This week Star Wars news has understandably revolved around the casting announcement for J.J. Abrams Episode VII. That’s a big deal that has been a long time coming, but even in the midst of all this hoopla, Lucasfilm and Disney don’t want you to forget about the first new venture we’ll have into that far, far away galaxy, the animated Star Wars Rebels. This Sunday, May 4th, is Star Wars Day, and it’s already been announced that we’ll see a new Rebels trailer, among other things. But this weekend is so far away, we have this new teaser for the upcoming look.
True to my old, curmudgeonly Star Wars fan roots, I’ve been skeptical of Rebels. The rational part of me knows that Lucas always had an eye on a younger audience for his space opera, and while that’s fine, I’ve always kind of avoided things like The Clone Wars and LEGO Star Wars that were obviously kid centric. And while Rebels is obviously intended for kids, this footage actually looks pretty damn cool, and it has a definite Star Wars feel to it, which is the most important thing, even if I’m not a fan of the animation style.
Though this clip is only a scant few seconds long, it has just about everything you want. There are TIE Fighters, Star Destroyers, stormtroopers, rebellion, blasters, and explosions. Sure, there is nary a lightsaber to be found, but considering that one of the characters, Kanan (voiced by Freddie Prinze Jr.), is one of the few Jedi Knights to avoid the fallout of Order 66, you can bet the iconic weapon will show up when the time is right.
The action of Rebels takes place between the events of Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, filling in some of that space, showing the seeds of what will ultimately become the Rebel Alliance. Set five years before we meet Luke Skywalker and his cronies, on the outer rim of the galaxy, resistance to Imperial rule is growing. A crew of young insurgents does what they can against the oppressive forces. Their ranks include Kana, described as a “cowboy Jedi, a young thief and con-artist named Ezra Bridger, pilot Hera Syndulla and her ship the Ghost, Zeb, the muscle, a trigger happy Mandalorian named Sabine, and even a sassy astromech in the R2-D2 vein, named Chopper.
The full trailer debuts this weekend, and Star Wars Rebels is set to premiere this October with an hour-long special on the Disney Channel. Eventually the show will make the jump to Disney XD for its regular weekly installments.