Star Wars: Best of 2022 – Star Wars

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It’s been an embarrassment of riches this year for fans of the galaxy far, far away. We once waited years between films to find out what happened to our favorite characters. But in 2022, we didn’t get just one Star Wars live-action series; we got three! The Book of Boba Fett, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Andor all took existing characters and deepened our connection to them, expanding on what we thought we knew about their stories. Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi gave us fresh perspective on the lives of two important members of the Jedi Order, while Star Wars: The High Republic continued to explore an all-new era for the Jedi and the Republic in books and comics (with live-action in The Acolyte, animation, and more on the way). Not to mention the games, the comics, the documentaries, and the long-awaited return of Star Wars Celebration! As we count down to the end of 2022, here are our favorite Star Wars announcements, releases, and moments from an unforgettable year!

Disney+ opened The Book of Boba Fett

The year kicked off with our new favorite crime lord, the daimyo of Mos Espa himself, Boba Fett. The former bounty hunter turned over a new leaf after escaping the mighty Sarlacc, and The Book of Boba Fett chronicled his harrowing journey of self-discovery. Bringing back characters from The Mandalorian (and reuniting Din Djarin and Grogu!), marking the live action debut of fan-favorite Krrsantan, and culminating in an iconic battle with Boba Fett riding a rancor, the seven-episode series started 2022 with a (seismic charge) bang. – Kelly Knox   

Obi-Wan Kenobi reunited Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen. 

Fans of the Star Wars prequels rejoiced as Ewan McGregor returned to reprise his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi and said the phrase we were all waiting to hear: “Hello there.” Set at the midpoint between the rise of the Empire with Order 66 in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith and the duel on the Death Star in Star Wars: A New Hope, the Disney+ limited series gave us a glimpse at a time in Ben Kenobi’s life previously unexplored in live action. Here was a man cut off from the Force and his old ways, hidden away in a cave keeping watch on young Luke Skywalker. The only thing that could spur him to leave his post? Little Leia Organa in trouble! The series was filled with memorable moments between Ben Kenobi and the last princess of Alderaan, the introduction of Moses Ingram as the fearsome Third Sister, Reva, and the dreaded Fortress Inquisitorius, and gave us not one but two new lightsaber battles between Obi-Wan and his former pupil, Darth Vader. In just six episodes, the limited series expanded what we thought we knew about Kenobi’s relationship with not only Luke and Leia but also their father, the man once known as Anakin Skywalker. – Kristin Baver 

Andor took us by surprise in the best way. 

From the first moments of the Disney+ series, it was clear Andor was going to be a new interpretation of Star Wars: messier and more grounded than we’d ever seen before, with nuanced characters and storytelling that felt fresh and modern. The militaristic bombast and dark side fanaticism of the Empire wasn’t the focus here; instead, it was the oppression of surveillance, unjust laws, and everyday cruelty from a tyrannical leader, power-drunk bureaucrats, and ambitious supervisors, which turned out to be frightening in a completely real-world way. Cassian Andor, at the center of it all, floated along for himself until he saw it was worth picking a side, and all of our principal heroes — Cassian, Luthen Rael, and Mon Mothma — did questionable things in the name of good. On the flipside, Dedra Meero and Syril Karn were decidedly human…until they weren’t. It was challenging and complex stuff, nerve-wracking and thrilling all at once. In the end, Andor was a memorable Star Wars experience — the prison escape alone being something of a masterclass in action. If you slept on Andor, take the leap and join the rest of us before Season 2. You won’t regret it. – Dan Brooks 

Light & Magic took us back in time to the birth of ILM. 

