Exploring the Galaxy: What’s Next for Star Wars on Disney Plus?
After a summer marked by strikes and a noticeable dearth of Star Wars news, the debut of ‘Ahsoka’ in the latter half of August provided a much-needed lifeline. Over the past few weeks, our discussions and speculations about the latest episodes of this new Star Wars series have made our gatherings all the more rewarding. Time seemed to slip away, and before we knew it, Tuesday night had arrived again. However, with Part Eight now released to the world, Star Wars is temporarily returning to a state of quiet anticipation.
To help make the waiting period a bit more bearable, we’ve compiled all the information we have on the upcoming projects destined for Disney Plus from the far reaches of the galaxy. Please note that this list excludes the six feature films currently in active development at Lucasfilm, a topic that could fill an entire separate article. (Feel free to share your interest in a comprehensive status report on those films in the comments below!)
Star Wars: Skeleton Crew
This is the brainchild of Jon Watts, the director of ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home,’ who pitched the idea to Jon Favreau while they were on the set of the Marvel film. Favreau wasted no time in bringing it to life. Chris Ford worked on the script alongside Watts, with Myung Joh Wesner contributing to a few episodes. Watts is set to direct at least one of the episodes. The story revolves around a group of children stranded in the vast expanse of outer space, accompanied by a mysterious adult played by Jude Law, who possesses the power of the Force.
Lucasfilm initially announced a 2023 release date for the series, and this was reaffirmed earlier in the year at the Star Wars Celebration event in London. However, during Disney’s Q3 earnings call, the series was notably absent from their list of upcoming titles. With only three months remaining in the year, it is becoming increasingly likely that the series will be delayed until early 2024. Marvel’s ‘Echo’ is rumored to be premiering in January, making February a reasonable estimate for the release of ‘Skeleton Crew‘ on the streaming platform. Lucasfilm declined to provide any official comment on this matter.
In addition to Jude Law, the cast features Ravi Cabot-Conyers, Kyriana Kratter, Robert Timothy Smith, and Ryan Kiera Armstrong as the four stranded children, along with Oscar nominee Kerry Condon in an undisclosed role. The timeline of the series aligns with other MandoVerse shows such as ‘The Mandalorian’ and ‘Ahsoka,’ and there have been subtle hints about potential cameo appearances from familiar characters. Beyond Jon Watts, an impressive lineup of directors includes Jake Schreier, the duo known as the Daniels (Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert), David Lowery, Lee Isaac Chung, and Bryce Dallas Howard.
Star Wars: The Acolyte
From our vantage point, ‘The Acolyte‘ appears to be generating the most excitement among a significant portion of the Star Wars fanbase. This upcoming series not only promises to be the first to delve into the world of the dark side and feature a substantial presence of Jedi but also marks the first Disney Plus offering, or live-action title overall, set in the Star Wars universe before the events of ‘The Phantom Menace.’ Amandla Stenberg takes the lead as a former Padawan who reunites with her former Master, portrayed by Lee Jung-jae, amidst a backdrop of enigmatic crimes that cast doubt during the zenith of the Jedi’s influence.
As of now, no official release date has been announced. Speculation has been brewing for several months, with insights from the series’ production schedule suggesting a potential target of spring 2024, possibly in May or June. However, uncertainties loom due to a brief labor strike in July, which may have affected the production. While Leslye Headland, the head writer, would have been on strike, the same does not apply to her roles as director or executive producer—Tony Gilroy resolved a similar predicament by stepping away from ‘Andor’ season 2. Nonetheless, the strike’s impact may have hindered the post-production team’s ability to record any necessary additional dialogue in the absence of actors.
If we were to hazard a guess, an early summer 2024 release, in June or July, seems plausible, though this may be contingent on the progress of our next undertaking.
It’s worth noting that Lucasfilm has already affirmed plans for multiple seasons of ‘The Acolyte,’ with an overarching narrative framework established even before the commencement of season 1’s production.
Andor season 2
The second season of Tony Gilroy’s highly-praised series is poised to bridge the four-year gap between the first season and ‘Rogue One,’ with each set of three episodes dedicated to one of those four years. The entire cast is set to return, alongside the original writing team, now enriched by the inclusion of Tom Bissell. Additionally, this season will introduce three new directors into the mix. Fans can also anticipate the return of K-2SO to the screen, as well as the intriguing promise of ‘legacy characters,’ although details remain elusive. Unfortunately, it appears that Alex Ferns’ Linus Mosk won’t be making a comeback.
