Star Wars at D23 2019: everything we learned

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A recap of Star Wars at D23 Expo 2019, including news about Rise of Skywalker, Mandalorian, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Rogue One, Vader Immortal, and Disney Parks.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker may be the last Star Wars film for now, but the franchise is far from over based on what Lucasfilm presented at D23 Expo.

Held over the weekend of Aug. 23-25 in Anaheim, California, the biennial gathering previewed the franchise’s future after the nine-part Skywalker film saga wraps up in December.

Among the highlights were Disney+ shows, The Rise of Skywalker, Star Wars in Disney parks, and VR game Vader Immortal. Below, Dork Side of the Force breaks down all the news and announcements for fans of a galaxy far, far away.

The Mandalorian trailer debuts

On Friday, a showcase was held for upcoming streaming service Disney+. Headlining the event was The Mandolrian preview, which featured Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, showrunners Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni, along with actors Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano, Carl Weathers, Giancarlo Esposito, and director Taika Waititi.

Favreau and Filoni spoke about how they met and advised each other when working on 2008’s Iron-Man and The Clone Wars. Favreau stressed The Mandalorian was for everyone and would explore new characters and settings. Afterward, the team debuted the world premiere of the trailer.

Opening with shots of worn stormtrooper helmets, the trailer offers glimpses of a post-Empire Star Wars universe. Prominently featured was the Mandalorian (Pascal), who spends most of the clip piloting his ship or fighting foes. The trailer ends by focusing on several bodies encased in carbonite, a nod to the dangerous method used to preserve people in the original trilogy.

Earlier in the day, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced Ming-Na Wen was part of The Mandalorian cast. Known for starring in Agents of S.H.I.E.LD., Wen was at D23 to promote the final season of the ABC hit and to receive the Disney Legends Award. No details have been revealed about Wen’s role.

It was also reported during the weekend that The Mandalorian would release weekly rather than all-at-once, a practice famously embraced by Netflix. Since the series is the first Disney+ original, the decision suggests a precedent for the upcoming service.

The series is expected to release Nov. 12.

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