Fresh off the heels of its first live-action series, smash hit The Mandalorian, Disney (as part of its shareholders evening) has announced two Star Wars spin-offs to be helmed by Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni, the creative masterminds behind The Mandalorian as well as the animated Star Wars: Rebels and Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
The first new series announced is Rangers of the New Republic, which will intersect with The Mandalorian and likely examine the fallout of The Empire’s defeat in original trilogy’s Episode VI: Return of the Jedi and tease the events that led to the growth of the First Order, as seen in Episode VII: The Force Awakens. This series, coupled with The Mandalorian, will surely help fill in some of the thirty year gap between the original and sequel trilogies, and will likely lead to further spin offs down the line.
The second announced show, Star Wars: Ahsoka, is more likely to pique fan interest by focusing on the fan-favourite Asokha Tano, who first starred in The Clone Wars and appeared sporadically in Rebels, before finally making her live-action debut in the second series of The Mandalorian, to acclaim among fans and critics alike. Rosario Dawson will reprise her role from The Mandalorian and the show will be set in the same period as Rangers of the New Republic so we can perhaps expect some overlap. Disney further teased that there will be a climatic event tying together the three shows of this era of the Star Wars universe.
With the two announced series spun off the success of The Mandalorian, Disney is laying the groundwork for expanding the Star Wars universe further. These series offer opportunities to expand upon the stories developed in previous live action and animated series and to help fill the still largely untapped space between Episodes VI and VII. Whether or not these series coupled with Kenobi, Andor, and numerous other announced shows (centred around Lando Calrissian among others) will result in franchise fatigue is a perfectly valid question, and Disney will have to carefully consider whether rewarding long-term fans and alienating new viewers is the right balance.
You can read Chris’ review of The Mandalorian season two here.
Words by Chris Connor