Rebels and rumors have swirled around the Star Wars universe the past few days. The picture above represents something good from the "confirmed" camp: the introduction of the first new character from the animated Star Wars Rebels series, a villain called the Inquisitor.
The series is set 14 years after Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith and will follow the rise of the Rebel Alliance as it looks to combat the evil Empire. Under orders from Darth Vader, the Inquisitor must track down the remaining Jedi knights.
Series executive producer Dave Filoni told Los Angeles Times that fans of the cancelled Star Wars: The Clone Wars will receive closure with several unseen episodes that will air, but Star Wars Rebels "will be its own series with its own characters… [the series] will be distinctive for its own new characters and relationships." So that quashes any notions that familiar faces like Princess Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca, C-3PO, R2-D2, Jabba will play key roles, but the possibility that they'll make appearances in the series has not been ruled out entirely. The intention, though, is "to stick with one story and one main group of characters."
You can watch the teaser for the series here. More information is provided in a newly released featurette. The series will debut on the Disney Channel in the fall of 2014, and then air regularly on the Disney XD channel.
Meanwhile, on the live-action feature-film front, our friends at Latino Review say that George Lucas had two working titles in mind while he was working on his treatments for the sequel trilogy. (This was before he sold everything to Disney.) Specifically, for Star Wars: Episode VII, Lucas was thinking of both Return of the Sith and Rise of the Jedi. Considering the events in Episode VI, either of those titles would make perfect sense. Reportedly, both titles were included in the sale of Lucasfilm to Disney, but, like everything else Star Wars-related, the determination of the title has been left in the hands of the Mouse House.
Speaking of rumors, remember that Lucas claimed Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher were all in the final process of negotiations to return for Episode VII even before the sale to Disney went through, but no official announcement has yet been made. More recently, Benedict Cumberbatch was rumored to be joining the cast, perhaps as a villain. Again, however, no official word has been issued.
But Ford and Cumberbatch happened to appear together recently on the BBC's Graham Norton Show, and in a teaser for the program, airing in the U.S. on October 19, both actors hemmed and hawed when asked about Episode VII, neither confirming nor denying their participation. Now we're thinking it's just a matter of time…
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