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Star Wars Forces Of Destiny Animated Shorts Spotlight Female Heroes

Star Wars is light years ahead when it comes to empowering female heroes, and a new series of animated shorts will prove it.

Forces of Destiny, which will debut on Disney YouTube in July, centers on the girl power of the galaxy with eight episodes focused on Princess Leia from the original trilogy era; Padmé Amidala from the prequels; Rey from The Force Awakens; Jyn Erso from Rogue One; and Sabine Wren, Ahsoka Tano, and Hera Syndulla from the animated Star Wars Rebels.

Daisy Ridley (Rey) and Felicity Jones (Jyn Erso) will voice their animated counterparts, but Catherine Taber (Star Wars: The Clone Wars) will voice Padmé Amidala instead of Natalie Portman. Shelby Young will play Princess Leia, and Lupita Nyong'o will narrate the shorts as her Force Awakens alien sage Maz Kanata.

In some cases, the characters will appear in adventures together, even though they're separated by different timelines, and it will all be official canon. In one episode, Hera Syndulla from Rebels and Princess Leia team up for an adventure with Han Solo on the Ewok moon of Endor.

"One of the opportunities here was to tell the stories in between the larger moments and imagine some of the ways our characters have crossed," executive producer Carrie Beck told Entertainment Weekly. "We didn't want to put them in a false social construct. They're meeting each other on Star Wars terms."

The initial series consists of eight 2-D animated shorts that will be packaged with eight more in the fall for a pair of TV specials on the Disney Channel.

Each of the Forces of Destiny shorts are about three minutes long, and they were written by Jennifer Muro (DC's Justice League Action) and directed by Brad Rau (Star Wars Rebels). Dave Filoni, an executive producer for Rebels, also pitched in with the new storylines.

The Forces of Destiny shorts will also be accompanied by a new line of Hasbro "adventure figures" that blend the qualities of traditional dolls (11-inch height, rooted hair, and interchangeable outfits) with typical action figures (weapon accessories and battle attacks). Some will also come with droid sidekicks like R2-D2 and BB-8. Check out a photo below.

We'll probably find out more as the annual Star Wars Celebration kicks off today in Orlando, Florida.  Meanwhile, take a look at some Star Wars movies that almost happened.