Then again, it seems like every recent year is a big year for Star Wars, thanks to the Disney-owned era of Lucasfilm. The Mouse House has wasted no time stuffing the pop culture landscape with all things Star Wars, with new trilogy of Skywalker films, stand-alone features, TV series, and, coming soon, a Disney theme park. It seemed that Star Wars reached a fever pitch in 2017, when it celebrated its fortieth anniversary and saw the release of The Last Jedi, a groundswell hit that also sent a polarizing buzz through the fandom, making the brand arguably the most talked-about franchise of the last few years.
Not to be outdone, 2019 will keep the momentum going. But it’s not just the end of the Skywalker saga that makes this one a huge year for Star Wars. There are a number of giant events and projects coming out this year. Here’s a brief rundown of everything Star Wars-related we can look forward to this year.
Star Wars Resistance finale
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This Disney XD animated series started last fall and will close out its first season on March 10 and 17 with a two-part finale titled “No Escape.” The show is set right before The Force Awakens and follows pilot Kazuda Xiono, who is recruited by the Resistance to spy on the growing threat of the evil First Order. While no plot description has been announced for the finale, some fans have speculated the bleak title may be referring to the destruction of the Hosnian system by Starkiller Base, which was seen in The Force Awakens. That event wiped out the Galactic Senate and threw the galaxy into chaos, so it will be fascinating to see if Resistance, a show aimed at younger audiences, really goes there. No word yet on a second season, but a recent episode of The Star Wars Show featuring Resistance voice actor Elijah Wood seemed to hint at one.
Star Wars Celebration
— Star Wars (@starwars) June 5, 2018
The biggest Star Wars fan event of the year is happening this April in Chicago. Star Wars Celebration is a Comic-Con style event that is all Star Wars, all the time. The four-day convention is a hub for cosplay, panels, and will undoubtedly bring us huge Star Wars-related news. In the past, trailers for upcoming films have premiered at Celebration, so it will likely be our first look at Episode IX and new shows coming to Disney+, like The Mandalorian. (More on that in a bit.)
Another huge Star Wars event happening this year is the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, a massive Disney park. There will be both a Disneyland location in Anaheim, California, and a Walt Disney World version at Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Florida. The Disneyland park will open first, sometime in the summer, with the Disney World park set to open in fall.
The parks will have at least two rides: Smuggler’s Run and Rise of the Resistance. Smuggler’s Run will let visitors pilot the Millennium Falcon on a unique mission, while Rise of the Resistance will place them in the clutches of the First Order. The park is set on a new planet, Batuu, and will also feature new music from John Williams.
This one is more speculation than fact, but the general rumor seems to be that Disney will launch its direct-to-consumer app Disney+ sometime this fall. We can assume that with its launch will come the premiere of some of its new series, including The Mandalorian. The live-action show comes from showrunner Jon Favreau and is set in the time between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. Pedro Pascal is playing the titular Mandalorian, a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy. The series is executive produced by Favreau, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, Colin Wilson, and Star Wars: The Clone Wars‘ Dave Filoni, and will have episodes directed by Taika Watiti, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rick Famuyiwa, and Deborah Chow.
The rest of the cast includes Gina Carano, Nick Nolte, Giancarlo Esposito, Carl Weathers, and Werner Herzog, which means The Mandalorian, the first live-action Star Wars series, is going to rule super hard.
Star Wars: Episode IX
Star Wars: Episode IX is scheduled for release on December 20, 2019. pic.twitter.com/rDBqmuHX89
— Star Wars (@starwars) September 12, 2017
The big one. The end of the Skywalker saga and the sequel trilogy. The culmination of Rey and Kylo Ren’s story. We know almost nothing about Star Wars: Episode IX, which will be directed by J.J. Abrams and co-written by Abrams and Chris Terrio. We also know it’s still filming, doesn’t have a title, and will somehow incorporate the late Carrie Fisher. At this point, we’re not betting on any new information about the film until Celebration in April. We’ll report back when we know more.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars season seven
Star Wars fans got the surprise of their life at San Diego Comic-Con last summer, when it was announced that Star Wars: The Clone Wars—the beloved animated series that was canceled in 2014—would return for a seventh season on Disney+. We don’t know when the show is set to return, but as with Episode IX, we imagine we’ll get an update at Celebration. It’s very possible that, like The Mandalorian, it could show up on the platform sometime this calendar year. Fingers crossed!