Animated ‘Star Wars’ Movie Announced For This Summer

A lead-in to 'Rebels' will air on Disney Channel before the series debut this fall.

To get your next big dose of the “Star Wars” universe, you think you’re going to have to wait until December 2015 when “Episode VII” opens, right? Guess again.

In the recently released 2013 annual report for Disney shareholder, CEO Bob Iger revealed that the plan to introduce to audiences to the world of “Star Wars Rebels,” the upcoming TV series, includes a movie and a collection of shorts to air on the Disney Channel.

“As with Marvel, the rich universe of ‘Star Wars’ has tremendous creative potential for the entire company. While the world eagerly awaits ‘Episode VII’ to open in theaters, we’re introducing ‘Star Wars Rebels’ to television audiences this summer with a movie and a series of shorts on Disney Channel, followed by a continuing series on Disney XD. Our success in building a robust pipeline of original ‘Star Wars’ content for various platforms will be an integral part of our long-term strategy to leverage the franchise across a variety of our businesses, from theme parks to consumer products.”

The film will be the first real look at the brave, new world of a Disney-owned Lucasfilm and hopefully set the tone for further adventures in the galaxy far, far away.

Information of the series so far is still pretty scant, but we do know that the Darth Maul-like Inquisitor will be the main villain who faces the early days of the Rebel Alliance.

This isn’t the first time that Lucasfilm has kick-started an animated series with a movie. The second iteration of “Star Wars: Clone Wars” began with a lackluster theatrical run. “Rebels” will avoid the extra scrutiny that comes with taking up the big screen, so maybe Lucasfilm has learned from their previous sins.

Since “Rebels” take place in-between the trilogies, expect some familiar faces to pop up, especially when it’s in Disney’s best interest to introduce younger audiences to character that may have last appeared in 1983.

We’ll find out what the brand new “Star Wars” universe has in store for us starting this summer.

Writer/editor for MTV. If it involves cowboys, spies, or hitmen, I'm there. All three would be ideal.