At the end of 2014, we’re going to get a good look at a new era of Lucasfilm with the animated series Star Wars: Rebels. The show is picking up after the sad demise of The Clone Wars. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Rebels writer/producer Simon Kinberg opened up about what fans can expect from the series, which will be more of an adventure tale, but with dark tones and a backstory. Kinberg told EW:
The world we’re creating is an Imperial world. You’re seeing the impact of the Empire, of stormtroopers around the galaxy, abusing and oppressing people. Thematically and politically, it goes to some dark places. But for the tone of the show we took our cues from the original movies, which had fun and adventure and swashbuckling with emotion and grounded human characters.
Kinberg also said that Rebels will be less political and more personal than the prequels. Rebels will be story-driven, but will also introduce lovable and relatable characters, which would fall in line with the original trilogy. Thank heavens! He continued:
We took all our cues from the original films. Obviously there are slight tonal differences between New Hope, Empire and Jedi. But I think the closest intended voice of the show is A New Hope. So there are places where we get into darker backstories, there are places we see how cruel and malevolent the Empire can be, but for the most part it’s a fun and character-driven story.
Kinberg also teased the possibilities of Darth Vader popping up at some point, but the main villain of the series is his henchman The Inquisitor.
Meanwhile, YouTube user Rebel Legion UK put together a video that features all the concept art Lucasfilm has revealed to fans since Star Wars Celebration Europe last year. While the video mostly showcases Imperial concept art of Star Destroyers, Tie-Fighters, and Stormtroopers, we also get a good look at the budding Rebel Alliance forces and some of the new Droids that will be featured. We’ll get a better idea of the look and feel of Star Wars: Rebels at this year’s New York Toy Fair in February.
The production team recently completed the first episode of Rebels. Lucasfilm Animation Supervisor Keith Kellogg tweeted out:
Just finished animation on the first episode of #StarWarsRebels. Can't wait for you all to see it.
— Keith Kellogg (@Keith_Kellogg) January 18, 2014
Rebels takes place between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, a few years before the start of Episode IV. The Galactic Empire is taking over planets in the Outer Rim, and a band of teenage renegades start to sabotage the Imperial stranglehold on Lothal. They do anything they can to undermine the new Emperor’s power and form the very early stages of what will become the Rebel Alliance.
Star Wars: Rebels will air sometime in October 2014. It will premiere on the Disney Channel, and then move to Disney XD.