Stardusters React to Disney’s Investor Day Announcements!

In the afternoon of December 10th, Disney held a streaming event for investors to announce all of the new features and content coming within the next few years. Announcements included enhancements to Disney+, streaming packages, and how films will be premiered during COVID. Though Disney parks are not operating at full capacity (or at all) yet, I think Disney really wanted to show that the pandemic did not slow down their creative output. 

Stardusters gathered together (virtually) to watch the stream and we had a lot of thoughts. Here is a breakdown of all the Star Wars news we learned today and our reactions.

First up, Rangers of the New Republic. This is another partnership with Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni. It is set within the timeline of The Mandalorian. Not much was said other than that it will intersect with future stories and culminate in a climactic story event. 

Emily: This one makes me the most nervous. I don’t think we should be rewarding Gina’s behavior by potentially giving her a spin-off role. I am excited to see the formation of the New Republic and how the Rangers can keep peace on the Outer Rim.

Anna: Excited. I can’t wait to see what it’s about!

Patty: All my brain can process is that Dave Filoni’s Trapper Wolf could possibly meet Ahsoka in the crossover event they hinted at. DAVE COULD BE ON SCREEN WITH AHSOKA!

Lee: I don’t know much about it, but with Favreau and Filoni on it, I can’t be anything but excited.

Lindsay: YES, PLEASE!

Lauren: I wonder if we have already had a taste for what the show is. Are the Rangers none other than Trapper Wolf, Carson Teva, Jib Dodger, and Sash Ketter? I wouldn’t mind that at all.

Liv: I’m not overly excited about this one, but I’ll still watch it, of course. Though, I’m sorry, but Gina has kind of ruined Cara Dune for me. So if this ends up being Cara-centric, I probably won’t love it, unfortunately…

Vicky: I’m very intrigued to see what this will be about!

Nessa: I’m a little hesitant, I won’t lie. I saw a tweet saying they hope it isn’t a cop show in space and I’m kind of feeling that. But I’m open to other possibilities!

Rangers was followed up by the second slated Favreau/Filoni project – Ahsoka. This will be a limited series written by Filoni.

Emily: I love the character and I am willing to give Rosario a chance to find herself as a person on and off screen. I’m very excited by the crossover potential and the depth of storytelling we will get.

Anna: I’m not a huge Ahsoka fan, but I’m excited for all of the people that love her.

Patty: I’m not even sure my brain can begin to process. Depending on where Ahsoka falls within the Rebels epilogue does this mean Sabine? My space son, Ezra?? CHILD JACEN SYNDULLA???

Lee: Ahsoka needs to have her story told! I’m shaking with anticipation to see where this spin-off takes her.

Lindsay: There are a lot of complicated feelings with the crossover to live-action from animation, but I have faith we won’t be disappointed in the long run.

Lauren: I wish there wasn’t such a looming cloud hanging over the casting of Ahsoka. Ultimately, I love this character and I’m excited for more of her story to be told, but damn.

Liv: I was kind of hoping for an animated continuation of her story, because I’m not sold on Rosario Dawson’s portrayal of her (allegations against her aside, I am speaking only of what I’ve seen of her in The Mandalorian). I know Dawson is a good actor, and I’ve enjoyed her performances in the past, so I would love to be proven wrong on this point. I would also love for her to be definitively cleared of all allegations before I watch her do anything else in Star Wars. Unfortunately, as with Gina Carano, my feelings are still mixed on seeing her portray a beloved character and they probably will be until that whole mess is completely sorted out. Also, please cast Rahul Kohli as grown-up Ezra!

Vicky: Ahsoka is my favorite character in the Star Wars universe, but admittedly, this isn’t the series I’m most excited about. I’ll definitely be watching, though!

Nessa: I literally don’t have words for how excited I am and my mind is already racing with speculation. Where will this take place? What stories will be told? What point of her life will we learn about? What new stories will spin off from this? I’m just so beyond happy that we’re getting more of Ahsoka Tano.

