Star Wars fans and investors in Walt Disney Co DIS might be interested to hear the latest news and updates from the Star Wars Celebration. Here is a look at some of the news and trailers shared at the event that could keep Star Wars fans an investors happy for years to come.
What Happened: The Star Wars Celebration is being held in Anaheim, California from May 26 through May 29 to celebrate all things Star Wars and Lucasfilm. The event was last held in 2019.
Lucasfilm, which is part of Disney, typically uses the event to highlight upcoming releases in the Star Wars franchise and also spotlight key actors of past and present who interact with fans throughout the event.
Here are some of the key highlights from the event:
Obi-Wan Kenobi: Highly anticipated Star Wars series “Obi-Wan Kenobi” hits streaming platform Disney+ Thursday at 9 p.m. PDT with the first two episodes. Several of the stars of the show were at the event including Hayden Christensen and Ewan McGregor, who play Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi, respectively.
“We are back. It’s been too long, but the wait is almost over,” Christensen told the crowd.
McGregor told the crowd that part of the reason he came back to the Star Wars franchise was the fans.
“In the last five or six or so years, we started to feel all of your love for the prequels that we made. The truth is, that’s meant an enormous amount to us,” McGregor said.
Andor Series: Cassian Andor, who was a featured character in “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” gets his own series with “Andor” coming to Disney+ on Aug. 31, 2022 with a two-episode premiere. The series is set five years prior to the film and comes with 12 episodes in the first season and a second season already in the works.
“I know what he represents,” star Diego Luna said of Andor,” This is the story about the people. It’s a story that has the most to do with us. It’s about what we can do, it’s about the power we have.”
Ahsoka: Fan favorite character Ahsoka gets a series set to hit Disney+ in 2023 with Rosario Dawson playing the famous Jedi knight.
The Mandalorian: Disney+ series "The Mandalorian" is set to return in February 2023 with showrunners Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni sharing details with the crowd.
New Star Wars Series Announced: While several of the shows and movies highlighted at Star Wars Celebration has already been teased or announced, a new series was shared for the first time: “Star Wars: Skeleton Crew” starring Jude Law will debut on Disney+ in 2023. The series centers on a group of children lost in space.
“It’s the story of their journey trying to find their way home,” Jon Watts said. “It stars four kids, but it is not a kids show.”
Watts, who serves as the director of the new series, was the director of the last three Spider-Man movies for Disney and Marvel.
Willow: Another Lucasfilm owned franchise is Willow. A new series is set to premiere on Disney+ on Nov. 30 and take the franchise into the future from the 1988 film of the same name. Warwick Davis, who played Willow in the movie and was also featured in the Star Wars franchise, returns in the series. A trailer was shown at the Star Wars Celebration.
Indiana Jones: Another Lucasfilm franchise outside of Star Wars is Indiana Jones. The fifth Indiana Jones film was highlighted with Harrison Ford in attendance. The movie was given a release date of June 30, 2023. Unlike many of the showcased series that will be exclusive to the Disney+ platform, the Indiana Jones film will be released in traditional theaters.
“We have almost completed the next Indiana Jones film, featuring the music of John Williams,” Ford said. “I am really proud of the movie that we made.”
No plot details of the film were shared and Lucasfilm did not unveil a trailer. A teaser image of the film was shared Thursday.
Why It’s Important: The Star Wars franchise celebrated its 45th anniversary on May 25, 2022. The anniversary of the franchise, the release of “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” Star Wars Celebration and the annual holiday May the Fourth highlight an exciting month for the beloved franchise.
The last Star Wars film to hit theaters was “Star Wars Episode IV: The Rise of Skywalker” in 2019. The company has some movies in the works including “Rogue Squadron,” set for a theatrical release in 2023.
Disney and Lucasfilm used Star Wars Celebration to spotlight several series and highlight the exclusive content in the franchise coming to the Disney+ platform.
Disney reported 44.4 million domestic Disney+ subscribers and 129.8 million worldwide subscribers for the streaming platform.
As the home of many exclusive Star Wars shows and others in the Disney catalog from Marvel, Pixar and Disney Animation, Disney+ could continue to be a must-have streaming platform for movie and television lovers.
DIS Price Action: Disney shares are up 2.43% to $108.18 on Friday.
Photo: At London photo call: Hayden Christensen, Moses Ingram and Ewan McGregor flanked by Stormtroopers, courtesy Stillmoving.net from Disney
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