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Latest ‘Star Wars’ News: Kathleen Kennedy teases live-action ‘The High Republic’ and Tony Gilroy reveals what they weren’t allowed to show in ‘Andor’

Is it time for 'The High Republic' to make the jump to the big screen and for 'Star Wars' to leave the Skywalker Saga behind?

Star Wars: The High Republic
Via Lucasfilm

Star Wars fans got a treat over the weekend with the surprise release of Grogu and Dust Bunnies, Lucasfilm’s unexpected collaboration with Studio Ghibli. But when they billed it as a short they weren’t kidding, as the cute and dialogue-free piece of animation clocked in at about two minutes. Even so, it’s nice to see Ghibli sticking their toe into a galaxy far, far away and we’re holding out a faint hope they’ll contribute to a future Star Wars Visions-type project.

Beyond that, the fandom is eagerly awaiting the penultimate episode of Andor on Wednesday, which should give us some big clues about how the first season is going to end. Based on everything we’ve seen so far, we’re expecting a tense cliffhanger representing a key moment in the Rebel Alliance’s formation though we hope all these great characters make it to 2024’s second season.

For today, we’ve got a fun hint from Kathleen Kennedy over The High Republic project expanding into films, what Disney wouldn’t let Tony Gilroy do in Andor, and a promo image that may hint at what’s coming in The Bad Batch season two.

Kathleen Kennedy hints at a live-action The High Republic

Star Wars: The High Republic
Via Lucasfilm

The High Republic is one of the best things to happen to Star Wars in years. These are stories set a few hundred years before the Skywalker Saga when the Jedi were at the height of their powers. It’s essentially a blank slate for writers to work in, with fitting new events into the era seen on the big screen and keeping them in canon increasingly tricky.

Now (via The Direct) the new book The Art of Star Wars: The High Republic contains a tease that The High Republic may be moving beyond books and comic books:

“If [the High Republic] gamble succeeded, the story anchoring the new interconnected multimedia initiative stood to open up new storytelling opportunities beyond the page, allowing publishing to evolve into an incubator for new characters and era that could later appear in games or on screen, a role reversal for the department typically tasked with sustaining interest between tentpole projects and big-screen movies that nevertheless honored the genesis of all stories in film, games, and television.”

This also contains a quote from Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy, who enigmatically said:

“It all starts with the word.”

Upcoming Disney Plus show The Acolyte will break the seal on this with a story set at the very end of The High Republic era, though we’re hoping for more adventures set outside of the constrictive continuity of the Skywalker Saga. Let’s hope Kennedy backs up her words with action.

What Tony Gilroy wasn’t allowed to do in Andor

Stellan Skarsgard in 'Andor' episode 10
Screengrab via Disney Plus

Andor goes places other Star Wars shows wouldn’t dare. It’s got a refreshingly grown-up attitude to politics, violence, sexuality, and drama, and fans are loving it, with it now comfortably occupying the top spot as the best live-action Star Wars Disney Plus show to date. Showrunner Tony Gilroy seems to have been left to tell whatever story he wanted, though in a new interview with Variety he reminds us that this is still a global Disney franchise and there are rules:

“There’s things we can’t do — I mean, we have standards and practices. We can’t have sex. There’s a level of violence that we can’t have. There’s limits on what we can do. We can’t do some things that we would want to do. But within that, we’re cool.”

We’ve been surprised by both what Disney is prepared to allow and what the show wants to show us, with the torture sequence in the ninth episode one of the most intense and terrifying things we’ve ever seen in Star Wars (and all without a single drop of blood being spilled!)

Gilroy also revealed how he tested the waters with Andor episode one’s opening brothel scene:

“I wrote that as a challenge. I wrote the first three episodes before we hit the writers’ room. We were still tiptoeing into the relationship with Disney. Is it going to be just a development thing or are we really going to do this? So I definitely was like, ‘Hey, man, this is what I want to do. Can you take this?’ There’s a little bit of a challenge about it.”

The sense that Andor isn’t trying to appeal to all ages and audiences makes it gripping viewing. Let’s hope Disney applies the same loose restrictions for the upcoming second season.

Does this piece of The Bad Batch art spoil season two?

Image via Lucasfilm / Star Wars: The Bad Batch

The Bad Batch will return for its second season on Jan. 4, 2023, and looks set to follow in the footsteps of the award-winning first season. That story saw a specialist team of Clone Troopers, known as ‘Clone Force 99’ on a series of perilous missions in the wake of the Clone Wars.

The first season saw trouble in the ranks, centering on their sniper Crosshair. During Order 66 Crosshair succumbed to the programming, turned against his teammates, and spent the first season trying to track them down. The season one finale saw him once again teaming up with the squad, with the full team sadly watching their birth planet Kamino get destroyed. Crosshair was invited back onto the team, though stayed behind alone.

But some more permanent reconciliation may still be on the cards, as a new piece of merchandising art shows Crosshair back in the squad (on the far left).

Star Wars: The Bad Batch
Promotional art from Displate.com

Maybe it’s just a slip-up at Lucasfilm marketing, but we wouldn’t be surprised if Crosshair’s story sees him loop back around to being a crucial member of the Batch.

As the week goes on we’re hoping for a teaser for the new Andor and, with several Star Wars shows filming in California and in the U.K. we may get some photos from the set that tease where the shows will be set and what it’ll be about. Other than that, if you haven’t seen Grogu and Dust Bunnies yet be sure to check it out, it’s short but very sweet.

David James
About the author

David James

London-based writer about everything and anything. Willing to crawl over rusty nails to write about Metal Gear Solid or Resident Evil.