Time to strap in and buckle up for a new high-flying adventure!
Lucasfilm and Disney announced on Thursday, April 26, that a new animated show, Star Wars Resistance, will be arriving this fall. While no official date was mentioned, the series will premiere on the Disney Channel and will be repeated on Disney XD, according to Lucasfilm’s Tracy Cannobbio.
Similar to Star Wars Rebels and A New Hope before it, the series will be set at a time before The Force Awakens. It’s unclear whether it will take place closer to the sequel film, Return of the Jedi, or somewhere in the middle of the unexplored 30-year gap. The Bloodline novel by Claudia Gray made it clear that the Resistance was established in 28 ABY (After the Battle of Yavin), and with characters like Poe Dameron (voiced by Oscar Isaac), BB-8, and Captain Phasma (voiced by Gwendoline Christie) in the mix, it sounds like it’ll take place around the same time.
“You read in any war stories, World War II, whatever, that there are many, many heroes,” Dave Filoni told Empire in a 2016 interview when talking about Star Wars Rebels and Rogue One. “There are the main stories you always hear about, but there are all these other little people that did things that were very important that we don’t always know about.”
That’s where Kazuda Xiono enters the picture in Star Wars Resistance. Xiono is a young pilot recruited by the Resistance. As seen with the younger protagonists in the past, specifically Ahsoka Tano in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Ezra Bridger in Star Wars Rebels, and Rowan in LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures, “young pilot” implies inexperienced, rash, and undisciplined. This pilot is given a top-secret mission to spy on the growing threat of the First Order, so the implication here is that this pilot can be trusted and that the character shows potential for something greater—the little person who does something important and contributes to the larger picture, as Filoni previously stated.
“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.”
That interest in World War II aircraft and fighter pilots is also something that inspired George Lucas decades ago.
“One of the reasons I started writing Star Wars was because I wanted to see starships having exciting battles in space,” he said in an interview from Jonathan Rinzler’s The Making of Star Wars (Enhanced Edition), as mentioned by StarWars.com. “I loved Flash Gordon and Buck Rodgers serials when I was a kid, but I thought I could create an experience closer to watching a dogfight in a World War II film — with incredible ships diving and banking in a realistic manner.”
There’s no doubt the series will be full of high-flying action and adventure, but most fans are curious about the look of the show. As Filoni stated, the series is inspired by anime. Other notable animated shows influenced by anime include Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Legend of Korra, and Netflix’s Voltron. If Star Wars Resistance is moving into that kind of territory, where its animation is a mix of anime and modern American animation, then it’s understandable why the entire creative team is excited because it’ll be an interesting departure from what’s been done before in Lucasfilm animation.
It’s also exciting to see Amy Beth Christenson take the lead as art director of the series. She was the senior concept designer on Star Wars Rebels and has worked on two other prominent projects, specifically Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.
The series will also be executive-produced by Athena Portillo (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels), Justin Ridge (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels), and Brandon Auman (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles).
As for the cast, Star Wars Resistance will feature: (top row, from left to right) Christopher Sean (Days of Our Lives), Suzie McGrath (East Enders), Scott Lawrence (Legion), Myrna Velasco (Elena of Avalor) — (bottom row, from left to right) Josh Brener (Silicon Valley), Donald Faison (Scrubs), Bobby Moynihan (DuckTales), Jim Rash (Community), and Rachel Butera (Tammy’s Tiny Tea Time).
Here’s what some of the crew and cast had to say online:
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The Announcement Day has Come! I’m a part of the Star Wars Family! :) #StarWarsResistance is the new show, I’m on!! So, I made a little video to surprise you all with the great news :) thanks for always supporting me and please go to StarWars.com to see more information about the New Show! The Shirt Says it ALL! @starwars @starwarsresistance #christophersean #starwars #madeByMe #bigNews #success #believe #focus #workhard #hooray #checkitout #thankyou #awesome #georgelucas #lucasfilms
Bobby Moynihan: “Cannot begin to explain how wildly excited I am for everyone to see Star Wars: Resistance!!! I am part of the Star Wars Universe! That’s a real sentence! Thanks to everyone involved.” (Source)
Myrna Velasco: “Soooooooo ridiculously excited to FINALLY tell everyone about the secret project I’ve been working on! STAR WARS! STAR!!! WARS!!!! Pre Force Awakens stories!!” (Source)
Rachel Butera: “I can finally announce that I’m part of Star Wars Resistance! I don’t think I can say which character yet, but I think you’ll love it!!! Star Wars OMG!!!” (Source)
Keith Kellogg: “So excited to be a part of Star Wars Resistance. Can’t wait to share some footage with you all of the new animation style and look.” (Source)
Joel Aron: “That thing I couldn’t say I’ve been working on. Well, now I can tell you! Star Wars Resistance and it’s like nothing you’ve ever seen before!! So proud of our amazing team!!” (Source)
Gavin Hignight (writer): “Big news today!! And I couldn’t be more proud. Thank you Brandon Auman for bringing me into the Resistance!!! Star Wars Resistance [was] announced today!!! I am humbled to be writing and working with the amazing team bringing this animated series and characters to life. If only my young self knew that one day playing with all those Star Wars figures would lead to this!!” (Source)
As for my opinion regarding the show, it’s no secret that I’ve had a difficult time connecting with the live-action sequel films. The settings, plots, and characters haven’t hooked me in all that well. The Last Jedi was the first thing to make me excited about this era mainly because of the Force related content. Also, the Resistance vs. First Order plot line doesn’t interest me as much because it’s been done before in the form of Rebels vs. Empire. I haven’t seen or picked out anything that makes it unique, so I find it difficult to invest myself in that part of the story. That said, I’m happy to know that the series was created by Dave Filoni and that there are some familiar names attached to the project. If anyone can make me see these films differently, it will be the Lucasfilm animation crew.
What are your thoughts about Star Wars Resistance? What are you hoping to see? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
UPDATE: An earlier version of this article stated that the show will debut on the Disney Channel and will continue on Disney XD. It turns out each episode will premiere on the Disney Channel and will be repeated on Disney XD.
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