Welcome to what may be the biggest year in Star Wars history. It will most definitely be the busiest year in franchise history, with movies, TV shows, books, emerging technology, and two huge theme parks opening over the next 365 days. To get you ready, SYFY WIRE is breaking down all the madness, highlighting the biggest things to be excited about and when you should start looking forward to each. (Now. The answer is now.)
Lucasfilm and ILMxLAB have been hard at work with screenwriter David Goyer, developing an immersive virtual-reality story. In Vader Immortal, you're going to be placed right in the action as you investigate Darth Vader's castle on Mustafar.
Watching this first teaser announcing the game is intimidating, so I can't even imagine what meeting Vader in the VR space that close and personal would feel like. (What does his breath smell like?)
Vader Immortal comes out sometime this year on the Oculus. Oculus' VR tech is pricey, but something tells me Vader Immortal is going to be worth it. I've already started saving my credits.
STAR WARS: JEDI – FALLEN ORDER
Set in the Star Wars universe shortly after Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, Star Wars: Jedi – Fallen Order is a highly anticipated video game coming from EA and Respawn Entertainment sometime in the 2019 holiday season. It's a brand-new action-adventure title that tells the story of a Padawan who miraculously survived Order 66.
While the Battlefront games are fun in their own way, there's nothing like immersive single-player storytelling in a galaxy far, far away. And is there any more hectic and tumultuous era in the galaxy than Order 66 and the transition from Republic to Empire?
This game might be the only thing that distracts me from getting in as many repeat viewings of Star Wars: Episode IX as I can (more on that to come).
The various publishers dealing in the world of Star Wars fiction (and nonfiction) are bringing out the big guns, giving us an impressive offering of books we've been begging for.
The first one to get to us comes March 5: Queen's Shadow, by E.K. Johnston. This book takes us through Padme's transition from Queen to Senator.
In April, we get two books. The first is Master and Apprentice, by Claudia Gray, and it's set in the days before The Phantom Menace and stars Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn. The other to hit that month is a Making of Solo book from ILM VFX legend Rob Bredow.
And then in July, we've got Timothy Zahn adding a third book to his Thrawn series with Thrawn: Treason. This book sees the great Grand Admiral forced to choose between his loyalty to his home and his Empire, which should prove riveting reading.
And this is just the big stuff we know about. As we get closer to Episode IX, there will undoubtedly be all kinds of tie-ins in the lead-up.
There is a lot to look forward to in the world of Star Wars comics in 2019. One of the biggest might be Marvel's “Age of” series, which sweeps through each era of Star Wars starting with Age of Republic. It aims to tell untold stories of various characters as we run up to the release of Episode IX. (Note: I'm biased about these, as I'm providing essays for the backmatter in a few of these issues starting with Obi-Wan Kenobi.)
After that, we know about Vader: Dark Visions:
And all of the regular ongoing series will continue, from Marvel's flagship Star Wars book and Doctor Aphra to IDW's Star Wars Adventures book. We're getting all kinds of great content out of the world of graphic storytelling.
STAR WARS CELEBRATION CHICAGO
April sees the 20th anniversary of Star Wars Celebration and May sees the 20th anniversary of The Phantom Menace, so it's no wonder we're getting a new Star Wars Celebration experience in 2019. This one is being held in Chicago and will no doubt be a showstopper. With Episode IX coming, it's easy to assume there will be announcements and surprise appearances by the cast of that film. There may well be some tease for the future of Star Wars filmmaking. We might even get a trailer (fingers crossed).
This is where everyone is expecting big news to break, so all eyes will be on the convention, even if you're not there.
But you should be.
STAR WARS RESISTANCE
We've gone this far down the list without talking about any of the Star Wars offerings that come from the realm of the motion picture. The first we have on our list is Star Wars Resistance.
Resistance follows Kaz Xiono as he works to uncover the First Order aboard the Colossus on the planet Castilon. Season 1 is set to resume and end later this month, but we've been treated with a number of shorts in the meantime.
In interviews with SYFY WIRE last year, the showrunners hinted that the series would catch up with the events of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and see the beginning of the war, so it seems we're heading toward an explosive finale.
Will the show live beyond this first season and get a second? It's anyone's guess at this point.
Jon Favreau has been hard at work crafting a new television show called The Mandalorian for us. By all appearances, it looks like a gritty space western and we're all in for it.
Starring Game of Thrones alum Pedro Pascal in the titular role, The Mandalorian is set just a few years after the Battle of Jakku and takes place in a far-removed part of the galaxy. Details on this show are still thin, but as we get closer to the launch of Disney+, the new streaming service on which it will premiere, expect more.
THE CLONE WARS SEASON 7
The tease played at San Diego Comic-Con offered us a view of what we'll be seeing. Included in that? A glimpse at the Siege of Mandalore, one of the final conflicts of the Clone War. We caught a taste of it in E.K. Johnston's Ahsoka and now it looks like we're going to see the whole thing in all its streaming glory.
I'm not going to lie, this might be as hotly anticipated as Episode IX. There's no exact word on when it comes out, but I guarantee the Internet will explode when it does.
Disneyland and Walt Disney World are going to be packed beyond capacity this year when both parks open up Galaxy's Edge. This immersive land will enable you to walk into the world of Star Wars and participate in ways we've only dreamed of. With two new E-ticket rides and immersive shops, dining, and even a cantina, they're going to have to have Stormtroopers regularly patrolling for fans who try to stay the night and live in Star Wars forever.
It's impossible to understate how excited fans are for this. It's been estimated that when Galaxy's Edge opens the parks will be filled to maximum and might take 10 hours to get on a ride. But my guess is that it will be worth it.
STAR WARS: EPISODE IX
Despite everything else we've seen coming in 2019, nothing is more anticipated than Episode IX, the final installment in the Skywalker Saga.
Understandably, there's a lot riding on it.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi ended with a number of tantalizing questions: How will this new Rebellion ever hope to challenge the might of the First Order, which has swept across the galaxy to take control? How will Rey live up to the legacy of the Jedi while at the same time avoiding their mistakes? Will Kylo Ren redeem himself to save the galaxy or will he double-down on his dark path? Will Anakin Skywalker make an appearance? How will General Leia be handled given Carrie Fisher's death?
This film is the only thing that can answer all of these questions.
And we're counting down the days.
No matter what your particular interest in Star Wars is, I guarantee that 2019 is going to have something for you.
So, as we all wait for that next release, let me be the first of the New Year to say that the Force will be with you... always.