Since buying Lucasfilm for many billions of dollars a few years back, it has become readily apparent that Disney has a definite plan in place for the future of Star Wars. Movies, both Episode and standalone features, have been planned out as far as 2020, and they’re employing an approach similar to Marvel, where, moving forward, everything—film, TV, book, comic—is going to be connected as part of the official canon. The first new addition we’ll see on screen will be the animated Star Wars Rebels which debuts this fall, and we’ve heard for quite some time that there will be a strong link between this show and J.J. Abrams’ upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII. Simon Kinberg is all entangled in this Star Wars business, and he recently shared a bit of insight on this bond.
As with everything Star Wars related, getting anyone to say anything concrete is like pulling teeth, so you’re not going to learn anything particularly earth shattering here from Kinberg, who is a producer on Rebels. What this does give you, however, is a clearer idea of the various ways in which the two properties, and by extension the larger universe, are going to connect and share elements.
Talking to Entertainment Weekly, he says:
It’s a very integrated process, there’s real communication between all the filmmakers because we’re all part of a larger timeline. There is absolutely communication and integration between the different stories. We are very aware of what they’re doing in VII, and we also have to click into place with Episode IV.
Rebels is set between the events of Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, in a time where the Empire is tightening its tyrannical grip on the galaxy. Under this oppressive boot, the rebellion brews, and it introduces the elements that will ultimately become the Rebel Alliance in the original trilogy. The events will obviously carry an incredible weight and the consequences will echo throughout the franchise, so there will also be lost of “set ups and Easter eggs” for fans to be on the look out for.
Teasing a more explicit connection, Kinberg adds, “There are characters, vehicles, imagery that are introduced in the show before we’ve ever seen them in the movies, possibly including VII.
Rebels debuts on Friday, October 3 on Disney Channel with the special Star Wars Rebels: Spark of Rebellion, and then the series will move to its forever home on Disney XD starting Monday, October 13. The more we see from this series, the more it looks and feels like a piece of Star Wars. You get a definite sense of that in these new pictures, which also come from EW.
There’s a star destroyer hovering over a very Star Wars looking city…
…some masked, stromtrooper-ish goons on speeder bikes…
…and a haphazard collection of insurgents coming together to fight off the encroaching evil of the Galactic Empire as best they can. All in all, the closer we get, the more exciting this all sounds. It’ll be nice, though surreal, to have actual new Star Wars in less than a month. It’s not a movie, we won’t get that until December 18, 2015, but it’s a whole lot better than nothing.