Executive producer Dave Filoni is a busy man, but thankfully, some of the most popular news outlets tracked him down in order to ask him questions pertaining to the mid-season trailer of Star Wars Rebels and its remaining episodes. Here’s a brief summary of what you might have missed.
Whether you like it or not, Ezra is the main character of the show. The story has grown around him, and it will end with him. EW’s Anthony Breznican spoke with Filoni about the 2.5-minute trailer and how the first 1.5 minutes focused on Ezra.
“I felt like it was important to give this last trailer an overall perspective of what this kid had come from and what he had been learning. I like that line that says, ‘You’ve never been like anyone else…'”
Filoni’s referring to Kanan’s line from “Zero Hour.” Ezra, like Luke and Rey, represents the traditional kind of hero. Someone who came from nothing, learns through his mistakes, and does what he can to do good. They’re not perfect and they’re subject to temptation, but they ultimately know what’s the right thing to do.
And as always, Breznican broke down the trailer for the readers and included Filoni’s comments along each slide.
One of the quotes that felt most important to me was, “You want to give kids a sense that there’s growth, that you can change, that you learn. Sometimes you fail, but you can overcome those failures.”
It’s often so ingrained in our society that failure means something negative. People are so afraid to fail, so afraid to make a mistake. And as a wise Jedi once said, fear is the path to the dark side. Failure is a great teacher, and we saw that recently in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, so I’m glad Star Wars Rebels reinforces that.
Filoni also added, “Really, the ultimate challenge for everybody in everyday life is the temptation to be good or evil, or do nice things or unkind things. These temptations pull on us for what we want versus what’s better for the group.”
According to Breznican, “Those are the natural temptations Emperor Palpatine will exploit in Ezra.”
When it comes to Ezra, his immediate problem lies more with what’s the best way to save his friends rather than what can I get out of this for myself. His temptation may make him choose the wrong means in order to get a good outcome, but as well all know, the ends don’t justify the means, and I think this is where the Emperor will manipulate Ezra.
And as for the Emperor’s appearance, Filoni said, “I wanted something more insidious than perhaps lightsaber play. The Emperor can appear [in] so many different ways. He can seem frail at times or powerful at times. He’s the ultimate deceiver, and he plays on your own wants and greeds.”
We’ve seen Ezra deal with Darth Vader in person, so it’ll be interesting to see how he handles himself around someone like Emperor Palpatine. Ezra’s a smart kid, so I have faith that he’ll do the right thing, but how it happens is the question that keeps me up at night!
Over at io9, Germain Lussier talked with Filoni about Hera surviving the final season of Rebels because of the fact that she appears in other parts of the timeline, like in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Forces of Destiny.
“It’s one of the side effects of this ongoing continuity. It seems like a fun, great idea and it is a fun, great idea to see a character like Hera in these situations. But then you’re like ‘Oh, wait a minute. That really blows that opportunity.’ Like I can’t really troll the fans into whether she’s going to survive or not, right?’
While this particular interview didn’t reveal much, I can only imagine the smile on his face when he said that. I love the fact that Filoni enjoys the element of surprise and giving the fans the kind of story we deserve.
Finally, similar to Entertainment Weekly’s breakdown, Lussier highlighted important moments from the trailer while also presenting comments from Filoni along the way.
Lastly, Amy Ratcliffe kicked off a series of interviews with Filoni, starting with the general plot points that were presented in the trailer. And again, it all goes back to Ezra, so the following quote is presented for emphasis.
“This story is about Ezra at the end of the day. No matter how much prominence other characters have risen to, which I think has been great, it ultimately is Ezra’s story. And I think Ezra’s story is really about his family and his home, and the people there. So when you examine it in that way, it makes sense that the story really takes place on Lothal in the end. We’ll have to see what elements come into play there, but [the rest of the series] is going to play out mostly, if not all, on Lothal.”
It also makes sense that the final events of the show are taking place on Lothal because this was where we were first introduced to Agent Kallus, where Ahsoka came to terms with the true identity of Darth Vader, and where Kanan was knighted. Lothal holds a great importance to all of these characters, so if they had to make their last stand, I couldn’t think of a better place.
Filoni also mentioned how Palpatine has picked up on Ezra’s “persistent ability to survive. It would arch your eyebrow. I don’t know that it’s so specifically on Ezra to say, ‘I am after that guy.’ I think he’s probably got a target list of Jedi he is looking for and I think that this kid has become a persistent nuisance, you know? And Ezra definitely has been causing problems, but there are other reasons why Palpatine’s gaze is directed that way that will be revealed.”
It’ll be interesting to see what other reasons Palpatine has in mind and how Ezra factors in. In talking with my Rebels Chat co-host, I mentioned that Ezra has a natural ability to connect with other living beings and not just with animals. People immediately think his ability solely works with animals, but that’s inaccurate. He was able to connect with Tseebo, Klik Klak, and Pipey. Perhaps, this is an ability that the Emperor wants to use for himself?
Filoni didn’t say much about the connection to the Mortis trilogy of episodes from Star Wars: The Clone Wars, but he told Nerdist, “Mortis is such a weird, otherworldly thing in The Clone Wars; so because it echoes around in my head, it’s always a possibility that it creeps in things that I do. I found some opportunities with things we were doing [on Rebels] and I said, ‘Well, we’ve got something I can use. Let’s do it.’ It just made sense and everybody was pretty excited about it when it was happening.”
Thinking outside the box is what I love most about Filoni’s thought process. They hardly ever come from a predictable place, so I have no doubt that the truth that’s waiting for us in the final episodes is going to blow minds.
Finally, he spoke about the Loth-wolves, “Their own connection to the natural world is definitely driving them, but it seems like there is something more. And what you’re seeing in the trailer, I like to think of as that something more, and I definitely think people will start to draw some correlations between other things we’ve seen in Rebels and what they’re seeing with this experience that Ezra has with the wolves.”
In the trailer, Ezra meets a Loth-wolf that is 10 times bigger than the ordinary Loth-wolves we’ve seen. The only parallel that comes to mind is Kanan meeting the Bendu for the first time in “Steps Into Shadow.” They’re both enormous manifestations of the Force on the worlds they inhabit, and while the Bendu was a creature that lived in solitude, this giant wolf comes across more as the alpha in the pack. It’ll be intriguing to see how Ezra interacts with this giant Loth-wolf and what he learns from them.
Filoni lastly mentioned wanting to present wolves under a positive light, how there’s a need to show respect to these creatures, and how they represent nature.
What were some quotes that stood out to you? Share them in the comments section below.
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