The critically-acclaimed animated series Star Wars Rebels returns Saturday, September 24 (8:30-9:30 p.m. EDT), and introduces new characters Grand Admiral Thrawn and Bendu during the season three one-hour premiere event, "Steps into Shadow" on Disney XD. Along with announcing the premiere date, Disney XD has released a new TV spot for Star Wars Rebels. If that wasn't enough, we also have new photos from this highly-anticipated season.

Having established a secret base on Atollon, the Ghost crew, now led by a more powerful Ezra, strengthens the rebel fleet by acquiring new resources and recruits eager to stand against the Empire. However, the Imperial efforts to eliminate the rebellion are now being led by the coldly analytical Grand Admiral Thrawn, whose strategic, tactical and cultural insights make him a threat unlike any they have faced before. In season three, Ezra and Sabine take on new roles and challenges as the rebels prepare for their biggest mission yet - a direct assault on the Empire.

The talented returning voice cast includes Freddie Prinze Jr. as Kanan, Vanessa Marshall as Hera, Steve Blum as Zeb, Tiya Sircar as Sabine, Taylor Gray as Ezra, Dee Bradley Baker as Captain Rex, Captain Gregor and Commander Wolffe, Sam Witwer as Darth Maul and David Oyelowo as Agent Kallus. New to this season are Tom Baker (Dr. Who) as the intriguing Force-wise Bendu and Lars Mikkelsen (House of Cards) as the Star Wars Legends fan-favorite Grand Admiral Thrawn. Last season, Julie Dolan voiced Princess Leia, but we don't know if she will return for Season 3 or not.

Related: Star Wars Rebels Episode 4.10 Recap: A Devastating Twist Changes Everything

Both Star Wars Rebels and the upcoming Star Wars theatrical spinoff Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, are both essentially set at roughly the same period in time, between the events of Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. While we don't know for sure, it's possible that some characters from Rogue One could cross over into this season of Star Wars Rebels, but that's only speculation at this point. Hopefully we'll get confirmation on more story details for Season 3 in the near future.

Star Wars Rebels is created by Dave Filoni (Star Wars: The Clone Wars), Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Days of Future Past"), and Carrie Beck. The Lucasfilm Animation production is executive produced by Filoni and Kinberg, and co-executive produced by Henry Gilroy. Before the season three premiere, catch Star Wars Rebels season two on Blu-ray and DVD starting August 30, 2016. Follow @DisneyChannelPR and @StarWars for the latest news on #StarWarsRebels, and check out for more exciting news on the series. In the meantime, take a look at the new promo and photos for Season 3 of Star Wars Rebels below, and in case you missed it last month, you can also check out the full Season 3 trailer.

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