The animated arm of Star Wars got a major pat with news that Rogue One would feature Forest Whitaker as a character created for The Clone Wars cartoon, further brightening prospects for current series Rebels to tie in with the films. Things are looking good on that front for Season 3 as well, at least according to executive producer Simon Kinberg.

Speaking with MovieFone, Kinberg nodded toward Star Wars Rebels doing a fantastic job of channeling all sides of the franchise, to feature original trilogy characters like Darth Vader and Lando Calrissian (with their original voice!), as well as Clone Wars favorites like Ahsoka Tano. Kinberg also hinted that Rebels would also continue to tie in with future movies as well:

What’s lovely is, obviously, we’ve brought in characters from ‘Clone Wars’ in the second season, and we keep sort of bringing characters from the original movies and sort of deepening the relationships between our core characters, the Ghost crew. So it’s trying to balance the two different things, like the original cast from the first season with ‘Clone Wars,’ with characters from the original movies, and maybe even feeding into future movies.

Certainly, “future movies” brings to mind more immediate entries like Rogue One: A Star Wars Story or the forthcoming Han Solo spinoff, both of which are set roughly around the same pre-New Hope point (four years before for Rebels, one for Rogue One). It’s also more likely that Disney would want December’s Rogue One to define characters like Saw Gerrera, rather than risk reintroducing him in Star Wars Rebels Season 3 this fall, but there’s always a chance the animated series could take a more active role in spotlighting certain movie characters.

Not to mention, original Rogue One screenwriter Gary Whitta was said to have written a Season 3 episode, while certain rumors place expanded universe villain Grand Admiral Thrawn in place for a return.

We’ll learn more when Season 3 premieres at Star Wars Celebration Europe this month, but might Rebels start to feature greater ties to the films?

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