However, the most significant development surrounding ‘Andor‘ Season 2 has been the impact of the industry-wide strike. Production kicked off in November 2022 and was scheduled to wrap up in August of the following year in the UK. However, when the writers’ strike was declared in early May, and the showrunner’s role became blurred, Tony Gilroy made the decision to step aside in solidarity with the Writers Guild of America. Interestingly, this wasn’t a major disruption to the production, as Gilroy had previously stated that they never have a writer on set. Actor Stellan Skarsgård further commented that Gilroy’s absence didn’t affect the show, given its resilience to changes in direction and writing.
However, the situation took a turn for the worse in July when SAG-AFTRA announced their own strike after failing to reach an agreement with the studios. While ‘Andor’ was filming in the UK, it employed a significant number of SAG members, leading to a halt in production roughly a month before its planned completion. Presumably, once the actors return to work, they will travel back to the UK to finalize production. In the interim, it’s possible that VFX studios have continued their work on the show, while editors and sound designers have been piecing episodes together, alleviating some of the setbacks caused by the pause in filming.
Originally eyeing an August 2024 release date, it remains uncertain whether the show will be able to meet this target after the three-month production interruption. This upcoming season is slated to be the series finale, adding to the anticipation and uncertainty surrounding its release.
The Mandalorian season 4
The strike has had its impact on various projects, and one such project feeling its effects is the highly anticipated fourth season of “The Mandalorian.” Jon Favreau had revealed his involvement in the project during Star Wars Celebration 2022, enthusiastically mentioning that he was already in the midst of the creative process. Earlier this year, he further confirmed that the entire season had been written and was ready to go. However, the WGA strike announcement sent shockwaves through the production, with Deadline reporting that the October 2023 shoot schedule was hanging in the balance. The strike persisted, and as actors joined the picket lines, it threw the entire production schedule into disarray.
As the entertainment industry eagerly awaits a resolution between SAG-AFTRA and the studios, it’s gearing up for one of its most significant challenges since the COVID-19 shutdowns. All production schedules will need to be reevaluated, and it’s highly likely that some actors will need to step away from their roles due to scheduling conflicts. It may take some time for things to return to normal. Interestingly, “The Mandalorian” might be one of the fortunate productions in this situation. The show relies heavily on two dedicated stunt doubles, which could help maintain continuity. Additionally, supporting cast members like Carl Weathers and Katee Sackhoff have been primarily occupied within the Star Wars universe, making their return relatively seamless. However, it’s essential to note that Pedro Pascal, the show’s lead, might face challenges in accommodating his schedule, as he’s been in high demand for various other Hollywood projects.
Before the strike, it was assumed that Lucasfilm was aiming for a 2025 release for the fourth season. Although it still appears achievable, there might be a slight delay beyond their initial expectations. While it’s expected that most, if not the entire cast, will return, the direction of the story after the dramatic season 3 finale remains a tantalizing mystery.
Ahsoka season 2
While it hasn’t received official confirmation, ‘Ahsoka‘ Season 2 has been a topic of much speculation in recent months. Numerous reports have circulated, suggesting that Lucasfilm is in the early planning stages for a second season of the show, and given the narrative direction of the first season, it’s not difficult to understand why. Most notably, Deadline reported that while the second season hasn’t yet received the green light, it is expected to precede Dave Filoni’s theatrical film.
However, details remain scarce at this point. While we can only speculate, it’s conceivable that Dave Filoni has already outlined the entire story arc, though it remains unclear whether he has committed pen to paper and written the scripts. Given the pivotal role this narrative plays in the broader MandoVerse, it’s highly likely that the studio will move forward with production sooner rather than later. Regarding a potential release date, if we assume that Filoni’s film is slated for December 2026, a late 2025 premiere for ‘Ahsoka’ Season 2 seems feasible, provided they can initiate production within the next year.
