I haven’t written much about the upcoming Star Wars: Rebels because, to be quite honest, there hasn’t been much to write about. Outside of a several second long teaser and a myriad of tantalizing concept art, the news for this show has really been quite slow. Until recently, however.
In the past few weeks we’ve had two more character reveals, joining the villainous Inquisitor we saw several months ago, and we’re finally starting to get an idea of what kind of content Dave Filoni and Greg Weisman have planned for us with Rebels. And I’m excited about it. Really, really excited.
Star Wars: Rebels takes place about fourteen-years after the events of Order 66, and will follow a small band of misfits as they begin to fight back against the domineering Galactic Empire. While we’re not sure how they will do it yet, the actions of this group will eventually lead to the formation of the Rebellion. Now, if you’re as big a Star Wars fan as I am, it’s hard not to get excited over a premise like this.
Not only does it take place in one of my favorite, yet scarcely explored, timelines in the Star Wars Universe, but the idea of seeing the birth of the Rebellion is ripe for fantastic stories and characters unlike anything we’ve seen before. With the Jedi wiped out, and the few surviving stragglers deep in hiding, the landscape is desperate, foreboding and full of potential.
What excites me the most about Rebels, however, is getting to hear Dave Filoni and Greg Weisman’s plans for the show’s tone and feel. They have said over and over again that they want to replicate that feel of adventure and hope we all got from A New Hope way back in the day. Sure, the show may take place in ‘the Dark Times,’ but that doesn’t mean the show has to be grim.
This could sound like a bad thing to some fans, but not to me. We’re all fully aware of how dark The Clone Wars got towards its conclusion, and as much as I loved all of that, I think it’s time for Star Wars to lighten up again. The thought of having stories in the Star Wars universe that are exciting and adventurous has me all kinds of excited, and I can’t wait to see Rebels in action.
Of course, this wouldn’t be Star Wars without a ragtag team of heroes, which Rebels thankfully has promised to have in spades. The majority of the cast is still being kept under wraps, but as USA Today announced today, our primary protagonist will be a former Jedi Knight known as Kanan, a roguish figure who commands the fearsome starship Ghost.
Voiced by Freddie Prinze Jr., Kanan is a loner who has been in hiding for years, and has kept his lightsaber under lock-and-key to avoid the ever watchful eye of the Empire. He’s a gunslinger of sorts, more akin to the smuggler Han Solo then the Jedi hero Luke Skywalker. In fact, he’s been described by Dave Filoni himself as a ‘cowboy Jedi,’ which seems to fit his character perfectly.
With the help of the grouchy yet goodhearted astromech droid Chopper and the rest of his yet-to-be-announced crew, Kanan will finally bring the fight to the Empire. We still know very little about him, of course, but from the early animated clips we’ve seen of him in action, Kanan seems to be a wonderfully witty, yet affected hero for us to root for.
If I have any real concerns about Rebels at this point, it’s that there’s still so much we don’t know. The show will air this September, first on Disney Channel and then on Disney XD, so there’s still a lot of time for big announcements to drop. But we’ve yet to see a true representation of what the animation will look like in action, and I am more than anxious to see the show in all its glory.
Even though Star Wars: Rebels will be airing on Disney XD, don’t think for a second that that means the show will be catered towards little kids. The creative talent behind the show have made a point of clarifying that this is a show for Star Wars fans, regardless of age. While characters and enemies will die on the show, it will neither revel in violence or ignore the realities of war. And that has me very excited.
While Rebels will not be a continuation of The Clone Wars in any way, I can’t help but hope that we’ll get some of the loose ends left over from that show tied up here. It’s a long shot, but I know for a fact that I’m not the only who would love to see an older Ahsoka Tano and Clone Commander Rex show up once or twice as grizzled survivors. I get giddy just thinking about it.
However, as I have said a thousand times over, I completely trust the creative team behind Rebels to present a story that will be more than able to stand on its own. The major plot is being kept under lock and key, as it should be, but I think it’s safe to say that Star Wars: Rebels will be an action-packed show that will please fans young and old alike.
If anything, I’m just happy to be be going back to the timeline that made me fall in love with Star Wars in the first place. It seems like the majority of Star Wars stories have taken place during the Prequel era, which isn’t a bad thing of course, but there’s something about the Original Trilogy timeline that just can’t be beat.
Not only will Star Wars: Rebels be bringing back stormtroopers and TIE Fighters, but it will also be introducing a new breed of characters that are sure to become classics themselves, especially the Inquisitor, who looks absolutely terrifying in the concept art seen above.
There is obviously a lot to excited about when it comes to Star Wars: Rebels. The animation style is inspired by beloved Star Wars artist Ralph McQuarrie, it’s taking its tone from A New Hope, and stars a Jedi ‘cowboy’ who pilots a starship of heroes who will form the Rebellion itself.
Sure, there’s still a lot we don’t know, but remember, good things always come to those who wait. And I think that Star Wars: Rebels will definitely be worth the wait, and I cannot wait to have the chance to experience it firsthand when it airs this September.