In 2012, Disney acquired Lucasfilm and its Star Wars properties for a cool $4.05 billion. When the studio launched its new streaming platform, Disney+, in 2019, it decided to go all-in on the decades-long franchise, launching the first live-action Star Wars series, The Mandalorian, which quickly became a critical hit, an Emmys magnet and a favorite with audiences young and old. Much like its expanding web of interconnected Marvel Cinematic Universe series, Disney+ is developing more and more original Star Wars content, including spin-offs, sequels and animated shows. Here, our look at the current and future lineup, with handy hints on the famous faces (and voices) you might recognize and how each series fits into the greater narrative of that galaxy far, far away.
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The Mandalorian (2019–)
The premise: Game of Thrones breakout Pedro Pascal stars as the bounty hunter Din Djarin, who was raised on the planet Mandalore. “The Mandalorian is a mysterious, lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy,” Pascal told Entertainment Weekly. “Some might say he has questionable moral character, in line with some of our best Westerns, and some good samurai. And he’s a badass.” In the first season, the last remaining Imperial forces hire this space Eastwood to track down and bring back the child Grogu, whom fans know better as Baby Yoda. While he isn’t actually Yoda as a baby, he’s a member of the same swamp-dwelling species. And, oh yeah, he isn’t a baby, either: He’s AARP eligible at 50 years old! Turns out that his wide-eyed charm works on the Mandalorian, who scraps his mission and sets out to protect the child. The pair is pursued across the galaxy by Moff Gideon, played by Breaking Bad villain Giancarlo Esposito, 64. The series was a critical smash, earning six Emmy nominations (including best drama series) and winning seven Creative Arts Emmys in its first season alone.
When it’s set: Five years after the fall of the Empire in The Return of the Jedi.
Famous faces and voices: Carl Weathers (74) as Bounty Hunters’ Guild leader Greef Karga, Werner Herzog (79) as the mysterious Client, Nick Nolte (81) as the voice of the alien Kuiil, Taika Waititi as the voice of bounty hunter droid IG-11, Amy Sedaris (61) as mechanic Peli Motto, a digitally de-aged Mark Hamill (71) as Luke Skywalker.
Watch it: The Mandalorian on Disney+
Star Wars: The Bad Batch (2021–)
The premise: Think of the Clone Wars as the Star Wars universe’s answer to the U.S. Civil War: Thousands of planets seceded from the Galactic Republic to form the Confederacy of Independent Systems, and the Republic fought back with a Jedi-led army of clone troopers to battle the Separatists’ droid army. The conflict has loomed large in the franchise’s mythology, spawning a 2008 animated feature followed by a popular computer-animated series that bounced around from the Cartoon Network (seasons 1-5) to Netflix (Season 6) to Disney+ (Season 7). Disney’s streaming service followed it up with this original sequel that centers on the Bad Batch, a squad of clone troopers with specialized genetic mutations and names like Hunter, Wrecker and Crosshair, all voiced by Dee Bradley Baker, 59. Joined by a female clone, Omega (Michelle Ang), they embark on a series of risky mercenary missions after the end of the Clone Wars.
When it’s set: After the events of Episode II — Attack of the Clones and the original Clone Wars series.
Famous voices: Rhea Perlman (74) as the mercenary Cid, Archie Panjabi as Jedi Master Depa Billaba, Freddie Prinze Jr. as a Padawan (a Jedi apprentice) named Caleb Dume, Seth Green as service droid Todo 360.
Watch it: Star Wars: The Bad Batch on Disney+