It Was a Dark/Great Time for the Rebellion

Yahoo! TV

Just as the Clone Wars are winding down, the Rebellion is heating up!

Disney has announced "Star Wars Rebels," due out in fall 2014, a new animated special and series coming to Disney Channel and Disney XD. Executive-produced by writer-producer Simon Kinberg ("X-Men: First Class" and "Days of Future Past," "Sherlock Holmes") and "Clone Wars" veteran Dave Filoni, it promises to be a barn-burner (apologies to Uncle Ben and Aunt Veru). Earlier reports suggested that Kinberg was brought on to write and produce Episodes VIII and IX of the movies, but this appears to be the rumored "Star Wars" project in question.

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"Rebels" fills in the years between Episodes III (booo!) and IV (yaaaay!), collectively referred to in the opening scroll of "New Hope" as "a dark time for the Rebellion." The Empire is tightening its reins on the galaxy, and Jedis are being tracked down by bounty hunters while still working to bring balance to the Force (because it worked so well the first time).

Disney's being very secretive about details, so there is no way to confirm which existing characters we'll see (a teenage Leia gabbing about boys — "The Princess Leia Diaries"? Han and Lan(do) cruising the galaxy and solving crimes like "Supernatural"? A very thin Jabba before his breakup with Khloe Kardashian makes him gain 3,000 pounds?), so let's just assume that's what the company has planned.

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The Clone Wars have always had a much better reputation in the "Star Wars" fan community than the first three episodes, so there's a lot of excitement surrounding this new series. If nothing else, it will tide fans over as "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" prepares for its sixth and (presumably) last season and the wait for Episode VII in 2015 begins.

If you happen to be in Germany for Star Wars Celebration Europe, you'll be able to catch an exclusive look at the series. Otherwise, you'll just have to be content with a few words from EP Dave Filoni: