Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm is waiting to bring Star Wars: Episode VII to the International Comic-Con until next year (closer to the film’s December 2015 release date), but are using the 2014 ‘Con to stir up interest in the animated series Star Wars Rebels – an upcoming Disney XD show that will serve as the beginning chapter of the next generation of the canonical Star Wars universe.
The one-hour Rebels premiere was screened to a select few in San Diego last night, despite the animation being incomplete (read: not fully-rendered). Meanwhile, Rebels executive producers Dave Filoni (who also worked on the Star Wars: Clone Wars animated series), Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Days of Future Past) and a few members of the show’s voice cast were present at yesterday’s Rebels Comic-Con panel, where they previewed exclusive footage from the series and offered new plot details (while teasing what lies ahead).
Unlike the recently-unveiled full-length trailer (which offers a straight-forward outline of the pilot’s narrative), the Star Wars Rebels Comic-Con preview (see above) is largely a collection of unrelated action sequences – though, it does provide a nice illustration of how the series brings fun, light-hearted kids cartoon adventure material to life within a darker (The darkest?) period of time in the Star Wars universe. During the SDCC panel, Filoni and Kinberg provided more insight on the show in general:
- Rebels, which takes place between Episode III and IV, is “the origin story of the Rebel Alliance,” according to Kinberg. However, the main characters (in the beginning) don’t start out trying to create a larger organized resistance against the Empire.
- When the show begins, the Empire has the support of most of the galaxy and the Jedi in general are perceived as traitors.
- Filoni says that Rebels won’t have as many lightsaber fights as Clone Wars.
- There will be certain familiar characters that appear down the line, in addition to the ones glimpsed in previously-released Rebels footage, such as Obi-Wan Kenobi (in hologram form, anyway) and both C-3PO and R2-D2.
The first of two new Rebels clips (unveiled in connection with this year’s ‘Con) reveals an interaction between Ezra (Taylor Gray) – the Luke Skywalker-esque protagonist of the Rebels series – and the brawny, but stubborn Zeb (Steve Blum), whose character design was the original intended look for Chewbacca.
The second of these clips features The Inquisitor (Jason Isaacs) – the “Jedi Hunter” who is, apparently, not associated with the Sith – and Kanan (Freddie Prinze Jr.), the Jedi-in-hiding who takes Ezra under his wing.
Star Wars Rebels premieres on Disney XD in Fall 2014.