First look: STAR WARS FORCES OF DESTINY
With Star Wars Celebration Orlando upon us, Disney has released a first look at Star Wars Forces of Destiny — the newest animated initiative from Disney and Lucasfilm, celebrating the inspiring stories of iconic heroes from a galaxy far, far away.
“With Forces of Destiny, there was an opportunity to tell some additional stories around these terrific characters from throughout the franchise,” says executive producer Carrie Beck. Adds executive producer Dave Filoni, “They’re these almost bite-sized short, self-contained adventures that take place in different time periods. It’s very much a real part of Star Wars.”
Daisy Ridley (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: The Last Jedi) will reprise her role of Rey, the hero of the newest Star Wars trilogy, with Lupita Nyong’o (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: The Last Jedi) returning as Maz, and Felicity Jones (Rogue One) reprising her role as Jyn Erso. Shelby Young will voice Leia, with Catherine Taber (The Clone Wars) voicing Padmé.
As noted by EW, the shorts — each about three minutes long — will debut on the Disney Youtube channel in July before being packaged with eight other shorts, creating a pair of TV specials to air on the Disney Channel this fall. Familiar faces from all eras will return, with the central figures being the original trilogy’s Princess Leia, the prequel trilogy’s Padmé Amidala, Rey and Maz from The Force Awakens, Jyn from Rogue One, and a trio from Disney XD’s Star Wars Rebels: Mandalorian warrior Sabine Wren, Force-sensitive Ahsoka Tano, and Twi’lek pilot Hera Syndulla.
The shorts are scripted by Jennifer Muro (Justice League Action) and directed by Brad Rau (Star Wars Rebels).
“We didn’t want to put [the characters] in a false social construct. They’re meeting each other on Star Wars terms,” Beck told EW. “No part of Star Wars should feel like, ‘That’s the fake Star Wars, over there.’ No matter who you are, or how young you are, you want to feel like you are sharing the same thing your dad and mom love, that your grandparents love. You want to feel like you are a part of it.”
The shorts will also launch a new line of Hasbro toys, “Adventure Figures,” a blend between traditional dolls and old-school action figures. According to EW, the purpose of the shorts are primarily to “reach novice fans,” particularly young girls who, in a different time, may not have felt entirely welcome in the Star Wars fandom. “That’s really the challenge: How do we make this relevant for somebody who is new to Star Wars – and someone who has experienced all of Star Wars,” Beck says. “We have these new access points for kids, but [the shorts] aren’t so reliant on knowing everything else that’s happened in Star Wars history.”
Of course, the animated shorts will appeal to longtime fans, as well: “There are Easter eggs all over the place,” says Paul Southern, head of Lucasfilm licensing. Though the stories found within Forces highlight the female characters of the galaxy, the stories aren’t exclusively for girls and women. “Everybody who looks at Star Wars, they take something out of it for themselves,” Southern adds. “The strong female leads that we have, going back to Leia… while they don’t just appeal to females, that’s an important element. They provide very strong role models.”
Star Wars Forces of Destiny arrives in July.