Rich Howells

VIDEO: Seven-minute extended preview of ‘Star Wars Rebels’ released

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The new Disney-owned “Star Wars” universe will debut in theaters on Dec.18, 2015 with the release of “Episode VII,” but small screens will receive a first look into this brave new world with the debut of “Star Wars Rebels,” an animated TV show created in the same style of “The Clone Wars” series on Cartoon Network by Lucasfilm Animation.

“Rebels” will begin on Disney XD with a one-hour special this October, though fans received their best sneak peek yet today with an extended seven-minute preview (at the top of the page). Set 14 years after “Episode III” and five years before “Episode IV,” it will chronicle the adventures of a group of rebels (obviously) and detail the origins of the Rebel Alliance that will eventually rise up to defeat the evil Galactic Empire. This description adds further context to the above preview:

In this special extended preview of ‘Star Wars Rebels,’ the Empire arrives on Lothal – bringing tyranny with them. Imperials and stormtroopers establish an intimidating presence on the planet, enforcing strict new laws for trade and arresting citizens for expressing dissent of any kind. A young boy named Ezra, however, discovers that a mysterious group is attempting to steal cargo from the Empire. Intrigued, he tries to take it for himself – and ends up on the run from both Imperials and this small band of rebels.”

Watch an extended trailer here:

Freddie Prinze, Jr. lends his voice to the series, and Billy Dee Williams and Anthony Daniels reprise their roles as Lando Calrissian and C-3PO, respectively. Well-known voice actor Steve Blum is part of the cast as well, along with James Arnold Taylor, “The Clone Wars” actor who will again voice Obi-Wan Kenobi.

With the Extended Universe outside the films controversially being replaced by this new Disney-produced canon (with the exception of “The Clone Wars”), longtime “Star Wars” fans may be pleased to see “Rebels” building up to the original trilogy in a style that pays tribute to the original concept art by Ralph McQuarrie, as evidenced in this preview.

The first season will run 16 episodes. Here’s another look at what’s ahead: