Disney+ unveiled two teaser trailers for upcoming series at the Lucasfilm studio showcase panel during Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, California, on Thursday. The first was for Andora 12-episode prequel series set five years before the events of rogue one, starring Diego Luna as Cassian Andor. the other was for Willowa new series intended as a sequel to the 1988 cult classic fantasy film of the same name, set decades after the events of the original film.
The streaming platform also confirmed that the long-awaited Star Wars series Ahsoka will premiere in 2023, along with a new series focused on children called Star Wars: Skeleton Crewestablished during the mandalorianChronology of and starring Jude Law. Also, the third season of the mandalorian will be released in February 2023, featuring the bounty hunter’s return to Mandalore with Grogu, as well as Katee Sackhoff reprising her role from S2 as Bo-Katan Kryze. (Most likely, she wants to get back the Darksaber Mando gained.)
We haven’t seen or heard much about Andor following a behind-the-scenes sneak peek reveal in December 2020 during Disney Investor Day. Andor has been described as a “tense, nail-biting spy thriller”, with Tony Gilroy, who co-wrote rogue one, serving as showrunner. It begins with the destruction of the homeworld of Cassian Andor by the Empire and will represent the birth of the Rebellion. According to Deadline Hollywood, Luna described Andor as “the journey of a migrant. That feeling of having to move is behind this story, that shapes you as a person. It defines you in many ways and what you are willing to do.”
According to the official synopsis:
The Andor The series will explore a new perspective on the Star Wars galaxy, focusing on Cassian Andor’s journey to discover the difference he can make. The series presents the story of the growing rebellion against the Empire and how people and planets became involved. It is an era filled with danger, deception, and intrigue where Cassian will embark on the path that is destined to make him a rebel hero.
The cast also includes Genevieve O’Reilly as Mon Mothma, a Republic senator who helped found the Rebel Alliance, as well as Forest Whitaker reprising her rogue one role as Clone Wars veteran Saw Gerrera. Stellan Skarsgård and Adria Arjona co-star as the resistance fighters who recruit Andor to the cause. Kyle Soller, Denise Gough, Fiona Shaw, Robert Emms and David Hayman have been cast in undisclosed roles. Alan Tudyk was supposed to return as the reprogrammed Imperial droid K-2SO, but his appearance sank during rewrites. The droid could meet Cassian during the second season, which is already in development and will supposedly lead directly to the events of rogue one.
We know much less about the Willow TV series, though movie fans will be pleased to learn that Warwick Davis is returning as Nelwyn’s dwarf sorcerer, Willow Ufgood. The original film was directed by Ron Howard and told the story of a boy with a runic birthmark who, according to prophecy, would bring about the downfall of the evil sorceress Queen Bavmorda. The boy is floated on a grass raft and found by a town of little people (Nelwyn). Willow leads a group to find a community of daikini (tall people) to raise the baby. Many magical adventures followed.
The Oscar-nominated 1988 film debuted to mixed reviews, but did decently at the box office, earning $137.6 million worldwide, despite never becoming the box-office hit producer George Lucas hoped it would be. Lucas and Davis had discussed the possibility of a sequel series as early as 2005, but Disney+ didn’t greenlight the project until October 2020, with Howard on board as executive producer.
The official synopsis describes the series as “an epic period fantasy series with a modern sensibility set in an enchanted land of breathtaking beauty”, much in the same vein as the original film. Keep going:
The story begins with an aspiring wizard from a Nelwyn village and a little girl destined to unite the kingdoms, who together help destroy an evil queen and banish the forces of darkness. Now, in a magical world where goblins, sorcerers, trolls and other mystical creatures flourish, the adventure continues, as an unlikely group of heroes embark on a perilous quest to places far beyond their home, where they must face their inner demons and find themselves… Come together to save your world.
In addition to Davis, the case includes Erin Kellyman as a servant named Jade, who is training to become a warrior; Ruby Cruz as Kit, Jade’s friend, a princess who throws a party to rescue her twin brother; Ellie Bamber as a kitchen maid named Dove; and Amar Chadha-Patel as a thief named Boorman, who is promised his freedom in exchange for helping the group. Dempsey Bryk, Talisa Garcia, Ralph Ineson and Rosabell Laurenti Sellers have been cast in undisclosed roles.
The first two episodes of Andor will debut on Disney+ on August 31, 2022, with new episodes streaming weekly after that. Willow premieres on Disney+ on November 30, 2022.
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