner Dave Filoni, who also co-produced “The Mandalorian,” and will be available to stream in February 2020.

The season is expected to show where Ahsoka went after she left the Jedi Order, how she came to be reunited with the Republic and her long-awaited showdown against Darth Maul.

Return to the big screen in 2022

After a three-year break, Star Wars will return to theaters.

A new trilogy, one not tied to the Skywalkers, will launch in 2022 and have sequels in 2024 and 2026. Initially, it was expected that “Game of Thrones” showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff would helm this series of film, however, the pair parted ways with Disney and Lucasfilm in late October, citing a $200 million deal with Netflix as the reason they couldn’t continue with the project.

It is unclear who will helm these three films, but Disney has not altered their designation on its movie slate, so it appears they are still in pre-production.

Additionally, “The Last Jedi” director Rian Johnson is expected to pen a feature film trilogy for Lucasfilm, although it isn’t expected to be the one released in 2022.

It was also recently announced that Marvel’s Kevin Feige would also be throwing his hat into the Star Wars ring to develop a movie. It’s unclear if that movie will be a standalone film or part of the 2022 trilogy.

This story first appeared on CNBC.com. More from CNBC:

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