As part of this weekend’s Star Wars Celebration, Lucasfilm and Disney, in addition to releasing trailers for The Force Awakens and the new Battlefront game, have released a preview of the upcoming second season of Star Wars: Rebels. Rebels follows the crew of the starship Ghost, including young Jedi-in-training Ezra Bridger, as they fight the Galactic Empire in a pre-Rebel Alliance galaxy. The animated series kicked off the so-called “new canon” created after Lucasfilm purged the old Star Wars Expanded Universe last year, and even managed to bridge the gap between A New Hope and Disney’s Star Tours amusement park ride.
The usual cast of characters is back in the Rebels season two trailer, as is the McQuarrie-esque art direction, which is good news for fans. It also appears that we’re going to see more vehicles from the original trilogy, as A-Wing fighters, B-Wings, and Rebel Blockade runners are all featured in the trailer. On the Imperial side of things, there appears to be a new Inquisitor doing battle with Jedi Knight Kanan Jarrus and his team, the previous Inquisitor having fallen to his (presumed) death in last year’s season finale.
The most exciting bit of news for the Star Wars faithful, however, is that Darth Vader is featured prominently in the trailer, as is the wonderfully sinister voice of James Earl Jones. At a press conference at the Star Wars Celebration, Rebels executive producer Dave Filon confirmed that Jones would be voicing Darth Vader for the entire season. It’s reported that Vader is hunting down our heroes this season, so let’s hope it gets them off Lothal a little bit more than last year.
This season, Rebels appears to be adopting a darker tone, at least as dark as a show that is aimed at 12-year-old boys can be. (Let’s not forget that Star Wars is for everybody—even kids.) The second season of Star Wars: Rebels will premiere on Disney XD later this year.