Star Wars Celebration Orlando has barely got underway and there’s already at least one brand-new animated series for us to look forward to later this year!
Lucasfilm and Disney have announced that a new 2D animated micro-series, Star Wars: Forces of Destiny, will be heading our way this July and will star all of our favourite heroines from that galaxy far, far away: Rey, Jyn Erso, Padmé Amidala, Princess Leia, Sabine Wren, Hera Syndulla, and our own personal favourite, Ahsoka Tano.
In the words of Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy, “Star Wars: Forces of Destiny is for anyone who has been inspired by Leia’s heroism, Rey’s courage, or Ahsoka’s tenacity. We’re thrilled that so many of the original actors are reprising their roles in these shorts which capture the small moments and everyday decisions that shape who these characters are. It is a fun new way for people to experience Star Wars“.
Although this announcement has already attracted some negative comments from a very vocal (but tiny) minority of fans, the general reaction to Forces of Destiny has been overwhelmingly positive.
Forces of Destiny will be primarily geared towards younger female viewers and will serve as an access point for newcomers to the Star Wars franchise, but the series promises to have a little something for everybody. Long-time fans can expect to see other familiar faces on the show, including the ever-grumpy astromech Chopper, Jedi knight Anakin Skywalker, and our favourite Wookiee Chewbacca, as well as a number of familiar locations, such as Endor, Jakku, and Yavin 4.
A few quick facts about Star Wars: Forces of Destiny:
- All of the episodes have been written by Jennifer Muro and directed by Brad Rau, with input from Dave Filoni, Carry Beck, and other Lucasfilm Story Group veterans.
- Each episode (or, rather, micro-episode) will be about 2 or 3 minutes long, similar to the 2D Clone Wars micro-series that aired on Cartoon Network between 2003 and 2005.
- The first 8 micro-episodes will debut on Disney’s Youtube channel in July and the rest will air on the Disney Channel in autumn 2017.
- The events seen on Forces of Destiny will be considered canon and will show how everyday decisions and choices helped shape the destinies of Star Wars’ iconic heroines.
- The episodes will be narrated by actress Lupita Nyong’o, who will be reprising her role as Maz Kanata.
- Daisy Ridley and Felicity Jones will be reprising their roles as Rey and Jyn Erso respectively.
- Star Wars Rebels cast members Vanessa Marshall and Tiya Sircar will continue to lend their voice talents as fan favourites Hera Syndulla and Sabine Wren.
- Princess Leia will be voiced by Shelby Young, while Padmé Amidala will be voiced once more by Clone Wars veteran Catherine Taber.
- Details about some of the upcoming episodes can be found in this Entertainment Weekly article.
Ahsoka Tano fans will no doubt be thrilled to learn that Ashley Eckstein is reprising her role as the much-loved Togruta. It’s not yet clear what the Ahsoka-centric episodes will touch upon but based on the promo images and concept art we’ve seen thus far, there’s a good chance that at least one of her stories will be set in the Clone Wars era.
In one of the early animatics featured in the announcement video, we can see Ahsoka sparring with her master, Anakin Skywalker. Could we finally learn the story of how Ahsoka got her second lightsaber?
And if you think Forces of Destiny will just be limited to 16 animated shorts, guess again. There are plans for a range of spin-off media and merchandise, including a range of “Adventure Figures” (which will start appearing in stores this August), role-play accessories, bedding, apparel, and two books starring our favourite heroines from the show.
It truly is a great time to be a female Star Wars fan…or a Star Wars fan, full stop. Expect much more news and information about this exciting new series in the coming weeks!