The second season of Disney XD’s Star Wars Rebels is set to kick off its premiere this Wednesday, October 14th @ 9:30 P.M! If you don’t know anything about Star Wars Rebels check out our article about the series! I was lucky enough to be front and center for the press panel Disney Channel hosted for Star Wars Rebels!
Executive Producer/Supervising Director Dave Filoni and voice-over actors Freddie Prinze Jr. (voice of Kanan), Dee Bradley Baker (voice of Captain Rex, Commander Wolffe, and Commander Gregor), Vanessa Marshall (voice of Hera), and Ashley Eckstein (voice of Ahsoka Tano) all gathered to talk about what fans should look forward to in season 2.
Before the press panel I was able to get comfy in the Burbank office’s theatre and watch the first two, never-before-seen episodes of Star Wars Rebels (season 2). As a personal fan of the series I can tell you that I was exhilarated with a sense of gratifying satisfaction. The new season starts off with a bang! As most Star Wars: The Clone Wars fans already know, the Clone Troopers debut their faces in this new season.
Lead characters of Rebels like Kanan, Ahsoka Tano, Captain Rex, and Hera are successfully created to illustrate the same amount of valiant admiration as past characters like Han Solo, Obi Wan Kenobi, Princess Leia, and Yoda. It is now clear more than ever that Star Wars is instilled in every generation’s mind. The Baby Boomers have the Star Wars Trilogy, the Millennials will have Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the Generation Z kids now have Star Wars Rebels. My question is—How does Star Wars Rebels find the balance between connecting and distinguishing the creative conception from the original trilogies?
Director Dave Filoni definitely understands the pressure fans bring when it comes to releasing an adaptation. However, he does not let that hinder his innovative track. Since he has worked closely with George Lucas he is reassured with the feeling of familiarity and trust.
Filoni talked about the relationship he has with Lucas about Star Wars Rebels saying,
We had a lot of discussions. I made sure that before it was officially, you know, separated with Disney and George, that I had these discussions with him…He created it and it is always going to be special to him and important to him. I also think that he is as excited to see what everybody does with it. I’ve shown him Rebels, so he has seen it…He knows that I followed the lessons I was taught, as a good Jedi should. But I have expanded certain things I wanted to do. But nothing I feel is out of rapport with what he would’ve done. Every decision I made on Clone Wars, or answers in interviews, I’ve said to myself, ‘Is this something I would say or do if George was here in the room?’ You know, cause I so greatly respect that it’s his universe.
Another great accomplishment Star Wars Rebels has brought is the immense sense of “girl power” shown on the screen. Filoni wants to expand his and others efforts in including more predominant female leads. This is one thing that differentiates itself from the Star Wars saga. If the opportunity is in your hands to create powerful female characters why not do it?
Filoni agrees by explaining,
I can’t even get into the importance of developing these female characters in multiple roles as mentors and combatants with strong personalities. You want a whole different range of people to look at, and as you go through Star Wars we have so many examples of so many different characters. For boys, grow up emulating. We need to broaden that. It’s just been a real goal of mine. My wife is very outspoken in all of these things that she studies and researches, and the most important thing I’ve done is listening to her. And any other woman that’s come up to me to say, ‘This is what I feel we are missing and lacking’. It is the same trait that I took on to successfully work with George. I listen to him… Han Solo is the pilot I knew, and now it’s Hera.
Girl power is represented in heroines and evil villains. Two female characters in particular that fans can look forward to learning more about are Ahsoka Tano and The Seventh Sister. The Clone Wars fans were excited to see Ahsoka’s appearance in the Rebel’s finale. Ahsoka is trying to decide if the mysterious Sith Lord from Lothal is indeed her former Master Anakin Skywalker. Season 2 plans to expand on this. Sarah Michelle Gellar is also set to debut as the voice actor for the new Inquisitor, The Seventh Sister. Her plan is to find Ahoska and kill her, along with the rest of the Rebels. Can I predict a girl fight? Yes!
Rebels does a great job expanding the Star Wars Universe. Filoni has the tough job of creating content and characters that millions of fans criticize. Luckily, most of them are on board!
Filoni explains how he doesn’t let this stress him,
The fans want all kind of things! And you can’t get caught up in that. And I will tell you why. Because Star Wars is so strong after so many years, and people love so many different aspects of it. You have to be careful of what you’re serving. So you have to always serve the story of Star Wars and the characters in it. I would say for the prequel kids who love their prequel movies they are very vocal now about all the things they love about it. And I love them too. They get a lot of flack of prequels. Whatever, I don’t care. Some of the most exciting moments are in those films, and I have always been a big supporter of them. I treat Rebels the same way I did Clone Wars. It’s something where if it is something worth telling, I bring it in.
Looks like you all have plans now this Wednesday night! Whether you stand by the Galactic Empire or Rebellion, enjoy Disney XD’s Star Wars Rebels Season 2.