The first new series that we’re going to see after the Disney and Lucasfilm merger will be the animated Star Wars: Rebels. The new show is scheduled to premiere on the Disney Channel in October 2014, and should offer a look at the Galactic Empire during the early days. While its cast has yet to be finalized, an old and familiar voice, Billy Dee Williams might make an appearance.
According to Jedi News, Williams is rumored to be doing voice work for the upcoming Rebels. Although it’s unclear who Williams could play, it seems likely that he would reprise his role as a young Lando Calrissian. Williams let it slip that he would appear on Rebels during Rhode Island Comic-Con. While his appearance has changed throughout the years, Williams’ voice is just as smooth as it ever was when he was the spokesman for Colt 45 malt liquor in the 80s.
Billy Dee Williams let slip that he's doing voice work for #StarWarsRebels at Rhode Island Comic Con? And my cousin in RI didn't tell me!?
— Johnamarie Macias (@BlueJaigEyes) November 16, 2013
It would be interesting to see if Rebels introduces the space pirate as a regular character. Lando is known for wanting to stay out of sight from the Empire, only getting involved if it served his interests. Considering the title of the new animated series, a young Lando could be a good addition to its storyline. Williams has also expressed an interest in appearing in Star Wars: Episode VII as a much older version of his character.
David Oyelowo, Freddie Prinze Jr., Vanessa Marshall, Taylor Gray, and Steven Jay Blum are all expected to join the cast of Rebels. Oyelowo is the only actor-of-note, with appearances in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, while he’s also rumored for Star Wars: Episode VII. Last month during New York Comic-Con, Lucasfilm announced new elements of the new animated TV series including its new villain The Inquisitor, who is one of Darth Vader’s henchmen.
Rebels takes place between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope in the larger Star Wars timeline. The premise follows the Galactic Empire’s rise to power, even as a new force for good tries to topple their evil reign. The early stages of the Rebel Alliance features a group of teenagers from planet Lothal, a frontier world where the Empire establishes a new way of life. The teenagers also fly around in a spaceship called The Ghost, which is described as a mix between the Millennium Falcon and a B-17 bomber.
Dave Filoni will serve as Rebels’ producer along with writer Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Days of Future Past), while Greg Weisman (Young Justice, Disney’s Gargoyles) will executive produce the animated series. The series will trade in the computer animation of The Clone Wars for an anime tone, similar to that of Hayao Miyazaki, that combines Eastern and Western animation.