Friday morning’s Disney/Lucasfilm panel at the ExCeL Center in London proved unsurprisingly to be one of the early highlights of the 15th Star Wars Celebration. While fans both in attendance and following online were certainly hoping for news related to the future of Star Wars on the big screen, there was no guarantee that they’d get what they wanted.
However, the faith of the devoted fan base was rewarded and then some with the announcement of several new projects. One of the most intriguing? Dawn of the Jedi, which will be directed by Academy Award-nominee James Mangold!
While admittedly not as big of a headline compared to the news of Daisy Ridley’s return to the franchise, or Dave Filoni‘s first foray into Star Wars filmmaking, Dawn of the Jedi has the potential to be one of the best deep dives into Star Wars lore and history.
Fans have long clamored for tales from the early days of the Jedi Order. Mangold’s film will apparently touch on the very first Jedi to use the force, and has been described as a “biblical epic.” This description makes sense, given the heavy religious themes sewn throughout the history of the Jedi (and the fact that they literally dress like priests).
Wait, hasn’t Dawn of the Jedi been done before?
Good catch! There is indeed a comic book series entitled Dawn of the Jedi that spans 15 issues between 2012 and 2015. The books are published by Dark Horse Comics and end abruptly when Marvel Comics acquired the rights in 2015.
The events of this book series take place about 26,000 years before the events of A New Hope and focus on the first handful of force users. As you can likely surmise, these books are not considered Star Wars canon and will almost certainly have no bearing on Mangold’s film.
Okay, so then what is this movie going to cover?
James Mangold is locked in to direct Dawn of the Jedi, where we’re introduced to the individual who will likely be confirmed to be the founder of the Jedi Order. We’ll see the struggles that this individual endures to try to channel and ultimately control the abilities granted through the force. While there’s been no confirmation of a time jump within the film, I’d have to imagine that one of the final shots we see is the actual formation of the Order.
A movie about a non-Skywalker Jedi…is that even allowed?
Apparently so! This is great news, by the way. Anyone who has followed me on socials long enough knows that I am absolutely fed up with the obsession with the Skywalkers. No more from this one particular emo space wizard family, please! We couldn’t even have a self-contained Obi-Wan story; Disney and Lucasfilm needed to find a bazillion different ways to connect Obi-Wan Kenobi to the Skywalkers!
We’re finally getting a Jedi story with absolutely zero Skywalker influence. It’s long overdue, and I look forward to watching a story on the big screen. This shows us that you don’t need to be from or have a connection to a particular bloodline to be a force-wielding hero. In addition to being Skywalker-free, Dawn of the Jedi appears likely to take on a more low-tech theme. I wouldn’t expect to see any lightsabers, folks! The “biblical epic” description implies to me that the film’s theme will be more based in dogma and spirituality.
Final takeaways from the Dawn of the Jedi announcement at Star Wars Celebration 2023
In the grand scheme of things, Dawn of the Jedi could be drastically overlooked by fans in the months following Star Wars Celebration. After all, we’re being graced with the somewhat surprising return of Daisy Ridley, have been given new Ahsoka footage, and have current series like Andor rapidly approaching the conclusion of filming on its second and final season. However, I think that this particular project could prove to be one of the best that the franchise has to offer.
Think about it—James Mangold essentially has a blank canvas to work from. This is going to be the earliest on-screen entry ever in the Star Wars franchise. This story won’t need to fit into any pre-established continuity, as it takes place before anything we’ve ever seen. When you give such a talented filmmaker that much free rein, beautiful things are likely to happen.
What are your thoughts on this announcement, along with some of the other surprises revealed today? Do you think we’ll see a young Yoda become one of the first Jedi Padawans at the film’s conclusion? He’s certainly old enough, and seeing Yoda as a young fledgling force user as opposed to the wise sage we know and love would be pretty darn cool.
Stay tuned to the Agents of Fandom socials for the latest news from Star Wars Celebration London!