Next, we got a really nice look at Andor. Diego Luna is back in the role of Cassian Andor and is also an Executive Producer on the show. The spy thriller will star Stellan Skarsgard, Adria Arjona, Fiona Shaw, Denise Gough, Kyle Soller, and Genevieve O’Reilly as Mon Mothma. Filming has already started.

Emily: Very excited. Rogue One is my favorite movie and I’m so happy to see a spin-off. Give me more Krennic, please!

Anna: OMMFG I CAN’T WAIT! I love Rogue One and Cassian, so I’m thrilled.

Patty: I’m super excited that we are diving into the spy mission side of the rebellion. As much as I love the Jedi and other force users, my heart always lies with the non-Force users trying to make their ways through the galaxy. Rogue One gutted me and I am beyond excited for more Cassian and also to get into the grit of the rebellion.

Lee: Anything with Diego Luna as Cassian Andor is a win in my book. He could literally stare at a tree for 2 hours and I would watch. Maybe I wouldn’t take it that far. But I probably would.

Lindsay: The details involved in all the world building and the scale on which they are bringing this story to life is the kind of commitment I like to see from Star Wars storytelling.

Lauren: I’ll say I was expecting to see more Latine talent in the casting. This would have been the perfect place to insert some of that diversity they talked about in the beginning. That said, I’m incredibly excited for Andor. Rogue One is my favorite Star War and I’m glad we get more Cassian.

Liv: I LOVE Diego Luna and I love the prospect of possibly seeing the darker and grittier side of the Rebellion. One of my favorite things about Rogue One was getting to see rebels doing what needed to be done, which sometimes might not be the honorable thing. I have high hopes for this one!

Vicky: I am THRILLED that we get to see Cassian’s story! His character in Rogue One was interesting, and I’m looking forward to learning more about him.

Nessa: I’ve been fascinated by Cassian Andor since Rogue One (which is possibly my favorite SW film) and I’m giddy that we’re getting an expansion of this Fulcrum agent’s story. Cassian himself is a fascinating character – a reflection of the darker edges of the Rebellion – and I think this will give us a fun insight into the grittier workings of trying to overthrow the Empire.

Next up was Obi-Wan Kenobi directed by Deborah Chow. We learned it will take place 10 years after Revenge of the Sith. Ewan McGregor’s return as Obi-Wan was formally announced, but the biggest mic drop was that Hayden Christensen will also return to the Star Wars universe as Darth Vader. 

Emily: HAYDEN! MY SON! WELCOME BACK!

Anna: HAYDEN IS COMING BACK!!!! I’m really excited about this one. Even moreso because Deborah Chow is helming it.

Patty: HAYDEN! That’s my one thought. That’s it. There are no other thoughts in my Anakin brain.

Lee: Hayden back as Vader? Alongside Ewan as Obi-Wan? This is going to hurt, isn’t it?

Lindsay: I’m most excited about this because it brings all my childhood dreams for new content to life. And with the return of Hayden as Vader? I always hoped we’d see him back and active with his character again, so this is nothing short of incredible.

Lauren: I don’t know if anyone else caught this, but I believe Kathleen Kennedy said something about a face-off. Time to cue up Battle of the Heroes? There’s so much hurt between Obi-Wan and Anakin/Vader at this point, I’m sure this is going to destroy me.

Liv: I mean… HAYDEN IS BACK! I couldn’t be more excited! I love him and I’m so happy he’s back in Star Wars and gets to don the mask and mantle of Darth Vader. I screamed when his participation was announced. I thought it couldn’t get any better with Ewan confirmed, but… happily, I was wrong. I also think the time period they chose to set this in is a good choice. Obi-Wan will have had enough time to grieve and work through some shit, but will of course still be haunted by everything that happened. The same goes for Anakin. Ah, I want this series NOW!

Vicky: I’ve been excited about this one since it was announced years ago. I love Obi-Wan and I’m very happy that the series is still happening. I am especially happy to hear that Hayden will recur his role as Vader. I think it says a lot about the fandom as a whole that he’s willing to return. Perhaps those of us who love Star Wars have finally drowned out the hateful rhetoric against him.

