New 'Star Wars' Series Coming to Disney+ From 'Russian Doll' Showrunner Leslye Headland

Leslye Headland is heading to a galaxy far, far away.

A new report says that Headland, the filmmaker behind movies like Bachelorette and Sleeping With Other People and one of the brains behind Netflix’s incredible series Russian Doll, is developing a new Star Wars show for Disney+. (Please let this mean that Natasha Lyonne is coming to the Star Wars universe!) Get the details below. 

According to Variety, Headland’s new Star Wars series will be female-centric and will be set “in a different part of the Star Wars timeline than other projects.” Those are all the details offered in the report, but just those implications alone have our heads spinning at the possibilities.

/Film exclusively revealed that Rosario Dawson is set to appear as a live-action version of Star Wars fan-favorite character Ahsoka Tano in The Mandalorian season 2, and former Disney CEO Bob Iger has previously talked about how that show could spawn spin-offs focusing on supporting characters. Could Headland be developing an entire show centering on Ahsoka? Maybe it follows Ahsoka Tano and Sabine Wren from Star Wars Rebels on their search for Ezra, and if that is unconnected from The Mandalorian, maybe that’s how it could fit into the “different part of the Star Wars timeline” restriction?

Perhaps more likely is the idea that this show could be about Doctor Aphra, who’s been described as the Indiana Jones of the Star Wars universe. She debuted in the pages of Marvel’s Star Wars comics back in 2015 and became so popular that she eventually got her own spinoff title. You can read an in-depth profile of the character over at Wookieepedia, but she’s an archeologist who was selected by Darth Vader to work for him…and without spoiling anything, her allegiances end up shifting in fascinating ways. She’s a shade of grey in a universe that’s often starkly black or white, and exploring a morally complex character like that, one who betrays Imperials and Rebels alike, seems like a no-brainer.

Doctor Aphra is also one of the few canonically queer characters in Star Wars lore, and Headland is a lesbian, so theoretically she’d be able to bring the proper perspective to that type of storytelling should Disney be brave enough to go there. Oh, and did we mention that there was a rumor last year that a show about her was in the works?

Yet another possibility is that it could focus on Daisy Ridley’s Rey “Skywalker.” That seems like the most unlikely of the bunch, but in 2017, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said, “We’re looking at the next 10 years of Star Wars stories. We’re looking at narratively where that might go; future stories beyond Episode IX with these new characters – Rey, Poe, Finn, BB-8. We’re also looking at people who are interested in coming into the Star Wars world and taking us places we haven’t been yet.” Could a Rey Disney+ show be in the cards?

Also, is it too optimistic to wonder if Disney and Lucasfilm are developing something totally new, with completely fresh characters who are fully unconnected to what we’ve seen before? Probably. But since Headland has proven to be a fantastic storyteller regardless of genre, I’m still considering this news a big win overall. Welcome to the galaxy.

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