New episodes of Rebels begin airing on Disney XD next month.
We all know by now (hopefully) that this Friday, September 4th, is Force Friday, when a huge chunk of The Force Awakens merchandise is going to drop. And naturally, what we’re most excited about are the 5 novels in the Journey to The Force Awakens line.
But first, there are other things coming out this week. Tuesday brings season 1 of Rebels on Blu-ray and DVD. Shockingly, there are no comics coming on Wednesday. (Shattered Empire, Marvel’s entry into Journey, will be out later in the month.)
You’ll also be be seeing things like coloring and sticker books for Journey, but for our purposes, here are the standouts:
From Del Rey, we have Star Wars newcomer Chuck Wendig tackling Aftermath, our first canon story set after Return of the Jedi. We know it stars Wedge Antilles and new character Norra Wexley, but not much more than that. First of a trilogy. An excerpt is available, though I wouldn’t be shocked to see another in the coming days.
Disney Lucasfilm Press has four novels total. Claudia Gray’s Lost Stars is a YA novel that follows two childhood friends, one who joins the Empire and one who becomes a Rebel. The last three are set during the original trilogy, one each for Luke, Leia and Han, though we’ve recently learned they all feature prologues (at least) set in The Force Awakens era. I’ve heard these described as both for young readers and as YA, but the presence of illustrations make me think it’s the former. Jason Fry’s The Weapon of a Jedi and Greg Rucka’s Smuggler’s Run are both set between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, while Cecil Castellucci and Fry’s Moving Target is our first canon story to be set between Empire and Return of the Jedi.
A handful of reference books will also be out on Friday: Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know by Adam Bray, Cole Horton, Michael Kogge and Kerrie Dougherty and Benjamin Harper’s Ships of the Galaxy. Both are targeted to young readers, and we know that Ships, at least, has blueprints to TFA ships. We can also expect an assortment of things like sticker and coloring books, which may contain ‘new’ characters.
We’re expecting a lot of hints and small pieces in these books, but most of the heavy-hitting movie tie-ins will be out later. The Force Awakens novelization will be out on December 18 as an eBook, the same day as the film, with a hardcover edition to follow in January. We fully expect the traditional compliment of reference books – making of, concept art, etc – but those haven’t been formally announced yet. (Though are also expected in January at the very soonest.)
Rebels S2 will begin in earnest on Wednesday, October 14th at 9:30 p.m. with ‘The Lost Commanders’ on Disney XD, Lucasfilm has announced.
Two episodes will debut at NYCC on October 8th, but it’s not clear if XD will show both. (Though given the 9:30 start time, I doubt it.) The releases teases the new season:
The transformative new season resumes with Imperial oppression on Lothal growing stronger and the rebels seeking out new allies and additional resources to sustain their fight against the evil Empire. With the help of Ahsoka Tano, the crew of the Ghost enlists some old friends: ex-clone troopers who fought in the Clone Wars. As the rebels grow in number, so do their enemies. New Inquisitors are dispatched by Darth Vader and sent to crush any threat of rebellion. Through dangerous rescue missions, thrilling space chases, and spectacular lightsaber duels – the bond of our rebel crew will be put to the test like never before.
‘The Lost Commanders’ will feature the return of Dee Bradley Baker as Captain Rex, Captain Gregor and Commander Wolffe from The Clone Wars. Interestingly, Sarah Michelle Gellar is described as a “star” of the season, which seems a step above a featured player like our previous guest voices. Details on her character are, of course, “forthcoming.”
And finally, a clip:
Rebels fan? Attending New York Comic Con? Then you’ll be happy to hear that Lucasfilm will be screening two episodes of the show there on Thursday, October 8. The Rebels panel, at 1:30 p.m. on the Empire Stage, will feature “special guests.” The special preview screening is in the same room at 5:30 p.m.
Both episodes feature Captain Rex, Captain Gregor and Commander Wolffe from The Clone Wars. Here’s the chatter:
As the second season of Star Wars Rebels opens, the crew of the Ghost is now considered a very real threat to the Empire and has caught the attention of Darth Vader himself. Undeterred, the rebels seek out old friends and add powerful allies to their cause, forming the beginnings of a more formidable alliance against the Empire. To stop them, Vader will dispatch new agents to hunt down their growing coalition, determined to snuff them out before they can ignite a galaxy to rebellion.
Still no word on a Disney XD premiere date, though.
Could Tom Baker, who played the Fourth Doctor on Doctor Who, be the second (official) Doctor to come to Star Wars? “I’m going to be in this new Star Wars thing, you know,” he told fans at a recent convention, per Sci-Fi Fantasy Network. “I’m going down to recording some voices for this new character they’ve created for me, very soon.”
The article references The Clone Wars, but a voice part makes me think the mostly likely answer is Rebels. Or, if you want to go a little further, he could be lending his voice to a character in Rogue One.
One of Baker’s Doctor Who successors, Tenth Doctor David Tennant, voiced a droid on The Clone Wars in 2012.
It’s not a shock that Lucasfilm would follow in the footsteps of corporate stepsibling Marvel, who debuted Daredevil, the first of four limited series, on Netflix earlier this year.
We don’t know what (or who) the Star Wars ones would cover, but Jordan is guessing they might begin about 2017.
I’m still not thrilled with the idea of yet more TV, but a Netflix series may be the least annoying way to do it: Drop a complete set of 12-13 episodes, let it marinate for a few months, then drop something new. Of course, it all ultimately depends on what they do with it…
Rebels S1 coming to Blu-ray and DVD on on September 1. There’ll be some “never-before-seen bonus material,” but they’re not giving us any details on it yet.
‘The Siege of Lothal’ aired tonight, and in Rebels Recon Pablo Hidalgo and Dave Filoni answer a couple of questions about the status of the Rebellion, Ezra’s birthday vs. Luke and Leia’s and stormtrooper armor. Plus, Filoni says a little about the rest of the season, including a preview. (Still just “fall,” though.)
With the premiere on Saturday, we got a big helping of Rebels yesterday, and a few more things today. First up, another video with cast and crew looking ahead, with Simon Kinberg saying this season has more of an Empire Strikes Back feel.
There’s more with Kinberg at Entertainment Weekly, where he talks Vader.
Rebels will be back with ‘The Siege of Lothal’ on June 20 at 9:00 p.m. The one-hour movie premiered at Celebration Anaheim, but now everyone – or at least everyone who gets Disney XD – can watch.
Here’s a video on the return of Darth Vader:
We’re still not getting anything beyond “fall” for the rest of the season, though.
More stills from Lucasfilm and two clips – one that some folks seem to consider rather spoilery – under the cut.