April 26, 2018 / 3:04 PM / a month ago

'Star Wars Resistance' is Disney's latest small-screen spinoff

LOS ANGELES, April 26 (Reuters) - An animated “Star Wars” children’s television series that draws visual inspiration from Japanese anime will debut later this year on the Disney Channel, Walt Disney Co and its “Star Wars” subsidiary Lucasfilm said on Thursday.

“Star Wars Resistance” is the latest in a string of numerous new or upcoming film and television “Star Wars” ventures for Disney, which paid $4 billion in 2012 for the blockbuster science-fiction saga created by George Lucas.

The adventure series centers on Kazuda Xiono, a young pilot recruited by the Resistance and sent on a top-secret mission to spy on the growing threat of the First Order military dictatorship.

Disney did not announce a start date for “Star Wars Resistance” but said it would premiere in the fall.

“Solo: A Star Wars Story,” the next live-action installment in the franchise, will debut at the Cannes Film Festival on May 15 and open in U.S. theaters on May 25.

Last month, Disney announced it had struck a deal with “Iron Man” director Jon Favreau to write and produce a live-action “Star Wars” series for its upcoming streaming service.

“Star Wars Resistance” will feature “Star Wars” actors Oscar Isaac and Gwendoline Christie voicing their characters - Poe Dameron and Captain Phasma, respectively - from the live-action “Star Wars” films.

“The idea for ‘Star Wars Resistance’ came out of my interest in World War II aircraft and fighter pilots,” series creator Dave Filoni said in a statement.

“There’s a long history of high-speed racing in ‘Star Wars,’ and I think we’ve captured that sense of excitement in an anime-inspired style, which is something the entire team has been wanting to do for a long time,” Filoni added.

The announcement of the series comes as an earlier animated series, “Star Wars Rebels,” finished a three-and-a-half-year run on the Disney XD cable network last month.

Disney said it will eventually make “Star Wars Resistance” available on Disney XD and distribute it internationally. (Reporting by Eric Kelsey Editing by Leslie Adler)

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