AAP Entertainment

New Star Wars prequel series announced

By AAP Newswire

A new Star Wars prequel series is on its way, this time for Walt Disney Co's planned Disney+ streaming service.

The live action series will be a prequel to the 2016 movie Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and will star Diego Luna, Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger said on Thursday.

The series will start production in 2019.

Disney is also developing a new series based around Marvel comic book villain Loki, starring British actor Tom Hiddleston, Iger said.

The company last year said it planned to launch its own streaming service in 2019 and would pull its first-run movies from Netflix to put them on a Disney-branded service.

The as-yet-unnamed Rogue One prequel series will follow the adventures of Luna's rebel spy character Cassian Andor in what Disney described as "tales filled with espionage and daring missions to restore hope to a galaxy in the grip of a ruthless Empire."

"Star Wars" is one of Hollywood's most profitable franchises. Since 2015, Disney has released two of three planned movies based around characters originated by director George Lucas in 1977, two standalone films, and has announced a slew of other spin-off projects.

Thursday's announcement followed Iger's admission in September that it had been a mistake to release a new movie in the sci-fi franchise every year, and that fans should expect "some slowdown" going forward.

The release in May of Solo: A Star Wars Story, an origin story about smuggler Han Solo, took in a disappointing $US400 million at the global box office, well below the $US2 billion haul for 2015's Star Wars: The Force Awakens and $US1.3 billion for 2017's Star Wars: The Last Jedi.