The Disney XD series Star Wars Rebels is halfway through Season 1, with the network having issued a renewal for Season 2 last month. This series is set between Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, charting the formation of the nascent Rebel Alliance after the Jedi order was wiped out. With such a large gap in time between those two movies, many have been wondering how long Star Wars Rebels will be on the air. If a new report from /Film is to be believed, Disney and LucasFilm are planning 3 to 4 seasons of Star Wars Rebels, with a follow-up series to air in either 2017 or 2018.
This next Star Wars animated series is said to be set within the timeline of the sequel trilogy that kicks off next year with Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Fans will have already seen Star Wars 7 by the time this untitled series airs, and its possible that they may also see Star Wars: Episode VIII, scheduled for release in either 2017 or 2018, depending on when the show begins its run. Regardless of when it will air, there will be some familiarity with this new world, with stories to be set 30 years after Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi.
LucasFilm's previous animated series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, ran for five seasons on Cartoon Network, with a sixth season, dubbed The Lost Missions, debuting on Netflix. Star Wars Rebels kept many of the key creative team members from Star Wars: The Clone Wars, including executive producer/showrunner Dave Filoni, but it isn't known yet if the Star Wars Rebels writers, directors, producers and animators will simply transfer over to this untitled show, which, we should note, has not been confirmed by Disney or Lucasfilm.
Having this follow-up series set within the upcoming Star Wars sequel trilogy makes sense since Star Wars Rebels leads into the original trilogy, movies that Disney does not own. While it seems unlikely that characters will cross over from the live-action movies to the animated series, there may be some cohesive elements that will tie the movies and TV show together.
It's worth noting that, back in August, an unidentified LucasFilm employee revealed that the company is, "going to redefine longform storytelling." With an upcoming movie trilogy, three spin-offs, Star Wars Rebels and this follow-up series all coming within the next few years, that statement may turn out to be true after all. What do you think about these new developments? Chime in with your thoughts below.