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Disney XD is the place to be for Star Wars on the small screen. The cable channel's animated series has taken viewers to the galaxy far, far away in between movies for three seasons now, and it has introduced a slew of fantastic original characters to Star Wars canon. Set in between the events of Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, Rebels is still currently airing its third season, but Disney XD has officially given the renewal order. Star Wars Rebels will be back for Season 4.

Production is reportedly already underway for Star Wars Rebels Season 4, which is slated to debut on Disney XD at some point this fall. Disney XD has not announced an exact date just yet, but if Season 4 follows the pattern for Seasons 1-3, we can bet that it will hit the airwaves somewhere between the end of September and the middle of October. There's always the chance that Rebels could air a two-episode movie event prior to the premiere date as it did for Season 2; we'll have to wait and see. Given that Star Wars Rebels was Disney XD's top series in total viewers and across key target demographics, the renewal isn't a huge surprise. Still, it should come as a relief to fans as Season 3 wraps up.

Star Wars Rebels has been darker in tone since the end of Season 2, when Ahsoka was seemingly killed by Darth Vader and Kanan was brutally blinded by Maul in a twist that probably would have traumatized me as a child. As the show comes closer and closer to the events of A New Hope, we're seeing the good guys suffer bigger losses and claim smaller victories. It's a necessary downswing if the Star Wars universe is going to maintain any sort of continuity, and Rebels has gotten much more mature because of it.

As the timeline approaches the beginning of A New Hope, we're starting to see more of familiar faces from the original trilogy, including Bail Organa, Wedge, Mon Mothma, and soon even Obi-Wan himself in what promises to be an epic showdown against an old enemy. My fingers are crossed that we'll get another appearance from Leia as well.

Personally, as much as I enjoy seeing characters from the original movie trilogy visiting Rebels as we get closer and closer to the timeline of A New Hope, it makes me awfully nervous for Kanan. After all, Luke Skywalker was the last Jedi in the original film trilogy (and possibly the next trilogy), and that doesn't bode well for Kanan. Rebels could use Ezra's unconventional training to say that he's only kind of a Jedi and so doesn't really count in Yoda's tally of Knights, but Kanan was officially dubbed a Jedi Knight in Season 2. The odds are pretty good that he won't be surviving all the way to that Ewok dance party in Return of the Jedi. We can only wait and learn for ourselves if Kanan will prove me wrong and make it to the end.

You can catch new episodes of Star Wars Rebels on Saturdays at 8:30 p.m. ET on Disney XD. Take a look at our midseason TV premiere schedule to see what else you can watch on the small screen, and don't forget to check out our breakdown of all the titles and release dates for upcoming Star Wars movies.

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