This week’s one-two Disney+ news punch revolves around Star Wars—a PB-and-choc combo of TV series that has so far paid off richly, especially after the shaky conclusion to the franchise’s latest film trilogy.
First up is the newest Star Wars series to debut, coming in barely over a month. We learned last month that new series Star Wars: The Bad Batch is slated to launch on Tuesday, May 4 (huh, we wonder why they picked that date). On Tuesday, Disney followed that news with the premiere of that CGI-animation series’ first trailer, which immediately follows in the footsteps of Clone Wars‘ revival on Disney+ a little over a year ago. The new series also sees longtime Clone Wars steward Dave Filoni return as co-executive producer.
Tailed by Tarkin
Clone Wars‘ seventh season opened by focusing squarely on the Bad Batch, a ragtag group of clone troopers (also known as Clone Force 99) whose mutations turned them into supersoldiers above the rest of the clone fray. Their combination of action-filled missions and comic-relief banter set a solid tone for a season that barreled toward epic set pieces long-teased by Filoni, particularly the Siege of Mandalore.
Tuesday’s new trailer sees the quintet—Hunter, Echo, Tech, Ricker, and Crosshair—immediately fall under the watchful eye of Wilhuff Tarkin (the Vader underling who would eventually order the Death Star to fire upon Alderaan). He notices the unit’s knack for disobedience while doing his droid-killing bidding before eventually ordering his army to “wipe out” Clone Force 99.
Exactly why and when that order comes down is unclear, though this series takes place squarely in the franchise’s Imperial era—and thus far appears to be full of laughs, blasters, explosions, sweeping dogfights, massive lizards, and throwing knives, all rendered in the same plastic-toy aesthetic favored by Clone Wars. This trailer includes the welcome return of Mandalorian sniper Fennec Shand, voiced once again by actor Ming-Na Wen, along with an unnamed child who, according to StarWars.com, meets our heroes on the planet Kamino before getting tied up in their escape plans. Between these and the return of Clone Wars character Saw Gerrera, it’s hard to imagine Bad Batch not roping in further cameos over the course of its first season.
Unsurprisingly, Disney is sticking with its once-a-week trickle for new episodes once the series launches, and after its “special” 70-minute premiere on Tuesday, May 4, new episodes will follow every Friday (likely with shorter lengths from that point on).
Star Wars has been… Owen us a reunion
One day earlier, the official Star Wars blog confirmed a few things we already knew (and many we didn’t) about its upcoming Disney+ series Obi-Wan Kenobi. Production and filming are moving forward starting in April, and its most obvious stars, Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen, have now been flanked by a considerable cast.
Perhaps highest on the supporting list is Joel Edgerton, at least in terms of series lore, since he’ll likely reprise his Attack of the Clones role as Owen Lars—better known in the original trilogy as Luke Skywalker’s Uncle Owen. The rest of the announced cast isn’t directly connected to Star Wars films or TV series thus far, though actor and comedian Kumail Nanjiani comes to this series in tidy, corporate-synergy fashion after finishing production on upcoming Marvel Studios film The Eternals.
This cast will land in the Star Wars universe 10 years after the events of 2005’s Revenge of the Sith, though that timeline announcement doesn’t clarify where Kenobi and friends will land or how he and an ever-more-evil Anakin Skywalker may cross paths. (My personal vote is that they try some of that “talking while miles apart” approach, first seen in The Last Jedi.)
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