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Disney+ streaming service greenlights Star Wars Rogue One prequel series

Disney's Netflix rival gets a name and another Star Wars original series starring Diego Luna.

Diego Luna starred alongside Felicity Jones in new Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Disney is dubbing its streaming service Disney+, the company announced on Thursday, adding that the service will include a second Star Wars series when it launches late next year.

Based on Rogue One, the prequel series will star Diego Luna, who played icy assassin Cassian Andor in the original movie released in 2016.  Disney also confirmed that the service is developing a live-action Marvel series focused on Loki, a character from the Avengers. The series will star Tom Hiddleston, who will reprise the role.  

Swelling with its takeover of much of 21st Century Fox, Disney is fortifying itself with ammunition to battle deep-pocketed tech companies like Netflix, Apple and Amazon. Those companies have eye-popping budgets and are pouring money into TV and film production. Disney's streaming service is meant to be a Netflix rival. 

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Disney plans to make Disney+ the online home for all its family-friendly content, while Hulu -- which Disney will control after its takeover of 21st Century Fox -- will serve as its subscription service for edgier, more adult-oriented fare. All of Disney's theatrically released movies, currently streaming on Netflix, will instead move on to Disney+, starting with its 2019 slate. The service will have original programming and "unprecedented access" to library titles from the Disney brand itself, Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars and National Geographic. 

The app itself will be organized by those brands, CEO Bob Iger said Thursday during a call to discuss the company's fiscal fourth-quarter earnings, which will let subscribers browse within Star Wars before moving over to Pixar options, for example. 

The Rogue One prequel is the second Star Wars series planned for the service, with Disney also creating The Mandalorian, based on the race of Jedi-fighting warriors best known via Boba Fett. That series will be directed by Jon Favreau.

The Disney+ branding is in line with Disney's other streaming service, sports-focused ESPN+, which launched earlier this year.

First published, Nov. 8, 1:48 p.m. PT.
Updates, Nov. 8 at 2:10 p.m., Nov. 9 at 12:50 p.m.: Adds more details.  

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