We already knew Disney would be leaning heavily on Star Wars in its efforts to get consumers to sign up for yet another streaming service, but now the company has given a clearer idea of what they’re offering from a galaxy far, far away.
The biggest news from the D23 Expo is that Ewan McGregor will be returning to his celebrated role as Obi-Wan Kenobi – from the not-so-loved Star Wars prequels – in a new Disney+ series.
“It’s been four years of saying, ‘Well, I don’t know.’ Now I can say, ‘Yes, we’re going to do it,'” the actor said to cheers from the crowd.
McGregor was seen by many fans as the best part of the otherwise largely maligned trilogy The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith.
His new series, which still doesn’t have a name nor any other details beyond his involvement, is expected to start filming next year.
— Star Wars Stuff @ D23 (@starwarstuff) August 24, 2019
Releasing much sooner on November 12 this year (a week before Disney+ launches in Australia on November 19) is another live-action Star Wars show, The Mandalorian.
We already knew it was coming, but now Disney has given us our first look at the show:
Set between the fall of the Empire and the rise of the First Order, it tells the story of a gunfighter (played by Game of Thrones’ Pedro Pascal) from Mandalore, the same planet that produced the bounty hunter Boba Fett.
It looks like the series will have a darker tone than what we’ve come to expect from Star Wars, given the battered Stormtrooper masks on pikes and violent action sequences we see in the trailer.
What the competition looks like:
- Netflix: Stranger Things, The Crown, Bodyguard
- Stan: Breaking Bad, Billions, Friends
- Foxtel: Big Little Lies, Chernobyl, Game of Thrones
- Amazon Prime Video: Fleabag, The Marvelous Mrs Maisel, This Is Us
Last month, creator Jon Favreau (director of The Lion King remake and Iron Man) revealed to Collider he was already working on season two.
It will be a slightly longer wait for the next series of Clone Wars, which will premiere on Disney+ in February 2020.
Meanwhile, Marvel fans still reeling from the loss of Spider-Man from the Marvel Cinematic Universe will be glad to know another three series have been announced for Disney+: She-Hulk, Ms Marvel and Moon Knight.
That’s on top of already announced series which include Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlet Witch), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye) and Tom Hiddleston (Loki) returning to their Marvel film roles.
Beyond Star Wars and Marvel content, Disney+ will include the return of Hilary Duff as Lizzie McGuire, now in her late 20s and living in New York, and a new High School Musical series, along with Pixar films and The Simpsons back catalogue.
A live-action remake of Lady and Tramp will dodge cinemas and instead launch on the streaming service when it goes live in November.
Netflix is the market leader for streaming in Australia, but one expert says research suggests Disney will be a powerful player in the market.