The Bad Batch season 3
“We now venture into the world of animated content, starting with the flagship Star Wars animation series on Disney Plus: ‘The Bad Batch,’ a spin-off from ‘The Clone Wars.’ Earlier this year, at the Star Wars Celebration event, the announcement of the third and final season of the show set fans abuzz, with a slated release in 2024. A brief teaser shared exclusively with Celebration attendees confirmed the return of Ming-Na Wen as Fennec Shand, alongside Wolffe and Rex. In a late June update, Michelle Ang, who voices Omega, hinted that she had completed her voice work for the third season, suggesting that the production may not have been significantly impacted by any strikes and could still make its debut in 2024.
Tales of the Jedi Season 2
Also, during Star Wars Celebration, Dave Filoni expressed his enthusiasm for experimenting with new animation techniques while working on Tales of the Jedi. This experience ignited his desire to undertake a similar project once more. Consequently, a new season of the anthology series is slated for a 2024 release, as initially announced in April. The current status of this new season remains shrouded in mystery. Given the extensive time required for animation production, it is reasonable to assume that Filoni had already crafted the new episodes before the Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike, and voice recording may have been underway. However, the production could have been affected if this crucial stage had not been completed before the SAG-AFTRA strike.
Despite this limited information, the specific focus of the new episodes remains undisclosed. Given its classification as an anthology series, it is tempting to speculate that fresh Jedi characters will take center stage. Could Qui-Gon, Mace Windu, or even Aayla Secura be among the characters explored? Moreover, with Filoni’s involvement, one can’t help but wonder if Ahsoka will play a significant role in the upcoming season.
Star Wars: Visions Volume 3
Similar to the situation with Ahsoka Season 2 in the realm of live-action, the official confirmation of the third volume of Star Wars: Visions from Lucasfilm is still pending. However, it has been widely reported, and considering the success of the second season, it appears to be a logical step forward. Yet, details remain sparse. There is no information available regarding a release date, and the list of countries involved in this installment remains undisclosed.
While Volume 1 was a collaborative effort by Japanese studios, Volume 2 expanded its horizons by featuring short stories from studios across the globe. It is assumed that this approach will continue with Volume 3, but no official confirmation has been made as of yet. Given that the show utilizes international studios and is originally recorded in local languages, it is assumed that neither labor strikes nor other unforeseen issues have affected production.
Young Jedi Adventures Season 1, Volume 3
The third installment of Young Jedi Adventures is set to make its return on November 8, following its initial release with a few episodes in May and another six in early August. With a total of 25 episodes planned for its first season, fans can anticipate the series to continue into 2024. Despite its Star Wars roots, Young Jedi Adventures targets a preschool audience, distinguishing it from the likes of Andor or The Acolyte. Surprisingly, Nubs Nation appears to be gaining traction, so keep an eye out for further developments! The show unfolds within the High Republic era, marking it as the inaugural High Republic content on Disney Plus.
Additionally, there’s another project in the works that we haven’t yet discussed: A Droid Story. Kathleen Kennedy unveiled this animated special for Disney Plus back in 2020, but specific story details remain a mystery. Unfortunately, it’s been nearly three years since the announcement, and there have been no substantial updates since, leaving little to delve into at this point.
“Exploring the Galaxy: What’s Next for Star Wars on Disney Plus?” delves into the exciting upcoming projects in the Star Wars universe set to premiere on Disney Plus. It covers a range of series, including “Star Wars: Skeleton Crew,” “Star Wars: The Acolyte,” “Andor season 2,” “The Mandalorian season 4,” “Ahsoka season 2,” “The Bad Batch season 3,” “Tales of the Jedi Season 2,” and “Star Wars: Visions Volume 3.” The article discusses release dates, potential delays due to industry strikes, and provides insights into the storylines and production status of these highly anticipated Star Wars projects. Additionally, it mentions “Young Jedi Adventures Season 1, Volume 3” and “A Droid Story” briefly.
Micajah McGregor, Editor in Chief of FanFest.com and renowned entertainment journalist, graduated from USC with a focus on Journalism and Film Studies. With an MBA from The Wharton School, he began his career at “PopCulture Pulse” and has been instrumental in shaping FanFest into a prime entertainment news source. Known for his financial analysis of celebrity net worths, Micajah received the ‘Digital Editor of the Year’ award in 2018. He’s also an active blogger, sharing his passion for superhero films and ’90s TV. Contact him at [email protected] for engaging entertainment insights.