Nessa: Kenobi has been on my radar for a while. There are gaps in Obi-Wan’s story that I would love to hear told. I’m keen to see more of his time on Tatooine and how it might overlap with the Kenobi novel. Meanwhile, I’m also going to be hoping for some flashback materials… and maybe some references to events from the Jedi Apprentice series?

The Bad Batch is an animated Clone Wars spin-off which takes place immediately after the Clone Wars and from the looks of the sizzle reel, promises many action sequences.

Emily: I don’t have a lot of background on this one, but if my fellow Stardusters are happy, I’m happy for them.

Anna: Can’t wait. I think I saw Fennec Shand in the preview and it makes me extra excited!

Patty: The moment we saw Tarkin sassing, I lost it. I’m actually really excited to see the early days of the empire on screen. Plus, with my second favorite clone, Echo, in the Bad Batch now (R.I.P. Fives, Clone of my Heart), how can I NOT be excited?!

Lee: I loved the introduction of the Bad Batch in the Clone Wars. Even from the time when they were just unrealized beta models sliding around in the original unfinished episodes of season 7. Seeing them back after #CloneWarsSaved was SO GOOD. Just so good. I love animated Star Wars. It gives so much to the fans.

Lindsay: The animation looks amazing.

Lauren: I think this is going to be a fun addition to the Clone Wars saga. Good eagle eyes on Anna for catching Fennec. I do think that was her. In which case…sign me up!

Liv: So the Bad Batch isn’t my favorite thing, but it looks very well animated. I do love clones and – holy crap – FENNEC SHAND??? Yeah, I’ll watch the crap out of this.

Vicky: This is a fun direction to explore! I love that there are “failed” clones in the universe.

Nessa: Everyone who talks to me knows I’m a huge clone trooper fan and, I’ll admit, I wasn’t always super excited about The Bad Batch. The boys hadn’t struck a chord with me when I first met them in TCW. But my fascination has grown and now, honestly, I am GEEKING OUT. The sizzler we got about the show grabbed my attention. I’m in awe of the animation and I’m excited to see what the Bad Batch is going to tell us about the clone trooper experience after Order 66.

Visions is an anthology of animated shorts bringing together the best creators in Japanese anime to play in the Star Wars sand box.

Emily: This has the potential for breathtaking beauty and innovative art. I’m thrilled!

Anna: I’m curious. I am not a big anime person but I’m interested to see what they do. I’m sure it’s going to be beautiful.

Patty: It sounds like a really cool experience. I’m wondering if it’s going to go for story recreations in anime style and perspective or if it’s new stories. Star Wars takes so much inspiration from Japanese cinema, it almost feels like a full circle moment.

Lee: I’ve never been super into the anime style, but it could be great! I’ll wait and see. Of course, I’m going to watch them! Star Wars is just one long movie with a bunch of different art styles and actors.

Lauren: Honestly, I’ve stayed away from Star Wars animation for so long because the style didn’t appeal to me. If you’ve ever picked up a Star Wars manga though, like Lost Stars, you can clearly see that this illustration style works so well. I’m looking forward to a really beautiful experience.

Liv: I’m not the biggest anime fan, but this seems exciting and new! I love anything that changes things up a bit, so I think this will be interesting.

Vicky: Fun fact: I am an anime fan. I met my husband in an anime chat room on mIRC, and then in person at an anime convention. So, I am most excited to see what Visions will bring us.

Nessa: I’m a huge fan of animated anthologies, because animation comes in so many shapes and forms and there’s always beautiful and unique ways to tell stories. From “The Animatrix” to “Love, Death & Robots,” I love seeing these unique animated stories shared. And with a new cultural perspective being brought into Star Wars by specifically tapping anime artists— I’m here for it and I’m so excited!

We finally have confirmation that a Lando show is in the works. No word on whether or not we will see Donald Glover again, but the show is now in the early stages of development with Justin Simien taking the lead.

Emily: GIVE ME ALL THE DONALD GLOVER CONTENT! BRING BACK L3!

