A lot of big news is going to be announced at Celebration Orlando over the next few days, but tonight Entertainment Weekly has revealed one of those big announcements, in a new series of animated shorts featuring the heroines of “Star Wars” titled, “Forces of Destiny”!
The series will debut in July on Disney’s YouTube channel, and will feature short stories focusing on all the major women in “Star Wars,” such as Princess Leia, Padme, Rey, Jyn, Ahsoka, Sabine, and Hera. The series will be executive produced by Dave Filoni and Carrie Beck, with the episodes being written by Jennifer Muro (“Justice League Action”) and directed by Brad Rau (“Star Wars Rebels.”)
Each short will be about three minutes long, and will feature some familiar voice talent such as Ashley Eckstien as Ahsoka, Catherine Taber as Padme, Vanessa Marshall as Hera, Tiya Sircar as Sabine, Shelby Young as Princess Leia, and reprising their roles from the movies are Daisy Ridley and Felicity Jones as Rey and Jyn respectfully. Also revealed is that Maz Kanata will be the one narrating these stories in the series, and she will again be voiced by Lupita Nyong’o.
You can check out the video above for the announcement of “Forces of Destiny” featuring Kathleen Kennedy and Dave Filoni, along with some footage of early animation. And below is the official press release with some images sent to us from Lucasfilm:
Disney and Lucasfilm Celebrate Iconic Heroes from a Galaxy Far, Far Away…with Star Wars Forces of Destiny
Micro-series of original, animated shorts will focus on untold stories of everyday heroism that shape the destinies of Rey, Jyn Erso, Sabine Wren, Princess Leia, Ahsoka Tano and others
Daisy Ridley, Felicity Jones, Tiya Sircar, Ashley Eckstein and Lupita Nyong’o reprise their roles for new series launching in July
Books, apparel and toys including new ‘Adventure Figures’ from Hasbro launching this summer
Glendale, Calif. (April 12, 2017 – 9:00PM PST) – Disney and Lucasfilm today announced Star Wars Forces of Destiny, a new initiative celebrating the inspiring stories of iconic heroes from across the Star Wars universe. An original series of animated shorts (each 2-3 minutes in length) will explore exciting, all new adventures of key characters including Rey, Jyn Erso, Sabine Wren, Princess Leia, Ahsoka Tano and others, ahead of books and a TV special later in the year. The stories will also be supported by a line of toys from Hasbro, including new ‘Adventure Figures’ – a fusion between traditional dolls and action figures, creating a whole new way to play Star Wars.
“Star Wars Forces of Destiny is for anyone who has been inspired by Leia’s heroism, Rey’s courage, or Ahsoka’s tenacity,” said Kathleen Kennedy, President of Lucasfilm. “We’re thrilled that so many of the original actors are reprising their roles in these shorts which capture the small moments and everyday decisions that shape who these characters are. It is a fun new way for people to experience Star Wars.”
Developed by Lucasfilm Animation, Star Wars Forces of Destiny will remain true to the Star Wars canon, showing how choices both big and small ultimately shape the destinies of beloved characters. Launching in July, the animated micro-series will be available on Disney YouTube ahead of a two-part TV special featuring eight additional shorts on Disney Channel in Fall 2017. Fans will be delighted to hear familiar voices in the series, including: Daisy Ridley (Rey), Felicity Jones (Jyn), Tiya Sircar (Sabine), Ashley Eckstein (Ahsoka Tano) and Lupita Nyong’o (Maz Kanata as narrator).
Star Wars Forces of Destiny will also be supported by global product extensions, such as books, apparel, bedding, and toys – including the new line of ‘Adventure Figures’ created by Hasbro, which bridges the gap between traditional action figures and dolls. Each individually designed figure features dynamic action, like Rey swinging her lightsaber, along with multiple points of articulation to help recreate the characters’ adventures and heroic moments with different poses.
“From Princess Leia to Sabine Wren, Star Wars heroines are unique, and we wanted to represent that in the product line for Star Wars Forces of Destiny,” said Jimmy Pitaro, Chairman, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media. “The result is the creation of our new ‘Adventure Figures’ that celebrate the power and stories of these incredible characters and allow kids to recreate their most heroic moments at home.”
The 11-inch figures will depict characters including Rey, Jyn Erso, Princess Leia, Sabine Wren, plus loveable sidekicks and epic villains like BB-8, Chewbacca, Kylo Ren and many more. Hasbro is also rolling out Star Wars Forces of Destiny role play and accessories—from Rey’s Extendable Staff, to a new, electronic Jedi Power Lightsaber toy, which are part of the Star Wars Bladebuilders system.
Adds John Frascotti, President of Hasbro: “As the Star Wars fan base has broadened over the last 40 years, we have continued to add new and exciting play experiences to the Star Wars brand, to engage fans across generations. We’ve worked closely with Disney to bring the storytelling from Star Wars Forces of Destiny to life through this innovative toy line to help connect with new audiences as well as appeal to existing fans.”
Fans attending Star Wars Celebration in Orlando will see a sneak peek of Star Wars Forces of Destiny during the “Heroines of Star Wars” panel on Friday, April 14. The panel, moderated by Amy Ratcliffe – host of “Lattes with Leia” podcast, will feature Carrie Beck – vice president of animation at Lucasfilm and Dave Filoni – executive producer of Star Wars Rebels, as well as Ashley Eckstein, Tiya Sircar and other surprise guests. For a first look at the new Star Wars Forces of Destiny Adventure Figures, stop by Hasbro booth #2744.
Stay tuned to StarWars.com for more details.
And here’s more from Carrie Beck about the announcement from Entertainment Weekly:
In some cases, multiple heroines will appear in adventures with each other, even though some of them have been separated by different timelines – but it’s all official canon. “One of the opportunities here was to tell the stories in between the larger moments and imagine some of the ways our characters have crossed,” says Carrie Beck, an executive producer of the shorts and a member of the Lucasfilm story group braintrust. “It’s all part of the larger swath of storytelling.”
“We didn’t want to put them in a false social construct. They’re meeting each other on Star Wars terms,” Beck tells 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.”
I’m really excited about “Forces of Destiny.” With Dave Filoni involved, and the series featuring iconic “Star Wars” characters in new stories that will be part of the main canon, this is just another great thing we’re getting in this new golden era of “Star Wars.”
More information about “Forces of Destiny” will be revealed at Celebration Orlando, but for more on the new series right now, be sure to check out the full article over at Entertainment Weekly for details on what kind of stories we will see in the series, and even a first look at the toy line for it.