A year long-remembered...
This will be a landmark year for Star Wars. After a time of relative quiet following last May’s Solo standalone film, tales of the galaxy are coming on strong in every sector. There’s a new movie, new TV shows, new games, a major convention, and a fleet of books and comics. Here’s an EW guide to 2019’s display of Force…
We don’t have a title for director J.J. Abrams new installment in the Skywalker saga, but we know Mark Hamill will be returning in some form as Luke, and unused footage of Carrie Fisher will be used to close Leia Organa’s story. Hopes are high for an inspiring conclusion to the trilogy, especially considering the other stars…
Luke, Leia, Lando
Along with Luke, Lando Calrissian is also making a comeback in Episode IX, with Billy Dee Williams returning to join veterans Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Joonas Suotamo, and Kelly Marie Tran, along with newcomers to the galaxy Keri Russell, Richard E. Grant, and Naomi Ackie. It debuts Dec. 20.
This limited TV series from Iron Man filmmaker Jon Favreau is also set for later in 2019, kicking off the Disney+ streaming service (which hasn’t yet announced its launch). Narcos star Pedro Pascal will star as the masked gunslinger in a story set after the fall of the Empire in Return of the Jedi. Costars include Gina Carano, Nick Nolte, Giancarlo Esposito, and Carl Weathers, among others.
The Clone Wars season 7
This beloved animated series from executive producer Dave Filoni reached an abrupt end five years ago when Lucasfilm canceled it to focus on new Star Wars stories. Now, the Disney+ streaming service has commissioned 12 new episodes exploring the unfinished business between Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi and their exiled Jedi-in-training Ahsoka Tano (seen here as a hologram alongside Mandalorian warrior Bo-Katan Kryze).
Star Wars Celebration — Chicago
One of two major galactic events taking place in our world this year. This gathering of thousands in the Windy City is expected to reveal new details about Lucasfilm’s upcoming movies and TV shows, both near and far. (Maybe we’ll learn about things even beyond this year, like the Cassian Andor streaming series with Diego Luna, and the films being developed by The Last Jedi’s Rian Johnson and Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.) Assemble your cosplay plan, and click here for tickets to the April 11-15 event.
Galaxy's Edge at Disney theme parks
This is the other major Star Wars event happening on planet Earth this year. John Williams has composed theme music for this theme park addition, which opens at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., this summer and Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., in the fall. Guests can pilot the fastest ship in the galaxy in the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run ride, and witness a space battle aboard a First Order starship in the Rise of the Resistance experience. Fight bravely, and have fun. Just don’t get cocky, kid.
Vader Immortal — virtual reality experience
No specific date has been set, but this virtual reality title will be released for the $399 Oculus Quest, which hits stores this spring. ILMxLAB has developed the immersive game, which was written and executive produced by The Dark Knight screenwriter David S. Goyer. Players will journey to Vader’s castle on the lava world of Mustafar and face the Sith Lord on his treacherous home turf. Two other installments are planned for the future.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order game
Another interactive game for Star Wars fans is this secret project from EA, which created the recent Battlefront reboot, and its Respawn Entertainment division, responsible for the Titanfall games. Again, no release date has been confirmed, but Fallen Order will debut in time for next holiday season, according to the game maker. It will focus on a Padawan trainee who survived the Jedi massacre seen in Revenge of the Sith.
Star Wars: Resistance season 1 finale
The final season 1 episodes of the anime-style cartoon on the Disney Channel drop soon. Jan. 13 marks the return of the show about Kaz Xiono (voiced by Christopher Sean), a Resistance pilot who has gone undercover on a refueling station to spy on the First Order. In the first of the final three episodes, The Lord of the Rings’ Elijah Wood returns as vengeful blond racer Jace Rucklin.
Vader: Dark Visions #1
This Marvel comic book title set for March reframes the Sith Lord not as a villain but as a kind of anti-hero. He’s even on horseback (or whatever creature that steed is). Written by Dennis Hopeless with art by Paolo Villanelli, Dark Visions #1 promises to explore galactic locales so sinister “Darth Vader can be someone’s greatest fear, and even … someone’s greatest hope!”