Anna: I can’t wait. I love Lando!

Patty: LANDO is my husband and my phone actually autocorrected his name to full caps. I feel that says everything. That logo is awesome! I just wish we’d gotten to see the inspiration reel.

Lee: Lando is a character that hasn’t been explored fully yet and I am HERE for this. I’d like to see them look into his life more than as it related to Han and Leia. He’s his own (admittedly scoundrel-y) character and I am waiting with bated breath to see what he does.

Lauren: I really really hope Donald Glover is attached to this. And that there is more space vlogging!

Liv: Lando! Always up for more Lando content. Fingers crossed for Donald Glover!

Vicky: Landon is a wonderful and complex character, so I’m looking forward to hearing more of his story.

Nessa: YES! Just full on yes. Lando is one of those characters I both love and am so frustrated by. He skirts expectations in so many ways and sometimes I just want him to fit in a mold. But that’s what’s GREAT about him. I’m super excited to learn more about this series.

We knew Leslye Headland had been tapped to direct a new Star Wars series, and now we know that she is attached to The Acolyte. The mystery-thriller will explore the dark side of The Force.

Emily: Mysterious AND dark-side focused. I’m hoping we are on Korriban or Dathomir!

Anna: This is going to be fantastic. I’m here for some dark side action

Patty: HIGH REPUBLIC ON THE SCREEN? I DIDNT KNOW IT WAS COMING! I also just adore Force nonsense. Give it to me!

Lee: Mystery Thriller + Star Wars? WHY NOT?! Honestly, my two favorite things threaded together into one masterpiece is enough to get me excited.

Lauren: I am so excited to finally be looking at a dark side story. My mind did go to Dathomir as well…possibly a Night Sister tie-in. Be still, my heart.

Liv: Mystery-thriller set in a new era and focusing on dark side powers emerging? I AM THERE! GIVE IT TO ME! Like, I’m here for almost any Star Wars content, but I do think we need to move on from the same old eras we have been playing around in. I’m very excited about the High Republic and what it will turn out to be like! And I absolutely adore the mystery-thriller concept.

Vicky: I’m very intrigued to see this one!

Nessa: The High Republic era is FINALLY being explored on the screen! And with Leslye Headland at the head, I’m stoked to see what sort of mystery-thriller, dark side secrets are going to be told.

C-3PO and R2-D2 are our guides in this animated series which will be a team effort between the Lucasfilm Animation and ILM.

Emily: Very cool. Excited to see where this goes.

Anna: Meh. It depends on the actual content.

Patty: Droids are the best and there should be more droids. As someone affectionately called Threepio by some of my friends, I love seeing my anxiety droid out and about. They always makes me happy and, honestly, I love when droids get to interact and focus on their own relationships with each other.

Lee: DROIDS ARE MY FAVORITE. That’s really all you need to know.

Lauren: I’m not as invested in this one, but will I stop in to check it out when it first drops? Yep!

Liv: I will watch it, but it will probably be geared towards younger children and I always have a harder time getting into the kids stuff (which is why I haven’t given the Resistance show a chance yet). Clone Wars and Rebels are kind of my benchmark, where if content is very clearly written for a younger demographic than those two shows, I’m just not that interested. But, again, I will probably still watch it!

Vicky: It’s so cool that we’re going to see the universe from the perspective of droids!

Nessa: This sounds really charming! I’m not the hugest droid fan, but I’m always just here for more Star Wars stories, let’s be real.

Kathleen Kennedy also talked about films that are in development. Taika Waititi will direct a new Star Wars feature which does not have a name yet. 

Emily: I adore Taika and trust him to give us humor and push his actors to new heights.

Anna: I can’t wait. If he can Ragnarok some Star Wars, I may pee a little. I think he’ll make something fantastic and different but totally fitting.

Patty: I love Taika’s creativity and the themes he plays with in his work. I’m all in!

Lee: Taika Waititi is a genius. I’m ready for Korg in Star Wars. Sure! Let’s do this! His episode of Mando last season was one of the BEST and it felt so real – like stepping into the universe. I’m sure he’ll create something wonderful.

