Disney Press gives some details for Rebels launch

rebels logoKnights Archive spotted some extra details about the timeline for the marketing and launch of Rebels in the Disney Press catalog. Listed among the key selling points for the Rebels read-along storybook and CD, scheduled for August 2014, are a few tidbits about how Rebels is going to be hyped:

TERRIFIC TEASERS: Four short-form interstitials will release in Summer 2014, introducing viewers to the characters of Star Wars Rebels. In Fall 2014, a one-hour debut special will air on Disney Channel and Disney XD, followed by the series roll-out on Disney XD.

And the depth of the merchandising:

SUPER SYNERGY: Star Wars Rebels will have A-level company-wide marketing in Summer/Fall 2014, as well as a huge push across consumer product divisions, including digital, electronics, toys, apparel, stationery, and home furnishings.

What, no mention of health and beauty products?

Rumor: David Oyelowo cast in Episode VII?

David Oyelowo

Hot on the heels of the news that David Oyelowo might have a part in Rebels, Jedi News’ spy is saying that Oyelowo has actually been cast in Episode VII. His Rebels character will be part of the setup for his character in the movie: “All part of the major EpVII co-ordinated push being pulled together by Simon Kinberg and the first major sign that Rebels will be the vehicle to setup the masses for EpVII fever!!”

Likely? Maybe. Official? Not by a long shot. As always, we wait on word from Lucasfilm before we really believe anything.

Rumor: David Oyelowo, Freddie Prinze Jr. in talks for Rebels voice cast

rebels logoThe Hollywood Reporter this afternoon brings us what may be the cast of Rebels! David Oyelowo, Freddie Prinze Jr., Vanessa Marshall, Taylor Gray and Steven Jay Blum “are in the process of being cast as the voice leads for the series,” they say.

You’ll recognize Oyelowo from the other day’s Latino Review rumor, which had him auditioning for Episode VII. (Which he still could be!) Prinze will be familiar to anyone who grew up in the ’90s – he’s perhaps best known for starring in I Know What You Did Last Summer, She’s All That and 2002’s Scooby-Doo. Blum and Marshall are both voice acting vets who made their Star Wars debuts in The Old Republic. And it looks like Gray has some Nickelodeon cred.

We’ll be hearing more about Rebels at NYCC next month – can we expect some official casting news before that? Let’s hope so, for Pablo’s sake.

Pablo Hidalgo giving Rebels presentation at NYCC

Rebels: The GhostThere’s one major media con left for the year: New York Comic Con. And Lucasfilm’s Pablo Hidalgo will be there for a presentation on the upcoming cartoon Rebels, StarWars.com announced today. The panel, subtitled ‘Might of the Empire,’ will be held Saturday, October 12 at 2:45 p.m. Here’s the description:

What happens when the Galactic Empire takes over a planet? What if Imperials took interest in your world, and garrisoned Stormtroopers and TIE fighters to maintain order? Star Wars Rebels, the thrilling, all-new animated television series from Lucasfilm for Disney XD will ask those questions — and so will this panel hosted by Lucasfilm’s resident Star Wars expert, Pablo Hidalgo.

Details on the show are closely guarded, but fans at NYCC will get a first look at new art from the series, and learn new information about the formidable forces of the Galactic Empire. Star Wars Rebels is set between Episodes III and IV, and it is a dark time in the galaxy. In the spirit of the original trilogy, the Empire is once again the preeminent villain of the saga, and Star Wars Rebels puts the awesome might of Imperial forces in the spotlight.

The series is still a year away, so don’t miss this chance to get an early look at its development.

We got our most extensive look (so far) at Rebels from Dave Filoni at Celebration Europe in July. It’s expected to begin airing next fall.

There will also be panels on The Making of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi with J.W. Rinzler and Jason Fry, origami with Chris Alexander, “Blast-A-Trooper” with the 501st Legion and several licensees, including Del Rey and Dark Horse.

And before you ask…

EUbits: Razor’s Edge makes the blog rounds, Essential Characters pushed back to 2016

Empire and Rebellion: Razor's EdgeLots of Leia. Lots of goodies are coming up on the Razor’s Edge blog tour. There are Martha Wells interviews at Fiction State of Mind and TFN and, with excerpt, on the Her Universe Facebook. Plus another excerpt from Star Wars Books and on Suvudu, an interview with White Hot Room’s Bria about her Razor’s Edge Leia costume.

