Star Wars Rebels revealed: bridging the gap between two trilogies

The Star Wars Rebels art design we were hoping to receive a hint about back in May has arrived, and then some, by way of the New York Comic Con (NYCC). First came an in-film prop: a propaganda poster depicting three Stormtroopers, overlaid with a snippet of the Aurebesh language in a Borg-esque typeface. EDIT from Chris Burns: This television series will, indeed, be canon – you will have to teach your kids about who shot first, then watch this series with them as it unfolds.

Then came the motherlode: a panel at the NYCC and a behind-the-scenes video interview with Rebels executive producer Dave Filoni. Rebels, as was previously known, will be an animated Star Wars television series on Disney XD that takes place 14 years after the Star Wars prequel trilogy ends, and sometime before the original three films. The main bad guy will be the Inquisitor, sent by Darth Vader to destroy any Jedi knights left over from their decimation in the prequels. He looks awesome.

The cast of the Rebels series will include known characters and species, as well as a few that are new to the franchise. Meanwhile, the Empire will be on a mission to build its ranks by any means necessary on frontier planet Lothal. "However," reports USA Today, "a motley crew of youngsters rise up against the Empire and climb aboard the spaceship the Ghost to fight against fleets of Star Destroyers and a whole army of Stormtroopers."

The hour-long season premier is written by Simon Kinberg, the same writer behind the upcoming J.J. Abrams Episode VII movie. That could make for some interesting interplay between in-universe eras. The series, which after the premier will feature half-hour episodes, will be written to appeal to kids but will likely be gobbled up by Star Wars fans of all sizes. It will debut in 2014.