Disney have caught a lot of flack on a lot of things since their $4.05 billion acquisition of Lucasfilm back in October: layoffs at ILM, shuttering LucasArts, and, most recently, cancelling Star Wars: The Clone Wars, after a five series run on Cartoon Network. Not that this should be a surprise, but an acquisition by Disney definitely doesn't mean there will be less animation coming from the franchise; in fact, a new TV series, Star Wars Rebels, was announced only a few days ago.
Rebels will be computer animated and will air in 2014, starting with an hourlong special on Disney Channel in the Fall, before moving to Disney XD thereafter. The show takes place between Episodes III and IV, so expect cameos from a young Leia at the very least, as well as a presumably new cast of characters. The brief logline given for the series seems to suggest a potentially darker tone:
"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."
Greg Weisman (Gargoyles, Young Justice) and Simon Kinberg (X-Men: First Class, Star Wars: Episode VII) are executive producing, alongside The Clone Wars' supervising director, Dave Filoni. Check out a fun announcement video with Filoni above.
As someone who was never particularly fussed either way with The Clone Wars, (although I loved Genndy Tartakovsky's previous, hand-drawn version, Star Wars: Clone Wars - see here and here) I wasn't particularly dismayed by the show's cancellation, but I do love Star Wars, and any new, quality, material is always welcome. Consider me excited and optimistic for Rebels!
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- Please check out my first contribution to moviepilot, Trekking to a Galaxy Far, Far Away: J.J.Abrams and the Stars.