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The stars aligned — on stage — for Lucasfilm's Studio Showcase at Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim on Thursday. And along with those stars (like the casts for Obi-Wan Kenobi, Andor and Willow) came lots of news about offerings from a galaxy far, far away.
The panel (hosted by Yvette Nicole Brown) started in dramatic fashion, with a full choir singing John Williams' "Duel of the Fates" — most recently heard in the first tailer for Obi-Wan Kenobi (which premieres May 27 on Disney+). Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen then took the stage, with McGregor kicking things off with Obi-Wan's trademark "Hello, there"… because of course he did. Here is all the big news and moments that came out the panel.
McGregor and Christensen were joined on the Obi-Wan panel by series stars Moses Ingram and Rupert Friend, director Deborah Chow, and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. "It has really just been amazing getting to come back to Star Wars, and getting to be here with all of you and picking up a lightsaber again," said Christensen. "There's just nothing like it. It's really been incredible, so thank you."
Next up was a panel for Disney+'s upcoming Rogue One prequel Andor. Series star Diego Luna was joined by Genevieve O'Reilly (Mon Mothma), creator Tony Gilroy, and producer Sanne Wohlenberg. Not only was a poster for the series revealed, but so was the premiere date for the first two episodes of August 31.
"We're going to rewind five years back from Rogue and we've done 12 episodes," Gilroy told the crowd. "Those 12 episodes have been shot, they will show this fall. They're going to take us one year closer. We're going to come back and start shooting in November. We're going to shoot another 12 episodes, and we're going to finish the second half of this story, and the second 12 will take us over the next 4 years, and the final scene will walk you into Rogue. We will get them to you as quickly as we can."
Gilroy also teased that Stellan Skarsgard is "a huge part of the show" and that he is playing a "Rebel leader."
For Luna, the best part of the experience is his seeming invincibility since he stars in the movie that the series lead up to. "The beauty of this show is that there's no way they'll kill me," joked the actor.
Andor was followed for the upcoming TV iteration of Lucasfilm's 1988 fantasy film Willow. Producer Jonatahn Kasdan was joined on stage by original film director Ron Howard. Explained Kasdan: "The first time I met Ron, I went up to him and I said, I'm a huge Willow fan, and I'm determined to convince Kathy to make a sequel series to Willow. And he said, 'Great, but what are you doing in my hotel room?'"
Willow himself, Warwick Davis (equally famous in these parts for playing Wicket the Ewok as well as several other characters in the Star Wars galaxy), later joined the pair to a standing ovation. "Making the original movie was one of the best experiences of my life," said Davis of Willow. "And I've been in Star Wars."
Joanne Whalley, who starred in the original movie as Sorsha, joined her former and future costar on stage along with new cast members Ellie Bamber, Ruby Cruz, and Erin Kellyman, who will play a trio of new heroines in the story that is set 20 years after the film. Davis also revealed that the new Willow will be a family affair: His actual daughter Annabelle is playing Willow's daughter, while his son is also part of the project as a stunt double.
While Rosario Dawson was unable to attend the convention due to her shooting schedule on Disney +'s upcoming Ahsoka, she delivered a taped message to the crowd: "As much as I wish I could be there celebrating with all of you at Celebration, which I do, I have to say, I'm pretty excited to be here filming Ahsoka for all of you to be released next year. So, maybe next time."
Ahsoka was announced as premiering in 2023, which will also mark the season 3 return of The Mandalorian. Producers Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni presented some unfinished footage showing Mando and Bo-Katan Kryze facing off, as well as glimpses of Peli Motto, a seemingly very well-off Greef Carga, and what appeared to be tree full of Salacious B. Crumb-like creatures. (Cue the maniacal puppet laughter!)
"I'm going to Mandalore so that I may be forgiven for my transgressions," announces Din Djarin in an ominous tease.
But perhaps the biggest anticipation for convention-goers was scoring more intel on the new Jon Watts and Chris Ford Star Wars series set after the events of Return of the Jedi (the the same time period as Ahsoka and The Mandalorian). And they got it, including an official show title of Star Wars: Skeleton Crew, and a big-name star in the form of Jude Law.
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"It's a story about a group of kids, about 10 years old, from a tiny little planet who accidentally get lost in the Star Wars galaxy," explained Watts. "And it's the story of their journey trying to find their way home."
"It's as much of a kids' show as Clone Wars," explains Filoni. And I'm like, we cut people's heads off in Clone Wars, so I'm not sure that's the best measure."
"We liked the idea of using kids to give you a different perspective and see the galaxy through a different pair of eyes," said Watts.
Star Wars: Skeleton Crew will start filming soon and be released next year.
Listen to interviews with Obi-Wan Kenobi stars Ewan McGregor, Kumail Nanjiani, Rupert Friend and more on EW's new Star Wars podcast, Dagobah Dispatch.
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