Every once in a while, I’ll put together a Throwback Thursday or Flashback Friday post that highlights some of the Star Wars animation news items I missed in the recent past.
Today’s Throwback Thursday was inspired by Tiya Sircar’s Reddit AMA.
Back in November 2017, Taylor Gray participated in his own AMA, so here is a collection of Star Wars Rebels related questions from that event:
What is the best episode of the show in your opinion?
In season 4… but, up until now, I would say the two part season finale for season 2!
If Ezra adopted a Loth-cat, what would he name him/her?
You ever think you could pull off Ezra in live-action? Or are you afraid to go full-on purple hair?
Fearless to the purple hair. I am ready to dye it tomorrow. Been playing the character for five years!
What is Ezra’s favorite flavor of ice cream?
Meiloorun and cream.
Do you have any Ahsoka theories that you can share without spoilers?
Who is your favorite Star Wars villain and why?
Vader. He is the classic and most powerful with such a great backstory.
Who is your favorite Star Wars character, and why is that person your favorite?
I have to go with Han Solo. He has this air and disposition of the coolest man in the universe. And he’s a pilot. And his best friend is Chewbacca – lot of positives!
What’s your favorite Star Wars movie?
Definitely A NEW HOPE.
How great is it being a voice actor at Lucasfilm?
It is great being anything at Lucasfilm and to be part of the actualized story is the coolest.
What’s it like working with Tiya, Freddie, Vanessa, Steve, and the others when you’re recording your lines for each episode?
The cast on Rebels is so great and unbelievable to work with – and some of them are veterans when it comes to VO, so they have been awesome teachers. We really do have a family dynamic akin to the Ghost crew, so it is a perfect group of rebels. Also nice recording with each other – the energy is palpable.
How does it feel knowing that your character is part of this larger massive galaxy with all these other timeless characters?
It is definitely surreal! It’s STAR WARS – never ceases to amaze me. So cool!
Do you know if Rex will get any episodes focused on him?
Rex has some great episodes featuring him in earlier seasons. He plays a big part of the future rebellion!
Will we be sad about Ezra’s fate at the end of rebels?
I don’t know how everyone will react to different parts of season 4, but I am definitely looking forward to hearing and talking again after fates have been revealed.
Would you rather fight one rancor sized Loth-cat, or 10 Loth-cat sized rancors?
One rancor sized Loth-cat. Ezra connects well with Loth-cats, it would be an unbelievably strong connection. Love that question!
Would you rather fight 100 Loth-cat sized stormtroopers or one stormtrooper-sized Loth-cat?
100 Loth-cat sized stormtroopers. It would be like bowling taking them out. The little army men getting annihilated.
What’s your favorite scene in all of Star Wars Rebels?
It’s in season 4 – and it’s sick. And we recorded it so many times over and over changing little things and I think it is all going to pay off.
How did you get the part to voice Ezra? And if given the chance, would you do a live-action version of Ezra?
I actually just submitted a voice audition from inside my closet (literally – my agent said it was the closest thing to a booth) and then got a call to meet Dave and the creators a month later and got the job – pretty surreal.
I would definitely do a live-action Ezra. Wouldn’t that be a cool movie!
If you were given a second shot at portraying the character of Ezra, is there any quality you would give him/take away? What would you do differently?
Cool question! I love where he came in at – cocky and cool and needed to be cut down a peg. I might make him more ready to learn and less stubborn, so he could have grown into the Force more quickly.
How would you feel about a spin-off series featuring Sabine and the Mandalorians?
I think a spin-off of any part of Rebels would be awesome and the Mando story is so cool and interesting. I think it would definitely be a hit – Sabine is such a strong character as well!
Would you want to be involved in future Star Wars projects, and if so, what would you want to do?
I definitely would like to. And I feel like I can only play Ezra in the SW universe – we’ve come to life together.
What was the very first day of recording like? Was there a lot of excitement in the air?
Huge learning experience! Everyone was so excited and simultaneously nervous – we did not want to mess up anything STAR WARS.
Is there anything about Ezra’s appearance you’d change if you could?
Bring back the hair!
If EA were to add a DLC pack for the upcoming Battlefront 2 game covering Rebels and Clone Wars, do you think you’d be willing to provide a voice for Ezra if he was added as a playable hero?
100%. Would love to hop in another video game!
What was the hardest season to record? What was the most fun season to record?
The first season possibly because we were still crafting Ezra, but then as we grew through it, it became second nature. The fourth season was such a blast but also the highest stakes which made it so much more fun to record.
Is there a particular piece of Star Wars knowledge you learned that made you stop and go “Whoa, now THAT’S cool!” with how interesting or unique it was to you?
