For most males born after the year 1970, entire chapters of childhood are in someway intertwined with the Star Wars universe. We have all levitated objects across the room with our make believe force capabilities, attempted to utilize jedi mind tricks to persuade our mothers that ice cream before bed was a good idea, and had heroic battles with vibrant buzzing lightsabers (that in reality, were made of gift wrap rolls).
The Star Wars films are staples in modern society that have been passed down from father to son like an old fishing rod, creating a sacred subculture that stands firmly atop nearly 40 years of continued development. As if levels of nostalgia couldn’t get any higher, October of 2012 brought one of the biggest market purchases in history as Disney acquired the Star Wars franchise from creator George Lucas for $4.05 billion, creating a behemoth conglomerate of childhood memories and giddy fan-boys. Today, the seeds of Star Wars’ future that were planted by Disney nearly six months ago, are finally beginning to emerge from the top soil.
Perhaps the biggest announcement thus far has been of the production of a new TV series, Star Wars Rebels, that will premiere on the Disney Channel in the fall of 2014 before ultimately finding its home on Disney XD. The animated pilot episode will be an hour long, and will be written by feature film writer Simon Kiberg (X-Men: First Class, Mr. and Mrs. Smith), and will be produced by Dave Filoni and Greg Weisman. The story will take place in the two-decade gap between the Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope films, and will explore the Empire’s increasing power across the galaxy as they hunt down the remaining members of the jedi order, and combat a fledgling band of resistors known as the Rebel Alliance. Given the premise and timeline, it is extremely likely that the series will showcase familiar characters such as Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda, Princess Leia, C-3P0, and R2-D2.
Though Star Wars Rebels is almost assuredly going to be directed toward children, this should not discourage older fans from joining in on the fun for a number of reasons. This is a time frame of the Star Wars universe that has never been depicted on screen, it is the first time that audiences will have the pleasure of seeing these story lines unfold before them, and it is going to be a prime opportunity to witness the shaping of the foundation that will inevitably be the setting of the classic films and their characters. However, the most protrusive reason that adult audiences should not be deterred from enjoying the upcoming television saga is the fact that, in reality, Star Wars has always been directed toward children. Since 1977, George Lucas has pumped out action figures at lightspeed, and written miniature fuzzy teddy bears into scripts for the sole purpose of appealing to a target audience that, sad as it may be, is not paying a mortgage and feeding a 401(K). And be that as it may, this has never dissuaded mature audiences from enjoying the classic holy trinity that is made up of episodes IV – VI, nor should it discourage them from enjoying Star Wars Rebels. It is important to, every once in a while, indulge in precious reminiscence of simpler days, and to allow ourselves to be spirited away to fantastic worlds outside of our own. For imaginations sake, sit back, and let Disney bring you forward, or rather, backward. Yes, backward, to a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.