Marvel is also delivering a series of standalone comics as part of the prequel-era Age of the Republic series written by Jody Houser and illustrated by Luke Ross and Cory Smith. Out this week is this Obi-Wan Kenobi story in which the veteran Jedi is still getting used to Padawan trainee Anakin Skywalker as they pursue an ancient holocron artifact.
Jango Fett #1
Out Jan. 9, this Age of the Republic installment from the partnership of Houser-Ross-Smith, the clone-producing bounty hunter and his son, Boba, join with a crew of outlaws for a simple job that goes bad fast.
Star Wars: Age of the Republic Special #1
This trilogy includes stories about the baddest good guy in the galaxy — Mace Windu (by Old Man Hawkeye scribe Ethan Sacks), Sith huntress Asajj Ventress (by Houser), and clone trooper hero Captain Rex (by Young X-Men writer Marc Guggenheim). A Jar Jar Binks story, hinted at in this image, has reportedly been pulled from the Jan. 16 release.
Anakin Skywalker #1
Houser and Smith tell a new story of the man-who-would-be-Vader from the battlefields of the Clone Wars in this Feb. 6 story, as the future Sith lord grapples with a decision that would devastate the Separatists but come at a high moral cost.
Count Dooku #1
The late Christopher Lee’s fallen Jedi takes center stage in this Houser-Ross story in which the elderly Sith apprentice must conceal his new allegiance when confronted by a former student. (Out Feb. 13.)
Padme Amidala #1
In this March 6 Houser-Smith story, Luke and Leia’s future mom shirks off the Jedi for a rogue diplomatic mission to recruit a neutral world into the Republic alliance. If he’d been around, Admiral Akbar might have warned her — it’s a trap!
General Grievous #1
The mechanical Jedi-slayer with a twisted, ailing alien inside its metal armor makes a new discovery when he explores an ancient temple in this March 13 story from Houser-Ross. After this, Marvel changes pace for an Age of Republic series for the back half of the year, with stories focusing on Leia Organa, Darth Vader, and others. Expect an Age of Resistance series set amid the current trilogy.
A kid-friendly series of droid tales from IDW about Threepio and Artoo’s misadventuers. Out March 12.
The Queen’s Shadow by E.K. Johnston
When Queen Amidala steps down as ruler of Naboo she accepts the newly-elected queen’s request that she continue serving the planet as galactic senator. This March 5 novel from Ahsoka author E.K. Johnston is an inspiring handmaidens tale, with Padme and her ladies in waiting working together to navigate the perils of galactic diplomacy.
Master & Apprentice by Claudia Gray
“An unexpected offer threatens the bond between Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi as the two Jedi navigate a dangerous new planet and an uncertain future.” This April 16 novel is from Claudia Gray, who penned the amazing Senator Leia Organa book Bloodline and wrote one of the most moving stories in the collection From a Certain Point of View, in which hermit Obi-Wan on Tatooine converses with the Force ghost of Qui-Gon.
Thrawn: Treason by Timothy Zahn
Timothy Zahn revitalized Star Wars in the 1990s with his trilogy of post-Jedi novels featuring this blue-skinned manipulator, and he has revamped the character again with a series of canonical novels, beginning with the 2017 origin story Thrawn, the 2018 Vader team-up Alliances, and this July 23 novel in which Grand Admiral Thrawn tries to find his place in the Empire amid the construction of the Death Star.
C-3PO Does NOT Like Sand!
“Fussy” does not begin to describe him. Illustrated by Brian Kesinger, this kid-friendly story (out June 4) sees the golden protocol droid facing down one of his most fearsome foes — dirt. The translator, his longtime friend R2-D2, and BB-8 join up for a return visit to Tatooine while on a mission for the Resistance. Like Anakin Skywalker, Threepio hates you-know-what. It gets everywhere.
Industrial Light & Magic Presents: Making Solo by Rob Bredow
An inside look at how the iconic visual effects company created new planets, creatures, and starships for last year’s film. The April 16 book delves into everything from the Conveyex train heist to the merging of digital animation and Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s performance as the droid L3-37, and the creation of the sleek (for a while) new Millennium Falcon.