Since Disney bought out Lucasfilm for a whopping $4 billion back in 2012 we’ve been patiently (sort of) waiting for new additions to the Star Wars franchise. We’ve known that the animated series Star Wars Rebels is going to be the first official canon release, but now we know exactly when we’ll see it.
Disney just announced that Rebels will make its TV premiere on Friday October 3 at 9 pm on the Disney Channel. This will be a one-hour special entitled “Spark of Rebellion.” Some fans were lucky enough to catch a sneak peek of the extended episode at San Diego Comic-Con last month, but if you weren’t among them, you’ll be able to check it out on WatchDisneyXD.com or the Watch Disney XD app beginning on Monday, September 29. On Monday, October 13, the series will make the jump to its regular home, Disney XD.
Though I’m not a huge fan of the look and style of the animation, the more that we see from Rebels, the more fun it appears. And even more important than that, it has a definite Star Wars feel to it. Everything from the serial-style swashbuckling action to the humor and even the sound effects, captures the aesthetic we all love so much about the original trilogy.
Rebels is set between the events of Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, during a time when the Galactic Empire is tightening its grip on the galaxy and tracking down and eliminating the last of the Jedi Knights after Order 66. In this oppressive environment, the first seeds of what will become the Rebel Alliance are sown.
The main group you’ll see in the series is comprised of Kanan, a so-called cowboy-Jedi; Ezra Bridger, a young, street-smart con artist with a natural aptitude with the Force; Hera Syndulla, the tough as nails pilot of a ship called The Ghost; Zeb, the muscle of the crew; Sabine, a trigger happy Mandalorian with an artistic streak; and Chopper, a sassy little astromech droid in the R2-D2 mold.
As they spread their rebellion through the galaxy, taking the Empire down a few pegs in the process, they’ll face off against new villains like Agent Kallus and the Inquisitor (who, according to recent rumors, could figure prominently into J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII come December 2015). In addition to these new characters, we already know we’ll encounter some familiar faces along the way, including Obi-Wan Kenobi, Mara Jade, and even Lando Calrissian (voiced by Billy Dee Williams himself).