The upcoming animated series Star Wars Rebels had a big presence at New York Comic Con today. The panel, hosted by Lucasfilm’s Pablo Hidalgo, revealed some new information about the setting of the show, along with a whole heap of concept art focusing on the Galactic Empire.
Rebels will take place 14 years after Revenge of the Sith, with the planet Lothal (a planet originally designed for Return of the Jedi) as one of the principal locations of the show. The Empire is expanding into the Outer Rim territories that the Republic tended to ignore. We’ll see the Empire recruiting galactic citizens to their cause, replacing the clone military of the Republic with one of ‘recruited patriots.’
Concept art showed how closely the art style of Rebels will be sticking to original Ralph McQuarrie designs for the Star Wars films. Along with familiar vehicles like Star Destroyers and TIE Fighters, new vehicles will debut on the show, including the All Terrain Defense Pod (AT-DP), based on a 1979 Joe Johnston illustration.
One of the most exciting images shown featured a new villain. The double-bladed lightsaber wielding Inquisitor’s goal is to hunt down any remaining Jedi in the galaxy. The design of the character is very reminiscent of the Son from the Mortis arc of The Clone Wars, but with a more Imperial flavor (UPDATE – After seeing the high-res photo, it looks like the Inquisitor is probably a Pau’an, seen in Revenge of the Sith). When asked about any relation between the Inquisitor and Darth Vader’s secret apprentice Starkiller from The Force Unleashed, Pablo had to dodge the question.
During the Q&A Pablo said that George Lucas gave notes about what happened after the Clone Wars and they’re building the show from that. There’s also the possibility of seeing characters from The Clone Wars in Rebels since there are many of the same people working on it. Rebels is being made at a quicker pace than the general one-year lead time of The Clone Wars, and will be shown in chronological order.
I’d like to thank Aaron Goins of The Star Wars Report for tweeting the panel for those of us that couldn’t be there. To see the concept art shown, follow him on Twitter: @avgoins. There’s also a great liveblog of the panel on Newsarama.
The official recap is now live on StarWars.com, featuring a high-quality photo of the Inquisitor and his reveal in a video from Dave Filoni.