Disney and Lucasfilm announce new animated Star Wars series
May 20, 2013

As if the excitement of Star Wars Weekends in Walt Disney World wasn't enough for fans of the franchise, Lucasfilm and Disney have announced a new animated series debuting in Fall of 2014. The series, titled Star Wars Rebels will have its premiere on the Disney Channel before moving to its permanent home on Disney XD. According to the official press release, "The action-filled series is set between the events of Episode III and IV -- an era spanning almost two decades never-before explored on-screen. Star Wars Rebels takes place in a time where the Empire is securing its grip on the galaxy and hunting down the last of the Jedi Knights as a fledgling rebellion against the Empire is taking shape." This advertised time period will no doubt begin speculation as to whether or not Darth Vader will play a prominent role in the events of the series. Episode III ends with Anakin Skywalker fully transformed into Vader and his twin children, Luke and Leia, being sent to separate families to protect them. Episode IV begins with both children as young adults and Vader in a position of superior power in the Empire.

The series, already in production, will have three executive producers with strong pedigrees in the worlds of science fiction and fantasy. Simon Kinberg worked on X-Men: First Class and is one of the writers on the previously announced stand-alone Star Wars films.

Greg Wiseman has worked on The Spectacular Spider-Man and the mid-90's Disney animated series Gargoyle, which was not extremely successfully during its run, but developed a "cult-like" status after it was cancelled in 1997.

The third executive producer is Dave Filoni, who steered the popular (and recently cancelled) Star Wars: The Clone Wars series. The official Lucasfilm press release included a video interview with Filoni and can be seen here.