‘Star Wars Rebels’ Animated TV Series Coming to Disney XD in 2014

Published 2 years ago by

star wars rebels tv show Star Wars Rebels Animated TV Series Coming to Disney XD in 2014

There’s a plethora of Star Wars ‘Expanded Universe’ material in existence (comic books, novels, video games) that takes place in the years after the rise of Emperor Palpatine and the Galactic Empire in Episode III – Revenge of the Sith and before the events in Episode IV – A New Hope. However, now that Disney owns Lucasfilm, the plan is to start fresh and generate a multi-platform experience based around director J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII.

It’s for this reason that Disney and Lucasfilm have cancelled the popular Clone Wars animated TV series, rather than move it to a different home on the Disney XD channel. Similarly, the two companies are joining forces (no pun intended) to produce Star Wars Rebels, a new (and, presumably, 3D) animated TV show that will serve as the official canon series that fills the gap between Episode III and IV.

Here is the official synopsis for Star Wars Rebels:

The action-packed 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 when 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.

Dave Filoni – former supervising director on Star Wars: The Clone Wars – will serve as executive producer, alongside Greg Weisman (creator of Disney’s popular Gargoyles TV series from the 1990s) and Episode VII consultant Simon Kinberg. The Star Wars Rebels one-hour premiere telecast is being written by Kinberg, who is also producing and writing one of the guarded live-action Star Wars movie spinoffs.

clone wars keyart Star Wars Rebels Animated TV Series Coming to Disney XD in 2014

Certain members of the Screen Rant Underground Podcast team were very much fans of the Clone Wars TV series, and praised the show for offering what so many feel was missing from George Lucas’ live-action Star Wars prequel movie trilogy (specifically, well-crafted storylines and compelling character development). Star Wars Rebels could recreate that success, given the collective credentials of the people working behind the scenes.

Similarly, this new animated TV show could serve as a useful bridge that helps to link the previous live-action Star Wars movies with Episode VII, in terms of finding a tone and style that’s in keeping with the franchise’s traditional spirit. However, this may end up being the final nail in the coffin for the live-action Star Wars TV show that would’ve taken place between Episode III and IV – with 50 hours of the series having already been scripted – that Lucas had planned (for better or worse).


Star Wars Rebels will premiere on Disney XD in 2014.

Source: Walt Disney Pictures/Lucasfilm

Follow Sandy Schaefer on Twitter @feynmanguy
TAGS: Star wars
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  1. I still just want a Star Wars: Underworld live action, drama and adventure TV show on abc.

    • That would cost a whole heck of a lot of money to make, if they wanted to do it right. Save the live-action stuff for the big screen, animated television shows are good enough for me.

      • Yeah, it would cost allot but I don’t like the animated TV shows mainly because of the artistic style (sorry) and the stories are sometimes a little weak. The cost could be cheapened though if they used some of the same sets, locations and props from the new and original movies since Disney owns abc.

        • I think your problems stem from the fact that Clone Wars was a kids show, but then again the films hardly have a great complicated story arc to them.

          The style I found took some getting use to, but I quite liked it by the end. At least it had some kind of unique look rather than just looking like everything else.

          I’d love to see a live action series, but it’s not been looking good for years now, so it’s no surprised. It’s weird that it never got going to start with, surely DVD & over seas territory TV rights would have paid for a spin off show.

          If Rebels is poor compared to Clone Wars there might be a lot of backlash.

        • Agreed. The artistic style isn’t very appealing to me. I don’t expect it took look totally realistic, but it doesn’t really work for me. I’d prefer less abstract figures, something along the lines of 80′s style cartoons like Transformers or GI Joe.

    • Same here,wish they would give us the Live TV Show !
      But after canceling Clone wars its clear they ahve no interest to make it !
      And if they do..it will be horrific i guess and kinda once upon a time ala other ABC shows or what so ever !

      Just wish my self wrong !

  2. Gargoyles? May actually watch this one.

    • Greg Weisman puts out the best animated series. Unforntunately they are usually cancelled after a season or 2.

