While most of the Star Wars buzz is centered on Episode VII these days, Lucasfilm is quietly working on a new animated series for Disney XD. Star Wars: Rebels will fill the void left by the cancellation of The Clone Wars after five solid seasons. The new animated series won’t air until 2014, but Lucasfilm is busy casting a few familiar faces (and voices) for Star Wars: Rebels.
According to THR, actors David Oyelowo, Freddie Prinze Jr., Vanessa Marshall, Taylor Gray, and Steven Jay Blum are all in final negotiations to join the new animated series. While it’s unclear which characters the actors will voice, Rebels is a prequel series that will take place between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope in the Star Wars timeline.
David Oyelowo was previously rumored to be joining the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII. It would be somewhat strange if he was in both the live-action film and Rebels, but his character could always be younger in the animated series and much older in Episode VII. Currently David Oyelowo can be seen in Lee Daniels’ The Butler as Louis Gaines.
Freddie Prinze Jr. is best known for playing Fred in the live-action Scooby-Doo movies (both of them written by Guardians of the Galaxy writer/director James Gunn, I might add) and playing the hunky Zack Siler in ’90s teen movie She’s All That. Prinze currently works for WWE as a writer, producer, and director.
Vanessa Marshall is a voice actor who has worked on animated series including Young Justice, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, and Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Taylor Gray played Bucket on Nickelodeon’s Bucket & Skinner’s Epic Adventures. Steven Jay Blum is best known as the voice of the evil Amon on Nickelodeon’s The Legend of Korra, and he also did voice work on many popular animated TV shows such as The Spectacular Spider-Man, Transformers: Prime, and Scott Pilgrim vs. The Animation.
Rebels is said to take place mostly on the desert planet Tatooine and follow a group of teenagers who are fed up with the Galactic Empire. They do anything they can to undermine the new Emperor’s power and authority, as they form the very early origins of what will become the Rebel Alliance. The group of teens will also travel in a spaceship called The Ghost, which is described as a mix between the Millennium Falcon and a B-17 bomber.
The Clone Wars producer Dave Filoni will also work on Rebels with Star Wars writer Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Days of Future Past), and Greg Weisman (Young Justice, Disney’s Gargoyles) will also executive produce the new animated series. Rebels is believed to be trading in the computer animation of The Clone Wars for an anime, Hayao Miyazaki-esque look and feel, while combining Eastern and Western styles of animation.
Disney has yet to announce an official release date for Star Wars: Rebels, but it will air on Disney XD sometime in 2014 to get audiences ready for Star Wars: Episode VII in 2015.