For all of the recent set photos, leaked costume designs, and late in the game casting, we’re still 15 months away from seeing J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII, which doesn’t drop until December 18, 2015. But, for those of you who just can’t wait that long, we’re not actually that far from seeing new entries into the Star Wars canon. The animated series Star Wars Rebels hits airwaves early in October, only a few weeks away, and as the first addition to the post-Disney galaxy far, far away, that’s an exciting prospect. In advance of the premiere, Lucasfilm has release three new TV spots for Rebels.
The new series is set between the events of Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, where the Empire is tightening its grip on the galaxy, and they’re just now getting to outer rim planets like Lothal. This extended look introduces you to a group of unlikely heroes, drawn together by loss and oppression and the press of circumstances, who are wiling to stand up to the tyranny. This group forms the first seeds of what will ultimately become the Rebel Alliance.
This spot traces the timeline of Star Wars and shows you exactly where Rebels falls in that lineage. Serving as a bridge between the two trilogies, this spot also makes it clear that what we see on our TV screens here will have implications that reach much, much further into the larger universe. We’ve heard rumblings that everything from here on out will be implicitly connected, and recently we’ve even heard producers talk about how that will happen and we’re getting a clearer picture of what that might look like in practice.
Because this is Star Wars, there are going to be some sinister villains, and this last spot highlights the Empire and some of the forces that will stand in the way of our heroes. You see them taking over and generally just being the evil bastards that they are, but you also meet two of the main antagonists from the series. There’s the dogged Imperial officer Agent Kallus, who appears to be a more day-to-day enemy, someone the rebels come into contact with frequently. Beyond him, there is the Inquisitor. Powerful in the Dark Side of the Force, he seems like he’s going to be a bigger picture bad guy, more along the lines of Darth Vader or the Emperor. He may not be there at each and every encounter, but his presence looms large and colors everything else. At least that’s the impression that we have thus far.
The more we see, the more Rebels looks and feels like an actual piece of the Star Wars universe. Even though it’s obviously aimed at a younger audience (if anything, that’s going to be the downfall for older Star Wars fans), between the swashbuckling action, the story, the music, and everything else, it still very much comes across like Star Wars and captures all of the elements that make the original trilogy so much fun. We’ll have to wait and see if that actually translates to full episodes, but at least that’s the vibe you get from the marketing.
Star Wars Rebels debuts on Disney Channel with a one hour special, “The Spark of Rebellion,” on October 3, before moving to its regular home on Disney XD on October 13.[