What was incredibly surprising about the Star Wars Rebels panel was that more people were in attendance than for Kathleen Kennedy’s big debut. It might have been that they knew she was not going to drop any major “EP7” (what she called Episode 7) news. There is also the possibility that Star Wars Rebels is closer to release (still 2014) and the fever pitch is building. Regardless, the main stage at Celebration 2 got bigger than ever before for news on the new animated series.
Read the official press release here and see new images from the show and swag that released at Celebration Europe 2.
The press release has some details, but not the perspective of actually being on hand. Mania was fortunate enough to be present for the panel.
Dave Filoni will be the Supervising Director as well as one of the Executive producers of Star Wars Rebels. He’ll be joined by Greg Wiseman and Simon Kingberg, who will also Executive Produce the series. Filoni wanted this series to have the same fun and energy of the original films. The new series will be completely and intentionally different from The Clone Wars. So where does one begin? Filoni’s answer was with Ralph McQuarrie, the original Star Wars concept designer.
Filoni then revealed several pieces of unused McQuarrie art as well and inspirational pieces.
Where it really gets interesting on a technical side is that Filoni spoke about the new digital brushes they developed. These brushes will recreate the style in which McQuarrie painted. They have also developed a new facial rig to give the characters a better expression than they had in The Clone Wars.
Since Lucasfilm is now a part of Disney, he knows that there will be a great collaboration with Pixar and Disney’s Animation studio to make Rebels the best show possible. It was, in fact, the animation style for Disney’s Tangled that let him see a new direction in which they could go.
Here are some of the images that Filoni revealed during the Star Wars Rebels panel:
Filoni really wants this show to be a precursor to A New Hope. So, they have had to reverse engineer a lot the designs we know and love. All the material is there based on Ralph McQuarrie’s original concepts. He even said that they have gone as far as learning what lens and types of film stock they used in a New Hope to give Rebels that same look.
When asked if any characters from Clone Wars would appear in Rebels, he became very coy. Filoni told us that his wife says he is a terrible liar. However, he has learned about deflection from a true Master. He loves the characters that he has created, so you never know. Yet, Filoni was quick to point out that each generation of Star Wars fans needs its own characters, which is evident with The Clone Wars.
Star Wars Rebels is scheduled to premiere in Fall 2014 as a one-hour special telecast on Disney Channel, and will be followed by a series on Disney XD channels around the world.