In reality, we’re not all that far away from seeing a new addition to the Star Wars universe. It’s not J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII, which is what we’re most excited about, but the animated series Star Wars Rebels is set to premiere this October, and from what we’ve seen, it’s looking better and better all the time. We know that the show is going to have a huge impact on larger expanded universe, and to give you a taste of that, Disney and Lucasfilm have released three new TV spots and another new character short.
This first video gives you the basic set up for the series. Set in the time between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, Rebels shows the Galactic Empire tightening its grip over the various worlds of the galaxy. When the Empire comes to the planet Lothal, crushing the spirit of the locals, some dare to fight back, and the seeds of what will eventually become the Rebel Alliance are sown.
You meet the main crew of dissidents here, including so-called cowboy Jedi Kanan, street smart con artist Ezra Bridger, tough pilot Hera Syndulla, trigger happy Mandalorian Sabine, badass Zeb, and the sassy little astromech droid named Chopper. There’s also a glimpse of Agent Kallus, who, along with the Inquisitor, will be one of the main villains of the series.
No group is complete without a tough guy, and in the case of Rebels, Zeb fills the role previously held by Chewbacca. As the on-the-nose voice over says, “He doesn’t need the Force, he is a force,” and you see that on full display here as he dismantles an bunch of stormtroopers. From the sound of things, it sounds like something he does on the regular, and he does a mean Wookiee impression.
And if you just cant’ get enough of Zeb and his ass kicking ways, THR has debuted a new short that shows him in action. This video plays like an extended version of the TV spot, expanding on his side adventure dismantling a crew of stormtroopers like a knife through warm butter. His smart ass sense of humor also takes center stage here, it’s not enough that he thrashes the Imperial forces, he has to embarrass them as he does it.
This last one shows Ezra joining the Rebels team and the crew of the ship named the Ghost. He steps into a Luke Skywalker-ish role, in that he’s young, brash, and untrained, though he has a natural aptitude with the Force. You also know that Kanan is going to help him hone his skills, including how he handles a lightsaber. As he says here, he’s joined something big, and it’s only going to get bigger.
Star Wars Rebels debuts with an hour long special on the Disney Channel on October 3, and will ultimately move to its regular home, Disney XD, on October 13. It’s going to be an interesting ride to watch how the Rebel Alliance is born, and to see these events that we know will echo throughout the future. I’m most curious to see how they maintain an element of surprise within the confines of a story that has already, ostensibly, been told.