It'll be a while before you see formation of the Rebel Alliance in the upcoming animated series "Star Wars: Rebels". That is a deliberate choice said the show's producers during a panel at this year's San Diego Comic Con yesterday.
Set between Episodes III and IV, the show is expected to follow a tone much closer to that of the original trilogy than the prequels, and gives them "the opportunity to do some really new things that the movies haven't done before" says Simon Kinberg.
Dave Filoni says "when the Empire takes over there isn't just instantly a rebellion. Palpatine has total control and the Jedi are labeled as traitors - they're not a beacon of hope or justice. There's a time when the Empire has complete control of the galaxy, and people were tired of war so they just accepted it."
As a result this is almost like AMC's series "Turn," albeit in a very different setting. Kinberg says: "It's the very beginning - this is the origin story of the Rebel Alliance. These are people who are not part of an alliance. These are just four people, then five and a mech who are trying to claw back a little bit of territory from the Empire. If you told a story of the American Revolution and it was just five guys in a barn saying they were taking land from the British, that's what this is. We know that one day - maybe after their lifetimes - they'll win. But this is day one."
The takeover by the Empire also doesn't stop the Force. Filoni says "The Jedi that are alive don't want to be out in the open. But the force hasn't gone away - kids are still being born that can use the force. So part of our story is explaining that side of things, that doesn't have anything to do with Luke. The lightsaber fights will be saved for the pivotal moments, though."
Filoni also indicates this will be a more contained show than "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" was: "Yeah, it's more contained. We are going to be in one local system for the most part. Where on Clone Wars every couple weeks we had to build an entire civilization. We built the entire Mon Cala civilization and then only used it in four episodes and never went back. This will build and build so it's bigger in the story in the end."