Mechanics, wannabe racers, and one guy who’s practically seen it all. Meet Team Fireball!
The new featurette video from Lucasfilm is a feast for the eyes and the ears as fans get to meet the creative minds behind the new animated series as well as some of the voices that bring these characters to life.
“I want it to have a sense of childlike fun and adventure,” said Star Wars Resistance creator Dave Filoni. “What unifies this team is that they need each other. They need to try and win races to survive and make money.”
After all, things don’t come easy in a galaxy far, far away. Even your everyday mechanic has to earn a wage to make a decent living, but why fix ships for money when you can fly them instead? To win a race at Colossus, the massive refueling station and home of Team Fireball, you have to be an exceptional pilot. Kazuda Xiono might be that guy, but he also has a different task to handle.
“Kaz’s job, given to him by Poe [Dameron], is to spy on the First Order. He’s good at flying, but he’s not really good at spying,” said Christopher Sean, the voice behind Kazuda. He’s slightly out of his element, but he’s the kind of guy who’ll show up and do the job anyway.
Executive Producer and Supervising Director Justin Ridge also added, “He’s a bit clumsy. He gets into trouble here and there, but Kaz is definitely a guy who has a lot of heart and wants to make a difference.”
Sounds a lot like Ezra Bridger from Star Wars Rebels and that alone makes Kaz the character I want to keep my eye on because these traits make him a relatable character, especially to a younger audience. At one time or another, we’ve tripped, fallen, and/or said something stupid. No one is infallible. Even our heroes make mistakes. It’s what you do after the mistakes that counts.
Speaking of heroes, what happens to the ones who’ve fought in one war and live to see a peaceful time? They become a mechanic on Colossus, like Jarek Yeager. An old school pilot for the Rebellion, Yeager spends his time managing his repair shop and someone like Kaz is bound to shake things up.
“He, unfortunately, keeps getting pulled back into the action,” said Scott Lawrence, the voice of the veteran pilot.
In some ways, he sounds like Kanan Jarrus. Not only is Yeager the father figure of Team Fireball, like Kanan was in the Ghost crew, but he’s also being put in a situation where his past as a rebel pilot will inevitably start influencing his actions.
Then, there’s ex-racer and current mechanic Tam Ryvora, voiced by Suzie McGrath. Tough, no nonsense, and recognizes when to bring on the attitude, Tam is not someone to be messed with.
“She also has a lot of heart and passion. She wants to have a purpose in life,” said Executive Producer Athena Yvette Portillo.
Brandon Auman, executive producer and head writer, also added that even though she cares about people, she prefers to keep her emotions to herself. Again, one can’t help but compare her to Sabine Wren, a hardened character who shared some of those qualities. Sabine also had an amazing arc of episodes in the latter half of Star Wars Rebels, so it’ll be interesting to learn more about Tam and what keeps her motivated.
Last but certainly not least is Neeku Vozo, a genius albeit totally naive non-human voiced by Josh Brener.
“He’s this unbelievably positive, happy Nikto character. No matter what kind of day you’re having, Neeku is having a great day,” said Brener, and it’s no surprise that he became an instant fan-favorite character following the featurette’s debut. It also sounds like Neeku and Kaz will get along quite well and will make a great pair of characters once they start off on their adventures.
Whether you want to believe it or not, we live in a golden age of Star Wars storytelling. With so many upcoming projects on the way, like the newly announced season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars and the live-action series spearheaded by Jon Favreau, there is something different for everybody. Star Wars Resistance is just one piece of a giant puzzle, and most importantly, it’ll be the entry point for a new generation of fans.
“We made the show for a younger audience,” said Portillo. “I think they’ll love the relationships between the characters and all the lightheartedness. It’s unique in tone, unique in look. It’s a completely different package.”
A package we can’t wait to unwrap on Sunday, October 7 (Columbus holiday weekend), when the series debuts at 10pm ET/PT on the Disney Channel and Disney NOW.
Up next on TWG, we’ll break down the nuggets of information and glimpses of concept art seen throughout the featurette. Until next time, which member of Team Fireball are you looking forward to learning more about?