Rebels is a reminder that Lucasfilm needs to continue investing in animated shows

Today, fans of Star Wars Rebels are celebrating Rebels Remembered Day on social media, giving people the chance to talk once more about the beloved show – one that has become absolutely integral to so many elements of the current and future stories from the galaxy far, far away.

I’ve written on a previous Rebels Remembered Day about my thoughts on the show and how it’s about as good as Star Wars storytelling gets, and then just recently I wrote about nine different ways in which Rebels is essential for fans following The Mandalorian and its connected universe.

So rather than speaking to Rebels directly and reflecting on how great it is, I want to take just a moment today to address something related that I’ve been feeling for a while: Star Wars must not go away from animated storytelling as a pillar part of their content.

There has never been a better time to be a Star Wars fan, and with Disney+ there has been a glorious deluge of content streaming in. Between The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Andor, Ahsoka, and more, the live-action Star Wars series are garnering tons of attention and are being done very well, given film-like attention. I hope that continues, and I’m also convinced that this is the way to continue telling pivotal Star Wars stories, since the reality is that the live-action stuff is what reaches the broadest audiences.

But I also hope that animation continues to be a focus as well.

It seems that it is, with The Bad Batch coming back soon for a second season after a fantastic start. And the quality of that show, along with the other animated series, is a prime example for why Lucasfilm needs to continue investing more and more attention into that medium. The quality of the storytelling is obviously the most important element, but the animation quality and stylistic choices that have been developed by the company are also top-notch. Both The Clone Wars and Rebels are among the best Star Wars stories ever told, and there are some things they’re able to do precisely because it’s animation that make them even better.

And though I’m sure that an animated Star Wars project will almost never be able to compete with a live-action Star Wars project, I’d think that the hype surrounding the revival of The Clone Wars, as well as the critical success of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse a few years ago, are indications that this is a key medium. Plus, the fact that Lucasfilm is so willing to draw characters and references from the animated shows into live action highlights the fact that they consider those stories to be pivotal as well (and I’m sure Dave Filoni’s involvement helps there too).

In other words, there’s absolutely no reason for Lucasfilm to not continue to invest in animation. We have The Bad Batch, for which I’m extremely thankful, but I hope there are plenty of other animated shows in development too.

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