Just because the holidays look pretty different this season doesn't necessarily mean we won't be getting gifts. In fact, Lucasfilm decided to give us a heap of presents early this year. During Disney's annual Investor Day conference on December 10, Disney-owned Lucasfilm unveiled more than a dozen new Disney+ series and features — yes, like actually that many — that are all set in the Star Wars universe. And to top it off, most of these movies and TV shows are either directed by or star women and BIPOC.
First and foremost, one of the perhaps most exciting pieces of news was that Hayden Christensen, who famously starred in the Star Wars franchise as the moody Anakin Skywalker (and future evil Darth Vader), will be reprising his role, but this time going full Vader for the Obi-Wan Kenobi limited series starring Ewan McGregor. The last time we saw Christensen in this role was a decade ago in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, and following the films received a barrage of criticism (and heavy trolling) from fans who weren't happy with what they felt was an underwhelming portrayal of a key character. This gives the actor a chance to hopefully rewrite the narrative.
As for the big screen, Lucasfilms has two new movies on the way: one untitled project from Jojo Rabbit's Taika Waititi, who will be Star Wars' first Indigenous director, and another from Wonder Woman's Patty Jenkins called Star Wars: Rogue Squadron, set to release on Christmas 2023. This will be the first Star Wars film directed by a woman. Deborah Chow, who directed an episode of the TV series The Mandalorian in 2019 and will helm the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi, was the franchise's first woman director in its 42 year history.
We're not even close to done. We then have two Mandalorian spin-offs to look forward to, Ahsoka and The Rangers of the New Republic, as well as two other TV series in the Star Wars' universe, Lando and Andor. That's two Black leads with Ahsoka (starring Rosario Dawson, who debuted the live-action character in The Mandalorian), and Lando (lead to be announced, but we know it will be developed by Dear White People's Justin Simien). Rogue One prequel Andor will star the second-ever Latinx lead, Diego Luna, in the Star Wars universe (the first being Pedro Pascal, who plays the titular character in The Mandalorian, and the third will be Dawson, as Ahsoka).
We also finally know what Russian Doll writer-director (and now first out queer Star Wars director) Leslye Headland's new series is all about. The Acolyte, according to Disney, is "a mystery-thriller that will take viewers into a galaxy of shadowy secrets and emerging dark-side powers in the final days of the High Republic era."
Still with us? Good, because the behemoth also announced a few new animated series and a new Indiana Jones movie (and that's before we even get to Disney Animation, Pixar, and Marvel's massive updates), also rolling out in the next few years.
It's definitely a lot to take in, but let's be honest — we don't mind getting spoiled. In fact, when it comes to presents that help move us forward and help put forth more diverse stories, hopefully there's more where that came from.