Part of the magic of Star Wars has always been in the behind-the-scenes documentaries and featurettes, with several massive coffee table books devoted to the push and pull of the creative process. But more than another look at how Star Wars tested the limits of visual effects technology and changed the industry, Light & Magic put the focus back on the most important element of the creative process: the people. Through new interviews and archival footage, we got a front row seat to the humble origins of Industrial Light & Magic and learned more about the pioneers who worked tirelessly to create a whole new field in entertainment. In the hands of the legendary Lawrence Kasdan, the story of ILM unfolds in the Disney+ documentary series with all the drama and heart of any of Kasdan’s fictional works, and gives us a greater appreciation for the ingenuity and perseverance it took to bring the galaxy to life, commune with ghosts, and resurrect the dinosaurs.  – Kristin Baver

Tales of the Jedi took us deeper into the lives of Ahsoka Tano and Count Dooku. 

Tales of the Jedi, the six-episode anthology series on Disney+, gave us the chance to delve into the psyches of two of the most famous Jedi that left the Order, Ahsoka Tano and Count Dooku, as well as other intriguing characters like Qui-Gon Jinn, Yaddle, and Ahsoka’s parents, Pav-ti and Nak-il. From its electric announcement and the premiere of its first episode at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim to its final moments with Ahsoka in support of the Rebel Alliance, the series was a treat for fans of the prequels, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the Jedi…or just incredible Star Wars storytelling. Packed with action and drama, from the birth of Ahsoka on the planet Shili to the funeral of Padmé Amidala on Naboo, creator and executive producer Dave Filoni expertly penned this love letter to the saga’s past, present, and future. Where else could we see Padawan Qui-Gon on a mission with his master, learn how Yaddle truly talks, and finally see what really happened to those Kamino files in the Jedi Archives? Heartbreaking, fascinating, and uplifting, often at the same time, Tales of the Jedi was Star Wars at its best. – Brandon Wainerdi 

Star Wars Celebration made a joyous return. 

The ultimate Star Wars party and family reunion was back on in May! The convention brought us all together in Anaheim to cheer the galaxy far, far away (along with a little Indiana Jones and Willow) after far too long apart. From eye-popping moments like a live choir performing “Duel of the Fates” before Hayden Christensen and Ewan McGregor appeared on stage together for Obi-Wan Kenobi to the joy of watching dozens of Willrow Hood cosplayers jogging around the convention center screaming about ice cream, Celebration had it all. The event reminded us how epic it feels to stand beside our fellow fans and revel in our favorite corners of Star Wars storytelling. The High Republic authors brought the house down as they all appeared together in person for the first time since the publishing program launched. John Williams took the stage to conduct his incredible music, with thousands of people in the audience singing “Happy Birthday” to the composer. And Ian McDiarmid dazzled and scared everyone by doing the Emperor’s voice during his solo panel. There were too many awesome things to list them all, but the best part of Star Wars Celebration was reconnecting with friends and sharing all the amazing moments together. – Amy Ratcliffe 

And where there’s a Star Wars Celebration, there’s a Star Wars Celebration LIVE! 

The Celebration LIVE! stage and Lucasfilm’s official live stream brought us closer to the stars for exclusive interviews, announcements and sneak peeks of our favorite Star Wars shows. If you missed the big panels, you still had the chance to join the crowd on the show floor as the beloved Hayden Christensen received a standing ovation for his portrayal of Anakin Skywalker in the Star Wars prequels. Plus, the LIVE! stage is where stars like Pedro Pascal, Temuera Morrison, Moses Ingram, Diego Luna, and Genevieve O’Reilly sat down to tell behind-the-scenes stories, share their excitement about upcoming projects, and thank the fans that make the Star Wars community what it is. The team was there to document every heartfelt moment, including interviews with fans to share their reactions to upcoming Star Wars projects, their favorite experiences at Celebration, a firsthand experience at the tattoo pavilion, and the event’s staggering cosplay competition. This Star Wars Celebration was one for the books. – Kristen Bates

We learned important life lessons from the LEGO Star Wars Summer Vacation special. 

