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If you’ve been paying attention to Disney XD’s Star Wars Rebels, you know that the swashbuckling animated series feels right at home within the Star Wars universe, almost more than the second trilogy. The world will be completely immersed in all things Star Wars for at least the next decade, so it’s pretty exciting that there might be a Star Wars Rebels animated follow-up in the works, with a timeline that fits into the upcoming slate of films that starts with J.J. Abrams Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I’m using the Force to keep my fingers crossed semi-permanently.
We’re taking this news with a grain of salt as it’s an entirely unconfirmed rumor, but SlashFIlm is reporting that Lucasfilm is working with a schedule that would see Star Wars Rebels giving way to a new animated series that would run parallel to the events happening in the new film trilogy. (Since not much is known about the spinoffs, we’re not sure where those fit into things.) The studio’s goal is to get somewhere around three or four seasons of Star Wars Rebels to audiences before bowing out with a planned ending and zipping into a new timeline on another series.
So if that timeline is indeed correct, that would put this alleged untitled series coming out in either 2017 or 2018, right around the time when Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: Episode VIII would be hitting theaters. Chances are, J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens will introduce enough new characters and locations to fill a new animated universe, but having it tie in with a second movie would give it even greater scope and room for narrative growth. There’s a good chance it wouldn’t directly deal with whatever main characters we’ll be seeing in the new movie, but there’s really no telling what Lucasfilm is cooking up these days.
We already know that Season 2 of Star Wars Rebels is coming, and the show is definitely popular enough to warrant more seasons if fan fervor grows even more in the next year. That doesn’t directly reflect anyone’s wishes to bring more animated adventures to the modern Star Wars storyline, but it’s not like they can milk the between-trilogies timeline forever. There’s going to be more animated space action in the future, and this might as well be the series that comes next.
The world is currently filling gravy boats with drool as the Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser trailer will be debuting in a relative handful of theaters this weekend. No one really knows what the teaser will show – though everyone is guessing – but I’m willing to bet it’s more interesting than whatever film it’s seen in front of. Give thanks that the Internet is going to break this weekend.