Since Disney acquired Lucasfilm back in October 2012, it’s been clear that the release of Star Wars: Episode VII was just the first of many new properties to come. Another part of Disney’s takeover was to cancel all existing properties to make way for new and exciting offshoots in the future. Unfortunately, Disney canceled the long-running Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series, but it is being replaced with a new animated series called Star Wars: Rebels. You can see the first teaser for the new series above.
The new teaser trailer invokes the first shot from the original Star Wars film, with the gigantic Star Destroyer passing through the frame. The teaser also hints at the rise of the Jedi, but the actual return of the Jedi Knights happens in Episode VI. This could mean a few things: that there are some Jedi Knights alive during the series or possibly that the new show will feature Obi-Wan Kenobi and Jedi Master Yoda.
Star Wars: Rebels will take place between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope in the Star Wars timeline. The premise of the series will see 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 will feature a group of teenagers from the desert planet of Tatooine who disrupt the activities of the Galactic Empire in the outer rim of the galaxy. 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.
Recently, actors David Oyelowo, Freddie Prinze Jr., Vanessa Marshall, Taylor Gray, and Steven Jay Blum have all been rumored to join the cast of the new animated series. David Oyelowo is also rumored for the cast of Episode VII. Would Oyelowo play the same character on the animated series and the new installment in the Star Wars saga? Once Rebels and Episode VII are cast, it will be interesting to see exactly how much the two are connected to each other.
Rebels will mark a new era in Disney and Lucasfilm’s history. It will set the tone for what we will eventually see in Star Wars: Episode VII, and will get audiences ready for a new brand of Star Wars from a new-and-improved Lucasfilm. Hopefully the new animated series will find the same success as The Clone Wars, but only time will tell if audiences will catch on to the new series.
The Clone Wars producer Dave Filoni will also work on Rebels as the series’ producer along with Star Wars writer Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Days of Future Past), while Greg Weisman (Young Justice, Disney’s Gargoyles) will also executive produce the new animated series. Rebels is expected to be trading in the computer animation of The Clone Wars for an anime, Hayao Miyazaki-esque look and feel that combines Eastern and Western styles of animation.
Disney has yet to announce an official release date for Star Wars: Rebels, but it will air on Disney XD sometime in 2014.