      • Tis better to have loved and lost than never loved at all

  3. YIPPEE!! (sorry, couldn’t resist)

  4. It’s a shame that Clone Wars was cancelled as it was hitting its stride and evolving into something far greater than just an animated show for kids. The season 5 finale in particularly was a great example of the mature direction that it was heading towards.

    It also would’ve been nice to get a series finale to bridge those final gaps between Episode II and lead into the space battle of Episode III.

    Still an animated show for later events is still promising. I just hope its in the same 3D quality format of the Clone Wars.

    • I agree that it was a shame the clone wars got cancelled. I would have liked a proper conclusion of sorts. Preferably a sixth series (although it could have easily gone for many many more) or at least a film. Direct to DVD or in the cinema.

    • I’m actually hoping we’ll get a more traditional, 2D animation style (like Young Justice)… but it seems those days are over. Everything is modeled in a 3D format these days :(

    • @lebsta

      We actually did get an animated show that bridged Episodes 2 and 3 and the final episode of season 2 saw Anakin and Obi-Wan getting into ships and flying into the space battle that opened the Episode 3 movie.

      It also showed why General Grievous spoke the way he did in Episode 3.

      Should check it out if you can. It was called Star Wars: The Clone Wars and was created and produced by Genndy Tartakovsky in the 2D animated style.

  5. I wonder how much Darth Vader we will see in this. This period has lots of characters that are far more marketable than the presently unknown characters of the films to come. This is why they will have chosen this period of time.

    Who will we see: Obi Wan, Vader, Han, Chewie, Lando, Lea (her rise in the rebel ranks), Boba Fett, Jaba, Emperor, Tarkin.

    I hope that it has multiple story arcs and has one off episodes occasionally like TCW did. Something that would really interest me is seeing events from the Emperors side far more, rather than just simplify it to Emperor bad, rebels good. I am also keen to see the evolution of Stormtroopers/Imperial ships. Finally, it would be great if this show were to pick up straight after ROTS and I hope we see Darth Vader in his prime.

  6. This show is coming out at a very interesting time in the US political climate. The story line will naturally have stirring thematic elements, i.e. rebelling against tyranny, which is pretty much all the rage in political talking points these days. Bet it’ll be a huge success: right time, right place.

  7. I wonder if Starkiller will make an appearance. He was around at that time and The Force Unleashed is actually canon.

    • Depends on when in the 18 year gap the show will take place. Towards the start, right after the events of Revenge of the Sith? Middle era, when the Empire was in its most powerful point of existence. (Not coming off or going into another civil war.) Or towards the end, when Luke and Leia are teenagers and just before the events of A New Hope. All three points are radically different in terms of tone.

    • Technically, the game is C canon, so the upper levels supersede. You can keep your fingers crossed, but I wouldn’t hold your breath.

  8. Didnt really like the Clone Wars. It didnt stay with the whole canon. I could nit pick but I wont. Most know why. Ehh, I will watch this one though. Give it a chance. It just means I would have to watch that Episode 3 again. :\

    • Sure it stuck with the canon, because since George Lucas was directly involved with it everything it said and did was higher canon than everything short of the films…..and everything below it is not canon.

  9. So Star Wars Clone Wars™ will get cancelled with unresolved events, great.

  10. So Star Wars Clone Wars will get cancelled with unresolved events, great.

    • Um, Clone Wars was already cancelled, but there is “bonus” content coming up to help wrap things up. I bet we are going to see some of those loose ends tied up in this new series.

    • Well, hate to spoil the surprise, but they get out of it alive and Anakin eventually becomes Darth Vader. So…yeah, surprise!

  11. Yes!!!

    This is great news. I’m still mad about Clone Wars, but this helps ease that a bit. Now I just need to get Disney XD on my cable system.

  12. Is it bad that as soon as I heard this, I started hoping that it would conclude certain storylines/characters from the Clone Wars (Maul, Ahsoka, Ventress, Mother Talsin, etc.)? Otherwise it sounds like it should be good. I wonder if Starkiller will be in it…?

