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SDCC 2014: The Heroes of Star Wars Rebels Panel

The executive producers and cast talk about the new series!

An all-new Star Wars animated series is heading to Disney XD and there's no way we'd miss out on the show's panel! It was a crowded stage as executive producers Dave Filoni and Simon Kinberg as well as voice actors Freddie Prinze Jr., Vanessa Marshall, Steve Blum, Tiya Sircar, and Taylor Gray spoke about the upcoming show from Lucasfilm Animation.

  • Opens with a clip of Inquisitor taking on two heroes (Kanan and Ezera). Shows what makes his lightsaber unique (he can hold it forward and it rapidly spins. Think Grievous but no need for the rotating hands) and it ends on a comedic note about the weapon ("can yours do that?!"). Filoni says the lightsaber design was made for The Force Unleashed but wasn't used.
  • Kinberg says they love the tone and essence of original movies and wanted to make a show that has that feeling in it. Really exists to be the origin on the Rebel Alliance.
  • Prinze Jr. says he grew up with this franchise and joked he can't help but use his hand whenever his character uses the force or a lightsaber while recording.
  • When asked about lightsaber fights, Filoni pointed out this is a time when Jedi are hiding, so when it does happen, it'll be pivotal and more meaningful. "They're held back so when we do them it's a pivotal point for the character's development."
  • Another clip is shown of a chase scene (involves Stormtroopers and Zeb piloting a TIE Fighter) and it quickly transforms from exciting to comedic and fun.
  • Kinberg says there's a mandate to have fun and have a sense of adventure but it has to feel organic for the characters.
  • Filoni stated this differs from The Clone Wars because it focuses on one core group instead of regularly shifting between a large number of characters.
  • Prinze Jr. says his character's tricky because he's a cocky Jedi. Aims to make sure the levity really lands.
  • Marshall says the jokes flow well between all of them.
  • Sircar says each actor has begun to embody their character at work. For example, Blum's making everyone laugh and Gray's jokingly getting picked on.
  • Panel is asked about improv and they said there isn't too much, but if there's an opportunity and it's good they'll go for it.
  • Filoni says he obviously loves the Clone Wars, but the chance to work in this era -- Stormtroopers,TIE Fighters,etc -- was exciting. "There's just something about what you grew up with. Whatever your contact point is with Star Wars, that sticks with you."
  • Kinberg says it's "pretty surreal" to write new dialogue for these characters (e.g. Obi-Wan Kenobi).
  • "The fun of Rebels is being able to return to the original films" says Kinberg.
  • Dynamic between Hera and Sabine is a younger sister/older sister relationship and they stick up for each other.
  • Marshall says each character brings something unique to the Rebel Alliance.
  • Filoni says Star Wars has always had strong female characters and they want to keep that alive.
  • Clip of Hera and Sabine investigating an abandoned base and has a horror/suspense vibe as creatures lurk in the dark and eventually leap after the duo.
  • "The great thing about Star Wars is you can tell basically any kind of story." Filoni says they want to have plenty of comedy, but they want to balance the threat of danger and tension, too.
  • Separatists are gone and Jedi are labeled traitors. A majority of people in the galaxy believe this to be true and the Empire has completely unquestioned control of the Galaxy.
  • Prinze Jr. says the show will reveal why people would want to stand up and fight the Empire.
  • Blum adds there's really nothing left to lose for the heroes and that helps bring them together and bond.
  • Prinze Jr. says he feels a lot of pressure because he was born and raised with Star Wars. Joked he said "may the force be with you" as many times as he said "hey" in the fifth grade. Describes his character as incredibly disciplined but there's an adolescent dark side -- a certain part of him stopped growing and that will be something he struggles with. Says we'll definitely learn his patience has limitations. Adds there's a fine line because you want to portray a Jedi perfectly. "You can't mess up a Jedi, so I worked really, really hard on it and put a lot of pressure on myself."
  • "Everything is so new to him and he looks up to Kanan more than anyone" Gray stated about his character, Ezera. He has so much faith in Kanan that he believes everything will turn out okay, even when things aren't looking optimistic.
  • Fan asks how much we can see of Kenobi and other original characters. Panel jokes they can't really say but it's "more than you see in the trailer."
  • Droid beeps are given actual dialogue in the script. Prinze Jr. says it's something the writers have a lot of fun with.
  • "New group needs to stand on its own -- this isn't just an extension of The Clone Wars."
  • Intention is for the next generation and everyone to fall in love with these characters just like we fell in love with the other great Star Wars characters.
  • Says show is more contained than The Clone Wars. Explains we'll get to know these characters and locations well. Filoni says the buildup works with the flow of the story.
  • Question: will any of these characters crossover in the movie? Kinberg: I love these characters and it would be a treat to see them in live-action, too.
  • Fioni says they'll do their best to create a bunch of new types of Stormtroopers.
  • "I don't like to think it's prequels, Clone Wars, original trilogy. It's just Star Wars and with Star Wars you can do anything." -Filoni.
  • Question: what's it like working with Greg Weisman? Filoni: we couldn't haven't done this without Greg. He brings an amazing level of vision. We had an idea of what we wanted this to be and Greg really focused it.
  • When asked what his favorite season of The Clone Wars is, Filoni says he tends to favor the last one. Says he really loves the episode where Ahsoka meets Chewbacca and her finale.
  • Panel concludes with a new trailer. Opens with plenty of action -- space battles to shootouts -- then shows locations and Ezera's training. Shows even more action, the Inquisitor and... R2-D2 and C-3PO! Then returns to a ton of action with occasional bits of banter.