Upcoming. Has the new Essential Characters been pushed back to 2016? It looks like it, from what Knights’ Archive has discovered. Making room for Episode VII characters? They also spotted the first Rebels tie-ins, which are coming in August 2014 from Disney Press.

Kenobi. John Jackson Miller got some pixels at Publisher’s Weekly upon the occasion of Kenobi being a bestseller; He’ll be chatting with Star Wars Books next Wednesday. In the meantime, there’s a new interview at Knights Archive.

Review. James thinks Star Wars #9 has good revelations for Vader and Leia, but only meh on Han’s part.

Report: Distribution via Apple TV for cartoons, Episode VII production news?

apple tvJedi News has a doozie for us today: There’s an app in development that Disney and Lucasfilm for Apple TV devices… And that venue will be where they distribute the “the final Clone Wars episodes exclusively” – and it’s going to happen in the upcoming holiday season. But that’s not all, their source said:

“Distribution will only be on Apple TV devices capable of running iOS7 and there has been no confirmation if the same app will be available to other iOS devices such as iPad or iPhone.”

Now THAT is where I start to get excited… As much as I’d rather have set information coming in from less restrictive environment… Well, I am an Apple fan. (Please come to iOS. Just the Episode VII stuff.) Plus, Apple announced that they’re adding some Disney content to Apple TV today, so this concept is anything but far-fetched.

And… I have heard independently of this that there is a big multi-media/app project in the works which could fit right in the the same wheelhouse as what we’re hearing here. Certainly there are far, far more details to come if this ends up being true, but I am definitely leaning in the direction of ‘plausible’ here. At least for today.

Plenty of Star Wars hints from Pablo at D23

d23-vaderThere may not have been big Star Wars movie news at the D23 Expo, but Pablo Hidalgo did drop some interesting hints regarding some other upcoming projects.

As Slashfilm points out, Pablo hinted that the Jedi legacy “casts a long shadow” and “you will feel that presence” on Rebels, and that (as the rumors claim) the Orange Harvest bounty may make it to Disneyland first.

He also said that there’s more Clone Wars bonus footage than we think, and “they’re close to pushing it out,” and “thinking out of the box” about distribution. We may not have seen the last of Detours, either. And for those who are particularly old school:

4 things we learned at Celebration Europe

GL, KK and JJ. (Lucasfilm)

Another year, another Celebration… And now we can rest. For a few weeks, anyway. For those of you who weren’t in Germany, who didn’t wake up before dawn to catch news out of Germany, or who maybe just had other stuff to do this weekend, here are the headlines.

“Real locations and special FX”
Kathleen Kennedy inferred that we’ll be seeing more of a mix of effects – not just the digital stuff, which is pretty much inevitable, but also some more traditional model-based effects and such as well. HitFix’s Drew McWeeny addresses this – and the staggering pressure that Episode VII has to live up to:

I love that much of what I’ve been hearing seems to match what Kennedy is saying. I’ve heard that Lawrence Kasdan is considered by everyone else in the process a pretty great resource, and a really lovely collaborator. And I’ve heard that ILM is building a lot of actual models for this film, that they plan to shoot the models and digitally composite on a much larger scale than the last trilogy. It’s an aesthetic choice, evidently, and I find it very exciting to imagine big ILM model units working to build out the world.

Kennedy knows the gig, she’s clearly taken the time to understand what’s going on with fandom – and I don’t think she’s the only one. This is, as McWeeny said, a fragmented fandom. There are a lot of voices, and the stakes for this movie, for the whole franchise, are high. Will they manage to please everyone? Probably not: There are fans who will love or hate Episode VII no matter what. But I think it’s a good sign that they’re willing to try, and that shows in what little they’re willing to tell us so far. What’s behind closed doors? Hopefully something even better.

John Williams
John WilliamsOf course this was the big ticket news out of the con, and while I understand being disappointed that we didn’t get more, it’s still rather reassuring to have Williams back on board.

There’s been some confusion about whether he’s back for just one movie – the official site says just Episode VII, but apparently onstage, Kennedy said he was coming back for all three. And maybe that’s the plan, but just not on paper yet. In any case, it’s good news.

