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The Spotlight’s on Animation with New ‘Star Wars Celebration’ Reveals

London event showcases cast and filmmaker panels for animated series ‘Star Wars: The Bad Batch,’ ‘Star Wars: Visions’ Volume 2, and ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars,’ plus trailer debuts and first two episode screening for ‘Star Wars: Young Jedi Adventures.’

Animation took center stage this weekend as fans attending the “Star Wars Celebration” in London Saturday were treated to a special screening of Star Wars: Young Jedi Adventures, hosted by Krystina Arielle, executive producer James Waugh, and showrunner Michael Olsen. The screening kicked off with the debut of the show’s trailer, followed by a Q&A with Waugh and Olson. Dee Bradley Baker, the voice of a Jedi youngling named Nubs, surprised fans with an in-character introduction of the screening.

Young Jedi Adventures is set during the High Republic era at the prime of the Jedi Order and follows Jedi younglings as they study the ways of the Force, explore the galaxy, help citizens and creatures in need, and learn valuable skills needed to become Jedi along the way. The cast includes Jamaal Avery, Jr. as Kai Brightstar; Juliet Donenfeld as Lys Solay; Baker as Nubs; Emma Berman as Nash Durango; Jonathan Lipow as RJ-83; and Piotr Michael as Master Yoda.

Produced by Lucasfilm in collaboration with Wild Canary for Disney+ and Disney Junior, Star Wars: Young Jedi Adventures is executive produced by Lucasfilm’s Waugh, Jacqui Lopez, and Josh Rimes. Olson (Puppy Dog Pals) is showrunner and executive producer.

Watch the official Young Jedi Adventures trailer:

The celebration also featured a panel celebrating the 15th anniversary of the Emmy award-winning animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, moderated by Amy Ratcliffe, with executive producer Dave Filoni; VP Animation Production Lucasfilm Animation Athena Portillo; sound editor Matthew Wood; and art director Kilian Plunkett as well as cast members Baker; Ashley Eckstein; Matt Lanter; and James Arnold Taylor. After the group reminisced about the series’ origin, Filoni wrapped the discussion, announcing that Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi Season 2 is currently in production.

“Star Wars Celebration” continued today with a panel for the acclaimed series Star Wars: The Bad Batch, which just wrapped Season 2 with the Bad Batch continuing their journey navigating the aftermath of Order 66 and the rise of the Empire.

Host Amy Ratcliffe welcomed Star Wars: The Bad Batch executive producer and supervising director Brad Rau; executive producer and head writer Jennifer Corbett; executive producer Athena Portillo; actors Dee Bradley Baker (voices The Bad Batch); and Michelle Ang (voice of Omega) to discuss highlights from the second season. Executive producers Rau, Corbett, and Portillo announced that the show will return for a third and final season in 2024. In addition, fans got treated to a special Season 3 teaser, sharing a sneak peek at what is to come, including the return of Ming-Na Wen’s fan-favorite bounty hunter, Fennec Shand.

Closing out the Star Wars Celebration’s animation panels was a Star Wars: Visions panel, with reveals ahead of the series’ second season May 4, 2023 release – including first story details for all nine shorts, the full cast list, the trailer, and key art. Ratcliffe introduced executive producers of the Emmy nominated series, Josh Rimes, James Waugh and Jacqui Lopez, who discussed the success of the show’s first season and its unique concept featuring a collection of animated shorts that stretches beyond any one form of animation and serves as a broader framework for Star Wars storytelling.

The newest Volume of nine shorts will continue to push the boundaries with a new perspective on the storied mythos of Star Wars. The shorts are created by nine studios worldwide using animation styles representative of their countries and cultures.

Ratcliff revealed the voice talent behind the upcoming season and treated fans to the trailer.

The cast includes:

  • “Screecher’s Reach”: Eva Whittaker
  • “I Am Your Mother”: Maxine Peake, Charithra Chandran
  • “Journey to the Dark Head” (English Dub): Ashley Park, Eugene Lee Yang
  • “The Bandits of Golak”: Suraj Sharma
  • “The Pit”: Daveed Diggs
  • “Aau’s Song”: Cynthia Erivo

The filmmakers took to the stage, revealing the first details about each of their shorts.

  • Rodrigo Blaas, writer/director of El Guiri’s “Sith” from Spain
  • Paul Young, director of Cartoon Saloon’s “Screecher’s Reach” from Ireland
  • Gabriel Osorio, writer/director of Punkrobot’s “In the Stars” from Chile
  • Magdalena Osinska, director of Aardman’s “I Am Your Mother” from the United Kingdom
  • Hyeong-Geun Park, director of Studio Mir’s “Journey to the Dark Head” from South Korea
  • Julien Chheng, director of Studio La Cachette’s “The Spy Dancer” from France
  • Milind Shinde, founder of India’s 88 Pictures and executive producer of “The Bandits of Golak”
  • LeAndre Thomas, writer/director/executive producer of “The Pit”; Arthell Isom, founder of D'ART Shtajio and executive producer of “The Pit”
  • Nadia Darries and Daniel Clarke, co-directors of Triggerfish’s “Aau’s Song” from South Africa

Panelists shared how they incorporated their country’s history and culture into their stories, created original characters that fit into the Star Wars galaxy, and cast local talent to bring these characters to life. At the end of the panel, attendees were also treated to a surprise early screening of Aardman’s short “I Am Your Mother.”

Watch the Visions Volume 2 trailer:

Source: Disney+

Debbie Diamond Sarto's picture

Debbie Diamond Sarto is news editor at Animation World Network.