After percolating for several years following the acquisition of Lucasfilm by Disney, a major live-action Star Wars TV series has been announced this year to arrive with the upcoming launch of the Disney+ streaming service. Entitled The Mandalorian, the show would take place between the Original and Sequel Star Wars trilogies, it would follow a lone gunfighter from the mercenary planet from which Boba Fett is reputed to hail from.
With Jon Favreau as creator along with a list of notable directors from film and TV being in charge of episodes, Star Wars: The Mandalorian is to be headlined by Pedro Pascal of Game of Thrones fame accompanied by Gina Carano. More names have been added to the cast since. Here is an updated list:
Pedro Pascal (Oberyn Martell from Game of Thrones)
Gina Carano (Angdel Dust from Deadpool)
Nick Nolte (Lt. Col. Tall from The Thin Red Line)
Giancarlo Esposito (voice of Akela in 2016’s The Jungle Book)
Carl Weathers (Apollo Creed from Rocky films)
Werner Herzog (filmmaker-actor)
Omid Abtahi (Homes from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2)
Emily Swallow (Amara/The Darkness from Supernatural)
Aside from this series about The Mandalorian, another Star Wars show for Disney+ still being conceptualized involves the other adventures of Rebel Alliance spymaster Cassian Andor (played by Diego Luna) before the events of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
When Disney began pulling out its content on the online streaming giant Netflix, followed by the eventual announcement of their own digital streaming platform Disney+, it seemed to signal to everyone that the entertainment juggernaut will in future offer streaming of their movies and shows only within its own backyard.
But this latest development seems to debunk that theory. Disney has apparently stuck a new deal with a streaming service based outside the US. This is Stan, one of Australia’s homegrown streaming platforms, and the first to have an original program to score a nomination at the Logies (Aussie Emmys).
This partnership will see Stan carry an astonishing number of films and TV series from Walt Disney and its various subsidiaries. Here’s the full list:
Toy Story trilogy
The Lion King
Cars (1 and 2)
Monsters (Inc. and University)
Big Hero 6
Beauty and the Beast (1991)
The Little Mermaid
A Wrinkle in Time
Iron Man trilogy
Captain America (First Avenger and Winter Soldier)
Avengers films (up to Infinity War)
Guardians of the Galaxy
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Solo: A Star Wars Story
Sofia the First
The Lion Guard
Tangled: The Series
Star Wars Rebels
All these Disney goodies should already be available on Stan throughout Australia by December 14. So no, the House of Mouse isn’t hogging all its media for streaming yet.
Over the decades that films of the Star Wars saga has been released, the production teams has sometimes sneaked in some notable people in cameo appearances: one-off characters ranging from background bar patrons to Rebel and Empire officers. That latter faction is something of a favorite for having helmeted Stormtroopers.
As a nod to some of its production team, and later to prominent celebrities, Lucasfilm has brought them in to cameo as Imperial stormtroopers, either suiting up in costume or having them provide voices. What we have here is a short list of famous celebrities that made cameos as stormtroopers:
A New Hope
Joe Johnston (effects artist under George Lucas, later major film director) – voice for three stormtroopers
The Force Awakens
Michael Giacchino (film/TV composer and collaborator of J.J. Abrams) – voiced First Order trooper FN-3181, part of the unit that captures Resistance pilot Poe Dameron; he also reprises the role in Disney’s Ralph Breaks the Internet in an appearance at the Oh My Disney website.
Nigel Godrich (music producer for rock band Radiohead) – voiced First Order trooper FN-9330, part of the Starkiller Base garrison; killed by Chewbacca
David Accord (supervising sound editor of the film) – voiced First Order trooper FN-2199, who calls defector Finn “traitor” on Tadokana and fights him until killed by Han Solo; fans jokingly call him TR-8R
Kevin Smith (filmmaker, “Silent Bob”) – voiced an unnumbered First Order stormtrooper in the battle of Tadokana, who notices the incoming Resistance X-Wing fighters
Daniel Craig (“James Bond” actor) – portrayed First Order trooper FN-1824, assigned to guard Rey only to be subjected to her first use of the Jedi Mind Trick; fans also give him a joke serial number, JB-007
The Last Jedi, or What Could Have Been (scene cut in theatrical release, but restored on DVD)
Tom Hardy (actor) – portrayed First Order trooper FN-926, part of the complement of the Supremacy, flagship of First Order Supreme Leader Snoke, recognizing the undercover Finn
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and…
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex – both portrayed First Order troopers in scene with FN-926
Star Wars Episode IX, or What Comes Next (a rumor for now)
Ed Sheeran (music artist) – announced to cameo in the film as a First Order trooper; whether he will only voice or portray the character in costume has yet to be determined
As we mentioned last week, the animated short series Star Wars: Galaxy of Adventures premiered last Friday, November 30 as part of the Star Wars Kids channel on YouTube. As expected, it interprets scenes depicted or hinted at from the original live-action movies in a new vibrant and animated style.
Variably introduced or not by a short narration, each episode from the first release wave of Galaxy of Adventures follows a key character from the franchise, on one pivotal scene or more, to better showcase his personality to younger audiences, especially those still fairly new to the Star Wars saga.
While the episodes of Star Wars: Galaxy of Adventures on the Star Wars Kids YouTube channel are region-locked to North America only, they can also be viewed on certain YT channels of regional Disney XD such as the UK version. Here’s an initial list of episodes found there thus far:
If anybody’s thinking that there’s a lot of Star Wars content being prepped by Disney and Lucasfilm already – animated series, live-action series, and Episode IX among others – then they have underestimated just how many forms of media they can churn out of the world’s greatest space opera franchise at once.
