At the Star Wars Celebration Europe 2023, there was news on the horizon as big as Tatooine’s twin suns. Kathleen Kennedy, the Lucasfilm president whose tenure boasts three blockbuster films, several Star Wars television shows on Disney+, and dozens of expanded universe book series, made a major announcement that few fans of the franchise saw coming. Lucasfilm has three brand-new Star Wars feature films in the pipeline. The best part? Each movie is set in a different galactic time period than its peers.

Although the possibilities are nearly endless for what these stories set a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away will focus on, there are a few tantalizing bits of information Kennedy dropped. Spoiler Alert: if you’re not caught up on The Mandalorian or other more recent TV shows and books released by Disney, you may want to hold out on reading certain parts of this post. But for the rest of you, here’s what we know (and what we hope) these films will cover.

The Origins of the Jedi

Two Jedi fighting. One has a green lightsaber and the other has a red lightsaber. They are standing in front of a stormy sky.

Directed by James Mangold (creator of the new Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny), the chronologically oldest entry in the three-film extravaganza takes place 25,000 years before A New Hope.

Star Wars fans have glimpsed older eras within the galaxy’s history, but never before on the big screen. The more recent edition to Star Wars lore are the excellent Star Wars: The High Republic books. Set 200 years before Luke Skywalker begins his fateful quest, The High Republic series follows several characters throughout the Jedi’s Golden Age. As peacekeepers throughout the galaxy, readers get a first-hand look into why the Jedi were so revered and (in some cases) feared before Emperor Palpatine’s purge.

Of course, 200 years and 25,000 years BBY (Before the Battle of Yavin) is a huge chunk of time and equates to the difference between studying the American Revolution and the end of the last Ice Age in Earth years. It’s safe to assume that technology, knowledge about the Force, and, indeed, the interconnectedness of the galaxy itself might all be in very different, perhaps even primitive stages. Kennedy did report that the movie will definitely explore the origins of the Jedi Order, which gives us at least a hint into a potential, if not entirely fleshed out, plot line.

RELATED  Space Whales in Star Wars? Introducing the Purrgil

An older addition – revered by fans of PC games from the early 2000s – also focuses on the galaxy before Skywalkers and Palpatines ever enter the scene. Set 4,000 years before the original film series, The Old Republic video games tell of the conflict between Sith and Jedi and the gray area of complex moral decisions facing powerful Force wielders. This theme recurs repeatedly throughout Star Wars as evidenced by Anakin’s tightrope dance with and eventual fall to the Dark Side, Luke’s temptations to follow in the steps of his father, and Rey’s complicated parentage and uncertainty as to which side of the line she falls.

Will this theme between good and evil (and the more nuanced places in between) continue in the new film? Only Jedi on the level of Master Yoda likely know.

The Mandalorian Period

The Mandalorian standing on a grassy field in front of alien mountains and a large planet showing over the horizon.

Yes, technically this period refers to the post-Return of the Jedi era in which a galaxy, reeling from the Empire’s sudden destruction at the hands of the Rebel Alliance, tries to retain order and keep the fledgling concept of freedom and democracy alive. However, thanks to the Disney+ series, dedicated watchers may know it more as the Age of Mando.

In the past few seasons of The Mandalorian, viewers watched as the relationship between Din Djarin, the aforementioned Mando of the title, and Grogu, known in popular parlance for the entire first season as “Baby Yoda,” blossomed into one of the more adorable father-son dynamics in the franchise. The Book of Boba Fett (basically The Mandalorian season two and a half) shows how Grogu, temporarily training with Luke Skywalker to be a Jedi, ultimately renounces his youngling vows and joins Din as a wannabe Mandalorian.

RELATED  Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Was the Breath of Fresh Air Star Wars Needed

The movie version of this era will likely bring back many of the recurring characters viewers have seen through Mando’s three seasons. The gut-wrenching prospect of this film, however, is how the daddy-son love affair between the two leads will end. Although Kennedy hinted that Grogu will appear in the post-Rise of Skywalker movie (more on that in a minute), she didn’t say the same about Mando.

Another question mark – and one watchers may get some more clarity on this summer – is how Ashoka Tano’s story will end (or continue?). One of the more interesting thought experiments is why her obvious relationship with Luke in The Book of Boba Fett doesn’t seem to extend into The Force Awakens timeline. Is she living in self-imposed isolation still, just as Luke himself is in The Last Jedi? If so, why doesn’t she assist in the Rise of Skywalker’s final battle? Perhaps her years are already numbered after leaving Luke to (unsuccessfully) train Grogu by himself, in which case, the upcoming 2023 Ashoka show might already have determined her conclusion.

Similarly, will this movie see Din’s most likely imminent death in all its sure-to-be heartbreaking detail? What about Bo Katan and her mission to claim the Darksaber and retake Mandalore? Whatever happens, the wrap-up of this chapter in Star Wars history likely won’t be one to miss, if only because of the emotional connection dedicated viewers have forged with the television shows’ characters.

Rey’s New Jedi Order

Star Wars

Finally, for fans of the latest film trilogy comes an all-new story about Rey as she navigates the fallout of the New Order’s defeat in the Rise of Skywalker. Like Luke in the post-Return of the Jedi years, Rey seems determined to restart the Jedi Order and train a new batch of wannabe Force-wielders into galaxy-spanning, lightsaber-twirling warriors.

Of course, we all know how disastrous Luke’s attempts at recreating the Jedi Order of yore ended. Not only did his nephew, Ben Skywalker, turn to the Dark Side, but Luke also had to live with the aftermath of the newly christened Kylo Ren’s slaughter of his pupils. No wonder the guy finally gave up hope.

RELATED  The Mandalorian Season 3 Gets New Disney Plus Poster Featuring the Darksaber

There are some distinct differences Rey has, going into the same calling that her short-lived mentor had. The first is that she directly symbolizes the bridge between the Dark and Light sides of the Force. Born from a Palpatine-esque clone, she carries the blood of the Emperor in her veins. However, as The Rise of Skywalker so poignantly indicates, she proudly takes on the mantle (and name!) of the Skywalker legacy after turning Ben and defeating Palpatine’s evil, decrepit cloned self.

Second, Rey seems more naturally gifted in Force than any of her (largely male) predecessors. As The Force Awakens shows, she picks up mind compulsion and lightsaber-wielding almost immediately and (sorry boys) doesn’t lose any key appendages throughout her many fights with Kylo Ren. Her power – whether honed from years of solitude on Jakku or simply a byproduct of her genetic legacy – seems more raw and intuitive than the other Jedi leads we’ve seen in any other film. Does this mean her more balanced approach to the Force and natural talent will have better results for forging a new Jedi Order? Only this film will tell.

If fans have learned anything over the past few years, no topic is off limits in the newly expanded Star Wars canon. These films will likely only broaden that trend as we witness new timelines, characters, and stories in ways that we’ve never seen before.

Bring it on, Lucasfilm. We’re more than ready.

Strangely Awesome Games Staff
Latest posts by Strangely Awesome Games Staff (see all)

Leave a comment