The Star Wars saga is best known for the film installments that have been taking viewers back to that galaxy far, far away for nearly 40 years now. As of right now, we have eight films' worth of characters and continuity to watch and re-watch to our hearts' delight. As it happens, however, there's much more to Star Wars than what has been released on the big screen. Fans have gotten to see a couple of pretty stellar Star Wars TV shows as well. Unfortunately, Star Wars Rebels will be coming to an end after the upcoming fourth season on Disney XD, so we're almost done with the adventures of the Ghost crew.
More fortunately, the end of Rebels does mean that the time could be right for brand new shows set in the Star Wars universe. The canon reset back in 2014 meant that the former expanded universe was no long officially part of the Star Wars timeline, and so there are plenty of eras open for exploration on the small screen. Sure, there are some characters and events that are set in stone, but it's a big galaxy, and there are a lot of stories to be told. So, in honor of Star Wars Day -- that is, May the Fourth -- check out our 6 picks for Star Wars TV shows after Rebels!
Star Wars: Rebel Alliance
Setting: Post-A New Hope
Thanks to Star Wars Rebels, Rogue One, and A New Hope, the Star Wars saga has covered the beginnings of the Rebel Alliance and its first major victories against the Empire. It would be a shame to stop all the story momentum just because the Death Star blew up and Princess Leia started distributing medals on Yavin IV. Three years passed between the end of A New Hope and the beginning of Empire Strikes Back, and there are many unanswered questions. Why was the Rebel Alliance driven to Hoth? What happened with the bounty hunter at Ord Mantell? Did Luke and Leia ever have a "Hey, that's weird!" moment after discovering they have the same birth date? Will we never know?
Star Wars: Rebel Alliance could give us these answers and more. Even if a post-A New Hope show couldn't necessarily cover the main trio of heroes, there were plenty of faceless rebels running around the original trilogy. In fact, as long as no Jedi are introduced, there's no reason why a new band of heroes couldn't emerge from the background and survive into the events of Empire Strikes Back and even Return of the Jedi. We know Hera will still be around for a while, so she could even turn up every once in while.
Clone Wars: The Unfinished Stories
Setting: Post-Clone Wars, Pre-Rebels
The first Star Wars TV show currently in the saga canon was The Clone Wars, which debuted on Cartoon Network back in 2008 and covered the span of time between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. The series came to an unceremonious end in 2014 after six seasons, leaving a number of stories incomplete and not yet explored. Aside from the handful of Clone Wars characters who have turned up on Rebels (or died in Revenge of the Sith), fans have had to wonder what happened to most of the familiar faces from the era.
A few of the stories that would have continued if not for the cancellation have been released and storyboarded by Clone Wars and Rebels supervising director Dave Filoni, but we still don't have closure on a lot of what went down in the Cartoon Network series. A new project completing the incomplete stories and expanding on characters who were never heard from again after the events of Clone Wars could be a great way to continue the Star Wars saga on the small screen. Are we really never going to learn what happened to Cad Bane?
Star Wars: Into The Unknown
Setting: Post-Return of the Jedi
The canon reset in 2014 meant the loss of innumerable characters, settings, and adventures that had been built over decades of Expanded Universe books. That said, canon projects that have been released since the reset have brought back certain aspects from the EU, and one major element to return is the existence of the Unknown Regions. Starkiller Base of The Force Awakens came from the Unknown Regions, and Grand Admiral Thrawn's homeworld is in the Unknown Regions. A TV show that takes place in the Unknown Regions could re-introduce a lot of the creatures and events from the EU, simply changed enough to not contradict canon.
If the Unknown Regions of new canon are at all like the Unknown Regions of the EU, we could get new origin stories for the Sith empire and the Chiss Ascendancy and even the Yuuzhan Vong. Since the Unknown Regions are far from the events of the heroes of the original trilogy (and presumably quite large), pretty much anything could go on in the post-Return of the Jedi time frame without contradicting anything or involving major existing characters. The protagonists could be hunting fleeing Imperials or sent on an exploratory mission or simply lost, and the Unknown Regions could take viewers in some brand new directions.
Star Wars: The New Republic
Setting: Post-Return of the Jedi
The Star Wars era between the end of Return of the Jedi and the beginning of The Force Awakens is one undoubtedly full of rich history that we don't yet know. We got to know the heroes who would help build a new Republic in the original trilogy, and we saw the state of them in The Force Awakens after the new Republic had failed, but we haven't gotten too much information about the rise and fall in between. There are, of course, certain events that would have to happen eventually, such as the establishment of Luke's new Jedi order and the birth of Ben Solo.
Still, there's a great deal more that we don't know than what we do, and a TV show could definitely skirt around the fixed points in the saga to tell separate adventures. A New Republic series would likely have some key similarities to The Clone Wars, insofar as we know that it will have an unhappy ending for a lot of the characters, but it will still be a fun ride while it lasts. That said, the show probably couldn't get too close to the events of the sequel trilogy, as we can bet the movies are looking to cover those. Even Rebels isn't going right up to the Battle of Scarif.
Star Wars Stories
Setting: A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away
Despite all the canon material we're getting these days thanks to the movies, Rebels, books, and comics, there are still plenty of major gaps in the action. Some characters and their adventures have, by necessity, been overlooked in the grand ongoing saga. Well, if the big screen can have the anthology movies like Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, then I'd say that the small screen deserves Star Wars Stories. Such a show could give us mini anthology seasons that give a closer look at characters and missions that we haven't seen enough of.
Just think of all the questions we could have answered on screen! How did Luke create his second lightsaber? What happened to Jyn during her years with Saw and his band of Rebels? What kind of adventures did Kanan and Hera get into before they had a ship full of surrogate kids to look after? Are they or are they not married? What happened to Vader after his duel with Ahsoka on Malachor? For the love of all that is holy in the Star Wars universe, who does Leia's complicated hair styles?! An anthology series that skips around in the timeline could give us the answers we need in fine, fun Star Wars fashion.
Knights Of The Old Republic
Setting: A very, very, very long time ago in a galaxy far, far away
The history of the Star Wars galaxy well before the events of the prequel trilogy were covered quite extensively back in 2003 in the role-playing video game called Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. The story picked up 4000 years before the Empire was formed, and it followed a grand conflict between the Jedi and a Sith order comprised of more than one master and one apprentice. Players interacted with a variety of characters on a variety of worlds, and the game is actually considered one of the best RPG ever created.
Obviously, the events of the video game aren't quite canon, but the setting of 4000 years before the prequel trilogy means that a TV show even loosely based on the original Knights of the Old Republic could do pretty much anything without contradicting canon. None of the characters will be alive by the time Phantom Menace rolls around, so a show wouldn't even need to worry about killing anybody off by a certain point, and fans would be spared the stress I'm currently feeling about Kanan's odds of survival on Rebels. It could be an epic show, although perhaps not one suited for Disney XD.
What are your thoughts on possible Star Wars TV shows? Let us know in the comments! Don't forget to check out our summer TV premiere schedule to see your viewing options while we wait for Rebels to return for Season 4, and be sure to drop by our rundowns for cable/streaming and broadcast TV renewals and cancellations as well.