Disney is ramping up its Star Wars efforts with the announcement of "Star Wars Rebels," a new animated television series.
The series is just heading into production and is set to premiere in fall 2014. The animation is part of a greater expansion plan for Lucasfilm's Star Wars franchise, which was acquired by The Walt Disney Company in 2012. A new film in the saga, Star Wars: Episode VII, is slated for release in winter 2015.
"Star Wars Rebels" will debut first with a one-hour special on Disney Channel, followed by the regular series broadcast on Disney XD channels around the world. Globally, there are 42 Disney Channels and 26 Disney XD channels in more than 20 languages.
"The entire team at Lucasfilm has provided extraordinary creativity and innovation for over three decades, and we're thrilled to be bringing the expansive and imaginative world of Star Wars to Disney XD's viewers," says Gary Marsh, president and chief creative officer, Disney Channels Worldwide.
The animation's plot takes place between the events of the films Star Wars: Episode III and Episode IV, a time when the Empire is securing its grip on the galaxy.
"I couldn't be more excited to explore new corners of the Star Wars universe," says Kathleen Kennedy, president, Lucasfilm. "I think 'Star Wars Rebels' will capture the look, feel and fun that both kids and their parents love about Star Wars."
In true Disney fashion, the new series will also feature a global, cross-category consumer products program with major licensees on board such as Hasbro and LEGO. The North American product launch will begin in July, with localized international licensing plans to follow tailored to regional content and market needs.
The program will also receive marketing support from the company, as well as promotional feature space at retail.