The immediate reaction I had to the cancellation of Star Wars Clone Wars was, “They’re not done! What about this? What about that?” Though we’ve since learned that we’ll be getting a new Star Wars animated series in Star Wars: Rebels set between Episodes III and IV (and the main villain of which was revealed at New York Comic Con this weekend to be the Emperor‘s Interrogator), we will still get Clone closure. This comes straight from show runner Dave Filoni:
Star Wars fans – I have some exciting news! We have wrapped production on all of the remaining Star Wars: The Clone Wars episodes, and while that might be sad news in one way, it’s good news in another. It means you will finally get to see them. When, exactly, is a detail I cannot yet share. I can confirm that in early 2014 you will be watching the final episodes of The Clone Wars, including one of Master Yoda‘s most challenging missions. So, get ready. We’ve got Clone Wars and Rebels coming at you in 2014. Animated Star Wars is alive and well. Trust in the Force my friends.”
He also added a sneak peek at Star Wars: Rebels saying:
The series is set between the events of Episode III and IV — an era spanning almost two decades never-before explored on-screen. It takes place in a time where the Empire is securing its grip on the galaxy and hunting down the last of the Jedi Knights as a fledgling rebellion against the Empire is taking shape.
The main villain of the series has been revealed to be the Emperor’s Inquisitor who looks…awesome. The following is from the Star Wars Rebels panel at NYCC:
The next great villain from a galaxy far, far away is here. Fans attending Lucasfilm’s Star Wars Rebels panel today at New York Comic Con got the world’s first look at the Inquisitor, a black-clad, intimidating figure who will play a prominent role in the upcoming animated series. In a special video (available below) screened at the end of the panel, Star Wars Rebels executive producer Dave Filoni officially revealed the character, showing a sculpted maquette, design sketches, and disclosing that the Inquisitor is “tasked by Darth Vader to hunt down the remaining Jedi Knights.”
The panel, hosted by Lucasfilm’s Pablo Hidalgo, focused on the Empire and how it is central to the story of Star Wars Rebels. Hidalgo revealed that the series takes place about 14 years after the events of Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith, a time in which the Emperor’s rule is secure and the Empire is seeking to expand its power to Outer Rim territories. That leads Imperial forces to Lothal, a poor planet that initially welcomes the Empire on the promise of security and prosperity. It soon becomes obvious, however, that the Empire does not have Lothal’s best interests at heart, as the Imperials exploit its people and begin recruiting young citizens to join TIE fighter and Stormtrooper academies, or to work in the Sienar Fleet Systems factory — which builds TIE fighters — in the planet’s capital. Hidalgo showed new art focusing on Lothal, including the planet itself, a town, and alleyways, as well as an Empire recruitment poster.
The show is fully embracing the Star Wars legacy, taking direct inspiration from the original trilogy and its concept artist Ralph McQuarrie. Hidalgo displayed new Star Wars Rebels imagery and animation models for Stormtroopers, Star Destroyers, TIE fighters, and TIE fighter pilots, all of which fit seamlessly with classic Star Wars. Additionally, Hidalgo introduced several new Imperial vehicles and designs created for the series: the All Terrain Defense Pod (AT-DP), a ground attack walker based on an early Joe Johnston (the filmmaker who designed Boba Fett’s armor and speeder bikes, and made other major contributions to Star Wars) illustration from 1979; the new AT-DP pilot, which blends designs of the classic AT-AT walker driver from Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back and the AT-ST walker pilot from Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi; the Imperial Troop Transport, which comes from an early Kenner toy that was actually not based on designs from the films; and the Imperial freighter, a reimagining of an Imperial-style craft designed for Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace by concept artist Doug Chiang, featuring a dock to transport TIE fighters from system to system.
If anything was made clear at today’s panel, it’s that the Empire is back — thanks to Star Wars Rebels.
So we won’t be left horribly hanging forever by the cliffhanger that ended Season 5 of the Clone Wars and it looks like Star Wars: Rebels is going to be amazing. All is semi-right….in the Star Wars Animated Universe…today…at least this morning.