Last week, TWG attended the Star Wars Resistance press junket in Los Angeles, California. There, I had the opportunity to participate in a series of roundtable interviews with Executive Producers Athena Portillo, Justin Ridge, and Brandon Auman as well as voice actors Christopher Sean (Kazuda Xiono), Donald Faison (Hype Fazon), Bobby Moynihan (Orka), and Suzie McGrath (Tam Ryvora).
What I enjoyed most about my experience was just seeing the excited looks on the faces of the cast and crew. I immediately got the sense this was a labor of love and they’re beyond thrilled to put it out there for any fan who’s looking to just have fun.
Coming up with interview questions was not easy mainly because this is a brand-new series and there isn’t much the actors and creators can talk about past the first two episodes. In that case, I tend to come up with hypothetical situations and try to get opinions rather than hard facts.
Donald Faison was our first to interview. When coming up with a question for him, I thought about Hype’s main characteristic and that is his ego. In the Team Fireball featurette, we learned he can put that aside when he and the other pilots come together to protect the Colossus. I spun that around and asked him if he could be a team player for the Resistance. Is that something Hype Fazon can do when the fame and glory are gone and war is upon them?
Bobby Moynihan was absolutely delightful. I’m pretty sure our table just laughed the entire time we had with him. He voices Orka (a Chadra-fan who works alongside Flix, a new species) as well as a few other characters that are scattered throughout the series. He told us the story about how Orka’s voice came about, so be sure to check that out in my Culturess article.
Christopher Sean IS Kazuda Xiono. He and his character share the same charm and personality, so it felt like we were talking with Kazuda in the flesh. He hopes people will enjoy his character and the journey he’ll embark on once the series starts. He’s also well-aware of the need for diversity and representation in media, and he’s extremely happy that he gets to play a part in that and bring to life an Asian character in Star Wars for a younger generation.
My other question for him involved Kaz’s father, a senator in the New Republic. Kaz doesn’t have the best relationship with him, so I thought back to Leia and the relationship she had with her father. From there, I asked him what kind of advice Leia would give Kazuda regarding that relationship. I think his answer would make Leia proud.
Suzie McGrath has that unbelievably sweet “I want to hug you now and never let go” kind of personality. I especially loved how she described Tam and Kazuda’s relationship. Tam is clearly not a big fan of Kaz at first because he invades her space and borrows the ship she was promised, but we’ll get to a point when she starts to tolerate him and maybe even accept him as family. I’m excited to see how that progresses throughout the series. She also dropped a few interesting details about Tam and emphasized that we’ll get to know more of her down the line.
Lastly, I wish we had the entire day to talk with Executive Producers Athena Portillo, Justin Ridge, and Brandon Auman. There’s a wealth of knowledge there I wanted to tap into. I did, however, come away with the answer to my timeline question. I wanted to know why the show was set 6 months prior to Star Wars: The Force Awakens instead of another point in time.
Overall, it was a wonderful experience (and the cupcakes were delicious). Here’s hoping this press junket won’t be the last for TWG, especially when it comes to Star Wars animation.
Visit Culturess.com to read the interview.