Already word is out that there will be a new web-series coming out called Star Wars: Galaxy of Adventures. While earlier series Forces of Destiny focused on female Star Wars characters in action, this appears to be an adaptation of the films themselves, cut down into mini-episodes depicting significant scenes from the eight (plus two) movies that are already released.
Galaxy of Adventures will apparently use authentic film audio while reimagining the visuals with some slick animation that (amusingly) looks more anime than the promised anime style on Star Wars Resistance. Here’s an enumeration of the sequences referred to in the first web series trailer:
Millennium Falcon escaping from the Hoth blockade (The Empire Strikes Back)
Battle of Yavin IV (A New Hope)
Capture of Tantive IV (New Hope)
Search for R2-D2 on Dune Sea (New Hope)
Luke receiving his father’s lightsaber (New Hope)
Yoda vs. Count Dooku/Darth Tyrannus (Attack of the Clones)
Luke vs. Vader in Cloud City (Empire Strikes Back)
Luke vs. Vader before Palpatine (Return of the Jedi)
Next year, Disneyland Park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World will become home to the biggest theme park area based on the epic space opera franchise of Star Wars. This area, to be called Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, will be identical in features on both locations, and will definitely be hits with guests.
Information released thus far reveals at least three significant attractions for Galaxy’s Edge. Two of them are rides and the third being the background music that will be piped into the area all day. Disney Parks and Resorts even released promo videos for all three:
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance – trackless dark ride into a Resistance-First Order battle
Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run – cockpit simulator ride for family-sized groups
Everybody knows the D23 Expos, where the House of Mouse showcases what new surprises are in store for their fans across their wide company portfolio, from the theme parks, to films and TV shows to other forms of media. It happens every other year, for being such a major occasion.
But what does Disney do in the years without D23? They hold another expo for the public. It’s called Destination D and it was held last week. Where D23 is more on the media, Destination D had a greater focus on theme park attractions, and they had lots to share. Note that most of these attractions won’t open until 2019:
Guardians of the Galaxy (roller coaster)
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure (dark ride)
Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along – France Pavilion
Circle-Vision 360 Viewing Screens – new update (China Pavilion) and new film (Canada Pavilion)
Replacement Show for “Illuminations” Presentation – 2020 debut; Disney properties spotlight
“Epcot Forever” Fireworks Show
Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge attractions
Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run – “hyper-real” cockpit ride experience
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance – trackless ride into Resistance- First Order battle, featuring Kylo Ren
New Star Wars musical pieces from John Williams for Galaxy’s Edge
Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Other
Wonderful World of Animation – projection-mapping nighttime spectacular showcase, 2019 debut
As if to counteract some unreasonably critical opinions that the Star Wars saga and Lucasfilm has been driven to the ground by Disney following the contentious reception to The Last Jedi and Solo, This new live-action series spinoff being overseen by Jon Favreau in Disney+ streaming is proceeding quite nicely.
We already know that The Mandalorian takes place between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens (before Star Wars Rebels too), and that it follows the titular bounty hunter from the mercenary society that Boba Fett (allegedly) hails from. In addition, several planned episodes have attracted some high-profile directors.
Now, we’ve received word on the first castings done for the show. There’s already a rough idea on what role one of them plays, but no actual character names have been provided thus far. So let’s get to the list:
Ever since Disney announced that they would launch their own streaming service for their media library and new original exclusive content, a platform that now has the name Disney+, they have also given a lineup of all those original movies and series they plan to debut with the service’s launch.
Among the many general franchises we can expect to be found on Disney+ in 2019 is of course, the space opera saga of Star Wars from Lucasfilm. The initial content announcement had one live-action Star Wars series to be written by Jon Favreau. We now know its title, and that it’ll also be accompanied by two more Star Wars shows.
These are the current Star Wars exclusive content to expect on Disney+ in the future:
The Mandalorian – Star Wars series written by Favreau; about the titular member of the Galaxy’s bounty hunter society
Star Wars: The Clone Wars (season 7) – revival of Cartoon Network and Netflix 3D-animated spinoff series between Episodes II and III of the prequel trilogy; set for 12 episodes
untitled Rogue One prequel series – proposed espionage thriller set before the Rogue One spinoff film; starring Diego Luna reprising his role as Rebel Alliance intelligence officer Cassian Andor, who would eventually die delivering the Death Star plans during the Battle of Scarif
All three series are thus far still on the order phase, with no word yet on full production will begin.
When Disney began pulling out its streaming content from Netflix, binge-watchers waited with bated breath for what would happen next. Disney then announced its own in-house streaming service, to be launched in 2019, featuring both existing media library and original content to really draw in subscribers to check them out.
Recently Disney has finally given a name to their in-development platform that has been referred to only as their “streaming service” over the past few months. Now fans can look forward next year to the opening of Disney+ (pronounced “Plus”), with its content falling under five particular Disney sub-brand labels.
Here are the label subcategories for all content old and new that would be found in Disney+ upon its launch:
Disney – Animated Canon, classic family-oriented films, beloved Disney Afternoon and later animated series
Pixar – their animated films and shorts
Marvel – Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, TV series, Marvel Animation content, new programs
Star Wars – all films in the saga, all Star Wars Story anthology spinoffs, Lucasfilm animated series, new programs
National Geographic – documentaries and reality programming