5 Ways Disney Plans to Expand Its ‘Star Wars’ Brand

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Star Wars Rebels

Walt Disney Co. (NYSE:DIS) gave fans its first glimpse of the post-George Lucas age of Star Wars on Monday when it debuted its first teaser for the upcoming animated Star Wars television series, Star Wars Rebels. Featuring the voices of David Oyelowo and Freddie Prinze Jr., the animated series is set to premiere on the Disney Channel in fall 2014 as a one-hour special, before appearing regularly on Disney XD.

While the 16-second teaser didn’t reveal much about the series, Star Wars Rebels will take place between the events of Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope, in what amounts to about a two-decade span. According to Disney, the series is set ”in a time where the Empire is securing its grip on the galaxy and hunting down the last of the Jedi Knights as a fledgling rebellion against the Empire is taking shape.”

Although Star Wars Rebels is not the most anticipated of Disney’s forays into the Star Wars universe by a long shot, it is the first peek at the company’s soon-to-be explosive expansion of the Star Wars franchise. With a price tag of $4.06 billion, Disney’s acquisition of LucasFilm was not easy on the wallet, although it might someday go down as one of Disney’s greatest investments of all-time — especially considering the price Disney paid for its other two huge acquisitions in the past eight years, Pixar Inc. and Marvel Entertainment, which cost $7.4 billion and $4.24 billion, respectively.

Here is a list of five ways Disney is planning to expand its Star Wars brand over the coming years and why $4.06 billion was a small price to pay.

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