Star Wars:Rebels will begin this October on Disney XD.

13 Comments Refresh
Edited by Wolfrazer

Interesting...rather excited to see what new Stormtrooper types they gonna come out with. Have always liked really all the various Troop types in Star Wars, say what you will about TFU/TFU 2 story. But they made some pretty awesome Stormtrooper variants/GE tech, imo.

So here's hoping Rebels continues that and shows some awesome GE stuff!

Posted by Owie

I like that poster. Nice to mix the Russian/Constructivist aesthetic with the Empire.

Posted by Twentyfive

Looks awesome. The more I see of this show, the more excited I get.

Posted by Teerack

There thumbnail image isnt even in here. 100% of the reason I clicked this.

Posted by War Killer

I'm super-excited for this show. From what I've seen and read, it does seem like they want to bring back the vibe of the original movies and personally I'm looking forward to this series! :D

Posted by JasonHawke


Posted by k4tzm4n

@teerack said:

There thumbnail image isnt even in here. 100% of the reason I clicked this.

You clicked this article to see a previously released image of the characters instead of reading about the show?

Posted by Teerack
@k4tzm4n said:

@teerack said:

There thumbnail image isnt even in here. 100% of the reason I clicked this.

You clicked this article to see a previously released image of the characters instead of reading about the show?

Yeah because believe it or not I haven't seen every image posted on the internet! Shocking I know! I wanted to see what the characters looked like and that was it. I don't care to read about the show.

Posted by Lvenger

Well this is sounding more and more promising. And Greg Weisman's involvement is making me more interested in this show now. It's sounding more like this show has a lot more promise than I thought so looks like I'm gonna give this a chance in October.

Posted by Master_Thief

Cant wait for Darth Vader

Posted by StMichalofWilson

It's all about hope, and I'm sure with great people behind this, Rebels will be a great series.

I hope there is more than one Inquisitor. I like this character already (and the show isn't even out yet!) but since I'm an old EU fan, I would love to see more Inquisitors.

Also can't for Darth Vader. I want that character to have a pressence unlike any other.

Edited by redwingx

looks bad


Does Greg still put Gargoyles easter-eggs in the shows he works on? I dont recall anything in YoungJustice.

Not a fan of Disney cutting out all of the extended Universe, which I dont see why cant they just allow that stuff to continue be made, & just have their own Marvel & book line make the offical canon stuff. Yet they leave in the horrible prequel trilogy. Cant they just use the real movie trilogy, & just reboot episodes 1,2,3? Most books are better than those Lucased up pieces of trash.

While I was not a fan of FU2, I really wish there was still a FU3. There is no reason to just abandon the characters, & FU1 did a good being episode 3.5 ,& it used familar elements & settings like Cloud city & the DeathStar without them seeming exploited like how FU2 did with Yoda & Boba. Or having a Hoth or Endor stage in any game. In fact my only gripes were the just yard stage entirely & having a damn StarDestroyer for a boss.

Not to mention, while the DLCs were cheap, I gotta say I liked the alternate universe direction they took.

Disney needs to remaster FU1 in HD, it was fast in 2008 but slow & sluggish now, give you the ability to swap out Daren Malik with Juno as the secret apprentice & pilot, & just make all of FU2 as DLC stages.

I always assumed Shak-Ti was Anikin's little girl apprentice in the cgi show. & given how FU1 goes, I wish she was. Its a good ending for her. If i were JJ doing starwars, I'd have Snipes either dead or if she survived Order-66, be one of Palpatine's harem for an "Order-69". Inject the slave-girls with Ysalamiri. But her & Juno would be around the same age, have them hook up & be part of the top teir of the rebellion.