The last few days there have been a bunch of rumors floating around about the heroes and plot of J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII. This upcoming film has largely overshadowed the first post-Disney buyout of Lucasfilm addition to the canon we’re going to see, the animated Star Wars Rebels. Over the next week or so, however, the series will take center stage as it forms the core of Star Wars’ presence at San Diego Comic-Con. Ahead of that event, the studio has released this new extended trailer.
While I’m still not a huge fan of the animation of Rebels, watching this trailer you know that you’re watching a piece of the Star Wars universe. The action, the feel, the medley of John Williams favorites, every frame of this trailer screams Star Wars. It doesn’t hurt that the video starts off with a visit from Obi-Wan Kenobi, which we heard was going to happen, though we didn’t expect to see him first thing in a trailer.
You have to assume that maybe this holographic message is a bit dated. This is definitely looks like the younger Ewan McGregor version, not the older, Alec Guinness incarnation. The action of Rebels is set in the aftermath of Revenge of the Sith, taking place five years before the events of A New Hope. Then again, maybe this is supposed to be an aged McGregor, it wouldn’t be the first time Star Wars has altered someone’s appearance, like when the inserted Hayden Christensen into the Force Ghost scene at the end of Return of the Jedi.
This trailer does a good job of setting up the situation, where the Empire is expanding and tightening its iron grip on the galaxy, thus inadvertently spawning the rebellion that will ultimately be its downfall. You also get to meet the key players and see them in action. The core of the story revolves around a group of insurgents that includes Kana a so-called cowboy Jedi, one of the few remaining after Order 66 breaks up the brotherhood; a young thief and con-artist named Ezra Bridger, who has a strong, though unfocused ability with the Force; Hera Syndulla, who pilots the ship called the Ghost; the grim, tough Zeb; a trigger happy Mandalorian named Sabine; and a sassy little astromech droid in the R2-D2 vein, called Chopper. The main villains show up for a turn on the runway, too, with the stern, dogged Agent Kallus, an Imperial enforcer, and the sinister Inquisitor even pops up near the end.
Star Wars Rebels will premiere as a one-hour special on the Disney Channel this October, before it moves to its regular weekly home on Disney XD.