Today, Disney and LucasFilm Animation revealed that Star Wars Rebels, a new animated series, will premiere in Fall 2014.
We’ve known for a while that a new animated series was quietly being put together (and a couple of weeks ago, Dave Filoni shared a drawing on his Facebook page of a TIE fighter), but now we have the official announcement of the series’ title, time period, and premiere.
The series will be titled Star Wars Rebels; it will be set in the period between Episode III and Episode IV; and it will premiere with a one-hour special on Disney Channel in Fall 2014, with the ongoing series then airing on Disney XD.
This is very welcome news to my ears. Of course it makes sense that, given the new ties to Disney, that there would be a new series produced to air on one of the many Disney brand channels; of course, with Episode VII on the way in 2015, it makes sense that we would get a new animated series in 2014. All of these things make perfect sense. Add to that the fact that Dave Filoni is involved; of course he is. Filoni directed the Star Wars: The Clone Wars CGI animated film and served as supervising director of the 2008 Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series–not to be confused with the 2003 Star Wars: Clone Wars animated series, which I happen to like slightly more, if only because I am a fan of Rough Draft Studios. Before that, Filoni was one of the many fantastic directors responsible for Avatar: The Last Airbender.
But wait, there’s more! Also involved is Greg Weisman; this should really excite animation ProFans. Weisman hasn’t been involved with Star Wars before, but he did happen to create the awesome ’90s series Gargoyles. Since then, he has been pretty heavily involved with the DC Comics animated universe, having written for The Batman, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, and Young Justice.
That’s not it; those two are serving as executive producers of the series, alongside Simon Kinberg, screenwriter of such films as Mr. and Mrs. Smith, X-Men: The Last Stand, Jumper, Sherlock Holmes, This Means War, and the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past. Also in the video announcement is a further confirmation (if we needed it) of the fact that Kinberg is currently working on one of the many standalone Star Wars films (outside of the upcoming JJ Abrams-begun trilogy) that we’ve been hearing about recently.
Looks like Disney is not sparing any creative expense to do the Star Wars franchise justice. Kathleen Kennedy, President of LucasFilm, said it best:
I think Star Wars Rebels will capture the look, feel and fun that both kids and their parents love about Star Wars.
I agree, and you can see in the video below that the animators seem genuinely excited to be working within the time period and stylistic design of the original Star Wars trilogy. This Disney/LucasFilm Star Wars experiment would seem to be the beginning of a beautiful combination.