  13. Since the birth of the rebellion was shown in Force Unleashed, I hope they will stick to that story and use characters from the game. Along with characters, who appeared in the game, but were previously established, eg.: Bail Organa, Leia Organa, Mon Mothma, The Emperor and of course Darth Vader. The game has a really good story, if somebody is interested, it is available as a comic book too. I hope they won’t retcon it.

    • Why do you want stories already told to be retold. Whether it is a good story or not is irrelevant.

      The game is C canon which means the Films (G canon) and Clone Wars (T Canon) can contradict or overwrite any of it.

      SO really all the stories that fall under c should be approached at as their own deal. The movies shouldn’t have to fall in line with 3rd tier level material.

      Going forward, (which it looks like they will be doing) hold the lower tiers accountable to G Canon which will make things better for continuity’s sake. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Wars_canon

      I loved Jedi Knight and thought it was an awesome game; but that doesn’t really mean I want to see Kyle Katarn on the big screen. These guys are created in the books and games so they don’t have to adhere to the overall canon. Why can’t we just allow them to be that way?

      • I did not say it should be retold, on the contrary, I said I don’t like the idea of having the birth of the rebellion story retconned. In my opinion they should continue that story not retell it.

        By the way Lucas was involved with the developement of the game. http://kotaku.com/5048327/noooooo-george-lucas-involved-with-force-unleashed-plot
        It won’t be disregarded as easily as a really third tier comic or novel. It was a pretty high grossing videogame, people liked the story, the gameplay not so much, but that is irrelevant in this case.

        I would like the characters from the game to be used in the show. Like how Delta squad had a cameo in The Clone Wars series, though they weren’t T-canon.

        As a more narrative media this show could also clarify a few things about the second game.

      • @ Stupidheads

        I enjoyed the Jedi Knight video games too. I however do want to see Kyle Katarn. It isn’t like that its impossible either. The actor who played Kyle is retired (not because he is old but because he owns a vineyard) and Disney could easily pay him to return as Kyle in a movie or TV show. Believe it or not but the Katarn character is well accepted by most Star Wars fans and if he was established in a movie then all fans would like this character.

        • I think if the showrunners and disney don’t want to alienate fans they should use preestablished characters. I think the main cast will consist of movie based charcters, but the recurring charcters should be from the EU heck the main cast should be from EU, but I don’t think that is likely. They should bring in Starkiller, Kyle, Dash Rendar in prominent roles.

  14. I just hope they don’t go for a more “kid friendly” feel. I loved the darker tones in the Clone Wars series (there are some pretty violent deaths in it for a cartoon show). I’ve hated all the other Disney XD shows, I REALLY hope this one will be the exception.

    • The Clone Wars show really had some pretty serious and darkish arcs, like the clones and master Krell, and the Nightsisters arcs. But it also had some silly arcs, like the droids arc in Season 5. I am afraid of Disney’s “kid friendly” hands pushing the new series’ tone to the latter. I hope I will be proven wrong and we will get a Star Wars series worthy of the name.

      • i think your forgetting what kinds of movies disney makes, a lot of disney movies has a character who doesn’t make it to the end.

    • I agree,but I will put my trust in Dave Filoni,George Lucas picked him to tell Star Wars stories in a slightly darker tone for The Clone Wars series and since he’s onboard for this one,and as executive producer no less,I’m confident he will stick with what made TCW a fan favorite and a ratings winner.I’m ready and willing to give it a chance.

  15. I fear 7 is the 1st Star Wars movie I am not particularly excited about. Don’t think we need Luke Leia and Han back for the passing of the torch. I was actually fine with III being then end of Star Wars films…

  16. Greg Weisman?! The writer and executive producer of Gargoyles and most recently Young Justice?!

    Awesomeness! I hope he is able to get away with great character moments and a mature storytelling that is not exclusive to just children. I am totally pumped for this now!

    I do hope the animation style is close to that of Young Justice and Legend of Korra though. I think some nice crisp traditional animation style will greatly help supporting the story by offering scope and fluid movement not available in 3D.

