Disney has announced that it will be producing a new animated Star Wars series.

Production has already begun on Star Wars Rebels which is due to appear on the Disney Channel and on Disney XD worldwide in autumn of next year.

The series will launch with a one-hour special. The premiere episode will be written by Simon Kinberg who was the screenwriter on X Men: First Class.

The series takes place during the time when the Empire is tightening its hold on the galaxy with the last of the Jedi Knights are being hunted down.

President and chief creative officer for Disney Gary Marsh said "The entire team at Lucasfilm has provided extraordinary creativity and innovation for over three decades, and we're thrilled to be bringing the expansive and imaginative world of Star Wars to Disney XD's viewers.”

JJ Abrams is currently working on Star Wars Episode VII which is due for a cinema release in 2015.