This fall Disney and Lucasfilm will debut the new animated series Star Wars: Rebels. The action in the series follows Star Wars: The Clone Wars, but the series plans to stick closer to the original trilogy than the prequels. Since The Clone Wars featured characters we already knew, like Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Mace Windu, and Master Yoda, we didn’t need an introduction, but with Rebels, Lucasfilm is slowly introducing the brand new cast of characters.
The latest addition is Ezra Bridger, voiced by Nickelodeon star Taylor Gray (Bucket & Skinner’s Epic Adventures). Ezra is a 14-year-old kid who isn’t pleased with the Empire’s rule. He’s a rebel that’s just beginning to understand the power of the Force, until he meets Kanan, who becomes his surrogate Jedi Master. Ezra definitely fits the Luke Skywalker prototype, while Kanan serves as his Obi-Wan Kenobi. Ezra was teased a few weeks ago when LEGO product descriptions leaked, describing him as the pilot of the Phantom, a cargo ship used to fight against the Empire.
Executive producer Dave Filoni told TV Guide:
With Ezra we see how a kid is reacting to this imperial rule…That becomes a big question: What is imperial rule like? We’ve seen it in the movies with a big rebellion that ends up blowing up the Death Star, but do we just assume that when the Empire took over in ‘Revenge of the Sith’ it was seen as a bad thing? I would challenge that. It wasn’t this terrible thing that came in and was cruel to everyone all at once. It was slow to build its power base and spread out, and then we get to see the rebel alliance it affects, and the repercussions of that tyranny.
Gray’s participation was rumored a few months ago when Freddie Prinze Jr.’s name was first attached to Rebels. David Oyelowo, Vanessa Marshall, and Jay Blum were also mentioned, so it’s going to be interesting to see if they really are attached, and who they will play. At this point, it seems like Oyelowo might voice Zeb, the pilot of The Ghost, a spaceship that’s described as a mix between the Millennium Falcon and a B-17 bomber.
Lucasfilm recently revealed the first new character, Kanan, a former Jedi Knight that has been forced (no pun intended) into hiding after Emperor Palpatine executed Order 66. Prinze Jr. will voice the rogue Jedi, who is described as a Han Solo-type “space cowboy.” The studio also introduced the astromech droid Chopper (C1-10P), so it seems like only a matter of time before we meet more characters.
The Galactic Empire is taking over planets in the Outer Rim, and a band of teenage renegades start to sabotage the Imperial stranglehold on the planet Lothal. The action of Rebels will also show fans the very early stages of the Rebel Alliance.
Star Wars: Rebels will air sometime in 2014 with a movie would premiere on the Disney Channel sometime during the summer, but then move to Disney XD in the fall for weekly installments.