THE RISE OF SKYWALKER
D23 was in full swing over the weekend, and the expo offered Star Wars fans plenty of new information and visuals to take in. Chief among them was a new trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, replete with mind-bending imagery that may have broken the internet.
While the scene in this trailer that got the most attention was a look at so-called "Dark Rey," complete with a red, double-bladed lightsaber, there's another image in there that could be even more substantial. When lightning flashes behind those Star Destroyers, it's apparent that they're not the modern First Order Star Destroyers we're used to seeing in this new era. No. These are Imperial Star Destroyers. Right out of the classic trilogy era.
What are they doing here? It's anyone's guess. Many are hoping it's some remnant of the fabled Katana Fleet that Timothy Zahn wrote about in his Thrawn books. Others still are looking at them as hope that Grand Admiral Rae Sloane may yet be in the picture.
Whatever the case is, we'll have to wait until December to find out for sure, as that's when Episode IX hits theaters.
Fans at D23 were also treated to the first trailer for The Mandalorian.
It's gorgeous-looking stuff, and the great Werner Herzog provides the only dialogue, which sounds fittingly intense. In interviews, Jon Favreau has described this series as the villainous scum of background characters in the cantina come to life in their own story, and I think the trailer bears that out.
The Mandalorian debuts on November 12, when Disney+ officially launches, but it looks like it will be just one episode. Reports coming from D23 from TVLine state that The Mandalorian will be a weekly show. Binge watching will come much later. There are hundreds of reasons this might be the case, but the biggest one that should delight fans is the way a weekly show draws in the fandom and extends the conversation and allows more time to avoid spoilers.
November 12 can't come soon enough.
MING-NA WEN CONFIRMS HER MANDALORIAN ROLE
Also at D23, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. star Ming-Na Wen confirmed exclusively to SYFY WIRE that she plays a character in The Mandalorian. She wouldn't or couldn't reveal too many details about the character she'll be playing, saying only, "I certainly don't play a farmer." That seems to imply that her character will be a force to be reckoned with, but we'll know for sure once the show starts.
THE GALACTIC STARCRUISER
One of the most exciting bits of information to come from D23 over the weekend (outside of all of the live-action news) was word on the resort experience being built at Florida's Walt Disney World. We know it now as the Galactic Starcruiser, a ship more specifically called the Halcyon, and there are also a bunch of new images of what the experience will look like once it's completed. Check out the Disney Parks blog for more.
By all reports, the hotel itself is going to be pricey, but it's going to enable Star Wars fans to step into the galaxy far, far away in a way they've never before been able to.
C-3PO SAYS GOODBYE
Anthony Daniels has been in every single Star Wars film, but he's only played a character other than the lovable droid C-3PO in two of them. (Attack of the Clones and Ron Howard's Solo: A Star Wars Story, for those wondering.) It seems likely that The Rise of Skywalker will be Daniels' final appearance as Threepio, at least in any live-action format, so the actor took a moment to speak with Variety about what it's like for him to say goodbye.
The most tantalizing bits of information he hints at, though, are about The Rise of Skywalker itself, and how it caps off the entire saga as a whole. It sounds like Rise of Skywalker will be a fitting finale, but it will also be bittersweet. Yes, it's the end of the past, but it's moving forward into the uncharted territory of the future.
RISE OF THE RESISTANCE
We'll end this week with a small peek at the new Galaxy's Edge ride coming online in December 2019 at Walt Disney World and January 2020 at Disneyland. Rise of the Resistance appears to be the most ambitious ride Disney has ever created to date.
Some footage made it out of D23 and it left my jaw on the floor.
Yes. That was Kylo Ren cutting through the ceiling to get you.
It's terrifying. And amazing.
And, until next week, May the Force Be With You!