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Star Wars Rebels is the first real attempt at a new story set in the Star Wars Universe since Disney took the reigns of the property from George Lucas. And now we get our first look at the series via this clip revealed at WonderCon this last week. The short preview clip features an introduction from voice actress Vanessa Marshall and an exciting sequence from the upcoming animated series.

In the clip, Hera, captain of the Ghost, pilots her starship during a battle with two TIE fighters. A droid named Chopper delivers a message from the Jedi Kanan, currently engaging the TIEs in the top turret. The Jedi is apparently displeased with Hera’s maneuvering. In response, she takes matters into her own hands.

I love the antics of Chopper the droid. Star Wars Rebels is coming to Disney XD later this year.

Also new from Star Wars Rebels this week is a short video interview with Star Wars composer Kevin Kiner.

Editors Note: Please welcome my Aunt Linda as a new guest author. I’ve known her my whole life and she and my Aunt Dorothea played a key role in nurturing my love of Disneyland (although they probably regret it now). We’ve discussed her experiences at Disneyland from time to time and now I’ve asked her to put a few down on paper. With your encouragement, I hope to entice Linda to share more of her memories of her time working at The Park during its formative years. Please give her a warm welcome.

When I transferred from my job at Walt Disney Studios to take a low-level slot in the marketing department at Disneyland, I knew I was going to part of a “class act.” What Walt and his band of creators had put together in Anaheim was truly a Wonder of the World — back then.

At weekly staff meetings, the publicity department would report on the many requests for stories from international newspapers and TV and radio stations. We would learn that major corporations, like United Airlines and Monsanto, were pursuing joint product promotions with the corporations putting way more on the table than The Park. What is just par for the course at today’s Disney theme parks was brand-new at the time. The marketing opportunities were unique, ubiquitous, and they were golden.

I’d like to welcome back our newest guest author S. Divnich, who will be covering “V” here on The Disney Blog. – Ed.

It seems like we’ve been waiting forever, but the Visitors finally showed up last night with the premiere of V, ABC’s newest sci-fi offering.

The episode opened with an attempt to make it personal – captions reading “Where were you when JFK was assassinated? Where were you on 9/11?” led into “Where were you this morning?” So right off the bat, anyone who has not seen any advance info about this show is going to know – something big’s about to happen.

Tuesday, 6:30 a.m. Having asked “Where were you?” the first block shows us where (and who) our main players are. FBI Agent Erica Evans (Elizabeth Mitchell) awakens to her house shaking. She finds her son Tyler (Logan Huffman) is not in his bed and gets him on the cell, to find he’s in the ER, and barely feeling bad about it. This theme is going to play strong on this show – Erica wants to protect her son, but he’s not going to make it easy for her.

Newsman Chad Decker (Scott Wolf) is showering and heading into work. Ryan Nicholls (Morris Chestnut) is buying an engagement ring. Father Jack is opening the church doors. Val, Ryan’s girlfriend, is at home. It’s difficult to show simultaneous action on a TV show, and the pace felt a little off. We get a shaking water glass next to Erica right off the bat, but it’s several minutes before we see Val’s shaking coffee cup, FJ’s shaking light fixture, Ryan’s ring jumping around on the counter. Regardless, things start to shake, rattle and roll, and you can tell they’re not earthquake-savvy Californians – rather than run to the nearest doorway, Val seems to try to stop her bookshelves from falling over first.

In the street, Ryan does what so many of us have done since 9/11, what must be second-nature to New Yorkers by now – he looks to the sky to see what’s falling. The writers don’t disappoint – the fighter jet falling out of the sky gave me a lurch of déjà vu that was most unpleasant. Eight years later, and not even American, and I can recall the footage from 9/11 in a heartbeat. It brings a tear to my eye every time.

The giant Mother Ships darken the sky and all hell breaks loose. They could have saved some money by inserting footage from movies past – as one onscreen citizen put it, “This IS Independence Day.” And Deep Impact, and The Day After Tomorrow, and so many other running-from-the-end-of-the-world scenes. Conveniently placed TVs show newscasters reporting similar Mother Ships hovering over 29 major cities around the world.

The introduction of Visitors is very cool compared to the 1983 version (more on the comparison later). The bottom of the Mother Ships morphs into a giant movie-screen type thing. On the ground, we see Erica’s maternal “get behind my arm kid, I’ll protect you” gesture with Tyler. Erica’s a mother bear, through and through. And then, like a benevolent supreme being from on high, Anna’s smiling face gazes down on the planet.

Another show I’m looking forward to this fall is “Legend of the Seeker.” The book series upon which it’s based has a huge following for a good reason, it’s a powerful story. The show will be produced by Disney, but won’t be on ABC or ABC Family, instead it’s going directly to syndication. So beginning November 1, 2008, check your local listings for time and channel.

Disney has now released these promo photos (two more below the cut) and have some short video trailers at the official site. Here’s the official blurb:

“Legend of the Seeker” picks up during the aftermath of the brutal murder of his father told in “The Sword of Truth.” According to author Terry Goodkind, ( who is also the writer for several of the TV series scripts), a mysterious woman, Kahlan Amnell, appears in Richard Cypher’s forest sanctuary seeking help…and more. His world, his very beliefs, are shattered when ancient debts come due with thundering violence. In their darkest hour, hunted relentlessly, tormented by treachery and loss, Kahlan calls upon Richard to reach beyond his sword-to invoke within himself something more noble. Neither knows that the rules of battle have just changed…or that their time has run out. This is the beginning. One story. One Rule. Witness the birth of a legend.

Photos courtesy ABC/Disney: Craig Horner as Richard Cypher and Bridget Regan as Kahlan.