[SPOILERS for those not caught up on Star Wars Rebels season 3 ahead.]

Both Lucasfilm’s upcoming live-action movie Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and season 3 of Disney XD’s Star Wars Rebels will continue to explore life in the Star Wars galaxy not-too-long before the events of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. Rebels season 2 wrapped up on quite the dramatic final note and the stakes have only been raised higher for the show’s third season since then. The heroes on Rebels will be challenged by more than one dangerous enemy in season 3, chief among them being Darth Maul (Sam Witwer) and the former Expanded Universe fan-favorite Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen) – who is now part of the new official Star Wars canon.

Ezra Bridger (Taylor Gray), who’s looking much more mature in Rebels season 3 thanks to his new haircut, and the rest of the spaceship Ghost’s crew will have new allies in their continued fight against the Galactic Empire too, when Rebels returns. Now, fortunately, we have an exact date for when that will happen, as you can see from the Star Wars Rebels season 3 TV spot that is embedded above.

The official Star Wars Twitter account has also confirmed the premiere date for Star Wars Rebels season 3 (see the Tweet below): September 24th, 2016 at 8:30 pm ET/PT. Rebels season 3 shall thus begin airing on a Saturday night, whereas the show’s season 2 episodes aired on Disney XD on Wednesday nights.

Where the Rebel Alliance will be facing their greatest Imperial Officer opponent yet during Rebels season 3, Ezra and his now-blind master Kanan Jarrus (Freddie Prinze Jr.) will be challenged by other Force users in ways that they never have been before. That’s not only in reference to Darth Maul either; Rebels season 3 is also going to be introducing a new character known as the Bendu (Tom Baker), a being who claims to exist in-between the Light and Dark Sides of the Force. Whether the Bendu can be considered a friend or foe to the heroes on Star Wars Rebels, that depends on how you look at it.

From a storytelling perspective though, these new additions to Rebels in season 3 should help to ensure that the show continues to evolve and mature as it expands the larger Star Wars mythology in intriguing and meaningful ways. Much like the Star Wars: Clone Wars cartoon TV show during its later seasons (which, by no coincidence, were overseen by Rebels co-creator/showrunner Dave Filoni), Rebels is reaching a point where it’s becoming less and less of a kids TV show foremost and more just a rich animated piece of television for viewers of any age.

If that’s not enough to get you excited: Rebels season 3 is expected to reflect Rogue One stylistically and thematically too, so as to better lead-into the first Star Wars anthology/standalone film’s theatrical release this December. So, on the off-chance anyone reading this still needs to catch up and finish Rebels season 2, the next month and half is the time to do it.

NEXT: Star Wars Rebels Can Continue Past A New Hope

Star Wars Rebels season 3 premieres on Disney XD on September 24th, 2016 at 8:30 pm EST.

Source: Disney XD

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