Disney's plans for its online content streaming service have been ambitious, to say the least. Even when you solely focus on Star Wars (which Disney most certainly is not, but for the purposes of brevity we'll do here), the plans are significant: in addition to the upcoming Episode IX and two new film trilogies, which will certainly come to the service, Disney is developing "a few" Star Wars television shows, at least one live-action.
Now we know what one of those shows is: Star Wars Resistance, set for an initial premiere via the Disney Channel this fall. From StarWars.com, here's the relevant info:
StarWars.com is thrilled to announce that production has begun on Star Wars Resistance, an exciting new animated adventure series about Kazuda Xiono, a young pilot recruited by the Resistance and tasked with a top-secret mission to spy on the growing threat of the First Order.
[...] Featuring the high-flying adventure that audiences of all ages have come to expect from Star Wars, Star Wars Resistance — set in the time prior to Star Wars: The Force Awakens — will feature the beloved droid BB-8 alongside ace pilots, colorful new characters and appearances by fan favorites including Poe Dameron and Captain Phasma, voiced by actors Oscar Isaac and Gwendoline Christie, respectively.
[...] “The idea for Star Wars Resistance came out of my interest in World War II aircraft and fighter pilots” said Filoni. “My grandfather was a pilot and my uncle flew and restored planes, so that’s been a big influence on me. There’s a long history of high-speed racing in Star Wars, and I think we’ve captured that sense of excitement in an anime-inspired style, which is something the entire team has been wanting to do for a long time.”
[...] In addition to Isaac and Christie, the voice cast includes actors Christopher Sean (Days of Our Lives), Suzie McGrath (East Enders), Scott Lawrence (Legion), Myrna Velasco (Elena of Avalor), Josh Brener (Silicon Valley), Donald Faison (Scrubs), Bobby Moynihan (DuckTales [but likely better-known to BMD readers for Saturday Night Live]), Jim Rash (Community), and Rachel Butera (Tammy’s Tiny Tea Time).
The new series was created by Dave Filoni (Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Rebels), and executive-produced by Filoni's longtime colleagues Athena Portillo and Justin Ridge, as well as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' Brandon Auman. With Filoni as showrunner - coming off the excellent and imaginative Star Wars: Rebels, which expanded the Star Wars universe in new and exciting ways - things are promising for the new show's storytelling. An anime-inspired visual style will take some getting used to, especially given that the show will deal with characters established in live action, but we all got used to Filoni's CGI animated series, too.
As for the series concept: an origins-ish show about the sequel-era Resistance is as good an idea as any. Captain Phasma continues to be the number-one character introduced by the new trilogy but actually used properly elsewhere (as much as I enjoy her popping up solely to be humiliated by Finn, a trend I hope concludes spectacularly in Episode IX), while the inclusion of fan favourites Poe and BB-8 will make for a smooth entry point for fans.
For Rebels fans, though, the announcement poses the question: how will the story of Sabine Wren and Ahsoka Tano continue? Rebels concluded with a hell of a tease for a new story featuring the two women - will they get their own show at any point? Or will their story be told as a comic? Or will it remain a mere flight of fancy in the minds of fans everywhere?
We likely won't learn the answer to that anytime soon, but we'll find out whether Resistance lives up to Rebels' legacy this fall.