Rebels
rebels logoWe may not have the whole enchilada yet, but Dave Filoni did give fans enough to sate their appetites, it seems. He made it clear that the style is very much based on Ralph McQuarrie, that the stories will be told in order and showed off some concept art… One of which may be Alderaan.

And the Wookiee Gunner points out that we’ve actually been seeing new ship The Ghost all along! Tricky, tricky.

Celebration VII
And we have our next convention! In all honesty, I welcome the gap: We could all use a little time and space to save, as much as Lucasfilm will need the time to prepare. Let’s not forget, the Celebrations started as a way to get fans excited about the new movies… And think how much they’ll have to show us a month or so before the thing even comes out!

The venue change isn’t much of a surprise… But I really doubt we’ve seen the last of Orlando. After all, Disney does have two theme parks.

Anaheim Convention CenterAlas, Celebration announcements always bring a round of disappointment: We all want it close to us, but there are a lot of people to please and no matter where the thing is, some folks aren’t going to be able to come. The convention center may not be as cavernous, the plane tickets may not be as cheap, etc. It’s sad but there’s no pleasing everyone, ever. We all just have to deal, one way or another, and wait to see how the experts surprise us.

But still, I’m hopeful about California and very happy with the return to the original pre-movie schedule. Hell, I might even go to the theme park for once. Might.

And remember, news hounds: Patience. They’re not going to give us everything at once. They’re going to dribble it out slowly, they’re going to deny things, the rumors will keep flying. (All this has happened before… All this will happen again.) It’s our lot to wait it out and see what emerges.

Sunday roundup: Looking forward to 2015 and Celebration VII at Celebration Europe

@starwars: A most impressive gathering of @501stLegion members at #StarWarsCelebration! As one Celebration ends, another is announced… Celebration VII (which may not be the official name, but we’re going to call it that, damnit!) is set for Anaheim, California in April 2015. Star Wars Celebration Anaheim (the official name, apparently?) will be held at the Disneyland-adjacent Anaheim Convention Center from April 16-19, reverting us back to schedules of the original Celebrations. Does this guarantee us a May release date for Episode VII? Let’s hope so. Tickets will be on sale August 7th.

What else went on in Essen today? Well, Mark Hamill spoke, and while it didn’t make the official recap, apparently he did do a voice on The Clone Wars – a Darth. But he’s also open to voicing a villain on Rebels.

Speaking of… Here’s Dave Filoni and Warwick Davis.

Other panels today included ‘The Fett-Tastic Four’ (with surprise Temeura Morrison!) and the Jabba’s Palace reunion and, of course, the closing ceremonies.

This isn’t the end of coverage – we expect the usual flood of nightly additions as folks wind down, plus more as people return home and get a chance to think, upload pictures and etc – so check back!

Saturday roundup: Kathleen Kennedy, Dave Filoni and Carrie Fisher take the stage at Celebration Europe

Kathleen Kennedy and Warwick Davis (StarWars.com)Well, obviously two big bombs got dropped today: The return of composer John Williams is official and we got our first look at the new cartoon, Star Wars Rebels. Kathleen Kennedy also talked about chatting with J.J. Abrams and using “every tool in the toolbox” for Episode VII, implying that we’ll be seeing a mix of CGI and practical effects.

And yes, you can buy the Rebels logo t-shirt online.

StarWars.com also live-blogged the Carrie Fisher event, and highlighted some fan stories. They also shared a video from yesterday with Warwick Davis, Doug Chiang and Iain McCaig.

Newswatch! Sunday is by far the lightest day on the schedule, so those of us on this side of the pond may take the opportunity to sleep in, at least a little. There are still plenty of panels, but for our purposes I think we only need to keep an eye on two of them: Mark Hamill at 2:30 p.m. CEST (8:30 a.m. EDT) and the Closing Ceremonies at 4:00 p.m. CEST (10:00 a.m. EDT.) Will we learn the date and location of the next Celebration?

As for the hoped-for Big 3 confirmation… If neither Kennedy or Fisher said anything, I doubt Hamill will, either. Next milestone is in two weeks at Disney’s D23 Expo, and the rumors have already been churning. Patience!