Lindsay: Taika Waititi is one of my favorite creative visionaries and I can’t wait to see how he brings his own style.

Lauren: Take a look at that logo! Is it possible we’ll get something that looks a little like Into the Spiderverse or maybe a hybrid animation/live-action film. This is so exciting.

Liv: I really love Taika and I loved what he did for the MCU with Thor: Ragnarok. However, I hope his Star Wars entry will not be too over the top screwball comedic. Just a personal preference, but I need the darkness.

Vicky: I don’t have a lot of thoughts on this one, but it’s Taika Waititi, so you can bet I’ll be watching.

Nessa: I love Taika Waititi’s storytelling, because it has a way of just— livening up a universe, smacking it with color and turning on the lights. I am so excited to see what story Taika has decided to tell, what part of the universe he’s going to make us all want to dance in. It’s going to be a good time, I’m sure of it!

The last Star Wars announcement of the afternoon was Rogue Squadron. It will focus on a group of Starfighter pilots making their way through the galaxy. Kathleen Kennedy announced that Patty Jenkins will direct the film, making her the first woman to direct a Star Wars film. The announcement was enhanced by a post from Jenkins on Twitter, talking about where she finds inspiration to direct such a story. The group chat just about exploded.

Emily: So, so excited! Patty Jenkins had such a talent as a director and having the female gaze at the helm of a feature film is going to be so good for Star Wars.

Anna: Screaming. So much screaming. That’s one of my brother’s favorites. I’m so excited about Patty Jenkins. It’s going to be so rad. I want to see those adventures!

Patty: I always get excited when I see Patty Jenkins on a project. Of course, we share a name, BUT the Her Universe Rogue Squadron dress was what initially got me interested in Star Wars. I am all shrieks!

Lee: Pilots are kind of my jam. (I have a resistance pilot costume and a TIE Reserve costume… so pilots are a huge YES). Patty Jenkins’ few forays into the flight battle scenes in Wonder Woman were great and that was WWII era. Imagine what she could do with Star Wars fighters? I’m excited!

Lindsay: I’m sure the story will be incredible but I can’t get over the fact that we’re finally going to have a woman directing a Star Wars feature film. Why is it going to take so long for this to be released?! I mean, I know why but after this year I am feeling so impatient for new and delightful things.

Lauren: Wow. A woman making a Star War. I was beginning to think I would never see the day and now it’s so close. Fucking legendary. 

Liv: YES! YES! YES! HOLY CRAP! YES!!! I have to read the Legends books now, I never got around to them before. But like, I love ships in Star Wars (even though the TIE is my fave), so give me ALL of that content! Most of all though, FINALLY having a woman directing a Star Wars movie and that woman being Patty freakin’ Jenkins? I get chills just thinking about it. I think this will be wonderful, especially since Patty seems to be so personally invested in the concept and story.

Vicky: Another one that I don’t have a lot of thoughts on yet, but I’m very excited to see the storytelling!

Nessa: PATTY JENKINS. I’m shamefully unfamiliar with Rogue Squadron as a story, but this announcement makes me want to fix that. Our first female director in Star Wars is a thrilling, overwhelming, and beautiful event— I barely have the words to express my excitement about this piece!

So many great things coming our way! Still, there were some things that were not mentioned that we still hope to see in the future.

Emily: Rian Johnson trilogy. Revan. Ben Solo.

Anna: Rian Johnson movies.

Patty: It’s so hard because we were just given so much. I would love to see more post-sequel trilogy content. I’m also still hoping Rian Johnson’s projects will show up.

Lee: I haven’t looked into it yet, but I guess Rian Johnson pulled out of his trilogy? I was expecting to hear about that in today’s call but it never came up.

Lindsay: Where’s Ezra?

Lauren: I truly thought this was Dr. Aphra’s time in the sun, but alas, I must wait longer. I do feel very satisfied with the news we got.

