It’s amazing to think that a franchise as storied and epochal as Star Wars played fourth or fifth fiddle at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. Nearly lost in the shuffle amidst Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Dawn of Justice, The Hobbit and even Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles talk was some pretty cool stuff from that faraway galaxy we all know and love. There’s already so much buzz about the JJ Abrams-helmed Episode VII that the Star Wars brain trust elected to expend their energy elsewhere – in particular, the upcoming Star Wars Rebels animated series.
Coming to Disney XD in October, Rebels is an eye-popping look at life five years before the events of Episode IV, where the Galactic Empire’s oppression is effectively absolute and the Jedi are nearly extinct. Small bands of dissenters begin to form, determined to find and exploit chinks in the Empire’s armor. The pilot episode was screened for about 1,000 fans at SDCC, and the reviews have been uniformly glowing. Add to this the excitement over Episode VII’s filming and the news that pioneering “sci-fi noir” whiz kid Rian Johnson (Looper, Brick) will be directing Episodes VIII and IX, and the future (err, past?) is looking bright indeed.