[SPOILERS for Star Wars Rebels season one ahead.]
Disney XD's animated series Star Wars Rebels finished its first season on a strong note earlier this year, and it won't be long before the show's fans get to reunite with the crew of the spaceship Ghost. In fact, the resistance fighters of Lothal will continue their battle against the Galactic Empire right as Summer 2015 gets underway - now that Lucasfilm has set an official premiere date for season two of the cartoon TV show.
Rebels season two should be a special treat for fans of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars TV series, as key Clone Wars characters will appear on the Rebels episodes ahead. Specifically, Anakin Skywalker's old Padawan Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein) - revealed to be Hera's (Vanessa Marshall) informant Fulcrum in the Rebels season one finale "Fire Across the Galaxy" - will play a more prominent role in season two, by the look of it. Similarly, clone troopers Captain Rex, Gregor, and Wolffe (all voiced by Dee Bradley Baker) will lend the Ghost's crew a helping hand in their fight against the Imperial forces.
The Rebels season two premiere, Star Wars Rebels: The Siege of Lothal, was shown to certain attendees during the 2015 Star Wars Celebration, ahead of its official premiere on Disney XD on Saturday, June 20th, 2015 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. However, additional season two episodes will not be released until Fall 2015.
"The Siege of Lothal" will catch up with Ezra (Taylor Grey), Kanan (Freddie Prinze Jr.), Sabine (Tiya Sircar), Zeb (Steve Blum), Hera, and their droid Chopper as they all find themselves facing their greatest enemy yet: Darth Vader (James Earl Jones, reprising his iconic voice role), who's taken charge of the Empire's effort to stomp out the Lothal resistance - including, the not-fully-trained Jedi among its ranks. You can check out the Star Wars Rebels season two poster, below.
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Rebels season two will be more thematically complex and up the ante in terms of drama/action, but still maintain that original Star Wars movie trilogy sense of whiz-bang fun that season one captured. At least, assuming the season two trailer is an accurate representation of what the episodes ahead will be like. Indeed, as became increasingly true for Clone Wars the further along it's gone, Rebels has begun to better match the tone of the live-action Star Wars film installments, while using the TV long-form storytelling format to offer a different experience than the movies do.
It's for similar reasons that it's not so difficult to envision main characters on Rebels making the jump to live-action form - if those working on the film side of the Star Wars Shared Universe ever want them to, anyway. Rebels showrunner Dave Filoni (who also served as supervising director on Clone Wars) has already said he's perfectly open to such a possibility, for what that's worth.
In the meantime, Rebels will continue to flesh out the Star Wars mythos in ways that hardcore fans, in particular, will appreciate; and who knows, if the show goes on long enough, maybe it'll even tie in (or lead into) the events of the 2016 release Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One. The film, like Rebels, takes place not too long before Episode IV: A New Hope and will explore a side of the rebellion against the Galactic Empire not seen in previous movies/TV shows (specifically, the mission to steal the first Death Star's plans).
Rumor has it Rebels, assuming its ratings don't suddenly plummet, will run for three or four seasons total - possibly ending right around the time Rogue One opens in December 2016. Which is to say, such a synergistic connection doesn't seem out of the question (or like a bad idea at all, really).
Star Wars Rebels season two premieres on Disney XD June 20th, 2015 with 'The Siege of Lothal'. Additional season two episodes will air in the fall.