The world is all in a tizzy over every last bit of rumor, innuendo, and possible news about J.J. Abrams’ upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII. That’s to be expected, this is a big deal, even if we’re still a little gun-shy after George Lucas’ prequels. But before we see any of the new Episode movies, or any of the standalone features, we’ll get Star Wars Rebels this fall. In fact, the animated series is the only presence that far, far away galaxy has at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, and Disney and Lucasfilm have released this new “look ahead” footage to whet your whistle, as well as two new clips.
The more we see from Rebels, the more it looks and feels like honest-to-god Star Wars, and this footage is no different. There are Star Destroyers, lightsabers, Jedi Knights, rebels fighting the Empire, and all kinds of deep space swashbuckling action. I’m still not a huge fan of the animation, but there are enough haphazard rescue missions, stormtroppers, and sassy little astromech droids that it’s not too difficult to get past that.
During their panel at Comic-Con, executive producer Simon Kinberg talked about the set up for the Clone Wars replacement, and what they hope to accomplish with this first new post-Disney-buyout addition to the canon:
There was a chapter before [Star Wars: Episode IV A] New Hope that was somewhat unexplored…We wanted to create a show that was a precursor to the films. It’s pre-New Hope and it’s really the origin of the rebels. We also want to try some things that the movies haven’t done yet…
The action is set in the years after the events of Revenge of the Sith, five years before A New Hope. As the Empire tightens its fascist grip on the galaxy, rebellion bubbles. A group of insurgents is fighting the good fight, trying to defeat this growing evil. Kinberg continues:
This is the true origin story of the rebel alliance. This is about people that aren’t a part of an alliance when the show starts. They’re just rebels, four and then five and then more trying to fight back and claw back a little bit of territory that the Empire has taken over. We know one day, maybe after their lifetimes, they will win. But this is the very early days of the resistance.
The main group of rebels includes cowboy-Jedi Kanan, one of the last Jedis remaining after Order 66 disbands the brotherhood; a young con-artist and petty thief named Ezra Bridger, who, like Luke Skywalker, is strong, though untrained, in the ways of the Force; grim tough-guy Zeb; Hera Syndulla, badass pilot of a ship called the Ghost; Sabine, a trigger-happy Mandalorian; and Chopper, a droid in the spunky R2-D2 mold. And, of course, there are villains, like the stern, dogged Imperial enforcer Agent Kallus, and the sinister Inquisitor.
Star Wars Rebels premieres this October on the Disney Channel, and will eventually moves to its regular home on Disney XD.
Check out Kanan and the Inquisitor duel in this new clip:
And Ezra and the rest of the crew get into the action in this clip: