How Star Wars Rebels Will Connect To The Larger Star Wars Film Series

Disney XD has a hit on its hands with Star Wars Rebels, a brand new animated series that fills in gaps between Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith and the iconic franchise launcher, A New Hope. The show kicked off with a well-received hour-long movie, and will continue tonight with the premiere of the first official episode, Droids in Distress. Those of us tracking J.J. AbramsStars Wars: Episode VII wonder how the excellent show will connect to the future film properties, and now we have an answer.

Dave Filoni acts as executive producer and showrunner on Star Wars Rebels, and conducted a lengthy interview with over the weekend. While mapping out the course of the television show, Filoni talked about how it will connect to the film properties – and how having everything under one roof now means each component has to wonder how it will affect upcoming movies, shows, comics and so on. Filoni explained:

It’s a new thing at Lucasfilm to have multiple Star Wars projects happening at one time, especially cinematically. … This is on a tremendous scale. We always have to watch what we’re doing, and think 30 years down the line. ‘Is there an implication for that?’ … We didn’t have a story team before. It was George. It’s great to have ideas to bounce off people, to give opinions on."

Because not only is Star Wars Rebels playing with the fabric of J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII. It’s also altering the possible direction of Rian Johnson’s Episode VIII and the various standalone films that have been suggested by the braintrust at Disney/LucasFilms now. There are suggestions that there could be an Obi-Wan Kenobi trilogy of films that take place between the end of Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. So far, Obi-Wan is the only original character who showed up in Star Wars Rebels’ "Spark of Rebellion" episode (albeit as a hologram sending warnings to existing Jedi). But it established the Jedi Master’s role in this new universe, so you can see how decisions made in Rebels could send shockwaves through the developing Star Wars film properties.

"Trust in the Force," Obi-Wan reminds his scattered Jedi disciples. And it’s a message well received by Star Wars fans figuring out how this universe will take shape. At the moment, it feels like things are in wide hands, and the right steps are being taken to get the multiple Star Wars properties soaring once again. Stay tuned for more details as they emerge.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.