    • Pretty much irrelevant but, although the art in The Legend of Korra was fantastic, one thing that irked me was how they didn’t put that much detail into the background scenery. As opposed to Avatar The Last Aribender where they paid attention to the background.

  17. What, the same story again?
    The same story that was seen in other Star Wars games, cartoons, books and comics?
    So, again, we will have Palpatine, Obi-Wan, Boba Fett, maybe even Han Solo, etc.
    I mean, I LOVE those characters.
    But damnit, why do they ruin the whole post Ep III, pre Ep IV period, by leaving NOTHING unknown.
    We don’t need to know every detail.

    Why was the game Knights of the Old Republic so fresh?
    Because it WAS set in the Star Wars universe, but thousands of years before the films.
    We still had known planets, we still had Republic, Jedi and the Sith, but the characters were new, and so the story could go wherevere the writers’ wanted to go.

    In this new series, they have to be careful not to fu*k up the already established canon.
    But why chose this era?
    Why not making the Star Wars TV show 1000 years before/after the films?
    A fresh and new look, with interesting characters.

    • Because the trolls who think that the reason the last 3 Eps weren’t good wasn’t because they weren’t pre-teens anymore but because of updates in special effects. The fanbois have destroyed any confidence in telling any story that doesn’t somehow involve Luke, Leia, and Han, use stop motion capture, and people dressed up in alien suits.
      I don’t want to return.

      As a lifelong Star Wars fan I think this next few movies will be a disaster.

      • I have no problem with you turning your back on Star Wars. Move along, move along.

        What I don’t understand is how you can be so sure of yourself that you can judge or let “fanbois” ruin content that we know nothing about yet. You have condemned it on hearsay.

        We don’t know any of the story elements or what characters are going to be in it and we are far off from seeing the movies and TV show.

        Why would you let other fans, who have nothing to do with the development of this future content ruin it for you?

    • We don’t need more stories period. You might not want more stories in this time period, but personally I do and I suspect so do most other Star Wars fans.

      As for screwing up canon – well one I’m not aware of much that is actually detailed in this time period, but more importantly the only canon they are going to worry about is the films (maybe the radioplays and novelization). Might as well accept the fact that as of the announcement of SW7 that the EU became an alternate universe that has no bearing on what is to come.

      Finally as to this time period – probably so they can use established heroes to sell merchandise.

  18. Dave Foloni knows his Star Wars,he proved that with The Clone Wars,let’s just wait and see what he and Lucasfilm Animation come up with,IMO,I think it will be great and remember how some “fans” reacted when TCW first started,most went from haters to fans in about two to three seasons,let’s just be patcient and trust The Force.

  19. Okay IMHO here are few things that need to be done in this. Set this after 3 directly after. As if you are watching the Clone Wars, keep the old armor on for the first episode called “The Purge” Have the clones hunt the Jedi down in the pilot to set the tone of “oh no here is the big bad Empire”, make them a dominating force. You have to make the Empire like the one from V since this when the height of its power exists. Play it like a Red Dawn where you have collaborators and Rebels and not every citizen in the galaxy is against the Empire. Make turn coats. Darth Vader does even have to appear in the first 3 eps, slow play him like the novels. No one not even the Imperials completely know who Vader is but fear him all the same. They all think the big black masked figure is someone else, Vader to them is Anakin still remember. Basically make Vader an urban legend till the middle of the season like a Batman cartoon. The reveal him like the total awesome evil guy he is.

    So any thoughts??

  20. I’m excited for the new show but they needed to continue the Star Wars The Clone Wars series

  21. With the end of the 6th season of Star Wars: the Clone wars……im surprised that they did not think to continue the series. With all the unknown leads left (Ahsoka’s fate, or yoda and the sith, etc.); thought i am curious to see what this Star Wars Rebels has to offer.

  22. I thought i would like the new animated series star wars rebels, but when i saw couple of characters in it, the unnoying kid whit sling and pink mandalorean wall painter, i realized that Disney did it what i feared, they turned a star wars to mindles kids show.
    I realized also that person who made those characters dont have all egs in the same basket.