D23 Expo Star Wars News and Highlights
Disney’s D23 Expo, which wrapped up a few days back now, gave us an absolute feast of new info about upcoming Star Wars experiences and entertainment. Here’s our wrap-up of the D23 Expo Star Wars news and announcements, topic by topic.
The panel for The Mandalorian streaming series (part of the Disney+ presentation) was one of the biggest of the weekend. On stage were Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian), Gina Carano (Cara Dune), Giancarlo Esposito (Moff Gideon), Carl Weathers (Greef Carga), Jon Favreau (producer, episode director), Dave Filoni (episode director), Taika Waititi (episode director, IG-11). An action-packed trailer was a highlight.
The Mandalorian will be released in the US at the time of the Disney+ streaming service launch on November 12th this year, and in New Zealand on November 19th (sign up for official local launch info).
Subsequent to D23, The Star Wars Show featured a selection of interviews with the cast of The Mandalorian:
Cassian Andor Series
The still un-named Cassian Andor live action series was covered as part of the Disney+ panel. Not a lot of new information about this series was revealed (apart from the fact that filming/production will start next year, and it will be set approximately 3 years prior to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), but both Alan Tudyk (K-2SO) and Diego Luna (Cassian Andor) appeared on stage. They were very limited as to what they could disclose, but it was great to see the chemistry between these two actors.. their rapport bodes well for a fun series.
The rumours about Ewan McGregor returning to the Star Wars universe as Obi-Wan Kenobi have been floating around for a while now. He appeared on stage, very happy and presumably relieved to be able to officially reveal that they are true. An as yet un-named Obi-Wan Kenobi live-action series, set 8 years after the conclusion of Revenge of the Sith, will make its way to the Disney+ streaming service presumably within the next couple of years.
Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker
There was a big line-up for the Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker panel, part of the Disney Studios presentation, at D23. Pretty much most of the main cast (alas, no Adam Driver), including droids R2-D2, BB-8, and newcomer D-0, along with JJ Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy.
A teaser poster, which featured Rey, Kylo, and an ominous overlooking Emperor Palpatine, was revealed. During the presentation, a “sizzle reel” was shown – it involved a quick scan through existing Saga scenes, leading into new Episode IX footage. That sizzle reel has since been screened on Good Morning America (in the USA), and on the Star Wars YouTube channel.
Galaxy’s Edge/WDW Hotel
An immersive Star Wars hotel and experience is currently under construction in Florida, in conjunction with Galaxy’s Edge at Walt Disney World. The hotel experience simulates a stay on a starship within the Star Wars Galaxy, with all encompassing theming of the hotel, and associated transport to and from the Disney Parks. At D23, the name and external appearance of the hotel starship, The Halcyon, were revealed. Note – this is not what the hotel will look like externally per se… the entrance to the hotel is a shuttle port, from which you will be transported to the orbiting starship via elevator experiences that simulate an approach to a virtual rendering of The Halcyon.
- Disney Legends induction ceremony: amongst this year’s recipients of the Disney Legend title/award were Jon Favreau and James Earl Jones.
- The Clone Wars, season 7: confirmed for broadcast on Disney+ in February 2020.
- Vader Immortal Episode II: the second installment of this virtual reality series was teased. This series, which requires an Oculus Quest or Oculus Rift S device, will ultimately span 3 episodes.
- StarWars.com had additional wrap-up/coverage – read it here: STAR WARS AT D23 EXPO 2019.
- The Evolution of the Stormtrooper Costume exhibit was present – check out the line-up of screen-used costumes below.