Fans of Dave Filoni's animated series, The Clone Wars, found their glasses half empty when it was announced recently that the show would be coming, somewhat unexpectedly, to an end. Yet, very quickly, their glasses were half-filled, their frowns were turned upside down, and their dark side turned to the light side as it was revealed that Filoni was hard at work on Star Wars Rebels, a new animated series which will bridge the gap between Star Wars Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith and Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.
Today at Star Wars Celebration Europe, in Essen, Germany, Empire looked on as Filoni, sporting his trademark cowboy hat, revealed a little more about the show. Although he declined to state exactly how far after the events of Sith the show would take place, he did reveal a new logo, and a host of new concept art, which is visually inspired by the unused concept sketches that Ralph McQuarrie drew for the original movies.
Chief amongst the new concepts was the show's central spaceship, The Ghost, which Filoni described as a cross between the Millennium Falcon and a B-17 bomber, of which he's a huge fan. Filoni also confirmed that Rebels would follow a group of "kids" as they go on the run from the burgeoning might of the Empire. "The Millennium Falcon was a ship, it was a place, it was a home," said Filoni. "We wanted to give this new generation of kids a place they could feel safe in when they’re on the run from the Empire."
Filoni also suggested that Rebels would include characters that he had a hand in creating for The Clone Wars, with the smart money being on the presence of his feisty Padawan, Ahsoka Tano (voiced by Ashley Eckstein), and talked about his McQuarriefied/Miyazaki-esque approach to refining the designs of classic Star Wars vehicles like the TIE Fighter and the Star Destroyer. "It's intentionally going to look different [from Clone Wars]," he said.
Although there was no footage - it's far too early in the process for that - what Empire saw and heard was enough to suggest that Star Wars Rebels could be a fine follow-up to the excellent The Clone Wars. We'll find out for sure next year.