'Star Wars Rebels' Renewed for Season 2 by Disney XD

Pickup comes one day ahead of the official premiere
"Star Wars Rebels"  Lucasfilm

Disney is betting big on a galaxy far, far away.

One day ahead of the official television premiere, Disney XD has renewed animated series Star Wars Rebels for a second season, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

First greenlighted in May 2013, Star Wars Rebels launches with the one-hour TV movie, Star Wars Rebels: Spark of Rebellion, on Friday, Oct. 3, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Disney Channel and on Monday, Oct. 6, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Disney XD. The series then continues on Disney XD starting Monday, Oct. 13, at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

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Star Wars Rebels takes place between Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope, which spans about two decades. The animated series is set in a time where the Empire is securing its grip on the galaxy and hunting down the last of the Jedi Knights as a fledgling rebellion against the Empire is taking shape.

The crew of the Ghost starship — Jedi Kanan, pilot Hera, street-smart teenager Ezra, the "muscle" Zeb, warrior Sabine and droid Chopper — are only among the few brave enough to stand up against the Empire. They'll face new villains (see: Inquisitor) and adversaries and go on adventures as they become heroes with the ability to ignite a rebellion.

Freddie Prinze Jr., Taylor Gray, Steve Blum, Tiya Sircar, Vanessa Marshall, Jason Isaacs, David Oyelowo and Billy Dee Williams are the voice stars. Dave Filoni, Simon Kinberg and Carrie Beck created the Lucasfilm Animation production. Greg Weisman is an executive producer alongside Filoni and Kinberg. Star Wars Rebels, which received a splashy debut at Comic-Con in July, will have one of the largest international launches, premiering in 163 countries, 400 million households and broadcast in 34 languages.

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"The global expectations for this series could not have been any higher. And I am proud to say that the team at Lucasfilm has delivered something that has surpassed even that incredibly high bar – artistically and thematically," said Gary Marsh, Disney Channels Worldwide president and chief creative officer, in a statement.

"We all love making Rebels, so we couldn't be happier that it's moving into a second season," says Lucasfilm vp creative development Kiri Hart. "Our fantastic creative team is dreaming up new stories for the crew of the Ghost that will expand their experience of the galaxy and deepen their heroes' journeys. The fan response to the show has been amazing, humbling and inspiring. We're looking forward to the adventure ahead."

Star Wars Rebels remains a crucial component in a scripted stable at Disney XD that includes animated programs Phineas and Ferb, Wander Over Yonder, Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja, The 7D and Gravity Falls, and serves as a lead-up to J.J. Abrams' big-screen continuation of the Star Wars franchise that hits theaters Dec. 18, 2015.

Email: Philiana.Ng@THR.com
Twitter: @insidethetube

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