‘Star Wars’ To Redefine Long-Form Storytelling, Starts With ‘Rebels’

LucasFilms ditched the Star Wars expanded universe prior to beginning filming of Episode VII. The decision meant mounds of books, comic books, cartoons, and games would no longer be considered canon. The reasoning behind that decision is a bit clearer now as the studio wants to tie together everything going forward into a larger universe similar to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

According to Badass Digest, a Lucasfilm employee says they’re “going to redefine longform storytelling.” As both Collider and Comic Book Movie mention, that suggests not just the story arc of the new trilogy is being planned out, but all planned spin-off movies and other media as well.

This likely includes the Star Wars: Rebels computer animated series coming to Disney XD later this fall. The TV show recently revealed the Inquisitor as the big bad villain in the series, and wouldn’t you know it, that neatly ties in with recent rumors about the main villain for Star Wars: Episode VII reported by The Inquisitr.

“Fully revealed in this new video, the Inquisitor recalls classic Star Wars villains but is also distinct in many ways. According to Lucasfilm’s Pablo Hidalgo, the Inquisitor is not a Sith, though he does wield a red lightsaber and taps into the dark side. ‘His intensity is based on the purpose of the assignment.’

“Chris Glenn, concept artist, notes that while the Inquisitor is not a Sith, he is more than a match for Force-wielders. ‘He’s familiar with a lot of the Jedi ways and training tactics, and he uses that knowledge against Kanan.’ Kilian Plunkett, art director of Star Wars Rebels, says that while the Inquisitor visually evokes earlier villains like Darth Maul and Darth Vader, he isn’t just a carbon copy.”

“It’s all going to matter,” Badass Digest’s Dean Faraci claims. “They’re taking all the pieces seriously. And they care. That’s the thing that sold me.”

The question is whether this can all be tied in successfully without leaving behind those who missed out on parts of the whole. LucasFilm tried to do the same with the animated Star Wars: Clone Wars series leading into Revenge of the Sith. It established General Grievous as a deadly Jedi Hunter and set the stage for the movie’s opening. Unfortunately, my experience was that those who didn’t see cartoon were confused about the new character and why there was a massive space battle over Coruscant to begin with.

That’s a danger that Marvel has been able to avoid with The Avengers, Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and Guardians of the Galaxy so far by having the films affect Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but not the reverse. Do you think LucasFilm will be able to weave together movies and TV shows together in the same way? Let us know in the comments below.

[Image via Star Wars]