It’s here! It’s here! Season two of “Star Wars Rebels” is finally here. If you have not seen this series airing on Disney XD, go out and get season one and binge watch so you can catch up on this very cool show. You do not have to be a nerd… or a dad… or even a Star Wars fan. Well, actually you have to be a Star Wars fan to appreciate the in depth story lines that carry over from “The Clone Wars” and expand into the last few years leading up to the film that started it all, “A New Hope.”
Last week, I was invited to a screening of the first two episodes of “Star Wars Rebels,” season two. It DID NOT DISAPPOINT! The two episodes are funny, full of revelations and help tie the Clone Wars to Rebels with the revelation of an old favorite character, Captain Rex!
We were immediately led into a conference room after the screening and were introduced to Executive Producer Dave Filoni, and the actors that provide the voices to Hera (Vanessa Marshall), Kanan ( Freddy Prinze Jr.), Captain Rex (Dee Bradley Baker), and Clone Wars returning favorite, Ahsoka Tano (Ashleigh Eckstein).
I went into the day wanting two things: to see some of the new season before anyone else, because I am a huge fan (and nerd) and to find out some technical info on putting together such a great show. I really wanted to find out how the process works. I asked Filoni how long it takes and to describe the process of making each episode. He told the room that from ideas to script, to voice over recording and final notes and animation, it can be between eight and 12 months! That is a long time to make 22 minutes of Rebels, but it clearly shows how much care they all put into each one.
When Rebels came on Disney XD, my three boys and I could not believe how much we instantly liked all of the characters and the stories. The animation is superb and the main players are fully realized characters. We are always on the edge of our seat wanting to see what happens to them next. Along with Ezra and Kanan’s expanding relationship and journey into the Force, Filoni told us we are going to get a lot more of Chopper, the bitter, angry droid and my youngest son’s favorite character, in season two. He told us Chopper will have his own mini character arc in an entire episode based on his origins and how he came to reside on the Ghost with Hera. But, he said the most exciting aspects to the upcoming season is welcoming back Commander Rex, and Ahsoka, and multi episode arcs explaining the backgrounds of Hera and Sabine. He said that we had seen clues to both characters backgrounds in season one, so we might have to go back and look a little closer to get some insight as to where we are headed now.
In the first episodes we learn what happened to all of the Clones from the Clone Wars. I had always wondered this. Were they killed? Were they put into menial jobs building the Death Star and other Empire based weapons? Well, we find out what happened to at least three of them, and we are treated to seeing the introduction of the AT-AT’s in a mesmerizing battle sequence that uses Kanan and Ezra in full Jedi “general” mode and the Clones battling it out against the new Empire.
Filoni talked at length how he comes up with the ideas, some early on are even ran by George Lucas, and how careful he is to make the show stay true to the Star Wars universe. He loves to expand, explain and treat the audience to all of the elements he enjoyed as a young boy watching the originals.
But to all of you out there that are getting ready to jump into season two, there is one thing that we are all waiting for: Master and former padawan facing off for the first time ever, since she left the Jedi order and he became a dark lord of the Sith. Yep, Ahsoka and Anakin will meet this season in what we nerds can only imagine will be an epic scene with the double lightsaber wielding student taking on her “more machine than man” mentor.
So many surprises and so many awesome characters makes this series one of the best written and exciting half hours on television. Plus, it is the best way to get your Star Wars fix until The Force Awakens hits theaters in December. So get ready and appreciate all of the work and artistry that goes into every frame.
Season two starts October 14! Haven’t seen season one? All 15 episodes, plus never-before-seen bonus material revealing the magic behind making the series, are now available on DVD and Blu-ray.