WonderCon may have been last week, but that doesn’t mean we’ve stopped getting “Star Wars Rebels” content from the event, as IGN just posted a new interview with Dave Filoni from last week’s WonderCon convention. In this interview, Dave talks about telling new Star Wars stories set in an era that’s close to “A New Hope,” the 6 main heroes of the show, and discusses some of the early fan skepticism about the show’s tone. Here’s a portion of the interview:
IGN: What can you say about the conception of Rebels? I’m guessing the general era was decided upon, but how did you then hone in on five years before A New Hope?
Dave Filoni: Yeah, that all came out of the discussions initially between Simon Kinberg and I and the story team up at Lucasfilm. You’re trying to find real estate now and not affect things. I think we’re very aware of the Luke Skywalker timeline and how we don’t want to cross over with that in any way. There are things that are the big pillars that we don’t to interrupt. I’ve always believed the best thing to do is kind of find your own spot and develop that and make new, exciting characters that people can believe in. I’ve had a lot of experience with that. Even Ahsoka’s kind of now being put up on the Star Wars pantheon by many fans, and Captain Rex. I think arguably they’re the most exciting parts of Clone Wars other than, you know, Anakin got great development, but I think you remember that period for the iconic characters in it. So we really wanted to create new characters for Star Wars and not use any that we had known before. It’s kind of a bold move given the big changes that the public sees, but we felt it was a necessary thing to say, “Hey, these are Star Wars characters. They’re in the world you know.” Five years seemed like a good place in time. There are all kinds of clues and hints within the movies, frankly, that people, if they’re really savvy and pay attention, would know are the same things that Simon and I kind of hit, that we go, “Well, that’s an interesting thing they’re saying. So we can’t do that. This affects us.” It’s really forged how the rebels themselves are active in this time period — in ways that I’m not sure the fans would realize.
IGN: Let’s start with the duo — or it looks to be a duo in some respects — of Kanan and Ezra. Obviously, the inclusion of a Jedi is notable given the era this show takes place in. You are once again, of course, going to have years of people going, “What happens to Kanan?”
Dave Filoni: Yes, you’re right! I’m so used to it now, though, because people are still asking me about what happened to Ahsoka. People don’t seem satisfied with the characters ending unless they die, you know? Which is kind of morbid. Yeah, Kanan is a great character to me because I’ve always wondered what happened to Jedi in this time period. Did they just go quietly into the night? Did any of them survive Order 66? How many of them survived Order 66? What were their experiences like? So with Kanan, it was a real chance to sit down and see the aftermath of the events of the Clone Wars. It’s all particularly topical for me, because I just spent the last eight years fighting the Clone Wars. So now to be dealing with a bunch of characters who are dealing with the repercussions of that era, it’s really kind of fascinating. When I look at Kanan, I could pretty quickly guess who he is and where he was. Always with Jedi you start to want to go, “Well, how can we make this guy different?” I think what people will find, I hope, is that he’s a different kind of mentor than Obi-Wan was. I really liked when we showed the difference between a Luminara-raised Padawan versus an Anakin Skywalker-raised Padawan. I think it’s important that not every Jedi teaches the same. They don’t all perfectly know all the lessons. I think that Freddie [Prinze Jr.] does a brilliant job at bringing Kanan to life as far as, what does he know about the Force? How did Order 66, these things, affect him? How did he survive it? All those things are great questions. So there’s so much to do just with him. You have all these characters too, but Kanan in particular — we even wanted his design, his armor, it kind of speaks to a bygone era. That’s something I really like about this time period. It speaks to something big that preceded it. To a kid like Ezra, he doesn’t really know anything about it. Ezra knows there was a Clone War, but he certainly didn’t watch the series. He had no idea it was on!
It’s always a good read when Dave Filoni talks Star Wars, and this discussion is no exception. So make sure you check out the full interview over at IGN.