Disney XD has released three great videos that introduce the main heroic characters of their upcoming Star Wars Rebels animated series. The characters are Kanan, Ezra, and Zeb and it looks like they are going to give the show a decidedly space western feel… almost a little bit like they are in the same vein as Firefly.
n Star Wars Rebels, fans will see the rise of the Rebellion through Ezra: a 14-year-old con artist who learns to fight for a greater good. The seemingly-reluctant hero is revealed here in a video filled with character concept art, early animation, and creator interviews.
Growing up on his own in the age of the Empire, Ezra has had to rely on his wit and cunning to get by. As voice actor Taylor Gray explains, “He’s very street-smart, he’s a pickpocket, he’s a little thief. But he’s doing it all because he needs to survive.”
Executive producer Dave Filoni adds that Ezra is not a bad kid. Although he may enjoy stealing from the Empire, his behavior has been influenced by the world around him – a world that is under Imperial control.
But his hard life has also made his world smaller. “He doesn’t really trust anyone,” says Rayne Roberts, creative executive ofStar Wars Rebels. “That’s kind of his motto in life. He has that hard edge at times.” When audiences first meet Ezra, he is not yet a Rebel and is not yet interested in restoring freedom to the galaxy — but that will soon change when Ezra is introduced to his new surrogate family: the crew of the Ghost.
Greg Weisman, executive producer, says, “His eyes get opened to the fact that there are people who care, who are trying to fight the good fight. And he becomes one of them.” Still, there is more to Ezra than even he knows.
Ezra is Force-sensitive, Filoni reveals, though he is unaware that he is tapping into this mystical energy field. Ezra knows he has some strange abilities, but they’re “instinctive and reactionary.” It is only through his relationship with Kanan, a Jedi Survivor and crew member of the Ghost, that Ezra will learn the true nature of his power. Together, they will forge new paths and destinies – and a rebellion will rise.
Not every guardian of peace and justice was lost to the tragedy of Order 66. Introducing Kanan, a survivor of the Emperor’s Jedi purge and one of the main characters of Star Wars Rebels.
Kanan, voiced by Freddie Prinze, Jr., is a less traditional Force-wielder than fans are used to seeing. He carries a blaster, is a little sarcastic, and keeps his past a secret. “I like to call Kanan ‘the cowboy Jedi,'” says executive producer Dave Filoni. As shown in this video, his Jedi robes are long gone, replaced with armor and a holster, though a samurai-like ponytail hints at his Jedi Knight origins.
In Star Wars Rebels, set between Episode III and IV, Kanan has been underground for years, evading the Empire. If the Imperials become aware of his existence “he’s going to get killed,” says art director Kilian Plunkett. He still has his lightsaber, but no longer uses it for fear of revealing his true identity — and has ultimately forsaken the ways of the Jedi Order.
Star Wars Rebels will show Kanan’s journey as he rediscovers himself, just as a rebellion begins to form against the Empire. According to Filoni, “He’s a gunslinger that needs to put the gun away and pick up the sword again, and fight for noble causes and selfless causes.” But what will happen when he chooses to reignite his Jedi weapon, fighting once again for a greater purpose?
The video closes with a tease of what’s to come: an encounter with the nightmarish Inquisitor, the Empire’s Jedi hunter.
Every team needs a tough guy. Introducing Zeb, the (smart) muscle of the Ghost crew from Lucasfilm’s upcoming animated series Star Wars Rebels. He is revealed for the first time in this video, featuring concept art, clay sculpts, and final renderings of the character, in addition to creator interviews.
Zeb is a well-trained honor guard and is highly educated, according to executive producer Dave Filoni, which juxtaposes his brutish, alien appearance. He’s voiced by Steve Blum, who says, “He’s got a bit of a chip on his shoulder, hates Chopper…and is starting to build a relationship with Ezra, begrudgingly.”
Zeb’s favorite pastime: beating up Stormtroopers, or “bucket heads,” as he’s heard calling them. He’s an agile fighter, using his hands, feet, and acrobatics. But there is more to Zeb than pounding Imperials. “It’s just going to be exciting to develop him and his bizarre new species,” says Filoni, “and to explain to the audience where he came from.”