If there’s one thing any evil empire worth its salt needs, it’s propaganda. Well, that’s probably not the one thing, but it does come in handy in keeping the general populace cowed and obedient. We never got to see the fruit of the Imperial Marketing Department’s labors during the six Star Wars movies, but thankfully the team behind the upcoming Rebels animated series have nipped that oversight right in the bud. Hence the snazzy Imperial propaganda posters accompanying this story, which were available this past week at San Diego Comic-Con.
The poster designs were originally debuted earlier this year as exclusives to several different websites, and limited-edition cards featuring the artwork were sent out to 2,500 fans around the world. As reported by io9, the Rebels Comic-Con posters were accompanied by the following cheerful message from your divine and benevolent Emperor Palpatine:
Citizens of Lothal:
It is by Imperial Decree that you are requested to proudly display these posters on behalf of your Empire. As loyal residents of one of the Empire’s most vital stations on the Outer Rim, your compliance is appreciated. Imperial Service is a noble endeavor which paves the way for your freedom and security.
Remember, it is the will of Emperor Palpatine to ensure the future of a stable and prosperous galaxy.
Lothal, if you don’t recognize the name, is the Outer Rim world where Rebels will be set. According to Wookieepedia, Lothal was in dire shape in the early days of Palpatine’s Empire — bad enough that its government actually invited the Empire to take over in the name of stability. Unfortunately, if you didn’t want to become a Stormtrooper or work in the Sinear Fleet Systems factory building TIE Fighters, your options were still very limited. Eventually the weight of the Empire’s bootheel on the populace sparked the earliest beginnings of the Rebellion, and that’s the story that will be told in Rebels.
Rebels will focus on five main characters. Kanan Jarrus (voiced by Freddie Prinze Jr.) is a Jedi Padawan who survived the slaughter of Order 66 and went underground. He’ll serve as mentor to Ezra Bridger (v. Taylor Gray), a teenage con artist and thief who is eventually discovered to be Force sensitive and begins training under Kanan. Hera Syndulla (v. Vanessa Marshall) is a female Twi’lek — the ones with tentacles on their heads, ala Jabba’s right-hand man Bib Fortuna — who is the owner and pilot of the Ghost, the group’s ship. Garazeb “Zeb” Orrelios (v. Steve Blum) is a fierce warrior who serves as the Ghost crew’s “muscle. Sabine Wren (v. Tiya Sircar) is a young Mandalorian (think Boba Fett) with a penchant for explosives and revolutionary graffiti. And the crew of course has a droid, the irritable astromech designated C1-10P.
The Ghost crew will be doing their best to ruin the Empire’s day on a regular basis, which will put them in the crosshairs of this gentleman in the foreground…the Inquisitor.
Voiced by Jason Isaacs, the Inquisitor was hand-picked by Darth Vader to hunt down any Jedi who might have survived the purge of Order 66. In other words, he’s on an inevitable collision course with Kanan and Ezra in particular.
Star Wars Rebels will premiere this October as a one-hour special on the Disney channel, and will then move over to Disney XD for the bulk of its run.