When Disney purchased all of Lucasfilm back in 2012 for more than $4 billion dollars, it was mostly so they could make new Star Wars movies for a very long time. But as Star Wars fans know, there is a lot more to it than that. One of the biggest pillars of the expanded Star Wars universe in the modern era has been animated shows, such as Star Wars Rebels, which is currently getting ready to finish its third season. Interestingly enough, Disney and Lucasfilm have not yet renewed the show for a fourth season and that has led to some speculation that we may be getting a brand new Star Wars animated show as early as next year.
A report from Cinelinx from last year claims that Disney and Lucasfilm are planning on ending Star Wars Rebels after three seasons, and given that they haven't yet renewed the show, there seems to be some evidence piling up for that being the case. When Star Wars Rebels was renewed for a third season, it was done back in November of 2015. We are way past that point now for a potential Star Wars Rebels season 4, so one has to wonder what the hold up is. It could very well be that Star Wars Rebels is coming to an end and a new Star Wars animated series will be coming to fill the gap next year.
Hardcore Star Wars fans are familiar with Dave Filoni, who served as the Supervising Director on Star Wars: The Clone Wars and at least was in the same position on Star Wars Rebels up through season 3. Assuming Lucasfilm does move ahead with Star Wars Rebels season 4, it will happen without Dave Filoni because it was revealed last year that he has stepped into a larger position at Lucasfilm and is "creatively overseeing future animation development." It is very possible he has been developing this potential new show and that we will learn more about it after the Star Wars Rebels season 3 finale airs.
The thing with Star Wars Rebels is that it was always meant to be a limited thing. The show takes place in the time period between the events of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars: A New Hope. By the end of Star Wars Rebels season 3, we will at least be relatively close to the events of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which featured quite a few Star Wars Rebels Easter eggs. So it is possible the impending showdown with Grand Admiral Thrawn will be the end of Star Wars Rebels. If that is indeed the case, there is almost no way that Disney and Lucasfilm would have no animated Star Wars series airing next year. That being the case, we would probably wind up getting an announcement about the alleged new series, which would probably be the brainchild of Dave Filoni, at Star Wars Celebration this April. Since Star Wars Rebels season 3 will have its final episode on March 25, the timing would be pretty perfect.
There is also a possibility that Star Wars Rebels season 4 will still happen and Lucasfilm will announce a new Star Wars show at Celebration this year as well. If Star Wars Rebels season 3 is the last of the series, it looks like they will be going out with a bang. Not only will there be a big showdown with Grand Admiral Thrawn, but the midseason trailer for Star Wars Rebels season 3 revealed that a rematch between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Maul is on the horizon. At the moment there is nothing official from Disney or Lucasfilm, so much of this is just putting the pieces of a puzzle together, but it is definitely starting to feel like we may be seeing a new Star Wars show sooner rather than later. As for what that show could be? We'll probably have to wait until April to find that out.