In the throes of winter, it’s important to remember the warm vibes of this year’s LEGO Star Wars Summer Vacation Disney+ Original special. We were reintroduced to some of our favorite Star Wars characters, spanning the entire saga, as they reminisced about memorable trips — and the life lessons learned along the way — during a once-in-a-lifetime vacation aboard the Halcyon starcruiser. The special was filled with catchy tunes (we’ll be humming “Gamorrean Girls” and “Scarif Beach Party” well into 2023), memorable cameos (Lando! Jabba! Palpatine in a striped swimsuit!), as well as important moments for some of our favorite characters, like Ben Solo flying the Millennium Falcon for the first time! – Dustin Diehl

We got hyped for all the big announcements on AhsokaThe MandalorianStar Wars: The Bad Batch, and more! 

This year brought a transport-load of Star Wars announcements that have us excited for 2023. Clone Force 99 is returning on January 4, 2023 for the second season of Star Wars: The Bad Batch. In just a few short weeks, Omega, Hunter, Wrecker, Tech, Crosshair, and Echo are blasting their way back to Disney+ with a two-episode premiere. The Mandalorian, everyone’s favorite Grogu-guarding bounty hunter, returns for a long-awaited Season 3 on March 1, 2023, on Disney+. And also in 2023, Ahsoka, starring Rosario Dawson as the wandering former Jedi and Natasha Liu Bordizzo as Mandalorian warrior Sabine Wren, will premiere in an all-new live-action series on Disney+. Star Wars: Visions Volume 2 will return for a second season in spring of 2023 with new stories from creative teams around the world in Japan, India, UK, Ireland, Spain, Chile, France, South Africa, and the US. Fans of all ages are readying their lightsabers for the animated series Star Wars: Young Jedi Adventures, streaming on Disney+ in 2023, following Jedi Youngling Kai Brightstar and pilot Nash Durango, who team up for galactic adventures set in the High Republic era. And an intriguing new image of star Jude Law has us eager to meet the gang in the upcoming Disney+ series Star Wars: Skeleton Crew. Created by Jon Watts and Chris Ford, the story will be set in the time of the New Republic and follow a group of children lost in space. – Clayton Sandell

Star Wars: Attack of the Clones reached a milestone. 

We marked the 20th anniversary of Star Wars: Attack of the Clones this year with everything from a star-studded retrospective at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim to historical deep-dives here on, including new interviews with actor Hayden Christensen, costume designer Trisha Biggar, and animation director Rob Coleman. If you were a kid back in 2002, there was a lot to anticipate that year! The movie’s teaser trailer showed a much older Anakin Skywalker wielding not one but two lightsabers. Many of the kids at school had the Scholastic novelization with pictures of stormtrooper-like soldiers and a bounty hunter who was Boba Fett’s dad. Attack of the Clones was a thrilling, action-packed adventure that reverberated across George Lucas’ saga. It was also a groundbreaking moment in the history of the movies — the first all-digital blockbuster. Thanks to George Lucas’ courage and vision, the crews from Lucasfilm and their collaborators once again showed the world a new horizon in filmmaking. But the youngest fans were arguably ignorant of these innovations, too busy recreating Dooku and Yoda’s saber duel in the backyard and shyly pretending to ignore Anakin and Padmé’s forbidden romance.  Lucas Seastrom

The High Republic celebrated an explosive end and a new beginning. 

The media-spanning High Republic publishing initiative wrapped up its first phase in the spring of 2022. These novels, comics, and audiobooks — listed chronologically in our handy reader’s guide! — kicked off the story in the golden age of the Jedi Order, coming to a fiery conclusion in Claudia Gray’s The Fallen Star in January. In true Star Wars style, the architects of the High Republic took Phase II back even further in time, starting with Path of Deceit in October. New authors have joined the ranks of the original luminous five for this phase, expanding the High Republic’s bright horizons. And in November, The Art of Star Wars: The High Republic took an in-depth look back at the initiative’s origins. The High Republic wrapped up 2022 with the first issue of Dark Horse’s Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures, and it shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.  Kelly Knox

Publishing continued to expand stories in every other era with Padawan, The Princess and the Scoundrel, Shadow of the Sith, and more. 

