Over the past weekend during New York Comic-Con, Star Wars: Rebels was one of the key panels to check out for what Lucasfilm would offer fans in 2014. While Star Wars Celebration Europe also had a panel about the upcoming animated series, New York Comic-Con featured a panel that focused primarily on the Galactic Empire rather than the would-be Rebel Alliance. The above video from Geek Tyrant features the entire panel, hosted by Lucasfilm’s Pablo Hidalgo.
While Hidalgo was the only one from Lucasfilm to attend New York Comic-Con, the Rebels panel was very informative about the tone and feel of the new animated series. Hidalgo started by telling the crowd that the new series will air in the fall of 2014, launching with an hour-long episode on the Disney Channel, then continuing with regular half-hour episodes on Disney XD.
Hidalgo then recapped what was discussed at Star Wars Celebration Europe in Germany. Rebels will take place 14 years after Revenge of the Sith, and four years before A New Hope. It would focus on the Galactic Empire starting to put a stranglehold on the planets in the outer rim of the galaxy. Years after the Clone Wars, there are some planets that welcome the Galactic Empire because they just want stability. Hidalgo talked about the Rebels “Ghost” spaceship that was somewhat like a mix between the Millennium Falcon and B-17 bomber. Check out the Ghost below:
But the focus of the Comic-Con panel was the Galactic Empire more than the Rebels. The animated series will mostly take place on the outer rim planet Lothal, a frontier world where the Empire is starting to establish a foundation. You can check out concept art of Lothal below:
Hidalgo also talked about the look and design of the Empire, which closely resembles the Empire in A New Hope. In some ways, Star Wars: Rebels will seem very familiar to old fans of the saga. He showed off some designs of the vehicles that will be featured in the new animated series, including TIE fighters and Star Destroyers, as well as new battle vehicles such as the AT-DP (All-Terrain Defense Pod), which is a mix between an AT-AT and AT-ST. The Imperial Troop Transport, originally created for Kenner’s Star Wars toy in 1979, will appear as well, in spite of never having been used in any of the Star Wars movies.
Star Wars: Rebels would also feature Stormtroopers rather than the Clonetroopers of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Hidalgo explained that the main differences between a Stormtrooper and a Clonetrooper boil down to allegiance to the Galactic Empire. Clonetroopers are clones, while Stromtroopers are citizen volunteers who want to help expand the Empire’s reach in the galaxy.
Finally, Pablo Hidalgo introduced Rebels‘ main villain, “The Inquisitor,” a servant of Darth Vader who is tasked with hunting down the remaining Jedi left in the galaxy after Order 66 wiped out nearly the entire Order. The Inquisitor uses a menacing double-sided lightsaber as a weapon of choice. Rebels will also feature Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader, but the Inquisitor will be the villain audiences will watch week after week.
Star Wars: Rebels will premiere in October 2014 on the Disney Channel, then shift to its regular home on Disney XD.