A while back, I blogged about canceling my Disney+ account. Not permanently, of course, but I did feel like it was time for a break. In my first year with the streaming service, I hadn’t watched it as much as I thought I would, and I wanted to try out some other streaming services in 2021 instead.
Well, Disney+ apparently heard that I was canceling, and last week they decided to announce what seemed like 1,000 new movies and TV shows coming to the streaming service (okay, I exaggerate, but still!)
Last Thursday night, my Twitter feed blew up with announcements from Disney’s so-called “Investor Day.” If you’ve been hungry for new Star Wars and Marvel content, well, Disney has got you covered!
It would take way too long to write about all the Star Wars, Marvel, and other Disney announcements from last week, so I’m just going to touch on my top five. Before I do that, however, I’d like to make a few general comments.
If Disney+ wants to keep subscribers long-term, they need more exclusive content, and this buzzworthy string of announcements was exactly what I needed to hear in order to hook me back in. With how much I’m loving “The Mandalorian” this season, I’m super pumped for more big budget Disney+ original series.
In the midst of all this excitement, though, let’s not forget Disney’s recent rounds of layoffs. I’m sure it’s hard for the employees without a job to hear about all the funding that’s getting pumped into Disney+. In the end, I hope these employees can be brought back on as we all find new ways of doing business in a post-COVID world.
1. Rogue Squadron
I know I just talked a whole lot about Disney+, and this is technically a theatrical release rather than exclusive streaming service content. However, it’s entirely possible that by the time we get to 2023, this movie will be released simultaneously in theaters and on Disney+. I have no idea how the entertainment industry will adapt to the continued fallout from COVID.
That being said, I’m incredibly thrilled that “Wonder Woman” director Patty Jenkins is getting her own Star Wars movie. “Wonder Woman” is my all-time favorite superhero film, and Jenkins has long been on my shortlist of directors I’d like to see take a crack at Star Wars.
I will say that a fighter pilot story wouldn’t necessarily have been my top choice for the next Star Wars movie; Jedi/Sith/Force stuff is definitely more my jam. However, if you haven’t seen it yet, I’d highly encourage you to watch the little teaser video Patty Jenkins released about her Star Wars announcement. In it, she talks about her dad’s experiences as a fighter pilot, and just how personal this topic is to her. I’m now convinced this movie is the perfect choice for Jenkins.
Also, I’m really, really hoping this will be set post “The Rise of Skywalker.” I know the sequels were divisive, but that’s my personal favorite era of Star Wars and I want more stories to be told in this timeframe. Fingers crossed for Oscar Isaac to somehow return as (Admiral?) Poe Dameron.
2. The Acolyte
Remember how I said Jedi/Sith/Force stuff was my jam? Well, I practically squealed when I saw the concept for this new show.
“The Acolyte” (brought to Disney+ by showrunner Leslye Headland — yes to more women behind the camera at Lucasfilm!) will reportedly be a mystery-thriller involving “shadowy secrets and emerging dark side powers in the final days of the High Republic era.”
Of course that’s still a pretty vague description, but I am ALL ABOUT ALL OF THAT. I want to see more weird new Force powers, and I’m fascinated by that constant pull between the light and dark sides of the Force. This show has the potential to be really, really cool, and as much as I’m tempted to go crazy and start speculating, I don’t want to walk in with too many preconceptions. I’d love to let this show just surprise me.
3. Obi-Wan Kenobi
The Star Wars prequels don’t always get a lot of love from fans. But one of my favorite parts of those movies was Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi. I thought McGregor did a great job portraying a younger, more sarcastic version of the wizened mentor played by Alec Guinness in the original trilogy.
We don’t strictly need another Obi-Wan story, but I’m very excited for this anyway. One, I don’t think the writing of the prequels always did the actors a lot of favors, and I’m thrilled McGregor will get another chance to play the character. I’m ready to see a self-reflective, world-weary Obi-Wan Kenobi grappling with the events of “Revenge of the Sith” and grieving for the loss of his apprentice, Anakin Skywalker.
Also, the director of this series — Deborah Chow — did such a great job with “The Mandalorian” episodes she directed last season, and I can’t wait to see what she’ll bring to the Kenobi series.
[Note before we get into the Marvel stuff: I went back and forth on whether to include “Loki” on this top five list, but ultimately I didn’t, because I feel like pretty much EVERYBODY is looking forward to “Loki” and it’s not a super unique pick. It’s got Tom Hiddleston, the trailer looks awesome, and I’m sure it will be great. I wanted to write about some of the more off-the-beaten path Marvel stuff here instead.]
4. Moon Knight
I actually don’t know a thing about the character Moon Knight from the original Marvel comics, so you may be wondering why this particular show is on my top five list.
While I dearly love all the classic Marvel Cinematic Universe characters like Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, etc., I’m actually kinda ready to set those stories aside for now and start exploring some completely new characters. I want to see the MCU (and Disney+) continue to push the storytelling boundaries within this universe.
I’m mainly excited for this series because Oscar Isaac is rumored to be starring as Moon Knight (more Oscar Isaac is always a win for me). The showrunner, Jeremy Slater, also worked on “The Umbrella Academy,” another series I love.
Moon Knight is apparently Marvel’s (sort of) version of Batman, so they’ll have to be careful with the Disney+ series to make this not feel like a Batman ripoff. However, the look of the character is very cool, and I can’t wait to see what they do with the series.
5. The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special
I love how delightfully terrible the infamous 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special is, and I’m thrilled that Marvel will soon have a goofy holiday special of its own.
The upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is probably the wackiest announcement to come out of Disney’s Investor Day, and I have no idea what to expect from this. I assume director James Gunn was at least partially inspired by the Star Wars special, and I can’t wait to see what weird and wonderful surprises he will fill this holiday special with. (I’m going to be very disappointed if there’s no singing.)