Producers Dave Filoni and Simon Kinberg talk STAR WARS REBELS

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It’s possible to see several things from space: Our effect on the planet, parts of South Africa currently experiencing load-shedding and my excitement for Star Wars: Rebels making a return to the small screen.

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With the first season done and dusted, the show is ready to kick it into a high gear. No more establishing boundaries, rules or scenarios, as the Force is strong and the dark side is knockin’ on that door. And that darkness is personified by none other than the original Darth Vader himself, James Earl Jones. “One of many surreal things making the show, maybe the most surreal thing [was] hearing all the different takes, hearing James Earl Jones, untreated, playing the lines that Dave and I had essentially written together,” producer Simon Kinberg said to Collider. “You don’t even really direct him,” producer Dave Filoni added.

There were a couple moments in the takes when James would cough or correct himself and start over. All of the sudden you realize there is a man playing Darth Vader. It’s sort of like having the helmet come off all over again.

With the second season on the way, expect the risks to be higher than ever. “The story gets bigger, the stakes get higher as it should.” Filoni explained.

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I feel like we’re moving into our “Empire Strikes Back” era for the characters — where they’re really challenged. The first year was “A New Hope”. Now all these characters have to go through different trials.

According to Kinberg, the plot progression of Rebels also meant that communication was needed between Star Wars teams, as the progress of that series would help tell a larger tale that would be continued in the various films:

There’s a story group at Lucasfilm and there is a real communication between all the different stories. We talk with the 7, 8, & 9 filmmakers, as well as the stand-alone filmmakers.

“We’re all collaborating together on a huge story that each of us tells a chapter of. Filoni added, “The purpose of that is so that we’re always aware of the continuity and the different stories. That’s the beauty of the new story group scenario — that it’s all interconnected. This keeps all the stories on track.” That also means that Rebels is aiming for a tone similar to the original trilogy, something that will echo in the upcoming films as well according to Filoni:

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The first point of entry is the original films. We want the tone, the texture of those movies to be really present in the show. I think the future of the Star Wars movies [has] that same approach — wanting to have the ethos of the original films. Whether it’s video games or the stand-alone movies or what we’re doing on the TV series. Because of that — they all feel of one piece, of a singular voice and vision even though there are different filmmakers involved on each…

The biggest question though? Just what the hell happened to former Jedi Kanan, that turned him away from the Force?According to Kanan voice actor Freddie Prinze Jr, answers are on the way:

In Season Two, you’re going to learn a lot about why [Kanan] is who he is today. Why he’s the type of teacher he is. You’ll find a lot of that through a special character who brings some of those feelings out… You’ll [also] see him and Ezra go through some growing pains as you would a teenager fight with his father. You’ll see some rejection there. You’ll see Ezra look towards others for advice which will irk Kanan quite a bit. You’ll see Kanan have to deal with Captain Rex, which is a tricky situation given the nature in which he lost his master. So you’ll see a lot of conflict for him.

Season 2 kicks off in the US summer. And it’s looking fantastic already.

Last Updated: April 21, 2015

Darryn Bonthuys

Something wrong gentlemen? You come here prepared to read the words of a madman, and instead found a lunatic obsessed with comics, Batman and Raul Julia's M Bison performance in the 1994 Street Fighter movie? Fine! Keep your bio! In fact, now might be a good time to pray to it!

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