Disney starts work on Star Wars special and series

Disney-owned Lucasfilm has started production on a new Star Wars special and TV series, Star Wars Rebels.

A one-hour special on Disney Channel will be followed by a full series on the boy-skewed Disney XD channel. The special will go out in autumn 2014 in the US.

The creative team attached to the new project includes Simon Kinberg (X-Men: First Class), who will pen the first episode of and executive produce the series. Star Wars: The Clone Wars (pictured) director Dave Filoni will also exec produce.

In March Lucasfilm said that it had cancelled Clone Wars and postponed the Star Wars Detours project. The news followed the US$4 billion acquisition of the studio by Disney. At the time it said animated Star Wars projects would be moving in a new direction.

The new special and series will be set between the events of Star Wars Episode III – Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars Episode IV – A New Hope. Disney said: “Star Wars Rebels takes place in a time where the Empire is securing its grip on the galaxy and hunting down the last of the Jedi Knights as a fledgling rebellion against the Empire is taking shape,” before adding: “Details about the show are a closely guarded secret at this point.”

“I couldn’t be more excited to explore new corners of the Star Wars universe,” said 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.”

Gary Marsh, president and chief creative officer, Disney Channels Worldwide, said, “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.”