Nerd Culture

Inside the Star Wars: Rebels Panel at New York Comic-Con

Editor's note: Tatiana Craine, web editor at our sister paper City Pages, got the inside scoop on the latest news about Star Wars: Rebels at New York Comic-Con.

Star Wars fans got a teaser of the highly-anticipated Star Wars: Rebels show slated to premiere in 2014.

Pablo Hidalgo, one of the many people at Lucasfilm behind the new Star Wars show, took to the stage to reveal secrets -- both big and small -- about the series. While the folks behind the show weren't ready to release even a teaser trailer, they did record some key backstory about the show for the Comic-Con audience.

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The panel focused on the villains in Star Wars: Rebels. The Empire, duh.

Fans also got a look at the artwork (and a toy!) that inspired the world that Star Wars Rebels will be based in.

Diehards will remember the Kenner Imperial Troop Transport toy, which Hidalgo quipped have "the cutest little guns in the Empire." Fans watched the old school commercial for the toy-only transporter that will be incorporated into next year's show.

Conceptual designer Ralph McQuarrie's illustrations also played a key role in deciding how the new worlds in the show will look. The folks at Lucasfilm have emulated his ideas and style to create the world of Lothal -- a planet on the outer rim of the galaxy that the Empire invades.

Just to be clear, this outer-rim planet doesn't exactly shut the Empire out right away. After years of strife and neglect on the edge of the galaxy, the people of Lothal are craving the stability and security the Empire has to offer -- no matter what the cost.

The planet of Lothal, as Hidalgo described it, is like a sleep town at the end of the rail spur. When the Empire comes in, they don't yet have the resources to send hoards of troops, they make little changes at a time and promise that Lothal will soon be a destination on the "railroad."

There seems to be a honeymoon period as the citizens make slight changes to their daily life to adjust to the Empire's needs. However, little changes become increasingly bigger and more difficult as the Empire's takeover quota expands.

Presumably, that's where the eponymous rebels come in.

The show takes place 14 years after Episode III: The Revenge of the Sith and about five years before Episode IV: A New Hope, and if the fans' Q&A queries were any indication -- lots of folks are hoping for a Han Solo origins story and more bounty hunters like Boba Fett.

By far, the biggest announcement today was the show's villain: the Inquisitor. His main job in the Empire is to take down the remaining Jedis -- orders from, who else, Darth Vader.

Hidalgo noted that lore about the Inquisitor and other sinister agents of his kind can be found dating all the way back to 1987.

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Tatiana Craine
Contact: Tatiana Craine