Disney’s D23 – Star Wars! [Updated with Video!]

Having opened on the 14th of August, Disney’s D23, their very own convention of sorts, has been the single most anticipated event for news concerning both their Star Wars and Marvel Cinematic Universe franchises.

And, boy, did they deliver!

With news on everything from the latest upcoming Episode VII to a new arm of Disneyland, Star Wars fans are going to have many reasons to be excited in years (or decades) to come!

[divider]Update: Abrams and the Cast of Episode VII[/divider]

J. J. Abrams brings on some of the cast of Episode VII and John Boyega teases Drew Struzan’s promotional poster!

[divider]Star Wars Episode IX Goes Jurassic![/divider]

Star Wars Directors
First up, Disney has finally announced their choice for director for the yet to be titled Star Wars Episode IX and the chosen one to fulfil the prophecy is none other than Colin Trevorrow, fresh off his stint on Jurassic World!

Related: Jurassic World is No Clone of Jurassic Park

While the cretaceous misadventures may have been a little lack lustre in terms of story, Trevorrow’s familiarity with established franchises may come in handy.

With Looper‘s Rian Johnson set for Episode VIII, it seems like Disney is really trying to replicate the conditions of the original trilogy by having a different director helm each movie.

Nevertheless, I’m sure J. J. Abrams’ Bad Robot will remain within a production capacity for this entire trilogy.

[divider]The Force Awakens Gets Struzan-ed[/divider]

Drew Struzan, poster artist extraordinaire, has not only been the master behind the brush for the theatrical one-sheets that artfully captured the majesty of the original and prequel trilogies of Star Wars (ok, not so much majesty in the prequel flicks) but is also responsible for Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, Back to the Future and many more!

And things are apparently no different with this promo poster for D23:

Ep VII D23 Promo Poster by Drew Struzan
Beautiful, no? Also… interesting. Not only is John Boyega’s Finn holding a lightsaber, but the colour of the ‘saber indicates that it just might be Anakin’s–the one lost by Luke during his unforgettable duel with Lord Vader way back in Empire Strikes Back!

While this may mean nothing more than the possibility that it’s Finn who finds the lost relic (and later handing it over to Leia), it’s important to note that never has a non-Jedi/Sith been depicted with a lightsaber.

Lightsaber to Leia

[divider]Meet Star Wars’ Suicide Squad![/divider]

Rogue One
If I were forced to declare one thing that Disney has almost certainly done right with the Star Wars franchise (hypothetically, of course) it would have to be the newly introduced anthology series of films that would not only take place in significant point of time in fictional history but also place emphasis on certain characters.

From a Boba Fett standalone to a Han Solo, well, solo film the anthology series promises much to fans. And expectations are high for the upcoming Rogue One.

Starring an impressive line-up with Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Alan Tudyk, Mads Mikkelsen, Forest Whitaker, and Riz Ahmed, Rogue One is set before the events of Episode IV: A New Hope.

Directed by Gareth Edwards, it follows the crew responsible for the theft of the Death Star plans that is crucial to the events of Episode IV and the first major victory for the Rebels.

“Rogue One takes place before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope and will be a departure from the saga films but have elements that are familiar to the Star Wars universe,” says Kathleen Kennedy. “It goes into new territory, exploring the galactic struggle from a ground-war perspective while maintaining that essential Star Wars feel that fans have come to know. Gareth is such an innovative director and I’m so excited to be working with him and the extraordinary ensemble cast he’s selected for Rogue One.”

[divider]”That’s No Disneyland…”[/divider]

It’s no secret: from the moment Disney purchased the Star Wars brand from George Lucas, everyone’s been wondering when do we get a theme park based on the expansive universe. Well, it’s been announced and it seems like it’s going to be pretty damn awesome.

As Disney president Bob Iger puts it, “Every restaurant, building, everything will be inhabited by the aliens and droids you’d expect to find there. You’d expect to find a Cantina – and there will be one. You’ll have the chance to run into all the droids and fantastic beasts that Star Wars is known for.”

And if that’s not promising enough, here’s some concept art for their vision of the park:

Iger continues to say, “You’ll meet characters from The Force Awakens and more from the Star Wars saga. The land will have two fantastic signature attractions, including the ability to take the controls of the millennium Falcon on a customized secret mission.”