It seems like the best sources of information for all anticipated science fiction movie franchises are either toy fairs or trade expos. In the past, we found out that the Dinobots were going to be featured in Transformers 4 because of a memo from Hasbro to Toys R’ Us. Now we’ve learned about a few upcoming properties from Lucasfilm, including Star Wars: Episode VII, a Darth Vader-themed TV special, and a Star Wars digital library.
During the Brand Licensing Show in London, the good people at Jedi News discovered what’s going on with Lucasfilm and Disney from a brochure given to show attendees. The information in the brochure says what we might see from Lucasfilm for the next two years. First and foremost, while this brochure is from the Brand Licensing Show, the dates within might change. So read it with some perspective. Nothing is set in stone (or paper, as it were).
While the Brand Licensing Show brochure confirms the Star Wars: Rebels animated series for Autumn/Winter 2014, it also confirms that the series premiere will air on the Disney Channel as an hour-long special, and then the series will unspool in weekly half-hour installments on Disney XD. The brochure also suggests we’ll get a mysterious Darth Vader-themed TV special for Spring/Summer 2014. It’s believed that this special will be aimed at newer audiences to the Star Wars universe, and as a way to keep Vader in the Lucasfilm spotlight after he died in Return of the Jedi. Perhaps the TV special could connect Episode VI with Episode VII, just in time for 2015.
Speaking of Episode VII, the brochure points out the possible release date, which might be Spring/Summer 2015. Although traditionally all of the Star Wars movies were released during the summer, new rumors suggest that Episode VII might be pushed to November 2015, just in time for the holiday movie-going season.
It seems that Lucasfilm is also planning to launch a Star Wars digital library for Autumn/Winter 2014. This possible launch would coincide with the premiere of Star Wars: Rebels. A digital library could mean a number of things, such as releasing all the Star Wars movies digitally for the first time. Considering the proximity to the launch of Rebels, it could also mean releasing The Clone Wars digitally too. Either way, Star Wars needs to have a better digital presence if it hopes to stay relevant with new and tech-savvy audiences.
This Brand Licensing Show brochure sure is exciting to read, especially if you’re a Star Wars fan. Disney and Lucasfilm are planning a lot of Star War-centric media and activities, and there’s more still to come. The brochure doesn’t mention anything about stand-alone or spinoff movies, Episode VII teaser trailers, or the rumored Star Wars Land at Disneyland. It does mention the Star Tours 3D Ride and the Jedi Academy at Disney Parks under “Continuous Multi-Platform Engagements,” along with Star Wars Celebration, Angry Birds Star Wars, and Comic-Con.
Don’t worry Star Wars fans; The Force gravy train won’t be going away for a long time.