Many Star Wars fans were unhappy when Disney gave the axe to the long-running Clone Wars animated series a few months back. While it meant fans were left with some unanswered questions, it was part of an overall restructuring now that the Star Wars franchise is under Disney’s banner. There was a silver lining, in the form of a new animated Star Wars series that was said to be in the works. Now it’s official, and it’s called Star Wars Rebels.
Disney and Lucasfilm announced today that the series will premiere on the Disney Channel and then move to Disney XD in Fall 2014. Rebels will be set in the period between Episode III and Episode IV, when “the Empire is securing its grip on the galaxy and hunting down the last of the Jedi Knights as a fledgling rebellion against the Empire is taking shape.” It’s the same period that was said to be explored by that live-action Star Wars series they’ve been talking about for-freakin’-ever. Who knows if we’ll finally get to see that one now that Disney is ramping up all things Star Wars, but this should give grieving Clone Wars fans something to smile about.
Rebels will also be enlisting a Clone Wars veteran, with that show’s Dave Filoni serving as a producer alongside Greg Weisman (Young Justice). Simon Kinberg, who was already on tap to write some of the Star Wars spinoff movies, will write the Rebels pilot.
Given the full-court press Disney is giving their new-car-smell Star Wars franchise, we should probably expect many more Star Wars TV announcements in the coming years. In the meantime, you can check out the Rebels announcement video and press release below.
Production has begun on Star Wars Rebels, an exciting, all-new animated television series based on one of the greatest entertainment franchises of all time. Scheduled to premiere in fall 2014 as a one-hour special telecast on Disney Channel, it will be followed by a series on Disney XD channels around the world.
Leading the development of the series is a creative team of exceptional talent. Screenwriter/producer Simon Kinberg (X-Men: First Class, Sherlock Holmes, Mr. & Mrs. Smith) is an executive producer on Star Wars Rebels and will write the premiere episode. He is joined by Dave Filoni as executive producer, who served as supervising director of the Emmy-nominated Star Wars: The Clone Wars since 2008. Executive producer Greg Weisman brings with him a wealth of animation experience with credits such as Young Justice, The Spectacular Spider-Man and Gargoyles.
Gary Marsh, president and chief creative officer, Disney Channels Worldwide, said, “The entire team at Lucasfilm has provided extraordinary creativity and innovation for over three decades, and we’re thrilled to be bringing the expansive and imaginative world of Star Wars to Disney XD’s viewers.”
“I couldn’t be more excited to explore new corners of the Star Wars universe,” said Kathleen Kennedy, president, Lucasfilm. “I think Star Wars Rebels will capture the look, feel and fun that both kids and their parents love about Star Wars.”
The action-filled series is set between the events of Episode III and IV — an era spanning almost two decades never-before explored on-screen. Star Wars Rebels takes place in a time where the Empire is securing its grip on the galaxy and hunting down the last of the Jedi Knights as a fledgling rebellion against the Empire is taking shape. Details about the show are a closely guarded secret at this point.
Star Wars Rebels will be produced by Lucasfilm Animation, featuring many of the key talents that made Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Fans attending Star Wars Celebration Europe will be the first to get an exclusive look at the new series. Casting will be announced at a later date. More information about this developing project will be found on StarWars.com and on Facebook at facebook.com/starwarsrebels.