Liv: I REALLY REALLY want a Doctor Aphra show! How cool would that be – a space archaeology adventure show!! Hey, Disney, give me more Asians in space! Also, put your money where your mouth is when it comes to representation, and give me openly lesbian Chelli Lona Aphra having an actual romance with another woman. Not an ambiguous “are they friends or girlfriends?” Let them kiss and hold hands as you would let any straight couple do. Come oooon. You can even bring Hayden in as Vader again! You’ve already laid the groundwork with the Aphra audio book. Now I want to see my best girl onscreen.

Vicky: Ezra!!!! I want to know what happened to Ezra and Thrawn!

Nessa: Rebels!!! I am dying for a sequel or expansion to Rebels, because I need to know more about our darlings. Give me more of Hera, more of Sabine, more of Zeb, more of Chopper. I’m also hoping, maybe, maybe, for more stuff set in the Good Ol’ Days of the Republic. But I might just be missing my Prequel-era darlings.

Throughout the various presentations, it was stressed repeatedly that Disney wanted to make a commitment to diversity in their projects to reflect their audience.

Emily: Seeing Diego Luna as Cassian and the announcements of Taika and Patty as directors makes me feel really hopeful for the diversity of the franchise.

Anna: I hope it happens. It’s showing up more and more in the books. I want to see it on screen.

Patty: It was honestly a lot more than I was expecting! Women and PoC in front of and behind the screen in multiple projects? I squealed when I saw Diego Luna has an executive producer credit!

Lee: I’m thrilled with this news. We’ve seen Star Wars dance around diversity in the past and bringing it to the investors call is a wonderful step in the right direction. 

Lindsay: It’s necessary for the future of the universe of Star Wars. Progress has been made over the years, but done right, this is going to be a game changer.

Lauren: Obviously that’s a really great goal. We’ve only been asking for it for decades now, so it seems like a good time. I’ll say that the future does look a little brighter behind the camera, but I’ll wait and see what happens on screen.

Liv: I’m… hesitant to hope for anything. Everything Disney has taught me this far, I’m afraid, is that they love to queerbait their audiences and then pretend like a throwaway line or a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it wink or kiss in the background is proper representation. So I don’t know… The onus is on them to prove me wrong, but I’m not holding my breath for anything revolutionary in onscreen Star Wars. Until they actually deliver, I’d rather they didn’t make promises they have no intention of keeping.

Vicky: If anyone can follow through on that promise, Disney can. I am hopeful that my children will grow up seeing a beautifully diverse universe.

Nessa: Hope. That’s what I’m feeling. Honestly, I have no idea if Disney will actually walk the walk, but the shows and films they detailed (in terms of stories told and by whom) seemed to reflect this goal. I hope they keep it up. It’s well overdue.

You might be wondering…are we okay?

Emily: I’m cautiously optimistic.

Anna: SO VERY EXCITED!

Patty: Just a constant caps lock key.

Lee: High pitched screeches of excitement!

Lindsay: I’m dead. OK, not really, but I have so much joy over this! I am always so glad for new Star Wars things to discover. While there’s a time and a place for in-depth analysis, I don’t need bad moods raining on this parade. If you’re not super hyped about it, that’s OK! But it’s also OK to let people feel excitement over this without bringing a morose mood to the table.

Lauren: I need a nap, for sure. The screaming really took a lot out of me.

Liv: I wish we could have gotten more content in new and unexplored eras, such as the High Republic, or maybe even something in the Old Republic (LADY REVAN KOTOR TV SHOW, PLEASE!), but who am I to look a gift horse in the mouth? This is a day of celebration! We are going to get so much amazing new content, and I can’t wait to devour it all.

Vicky: Much excitement. I am so happy that the Star Wars universe will continue for years to come.

Nessa: Sheer, unabashed glee. I shouted with happiness more than once during this meeting and I’m looking forward to being blown away by the content that Disney will give us (in Star Wars and in other IPs) for years to come.

Editor’s Note: There were over 800 (very excited) messages in the group chat. Okay is a relative term…

What we know for sure is that the years of dry spells are over for now. We’re going to have enough Star Wars to talk, write and scream about for YEARS and that makes us really happy.