In addition to the High Republic, Star Wars books continued to add even more layers to the known eras through stories starring familiar characters. Queen’s Hope brought the popular Padmé Amidala trilogy from E.K. Johnston to a close focusing on Padmé’s time as a wartime senator. Mike Chen’s Brotherhood also told a Clone Wars story that revealed what Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi (plus Ventress) were up to on Cato Neimoidia, while Kiersten White revisited young Obi-Wan with Padawan. The Princess and the Scoundrel from Beth Revis took fans to Leia and Han’s post-Battle of Endor wedding and their honeymoon on the Halcyon. Adam Christopher’s Shadow of the Sith expanded on a line from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker with an adventure following Luke Skywalker and Lando Calrissian that featured Rey’s parents (Dathan and Miramir) and the Sith Eternal. Fans looking for a dash of all three eras also had Stories of Jedi and Sith in 2022, a short story anthology that featured iconic characters from Yoda to Rey from ten different authors. And there were plenty of treats for nonfiction fans — especially art lovers — with the release of The Art of Star Wars: The Mandalorian (Season 2), The Art of Star Wars: The High Republic (Volume One), and The Art of Star Wars: Visions. Star Wars: The Secrets of the Bounty Hunters gave readers an inside peek at legendary mercenaries from Cade Bane to Boba Fett while Tatooine and Batuu both got some love in Star Wars: Exploring Tatooine: An Illustrated Guide and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge: Treasures from Batuu. Star Wars: Be More Obi-Wan and Star Wars: I Am Your Father both gave advice from the galaxy far, far away while Star Wars: The Padawan Cookbook and Star Wars Everyday shared recipes, crafts, and activities for fans of all ages.  Amy Richau

Comics brought us Hidden Empire, Yoda, Visions, and other new tales from Marvel and Dark Horse! 

It’s been another year packed full of exciting events in the Star Wars comics world with something for everyone from Marvel and Dark Horse, including the landmark 100th issue from writer Charles Soule celebrated in an anthology-style release of Marvel’s flagship Star Wars #25 this summer. While books like Doctor Aphra and Bounty Hunters kept going strong, and the Star Wars series and Darth Vader continued (Imperial) marching from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back to Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, we also saw the launch of a brand-new High Republic series, the start of a limited series starring Han Solo and Chewbacca, and so much more. Both Star Wars: Visions and Yoda debuted this fall to much anticipation. The Visions one-shot serves as a prequel to The Duel short while the Yoda series from an all-star lineup of creators spans centuries of the wise Jedi Master’s life, from the High Republic and beyond. Much to the delight of Solo: A Star Wars Story fans, it’s been a very Qi’ra-heavy last few years in the comics. It takes a brave person to take the reins of Crimson Dawn and an even braver one to step to Emperor Palpatine, as seen in the comics event Hidden Empire. The final installment in the unofficial Qi’ra trilogy has just begun but we can’t wait to see how she (hopefully!) makes it out of this one alive. And for a hint at what to expect next year, there’s Star Wars: Revelations. The Force is giving us an inkling that we’ll be talking about some of the things teased in those pages right here next year.  Bria LaVorgna 

Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser set sail. 

This year, travelers took to the stars aboard the Halcyon and experienced lightsaber training, sampled cuisines from all over the galaxy, played Sabacc on an exclusive holo-Sabacc table, and so much more. This immersive, two-night, one-of-a-kind adventure at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida starts with you boarding a launch pod and meeting guests on the magnificent vessel known as the Halcyon. You get to interact with Star Wars characters as you choose if you want to align with the Resistance, the First Order, or learn the ways of the Force with the legendary Jedi, or maybe just act like a scoundrel for a change. You control your destiny and story, and no two voyages are alike! Plus, each cabin — because you sleep aboard the ship, too! — features a unique view of space unlike anything you’ve ever seen. There is truly nothing like the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser anywhere in this galaxy! Dan Zehr   

