Star Wars Rebels moved into its third season with one major change. It wasn’t a change that was visible onscreen but rather a behind the scenes shake up which presents interesting possibilities for the future of Star Wars animation. Dave Filoni who was Supervising Director of the hit animated show has been replaced with Justin Ridge starting with season 3 but this is no cause for alarm, in fact quite the opposite. Filoni along with his trademark hat will still be deeply immersed in the world of Rebels but will now, and this is a quote directly from Lucasfilm, be “creatively overseeing future animation development”. There have been rumblings of a new animated Star Wars show for some time now and this all but confirms the rumours; so if Filoni is working on a new show what stories will it tell and when will these adventures take place in the ever-expanding Star Wars timeline? Below are some of my ideas on what the new animated show could be.
The Old Republic. There I said it and now I’ve gotten it out of the way. That’s not to say I don’t want to see a show set in The Old Republic era and sooner or later I think we are going to get it but it just seems like the obvious choice that everybody won’t shut up about. Personally I’ve never read any Old Republic books, comics or played the video games, everything I know comes from what I hear from the Star Wars community and those awesome CGI trailers for the video games. What I hear sounds fantastic but it’s not something I feel passionate about hence this small honourable mention. Also I would much rather see The Old Republic tackled as its own film series or a Netflix show.
Mandalorians a huge part of Star Wars culture despite the minuscule amount of screentime in the movies, in fact you could say they have no screentime at all with Jango Fett being disowned by Mandalore prior to his appearance in Attack of the Clones and Boba, despite the armour, has no affiliation with Mandalorians whatsoever. However due to their cool and instantly recognisable design they have invaded Star Wars fandom like nothing else and have already begun to be explored in the canon in the animated shows The Clone Wars and Rebels. You may be thinking that the Mandalorians were explored quite thoroughly in The Clone Wars with some of the best episodes and arcs to do with the politics of the fearsome warrior race but when hearing Dave Filoni talk about the Mandalorians on the season 2 blu-ray of Rebels it’s clear they have barely scratched the surface. Hierarchy on Mandalore is similar and just as complex as Game of Thrones with several ‘Houses’ such as House Vizsla from The Clone Wars and each House having many ‘Clans’ which fight for them such as Clan Wren which is Sabine’s clan from Rebels. The show could take place post Return of the Jedi with the Imperial oppressors defeated and the planet Mandalore now being fought over by several Houses and their respective Clans after the tensions between them that were contained during the occupation are finally released. The show would make sense because fans of the current, and previous, animated shows are familiar with the Mandalorians and Lucasfilm can cash in on the huge amount of Mandalorian fans, maybe they could even take some characters and story beats from the popular but now defunct Legends books and comics about Mandalore to entice fans who were angry about the changes to the Mandalorians in the new canon.
The 30 years between The Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens is a time barely touched by the new canon and the perfect place for a future animated show. While you could set the show near the events of the Force Awakens with the Resistance battling The First Order I would prefer something set closer to ‘Jedi’, maybe just after in fact. One of my favourite novels in the new canon is Chuck Wendig’s second Aftermath novel, Life Debt, which begins with a ragtag group of rebels hunting down Imperial agents who are on the run from the newly christened New Republic. This is a fantastic concept for a show, almost a procedural with longer story arcs in which the rebels track down a new Imperial every episode or so like hit show The Blacklist. The show could truly explore the fractured galaxy that exists at this time with the Empire’s destruction leaving some peaceful planets worse off without the Empire because the New Republic isn’t established enough to be able to give them aid. The series could truly show the cost of war in a contemporary way and present a galaxy and war which is not as black-and-white or good-vs-evil as it may have first seemed.
As Rebels draws closer to Rogue One and The Original Trilogy I’m beginning to miss the much lighter tone of the show’s first two seasons. That’s not to say I don’t like the darker storytelling of season 3 but I just loved the feel of early Rebels so much. What better way to catch that feeling again than to set the new animated show at the same time, or just before, those first two seasons of Rebels and to focus on a character who has made a couple of appearances in the show: Lando Calrissian. The show could follow Lando when he still had the Millennium Falcon, or maybe afterwards since we don’t know exactly when he lost it and feature Lando on many swash-buckling adventures, meeting Lobot for the first time, a cameo or two from some scruffy-looking Nerf herder and his walking carpet and maybe appearances from Rebels and Clone Wars characters like Hondo, Azmorigan, Embo and Cad Bane.
Come back next week for even more ideas on what the next animated Star Wars show should be. What do you want the new animated Star Wars show to be about? Let me know in the comments and geek out with me about Star Wars on Twitter @kylebrrtt.