‘Star Wars Rebels’ animated series to premiere in fall 2014

May 20, 2013 | 8:41 a.m.

“Star Wars” fans let out a collective howl of anguish earlier this year when it was announced that one of the casualties of Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm was the animated series “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.” But though that fan favorite series was canceled without a satisfactory conclusion, there’s still a chance to get an animation fix. Lucasfilm is now working on a new animated series, “Star Wars Rebels,” set to premiere in fall 2014 on the Disney Channel with a one-hour episode and then move to Disney XD.

Set in the two decades between “Episode III” and “Episode IV,” the series will follow the adventures of the Rebel Alliance as they attempt to evade the growing might of the Empire.

Screenwriter Simon Kinberg in 2005. (Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)

Screenwriter Simon Kinberg in 2005. (Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)

Simon Kinberg, writer of one of the upcoming “Star Wars” spinoff films, will serve as an executive producer of the new series and also write the first episode.

Earlier this year, Kinberg spoke with Hero Complex about the prospect of working in an established universe with a legacy as rich as “Star Wars,” explaining, “I’ve worked in franchises where they have a long legacy, like the X-Men, or like Sherlock Holmes even, where you have a big fan base, and you have a lot of material to draw from. But I haven’t worked in anything like ‘Star Wars.’ It’s definitely like the cultural referent for our generation. So it’s daunting and exciting.”

Kinberg will be joined by fellow executive producers Greg Weisman and Dave Filoni, who was also supervising director of “The Clone Wars” series, a job he’ll also have on “Star Wars Rebels.”

Filoni’s return should bring relief to fans hoping to have some sort of connection to the previous series. Though the details of the plot are being kept quiet at this point, it’s hopeful that the new series, which will debut with a one-hour special, will continue to evolve some of the stories and characters established in “The Clone Wars” — especially Ahsoka, Anakin Skywalker’s Jedi apprentice.

Fans have been worried about her fate ever since she was introduced in the TV series. (She isn’t anywhere to be seen in the films, so many have feared she was killed.) Ahsoka was last seen in the finale of “The Clone Wars’ ” fifth season walking away from Anakin and the Jedi Council. So is it possible the rebels will find her hiding out on some backwoods planet, like Yoda? No one’s talking yet.

The new series will be produced by Lucasfilm Animation, which was also behind “The Clone Wars.”

The truly hardcore fans can buy a ticket to Germany for this July’s “Star Wars Celebration Europe,” where Lucasfilm has promised it will provide the first look at the new series.

— Patrick Kevin Day

Follow us on Twitter: @LATHeroComplex


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8 Responses to ‘Star Wars Rebels’ animated series to premiere in fall 2014

  1. @Alvetica says:

    Will it get its own panel at Comic-Con or stuck in the big Star Wars panel?

  2. Glen says:

    It’s really too bad Disney is in charge. They’ll just kill this like they did Clone Wars, Tron and Marvels Avengers as soon as some 70 something CEO thinks Disney investors are no longer interested.

    • MAStanley says:

      Completely agree with your comment. Disney, (especially shows that are supposedly geared for Disney XD) has shown time and time again that they truly either don't know how to handle or really care for action oriented programming. Motorcity, is another show that was canned quickly and they buried and cut Naruto Shippuden to pieces. The main problem with Disney having these licenses is they have money to burn. So they can put the money behind this and cancel it in the same meeting, while prepping "Star Wars, Episode Phineas and Ferb."

  3. Tyrell_Corp says:

    It will be interesting to see what animation style they bring to the series, considering the different iterations that Clone Wars experienced. Tron: Uprising looks great, but its anime-like style wouldn't fit well with Star Wars content.

  4. james says:

    Canceling Clone Wars long before the story was complete was stupid move #1.
    Making a new animated series on a channel NO ONE has verses Cartoon Network (which everyone does have) is stupid move #2.

    Aside from giving the director seat to JJ Abrams for Episode 7, Disney has done nothing with the Star Wars franchise that excites me and I've been a die hard Star Wars fan my entire life!

  5. RJ. says:

    I wonder if they're going to acknowledge Vader's Apprentice's existence.

  6. darth_myeek says:

    I love, love, love RMQ, but Joe Johnston’s line drawings were amazing. I really hope they borrow from Joe’s artwork and I also really hope JJ brings Joe in as a design consultant for 7.

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