The entertainment site Slash Film has a report that Disney is planning to only air Star Wars Rebels for 3-4 seasons and then replace it with a new animated series set during the Sequel Trilogy timeline.
Rumor has it that Disney and Lucasfilm are planning to do “about” three or four seasons of Star Wars Rebels before starting a whole new Star Wars animated series, with all new characters, set in the timeline of the current movies (the Star Wars sequel trilogy).
Since this is so early, there aren’t a lot of specific details. The new cartoon series will be set during the Sequel Trilogy timeline (Episodes VII and beyond), which will be very familiar to fans by that time. If Rebels does go three or four seasons, the new show would hypothetically start in 2017 or 2018, around the same time we’ll see Star Wars Episode VIII. That means we’ll have at least one, possibly two movies of world building in which to set up a new story and set of characters.
Slash Film’s report makes some sense in context of what former executive producer Greg Weisman told Star Wars Insider magazine about the conception of the show story in issue #152.
Q: Is it tricky to have a set endpoint since we know this eventually leads into Episode IV; does it make plotting the story even more challenging?
A: It came up very early on once I joined the team. We had a three-act structure, and by three acts I don’t necessarily mean three seasons. In other words, each act could potentially be multiple seasons. Basically, it begins on Lothal with a small group of characters that I think it’s safe to describe are gadflies as far as the Empire is concerned.
Without going into any detail on any of those acts, we had this structure that still gave us tremendous amount of freedom, particularly when you keep in mind that we know what happens in Episode IV with Luke. He’s off on Tatooine, and he’s not part of the rebellion at first, so what that meant is, we knew we weren’t going to be dealing with Luke. That meant we had a lot of freedom to create new characters, new situations, and to build to what happens just before Episode IV.
The good news for Star Wars fans is that Rebels has a pretty clear beginning, middle and end all ready mapped out by the key creatives behind the show. How much embellishment the story gets will depend on if Disney is willing to have two Star Wars animated series operating together or if they will want to focus entirely on the Sequel Trilogy era leading into Episode VIII.