There are so many fun facts to Star Wars. One would be something Dave mentioned about Episode IV and how some of the actors thought it was a joke and you can see extras laughing in the background, and then, it becomes the biggest film ever and the next installment you don’t see that anywhere. People were dying to be extras from there on out.
Favorite thing about voice acting? Do you have a favorite or most memorable line you voiced?
You get more takes to get what you want… and you can wear whatever you would like.
“May the Force be with you” is one of those lines everyone hopes to say at one point. I have said a few variations of that thus far and every time it sends chills down your neck.
Is working on Rebels different than other shows you worked on. And if it is, how?
Definitely different. It’s the only voice over show I have worked on which has so many differences to live-action. But also STAR WARS, so yeah, way different, but it has been awesome to be playing a Jedi as well.
From the other pieces of Star Wars media (films, The Clone Wars, etc.), what are some of your favorite moments?
I have downloaded so much Star Wars into my brain recently it feels like I could say everything, but I did really enjoy Rogue One and how great it all looked. I am stoked for Episode VIII – the trailer did not give much away story-wise, but it looks so sick.
How do you think pre-Rebels Ezra would react if told he’d be pivotal to future galactic events?
He would have laughed, shrugged it off, and then probably swiped something from that person telling him.
Do you think Ezra still feels any pull to the dark side? Also, I heard Ezra mention “Hondo told me” in a recent episode. Does that mean those two are still in contact or even friends?
I think that is one of the better characteristics of Ezra: he doesn’t shy away from learning about the dark side and exploring those parts of himself. I think he will always feel a slight pull from the dark side… Hondo and Ezra have a friendship that will always be.
Do you feel [Ezra] has changed much over the seasons? And if so, has anything changed in your portrayal of him?
I feel like he has changed and grown dramatically over the seasons and I myself have grown with him. Ezra was just a young kid at the start of the series and he has had so much responsibility thrust upon him – it was either survive or don’t. I think Ezra has pulled it together very well and [has] become a formidable Jedi. The 4th season holds much more in store for him as well.
About Ezra, would it be fair to say in the first season, he yearned and saw a whole new world? In season 4, do we expect a now matured Ezra to see new horizons to pursue in the Star Wars universe? Was it a thrilling experience for you and the cast?
I would say the first season Ezra is actually a bit more naive to the world and has lived more in solitude rather than picturing a big new world. I think in season 2, he begins to realize he might be a bit in over his head as the obstacles loomed larger and the fate of his parents were revealed. He understood everything is not as great as he initially thought. I think that parallels the maturation process – we have all at some point been in that suspension where we are not as grounded and we are creating our respective identities. I think Maul did expose him to another side of himself (another side of ourselves: the darker side) and Ezra thought maybe he could be stronger if he held his core beliefs but also knew more about the dark side but that is simply temptation. Season 4 Ezra is the strongest version of the Jedi he is becoming. He knows what he wants and leads the Ghost crew towards the big objective in the rebellion. Such an unbelievable experience and am so grateful to be a part of it all.
Do you have any influence on the story going forward (from dialogues and scripts to more general ideas), including the future of Ezra and other characters?
Dave Filoni (our fearless creator/director/writer) is so good about letting us improvise within each script. He asks us what our characters would do as we have embodied them for so long now. The dialogue is fit to our sensibilities and natural instincts. The story … that is mulled over at length by the entire Lucasfilm Story Group and we don’t have as much say on that.
Does Ezra know how to swim? Who do you feel is Ezra’s most important person at this point in the series? Do you know the story of how Ezra got his green kyber crystal for his lightsaber? One of the show’s main themes and the core value of the Ghost crew is family, even though the old Jedi were specifically forbidden from it. Is Ezra aware of this already?
I hope Jedi know how to swim… I’d give a hard yes on that!
Kanan is his leader and the one person he fully trusts.
That blue saber was so versatile and such an innovative combo saber. The green saber took place between seasons and Dave filled us in, it was more natural and necessary after Vader broke his blue saber.
This theme runs Ezra’s life – family is so important to him as we see through the first two seasons with his own parents. I think he was the most hesitant but has learned to trust this new Ghost family!
What are you going to miss about playing this character?
Ezra is so cool. I get to explore a confident side of myself that is so fun with Ezra. I also am going to miss wielding a saber in sessions.
Were you personally satisfied with the conclusion of Ezra’s arc?
I really was. I cannot wait for everyone else to experience it and then share their thoughts – I have a lot more I would like to say on that as soon as the series concludes.
(Note: The questions and responses were slightly edited for clarity. They are in no particular order.)
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