Star Wars D23 Reaction: “The Ebb and Flow of the Fandom”

(Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

What a difference a year (or there about) makes, right?

Back in May of 2018, cries of “Star Wars is dead” or “Star Wars can never come back from this” filled the air. The Last Jedi left the fandom divided, and Solo became the first Star Wars film ever that was not financially successful. It seemed like the end was nigh.

Things became quite in a galaxy far, far away as new content was released. Star Wars: Resistance got mixed reviews as its first season rolled out. Reports said Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland wasn’t doing the projected numbers that Disney had hoped. Were the doom speakers right? Were we entering the long slow death of our beloved franchise as if it were some bloated Galactic Republic destined to wither and die?

But this year at Disney’s D23 Expo came at us like a squad of X-Wings coming to save the day! Disney is, first and foremost, a business and they know how to market. They’re clearly looking to take the crown from Netflix when it comes to streaming services, and they know the dedication of Star Wars fans and that we’ve got a Sith-like lust for new content.

Boy did they deliver!

We knew we were getting The Mandalorian. We knew it was going to feature Game of Thrones alumni Pedro Pascal. We knew it looked cool. But that trailer showed us a grim-and-gritty post-Return of the Jedi galaxy that was reminiscent of a dirty and dangerous Old West frontier. If the trailer is any indication, then hopes are high and expectations are likely to be exceeded at this down-in-the-dirt picture of an interstellar seedy underbelly. In stark contrast to Solo: A Star Wars Story (which gave us a fairly lighthearted, swashbuckling story reminiscent of the original film), The Mandalorian seems to promise a story of antiheroes and adversaries, where being the good guy doesn’t always make you good.

But that’s not all. The long rumored (and longer requested) Kenobi: A Star Wars Story was revealed to be in production by none other than the Jedi Master himself, Ewan McGregor himself. Presented on Disney+, it appears that this will be a streaming series of some form — though details are still sketchy. McGregor’s performance is regarded as a highlight of the Star Wars Prequel trilogy and even those who enjoyed the second trilogy a bit less than the original have still praised his performance.

Related: Recap of all the Star Wars News and Surprises from Day 1 at the D23 Expo

Finally, many have already eagerly awaiting the return of Anakin, Obi-Wan, Ahsoka Tano, Captain Rex and the rest with the announcement of Clone Wars, Season 7. We received confirmation that Season 7 will release in February of 2020 — which is right around the corner.

Oh yeah, and don’t forget about a little film they offered some exclusive footage of that’s coming out in a few months on December 20th. You may have heard of it. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

Star Wars, like the Force itself, ebbs and flows. There are times of light and times of darkness. But right now, it feels like the best time to be a Star Wars fan. Have faith my fellow Jedi Knights, balance seems to be returning to the Force and though the future is always in motion, I think its safe to say great things are on the horizon.

About James Spahn 40 Articles
James Spahn is a life-long fan of all things Star Wars. His earliest memories are of sitting on the living room floor, watching the original film on Beta Max. He is a father, husband, and writer who has done extensive freelance work in the table-top gaming industry. He is obsessed with all things related to the Jedi and a total Luke Skywalker fanboy. Follow him @ObiSpahnKenobi on twitter.