Our friends at /Film are at it again with another Star Wars scoop, this time regarding Star Wars Rebels and future animated series. They say they’re hearing that Star Wars Rebels will be lasting for three or four seasons and then be replaced with another animated series, this time set in the era of the Sequel Trilogy.
This really makes a lot of sense. The normal lifespan of an animated show tends to be in the three-to-four season range. It’s more unusual for it to last six seasons, as the Clone Wars did. If I were a betting man, I’d wager that it goes for four seasons, but that’s only because of the low number of episodes per season, with the first season of Star Wars Rebels only receiving 16 episodes. Were following seasons to get higher episode orders, well, I’d change my opinion to it lasting for three. It also make sense in that the creators of the show have been saying that Rebels is really the origin of the Rebel Alliance, as seen in the Original Trilogy. There’s been a lot of speculation that the show would lead directly into Episode IV, but if it were to end when the Rebel Alliance was formed, that could place it a year or more out from the Original Trilogy by the time it wraps (and give wiggle room to the rumored first spin-off film).
As for another animated series set in the Sequel Trilogy time frame, that seems perfectly logical too. Disney is investing a lot of money into Star Wars, and so it stands to reason that they would want tie-ins to the trilogy that they own outright (A New Hope is owned by 20th Century Fox and they hold the distribution rights for V-VI and I-III until 2020). Were Star Wars Rebels to go for four years, that’d place a Sequel Trilogy-set animated show around 2018, a year after Episode VIII hit theaters. It’s entirely possible that the show could hit a year earlier, were Rebels to last only three years or if the two shows were to overlap for a season (which is a possibility, as Disney has multiple Marvel animated series on the air at the same time and they insist that Star Wars is “following the Marvel model”).
As it stands, there are still a few years for these plans to come to fruition. It’s a no-brainer that we’ll see further Star Wars shows, but whether they end up being what these rumors suggest or something else, we will have to wait and see.