The Ghost crew is back together again, but the path ahead of them is even more uncertain.
While the second season of Star Wars Rebels premiered months ago, it’s only now that the rest of the 22-episode season is making its way to Disney XD. Rebels co-creator Dave Filoni, Taylor Gray (Ezra Bridger), Ashley Eckstein (Ahsoka Tano), and Sarah Michelle Gellar (the Seventh Sister), appeared at New York Comic Con to offer small teases and screen the first two episodes coming back.
The last time we saw the Rebels on Ghost, they had survived their first encounter with Darth Vader and Ahsoka. But everyone has changed, especially Ahsoka, who thought she sensed her old master. She’s older, wiser, and more of a mentor figure to the Rebels, something along the lines of Gandalf, Filoni said at the panel, and according to Eckstein the Rebels “look up to her with a lot of respect.”
But that first encounter with Darth Vader, Filoni said Ahsoka and her former master have a lot of unfinished business.
“There’s never really been a Jedi like Ahsoka before, someone that electively walks away from everything before it all falls apart,” Filoni explained. “That earned her a certain position apart from their way of thinking about the Force. That doesn’t mean that Vader would have sympathy for her whatsoever. There’s a lot of unfinished business between the two, things left unsaid. I find that all very interesting as a director and a storyteller.”
Throughout the first season, Rebels gave its female characters equal footing to the male characters, and Gellar’s casting as a villain offers yet another complex female character. While Filoni doesn’t think of it as writing characters for women—he’s writing characters for everybody—he does acknowledge how special (and uncommon) it is that Rebels has so many female characters, which is in part due to his wife’s perspective of female fandom.
“All I can really do is create opportunities and bring some balance to the Force here,” he said. “I think you can see the reaction from the crowd. The guys like Hera because she’s an awesome pilot. You do these characters right, then they are for everybody.”
“It’s always fun to play the characters that you least expect,” Gellar told reporters at the press conference after the panel. “What I really love about [Seventh Sister], she’s so intelligent. She’s a thinking bad guy, a thinking villain. And everybody wants to be the bad guy, come on! Plus she gets the way better outfits.”
The characters have a tough road ahead of them. We’re going to learn more of Zeb’s history and the conflict between him and Kallus, Kanan Jarrus figuring out what kind of teacher he wants to be to Ezra, and Hera Syndulla’s responsibility to the bigger Rebellion cause.
And they’re going to need more allies. Part of the tonight’s episode brings in Rex, a Clone captain who served with Ahsoka and Anakin Skywalker during the Clone Wars. But can he be trusted?
Fans will finally learn the answer to one of the show’s biggest mysteries this season: What happened to Ezra’s parents? Even Gray didn’t know what happened until he got the scripts for it.
“Throughout the first season they were brought up a lot and I would ask Dave what happened,” Gray said. “And naturally, Dave being Dave, would kinda divert and go around and say, ‘We’ll find out.’ And it was true because in the second season that is addressed, and it gets very deep and dark. We see Ezra getting through situations very easily and in a very cavalier way, and this is the one thing that can really hurt him. And I didn’t know what to expect.”
They’ve compared being part of the Star Wars universe to being part of a family, but most families don’t have reunions of this caliber. Many actors from the original movies have reprised their roles in Rebels, the most recent James Earl Jones as Darth Vader. Filoni noted in particular Jones’s ability to capture the humanity of Darth Vader in his performance.
“We’re all Star Wars fans, everyone in this room. So, the fact that I get to share the screen—well, my voice does—with James Earl Jones, I just can’t even comprehend it quite honestly,” Eckstein said. “It’s amazing. Several other actors have returned from the films. And then also getting to work with Sarah Michelle Gellar; it’s so many amazing people that it’s surreal. You pinch yourself.”
But what is Vader up to? Lucasfilm is even more secretive than sister studio Marvel about upcoming plots and spoilers, so they’re not saying much. Even some of the actors don’t know what’s to come in the finale.
“I’ve gotten every page to every script that we’ve done except for the season 2 finale, the last five pages,” Gray said. “I didn’t receive them, no one in the cast did. So I’m incredibly interested to find out what happens. I have no idea, and it’s a little scary.”
Filoni knows, but for now we’ll have to wait and see.
Star Wars Rebels returns to Disney XD tonight.
Screengrab via Star Wars/YouTube