Star Wars Celebration kicked off its opening day in London today with a non-stop series of announcements about some of Lucasfilm’s most highly anticipated productions—from Disney+ original series such as Star Wars: Ahsoka and Star Wars: Skeleton Crew to upcoming feature films like Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.
Taking place at the ExCel London Convention Center, Friday’s activities on the Celebration Stage began with host Ali Plumb welcoming Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy to reflect on the success of the highly acclaimed Disney+ original series Star Wars: Andor. They were joined by the series’ director/creator/showrunner Tony Gilroy and stars Diego Luna, Adria Arjona, Kyle Soller, Denise Gough, Genevieve O’Reilly, Andy Serkis, Muhannad Bahair, and Joplin Sibtain, who was accompanied by droid B2EMO. Fans were treated to an exclusive first look at the second and final season, which is currently in production and chronicles the next steps in Cassian Andor’s journey as he fights to assemble a fledgling resistance. Kennedy, Gilroy, Sanne Wohlenberg, Luna, and Luke Hull are executive producing Season 2 for Disney+.
Next, Leslye Headland—creator and showrunner of Star Wars: The Acolyte—joined Kennedy on stage. Headland was escorted by Kelnacca, a Wookiee Jedi from the series, and offered an overview of the mystery-thriller. The Acolyte will take viewers into a galaxy of shadowy secrets and emerging dark-side powers in the final days of the High Republic era. A former Padawan reunites with her Jedi Master to investigate a series of crimes but discovers the forces they confront are more sinister than they ever anticipated. Joining Headland and Kennedy on stage were stars Amandla Stenberg, Lee Jung-jae, Manny Jacinto, Dafne Keen, Charlie Barnett, Jodie Turner-Smith, Rebecca Henderson, Dean-Charles Chapman, and Star Wars veteran Joonas Suotamo, who plays Kelnacca. Headland wowed the crowd with a sneak peek at the series, which also stars Carrie-Anne Moss and Margarita Levieva and is currently in production. In addition to writing and directing, Headland serves as an executive producer with Kennedy, Simon Emanuel, Jeff F. King, and Jason Micallef. Rayne Roberts and Damian Anderson serve as producers. The Acolyte will stream exclusively on Disney+ in 2024.
The focus then shifted to Star Wars: The Mandalorian as Kennedy invited the series’ executive producers, Disney Legend Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni, to the stage. The duo, along with fellow executive producer Rick Famuyiwa, were on hand for a discussion of the third season of the hit show, now streaming exclusively on Disney+. Following a special video greeting from star Pedro Pascal, fans were treated to a clip from next week’s episode. Afterward, stars Giancarlo Esposito, Katee Sackhoff, Carl Weathers, and Emily Swallow appeared onstage and announced a sneak peek screening of the upcoming episode that evening, exclusively for those in attendance.
Next up, Skelton Crew star Jude Law took to the stage to officially introduce his young co-stars Ravi Cabot-Conyers, Kyriana Kratter, and Robert Timothy Smith; the series also stars Ryan Kiera Armstrong, who was unable to attend Star Wars Celebration. The team shared insights about the series and their characters, and—to the delight of all—a sneak peak of the series, which is currently in production. Skeleton Crew follows the journey of four kids who make a mysterious discovery on their seemingly safe home planet, then get lost in a strange and dangerous galaxy. Finding their way home—and meeting unlikely allies and enemies—will be a greater adventure than they ever imagined.
The series also stars Tunde Adebimpe and Kerry Condon. Jon Watts and Christopher Ford are showrunners and executive produce along with Favreau, Filoni, Kennedy, and Wilson. Gilchrist and Beck serve as co-executive producers. John Bartnicki and Susan McNamara serve as producers. Directors include Watts, Ford, David Lowery, the Daniels (Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert), Jake Schreier, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Lee Isaac Chung. Skeleton Crew will stream exclusively on Disney+ in 2023.
Transitioning to this year’s next highly anticipated Star Wars series, Favreau and Filoni announced Ahsoka, starring Rosario Dawson in the title role, will premiere on Disney+ in August 2023. Set after the fall of the Empire, Ahsoka follows the former Jedi knight Ahsoka Tano as she investigates an emerging threat to a vulnerable galaxy. Dawson unveiled a teaser poster for the series and was then joined onstage by co-stars Natasha Liu Bordizzo, who plays Sabine Wren, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who announced she plays Hera Syndulla. The presentation concluded with a new teaser trailer for the Disney+ original series, which is written by Filoni, who executive produces alongside Favreau, Kennedy, Wilson, and Beck. Gilchrist serves as a co-executive producer.
Afterward, feature films became the focus of the day’s presentations, with Kennedy paying tribute to the incredible work of Oscar®-winning Creature and Special Makeup Effects Supervisor Neal Scanlan as dozens of his most famous creations took the stage.
Kennedy then revealed that Star Wars will head into the future, with a new feature set 15 years after the last events of the Skywalker Saga. Director Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy will tell the story of rebuilding the New Jedi Order and the powers that rise to tear it down; the director then delighted fans by welcoming Star Wars veteran Daisy Ridley to stage, confirming she will be reprising her beloved role as Rey in the upcoming movie.
Kennedy also announced that James Mangold will take audiences deep into the past, telling the tale of the first Jedi to wield the Force and harness it as a liberating power in an era of chaos and oppression.
Expanding upon Star Wars storytelling in the present, Dave Filoni will orchestrate the escalating war between the Imperial Remnant and the fledgling New Republic. Alongside producer Favreau, they will bring together many of the threads of the Star Wars original series in a cinematic event.
Finally, the stars and filmmakers of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny dazzled the crowd with a never-before-seen trailer, an extensive look at the film, and a brand new poster. Appearing in person were cast members Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Mads Mikkelsen, along with director and co-writer James Mangold and producer Kennedy. Dr. Jones himself, the inimitable Harrison Ford, appeared in a video greeting. The film, which will be Ford’s final Indiana Jones adventure, premieres at the Cannes Film Festival on Thursday, May 18, and opens in theaters on Friday, June 30.
A Disney blooded, crafty, fun-lovin’ wife/mom/organizer/planner, etc who is obsessed with all things Disney 🙂 Maria grew up with the Magic Kingdom and has loved watching WDW evolve into what it is today. A firm believer in the Power of Pixie Dust, she is the owner of The Disney Driven Life – A Community for Neurotic Disney People & a d.i.y. crafty blog, Carousel of Projects – create~inspire~share.