Gamers hit the bricks with LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga landed this spring, a massive re-imagining of the brick-busting games from a galaxy far, far away that delivered a built-from-the-ground-up epic that retained the franchise’s signature charm, humor, and accessible gameplay, while evolving these elements in a number of thrilling new ways. And fans can now explore memorable moments and locations from all nine saga films, from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, on their own unique journey through the galaxy. Of course, one of the great aspects of a LEGO game is its hundreds-strong character roster, and The Skywalker Saga more than delivered, packing in enough fan-favorites to overflow the Death Star’s trash compactor. With more than 400 characters and ships, you’ll never run out of new ways to solve puzzles and tackle missions! This staggering line-up culminated in the recently released Galactic Edition of the game, which introduced over two dozen more — including favorites from Obi-Wan Kenobi, Andor, and even the LEGO Star Wars: Summer Vacation special. If you weren’t already convinced The Skywalker Saga was one of 2022’s absolute best ways to celebrate your Star Wars fandom, then minifig Emperor Palpatine in a beach-ready swimsuit should seal the deal. – Matt Cabral 

We got excited for the future of Star Wars gaming.
Lucasfilm Games has been busy. A sequel to the modern classic Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order was confirmed in January to much delight, followed by a title reveal — Star Wars Jedi: Survivor — at Star Wars Celebration. So far, we’ve seen both a teaser and full trailer for the game, and a few story details have been disclosed, all pointing toward a title that builds on its predecessor in significant ways. Series protagonist Cal Kestis is now a Jedi Knight, and seems to be taking an aggressive approach to confronting the Empire — even as it tightens its grip. New allies and threats have emerged, while the scope of gameplay has expanded to include new Force abilities and lightsaber techniques in a galaxy-spanning adventure. “We’re making the game for the fans,” developer Respawn Entertainment’s Stig Asmussen, director of Jedi: Survivor, told earlier this year. “Every day we’re putting our blood, sweat, and tears into it. There’s nothing that’s more important to us than getting the controller into the players’ hands and having them have a Star Wars experience that they feel is worthwhile, they have fun playing, and it puts a smile on their face.” Even better, we don’t have to wait that long. Jedi: Survivor arrives March 17, 2023. And in April, Lucasfilm Games revealed a new Star Wars action-adventure game from Skydance New Media, with the legendary Amy Hennig at the helm. While few details about the game are currently known, it’s exciting to see Lucasfilm Games continue to collaborate with many studios and talents. Taken together with everything else on the way, there’s going to be a lot for Star Wars fans to play in the next few years. – Dan Brooks 

John Williams turned 90! 

It’s virtually impossible to divorce the emotions (and nostalgia) we collectively feel when watching any of the Star Wars films from the soundtrack. The opening crawl makes your pulse race because of the “Main Title’s” fanfare. Darth Vader’s menacing presence is heightened by “The Imperial March.” The music from a galaxy far, far away perfectly accents and elevates every corresponding image on the screen. And the man behind much of the music, the maestro John Williams, turned 90 this year. In 2016, when Williams received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute, the maker himself George Lucas credited Williams with raising Star Wars to “a level of popular art that would stand the test of time.” Williams first worked with Lucas on the original Star Wars film in 1977; he would take home the 1978 Oscar for Best Original Score for his work on the film and went on to score all of the Skywalker saga films, write “The Adventures of Han” — the hero’s theme for Solo: A Star Wars Story. And earlier this year, 45 years after his first Star Wars gig, Williams composed the main theme for Obi-Wan Kenobi, completing the hero’s themes for every major character in the Skywalker saga. William’s contributions to Star Wars — and to pop culture itself — are beautifully summed up by frequent Lucas collaborator, Steven Spielberg, when he said that without Williams “there is no Force, dinosaurs do not walk the Earth, we do not wonder, we do not weep, we do not believe.” And Williams is currently at work on the score to the next film in that other beloved Lucasfilm franchise: Indiana Jones. So happy 90th birthday maestro – we are grateful for you and your work and can’t wait to experience what you do next!  Carlos Miranda

Pan Solo caused a viral sensation. 

