If you are a Star Wars fan, you will love Star Wars Rebels. Star Wars Rebels looks to be a hit with fans young and old as it covers the history between the prequel trilogy and the original trilogy of Star Wars films. Set five years before A New Hope, Luke and Leia are only about 12 years old, the Empire is reaching the planets on the Outer Rim, and the show explores the origins of what becomes the Rebellion.
At an exclusive preview event, Disney unveiled to a select group of bloggers some of the details about this upcoming show. On hand to greet us were a couple of Stormtroopers who asked us to “Move along.” Also on hand was everyone’s favorite droid, R2D2 fresh from his May the Fourth Be With You message at D23. And with Artoo was his new friend Chopper from Star Wars Rebels. But the highlight of the evening was a Q&A session with Vanessa Marshall who does the voice of Hera. Vanessa is a charming, intelligent woman who grabs life for all its worth and injects that loving, heartfelt personality into the character of Hera. When asked about her inspiration was for her character’s voice, Vanessa responded, “Because I love the Star Wars saga so much, I really just use things about the Force and the Dark Side and the Empire and all of the films. I sort of use all of that information and kind of use my own voice and plug into how important those things are to me personally. I mean in a weird way Hera is not very far from me. My dad flies an open cockpit bi-plane and, I don’t know how to fly, but when I told him that I got this (part), he said, ‘Of course you did.'” Yes, Vanessa is a self-professed Star Wars nerd! She revealed to us all that she is in fact a “bionic nerd” and her excitement over getting this part and adding to the lore of this iconic series put her on the verge of tears.
The cast of the show records all of the episodes together instead of recording each part individually. Dave Filoni, one of the Executive Producers, felt it was important that the cast develop along with the characters. When asked what she thought of this approach to cast development, Vanessa said, “It’s fantastic! It is so much fun. What is interesting to see is how everyone is so much like their character.” She says she’s like the mom of the group, always looking to take care of the cast and making sure nobody goes hungry. “I’m like the banana lady,” she shares as she smiles. Freddy Prinze, Jr. (who plays Kanan the “Cowboy Jedi”) is always helping out the younger Taylor Grey (who plays his padawan apprentice, Ezra) and develops a parallel relationship in real life as they do in the show. Vanessa says she shares a kindred spirit with a love for football with Tiya Sircar who portrays the Mandolorian, Sabine. And as for Steve Blum who portrays Zeb, he can be found sitting back and laughing at what’s going on. “He’s not violent like his character. He’s usually the one eating the bananas.”
From the clips we were fortunate enough to see and the obvious love and affection that Vanessa has for this show and for her fellow actors, this is a special group of people who will bring their enthusiasm and freshness to the Star Wars Universe and truly make it their own. Vanessa shared with us that it is such a joy to work with the writers who are extremely talented and the Star Wars fan in her can’t wait for each new episode to see what happens next or what little corner of the universe will unfold this time. You could tell the fan part of her is so excited for us to discover what she already knows, but she kept all of that under wraps and told us we would just have to see for ourselves. Be sure to see for yourself this terrific new series that is part of the Star Wars canon and learn more about the universe you already love. And if you are new to the Star Wars universe? Then come on board and join the crew of the Ghost for a fantastic adventure that will entice you to know even more about this grand epic they are a part of. Star Wars Rebels premieres on Disney Channel as a one-hour episode in the Fall and then will appear regularly on Disney X D as a series.