SAN DIEGO - “Star Wars Rebels” executive producer Dave Filoni is no stranger to the rich lore of the expansive Star Wars universe. After recently finishing off his run as “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” director, it was a natural transition.

“We’d just finished “Clone Wars” and it almost seemed a natural step to move into this in-between time. And yet we didn’t want to place it after Order 66 because that would just seem like a continuation of “Clone Wars” so we jumped down several years.”

Of course Filoni and his team had to decide where was the best place in the new streamlined timeline to place the next chapter of George Lucas’s creation.

“We looked quickly at the timeline and obviously JJ’s got the whole after “The Return of the Jedi” wrapped up pretty good so we didn’t want to do anything down near that.”

Setting “Star Wars Rebels” in the lead up to “A New Hope” leads to some interesting questions. Like what happened to all the clones after Order 66?

“The Clones are all working the docks. They’re all old men. Some of them are very bitter. Some of them feel terrible about what happened. It’s tough being a clone.”

But there’s also a lot of new ground to cover in “Rebels.” The planet the team starts out on is called Lothal which continues the one biome per planet tradition in Star Wars.

“It’s based on the old concept paintings Ralph did for Dantooine and Alderaan. So yeah largely a grass planet. It’s very Flash Gordon to say ‘This is all a forest planet,’ but George loved Flash Gordon.”

When pressed if any lore from the Extended Universe — now rehoused as Star Wars Legends — would factor into the new show, Filoni only had this to say.

“There’s such creative ideas…it would be crazy not to mine some it. “