Disney has planned some rare treat for Star Wars fans beyond The Mandalorian Season 2
Last year, Disney announced the Star Wars projects in development, some of which, to the utmost pleasure of fans, are slated for release in 2021. Although there is no new Star Wars movie on the cards until 2023 (thanks in part to Solo’s dismal performance at the box office, putting a hold on Star Wars spin-off movies for a while) a couple more shows are to be launched post The Mandalorian season 2.
Following close on the heels of the success of the bounty-hunter show is an animated spin-off of the seven-season long Star Wars: The Clone Wars. The new show is based on the exploits of the clone troopers called the Bad Batch and is unsurprisingly titled Star Wars: The Bad Batch. And before the year ends, we are also going to get a live-action show on Boba Fett, one of the most iconic characters in the Star Wars universe.
Not enough Star Wars to get you through the year? Well, there is some good news from Disney!
Watch: FULL PANEL | Star Wars/Lucasfilm | Disney Investor Day 2020
Non-canon treasure trove
Since Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012 for an estimated $4.5 billion, the Star Wars stories have been divided into canon and non-canon. The official Star Wars canon now includes all the nine live-action films and two spin-offs, Rogue One and Solo, as well as The Mandalorian and three animated series The Clone Wars, Rebel and Resistance. Of course, a lot more will be added to the official canon as the Star Wars universe expands further.
Disney has announced that a number of non-canon stories will be released on Disney+ on April 2. These non-canon stories include two Ewok movies, Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure and its sequel Ewoks: The Battle for Endor, two seasons of Ewoks animated series, the animated The Story of a Faithful Ewok (from Star Wars: Holiday Special), and animated shorts Star Wars: Clone Wars by Samurai Jack animator Genndy Tartakovsky.
Some of these Star Wars property, for example the Holiday Special segment, are pretty rarely available for viewing. So, one could understand how much of a big deal this is for a hardcore Star Wars fan. For newer Star Wars lovers, this is a great way to be introduced to the legacy of Star Wars.
Embracing the legacy
With the epic Skywalker saga wrapping up after the Rise of Skywalker and the Star Wars universe exploring newer directions with old as well as new characters, stories and timelines, there couldn’t be a better time to remember or, in the case of younger audiences, experience the legacy of pre-Disney Star Wars in all its eccentric glory.
Agreed that not all of the non-canon stories are top-shelf Star Wars efforts — one would be hardpressed to find a fan who loves the Holiday Special without an underlying desire to mock it at every chance. However, these are not just stories anymore, they are historical documentation of how Star Wars has grown into such a potent pop culture force.
Their importance to the Star Wars universe is as much as any other popular property. For instance, not many may know that the iconic Boba Fett made his fist appearance not in The Empire Strikes Back but in the animated segment of the Holiday Special, The Story of a Faithful Ewok back in 1978. Even more surprisingly, the character’s first appearance was not on the screen but in the San Anselmo Country Fair parade on September 24, 1978.
The best of the bunch
Although the last few paragraphs may have seemed that I am focusing more on the legacy and nostalgia aspects of the stories to avoid talking about inconsistent (but nonetheless charming) quality of the non-canon material, rest assured that some great content is coming this April. Undoubtedly, the best among these non-canon stories is the 2003 Star Wars: Clone Wars (different from 2008’s The Clone Wars). Star Wars: Clones Wars is a 2D animated series that ran for 3 seasons. It was created by the famous animator Genndy Tartakovsky. Originally aired on Cartoon Network, Tartakovsky’s animated show is often considered the best animated Star Wars show and is probably one of the best Star Wars efforts. The April 2 release is also the fist time that the animated show will be made available for streaming.
If that’s not reason enough to be excited, consider this: the show features more hyper-powerful versions of some of the most iconic characters of Star Wars — Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Mace Windu, General Grievous and more.
The April release of the legacy shows is also being viewed as a way to whet the appetite of fans before the May 4 release of The Bad Bunch.