What began as a charming homage to the Flash Gordon serials George Lucas watched in his youth, Star Wars has grown into one of the most dominant pop culture franchises of all-time. For the past 40 years, the galaxy far, far away has enthralled fans through a variety of mediums. Obviously, the films remain the crown jewel of the empire, but Star Wars also has a presence on book shelves, in comic shops, and on television. The universe is so large and continuously expanding, so there is no shortage of stories to tell.
Obviously, the acquisition of Lucasfilm by Disney in 2012 opened the floodgates for a bevy of new content. Movies such as The Force Awakens and Rogue One are $1 billion endeavors for the studio, and the story group has fleshed out the canon in interesting ways via animated series Star Wars Rebels and new novels that tie directly to the full-length features. This year, the galaxy will keep growing thanks to the premiere of The Last Jedi and books such as Thrawn and Inferno Squad. And now, Disney seems to have a mystery project currently in development.
Star Wars Post (via CBR), discovered a new trademark Lucasfilm filed called Star Wars: Rivals. There are two applications, as io9 learned. One covers simply “education and entertainment services,” while the other is very open-ended with what it could possibly be:
Apparatus for recording, transmission or reproduction of sound or images; audio books; audio recordings; audio and visual recordings; video game software; computer programs and software; downloadable electronic publications; downloadable game software; downloadable mobile applications; consumer electronics and accessories therefor; eyeglasses and sunglasses and accessories therefor; binoculars; decorative magnets; graduated rulers; microphones; helmets; flotation vests; protective face masks not for medical purposes; snorkels; swimming goggles; swim masks.
For those eager to learn more about Disney’s plans, this incredibly broad description will come across as frustrating. It’s borderline impossible to narrow down what exactly Rivals could be based on this information, but plausible possibilities include a video game, new movie, or TV show. While Rebels is currently in the midst of its third season (and is gearing up for a fourth), some are suspecting the series will not go beyond that point. It wouldn’t be out of the question for Lucasfilm to begin preparing Rebels’ successor now, especially since they’ve found great success in the animation realm with both Rebels and The Clone Wars. From the sound of things, Rivals has merchandising opportunities (swim masks, magnets), which could feature characters from a series.
With this happening so close to Star Wars Celebration 2017 (taking place in April), it’s reasonable to presume some form of announcement will be made at the convention. There should be plenty of big reveals for fans in Orlando, going beyond the expected Last Jedi teaser. The last few years have been quite exciting, but Disney’s Star Wars renaissance is still in its infancy. There’s no telling what the future has in store, and now people have something else to theorize about.