San Diego Comic-Con 2014 is arguably the year’s most geektastic event, and J.J. Abrams’ upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII is arguably the most geektastic movie currently in production. (Sorry, Batman v. Superman: Justice is Dawning, or whatever, you know it’s true.) But in the same way that like poles of a magnet push each other away, Comic-Con and Episode VII will sadly be completely exclusive sectors of the entertainment realm, as Disney is keeping their future blockbuster out of San Diego entirely, disappointing many thousands of hopeful fans in the process. They will, however, be Force-choking their way into the Disney XD panel with the highly anticipated animated series Star Wars Rebels. Silver lining or olive branch?
Currently in production in London’s Pinewood Studios, and a year-and-a-half away from theaters, Episode VII likely wouldn’t have all that much to debut at Comic-Con anyway, beyond a simple teaser that probably isn’t worth making a big fuss over. And are we really all that surprised anyway? Abrams is not one to debut pre-release “footage” so much as cryptic hints and random behind-the-scenes images. So we move on from CGI-filled live-action to CGI-filled animation.
The Disney XD panel will take place on the evening of Thursday, July 24. On hand for Rebels discussions will be stars Freddie Prinze Jr. (Kanan), Steve Blum (Zeb), Taylor Gray (Ezra), Tiya Sircar (Sabine), and Vanessa Marshall (Hera), along with executive producers Dave Filoni (Star Wars: The Clone Wars) and Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Days of Future Past). Beyond the usual presentation, fans will also get to feast their eyes on all-new exclusive content.
Rebels is set between George Lucas’ trilogies, taking place after Revenge of the Sith and before A New Hope. At this point, the Empire is hunting down the Jedi Knights and those attempting to stage a rebellion, and the show follows the crew of the starship Ghost, one of the groups responsible for the rising Rebel Alliance. Check out the trailer for the animated series below, which will debut on Disney XD this fall.
Is this series panel enough for you guys, or were you expecting Disney to throw fans a Star Wars: Episode VII bone? Considering they opted out of presenting any news (or anything at all) at the studio’s own fan expo D23 last year, in the face of reports that casting announcements would drop, no one should have expected anything major. (But we can always hope, right?) I doubt Disney has any worries about promoting this movie enough, as 2015 will almost certainly be chock full of Episode VII trailers, toys, fast food tie-ins, video games, theme park attractions, moon-based light shows, and much, much more.