Disney XD has renewed Star Wars Rebels as expected for Season 3, with production already underway and a plan to air new episodes of the Lucasfilm-produced animated series in 2016. The series, which follows a ragtag group of heroes that dare to strike back against Imperial forces, is an original tale based on the Star Wars pics that in its first two seasons has incorporated classic characters from the movies while introducing new heroes and villains.

Coincidentally, the rebooted feature film franchise Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters December 18. The renewal news was announced this morning on Star Wars mothership StarWars.com.

“We’re very proud of our incredibly creative Rebels team,” Lucasfilm SVP Development Kiri Hart said in the announcement. “The show continues to tell fun, heartfelt, exciting new Star Wars stories week after week, and it’s beloved by fans of all ages. Season 3 will see our rebel heroes face new obstacles and find new allies in their fight against the Empire.”

Star Wars Rebels ranks as Disney XD’s No. 2 series in total viewers (1.3 million), kids 6-11, boys 6-11 and boys 2-11, and is the channel’s No. 1 program in adults 18-49 and men 18-49.

Star Wars Rebels is created by Dave Filoni (Star Wars: The Clone Wars), Simon Kinberg and Carrie Beck; Filoni and Kinberg executive produce.The Season 2 voice cast includes Freddie Prinze Jr., Vanessa Marshall, Steve Blum, Tiya Sircar, Taylor Gray, Ashley Eckstein, Dee Bradley Baker, David Oyelowo and Sarah Michelle Gellar.