“He’s no good to me bread,” might be something Boba Fett would say if his precious treasure was made of dough. In October, One House Bakery in Benicia, California, created a life size Han Solo in carbonite made out of bread. Dubbed Pan Solo, the bakery had a viral hit on their hands when word got out about their glutenous homage to Star Wars. The 6-foot-tall pastry weighed over 300 pounds, took three months of planning and close to a month of rolling and crafting yeastless dough to get the look just right. Once it was ready, the edible effigy went on display in front of the bakery for the town’s annual Scarecrow Contest. Outlets from around the world quickly took notice. The sculpture was a product of a love of Star Wars and a love of baking, two things that made this toasty treat the most coveted bread bounty in the galaxy. – Jenn Fujikawa

Disney+ took us back to Tatooine in Disney Gallery: The Book of Boba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi: A Jedi’s Return. 

In this year’s Disney Gallery: The Book of Boba Fett, fans got an in-depth look at the behind-the-scenes story of Fett’s return to Tatooine, with new interviews from cast and crew including the man under the helmet, Temuera Morrison, who gave us insight into his mysterious character and shared how his Māori culture inspired his performance. Nature documentary fans marveled at the production design team’s description of the science behind Boba’s escape from the Sarlacc, and what tools (think lots of slime) were used to create the beasts’ stomach walls. Special effects nerds enjoyed the deep dive into the groundbreaking technology that the visual effects team used to create a young Luke Skywalker and the practical effects behind Fett’s new pet Rancor. There’s even a surprising musical moment, with showrunner Robert Rodriguez crooning a veritable #1 on the Tatooine Charts…“The Sarlacc Pit Blues.” Then, in the documentary Obi-Wan Kenobi: A Jedi’s Return, we got insight from limited series director Deborah Chow, a firsthand look at Ewan and Hayden’s incredible reunion on set, and witnessed actor Vivien Lyra Blair’s commitment to her portrayal of the iconic Princess of Alderaan. Fans of practical effects got a fascinating peek at the making of the various aliens for the planet Daiyu. And we even sat with Hayden Christensen in the makeup chair as he had layers of prosthetic makeup applied to become Darth Vader.  Jenn Landa

The Acolyte cast was revealed! 

We’ve known for some time that Amandla Stenberg will star in the much-anticipated Disney+ series, The Acolyte, which details the emergence of the dark side during a time of peace and prosperity. But in November, the rest of the cast was announced, and our imaginations ran wild wondering how this star-studded ensemble will bring the story to life. Joining Stenberg is Emmy Award-winner Lee Jung-jae, Manny Jacinto, Dafne Keen, Jodie Turner-Smith, Rebecca Henderson, Charlie Barnett, Dean-Charles Chapman, and Carrie-Anne Moss. Although we don’t yet know who this crew will be playing, series creator and executive producer Leslye Headland has said that the story will show us the Jedi Order in a period that is effectively a Renaissance for them. With other details still under wraps, we can expect plenty of Force powers and a whole lot of intrigue. Jade Fabello

Star Wars Galactic Pals arrived and made us all feel like traveling the galaxy with a youngling. 

A blast of cuteness found its way into the Star Wars galaxy when Star Wars Galactic Pals arrived in April. The new series of animated micro-shorts follows droid M1-RE through kid-friendly adventures on the Youngling Care Space Station, playing hide and seek with a loth-cat, racing with a tauntaun on Hoth, and sharing her knowledge about each youngling and what makes them special. Viewers can also take home their own creatures and aliens with a line of plushies created in collaboration between Lucasfilm and Mattel. The team behind Galactic Pals really pushed themselves to create a line that was cute, inviting, and something wholly unique to Star Wars, designing close to 80 sketches before coming up with the final looks for the first four plushies that were released: an Ewok, a Jawa, a Rodian, and a Wookiee. And a variation of the Ewok arrived later in the year. Now fans can explore our galaxy with their new friend thanks to the satchel that accompanies each plush — making it easy for families to take their new younglings along wherever adventure takes them.  Paige Lyman All Star Wars, all the time.
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