Attention Star Wars fans: Want to see the new ships, locations, characters and weapons that will be in Episode VII? Some of them might make their debut appearance as early as this fall.
The team behind Disney’s other announced Star Wars filmed story, the one that’s being released next month—Star Wars Rebels, which premieres Disney Channel before moving to Disney XD—is creatively in cahoots with the Episode VII team, EW has learned exclusively. Even though Rebels takes place years before the events of the first-released Star Wars film (Episode IV), and is an animated series rather than a feature film, Disney wants to make sure any creative elements introduced in Rebels align with the rest of the Star Wars canon. That way, even with multiple Star Wars projects in various stages of development at the same time, the brand’s world-building will continue in a cohesive and consistent manner.
“It’s a very integrated process, there’s real communication between all the filmmakers because we’re all part of a larger timeline,” says Rebels executive producer Simon Kinberg, who is also a creative consultant on Episode VII. “There is absolutely communication and integration between the different stories. We are very aware of what they’re doing in VII, and we also have to click into place with Episode IV.”
So you might see a new Star Wars city or a character in Rebels and not even realize until 14 months later (when Episode VII is scheduled to be released) that they’re also in the new film albeit presumably in some older form). And for fans of IV, V and VI, expect plenty of “set-ups and Easter eggs” to elements in those classics. “There are characters, vehicles, imagery that are introduced in the show before we’ve ever seen them in the movies, possibly including VII,” he said.
Rebels debuts Oct. 3 on Disney Channel, and then starts its regular run on Oct. 13 on Disney XD.
Here are some exclusive new images from the show: