Tuesday, October 1, 2013

5 On 5 Roundtable: Star Wars Rebels

By: David Gremillion

We are pleased to bring you this new feature, courtesy of the Star Wars Geeks Of The World Unite community. We call it the "5 on 5" opinion piece where we take 5 people and ask them 5 questions. Our guests are Andy Peachey, the Page Admin for the Jedi Unite page; the SWU's own Ben Hart; Dana Merica, Admin from the Star Roarz page; Peter Miller, Page Admin from the Bounty Hunters Unite page; and myself, David Gremillion, author of the fan novels, Star Wars: Awakening, and Star Wars: Split HorizonsOur topic is the upcoming animated series Star Wars Rebels!

1. What story line are you most anxious to see develop? 

Andy: From what we know about ‘Star Wars Rebels’ so far, I’m most looking forward to seeing the Jedi's influence on the Rebellion. It’s been said from The Clone Wars, that the Jedi Knights trained different factions of Rebels all over the Galaxy during the Clone Wars. This makes sense with some off the cuff remarks from the likes of General Jan Dodonna ‘may the force be with you’ and the same with Ackbar, so I’m interested in that aspect of the Rebellion and if some certain Togrutan survivors could have any involvement in the formation of the Rebel Alliance.

Ben: One question that we’ve never really gotten a clear answer on is how the Clone Troopers became Stormtroopers. Battlefront II briefly covered this story with the Clone rebellion on Kamino, but that story was designed around the game. I would like to see a more detailed explanation about how, and why, the Clone Troopers were phased out in favor of recruited men. In episode III they are elite, identical soldiers. Then in Episode IV they are different heights with different voices and they can't seem to hit anything. What happened? I want the full story!

Dana: Hard to say. I'm going to have to say the founding of the Rebellion. Gives us a chance to see that the actions of morons are not always what they are cracked up to be. The empire will stretch far and wide, and People will realize the huge mistake they made. Just like real-life politics; nobody wins

Peter: I believe TCW did this very well, but I would really like to see certain storylines like the costs and debt of the Rebel Alliance, how the war makes the everyday citizens feel, how many supplies and ships they can afford, how they strategize their battles, etc. I'd like to see how the Alliance started, and how they recruited their soldiers. I'd like it to focus more on the politics and strategical side of the war, instead of the blaster bolts going astray. I'd like to focus more on how the Alliance was born, more politics, less fighting.

David: Considering the name of the series is "Rebels", clearly we're going to see quite a bit about the heroic underdogs. However, I'm most interested to see if we get any time with Darth Vader alone with his thoughts. Eight years later, does he regret anything? Do his thoughts dwell on Padmé? Or is he just a mindless killing machine? Will we see him duel the leftover Jedi? Will they try to turn him? Vader has so many un-answered questions that he's bound to have some great moments. 

2. Fact or Fiction: Ahsoka Tano WILL appear in Rebels at some point. 

Andy: Nothing's been confirmed but I would say "fact". With Dave Filoni as one of the guys spearheading Rebels as well as the cliff hanger of an ending at the end of season 5, I can’t see them not putting Ahsoka into ‘Rebels’. Perhaps not as one of the main central characters this time, but I could see her being in the reoccurring character roster for sure!

Ben: Fact! The way her story ended in the Clone Wars leaves the door wide open for an appearance in Rebels. But the proof lies with two of the executive producers; Dave Filoni and Greg Weisman. Filoni helped create Ahsoka, so of course he would try to include her in some way. Then there’s Greg Weisman, who’s a newcomer to the Star Wars Galaxy, but he has already gone on record saying that he “Loves” Ahsoka after watching The Clone Wars. With both of these guys at the helm of this series, Ahsoka is almost guaranteed to appear.

Dana: Don't know, don't care. If she does make an appearance it'll be as unnecessary as it was in the Clone Wars. It'd be nice to see her die with Jar Jar in a space taxi crash or something... maybe to the sound of a slide whistle. 

Peter: FACT!!! It better be! Ahsoka was my absolute favorite character from Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and I just really feel that I connected with her throughout the series. When she first appeared, I was a bit doubtful, but as the series progressed, her character blossomed into something phenomenal. I actually felt like I experienced everything with her, from beginning to the bitter end. Yes I admit it, I cried, so what? Only a machine without a heart wouldn't cry. So yeah Disney, I'm staring at you, and if you don't bring her back, I will stalk you and.......

David: Fiction. While it would make for an intriguing story (where has she been for eight years??), I just don't see it. Sure, Filoni has been hearing it loud and clear from Clone Wars groupies, but I'm not a fan of series borrowing from other series. The PT stood alone, the OT stood alone, Rebels (and the FT) should stand alone. Leave Ahsoka to the EU and Season Six Bonus Content. There is so much room for a number of characters in the Rebels series. Seeing someone from the Clone Wars might muddle things. 

3. Vader, Ventress, Mon Mothma, Bail Organa, which character do you want to have a major role in the series?

Andy: *Heavy breathing* Vader *Heavy breathing*

Ben: Bail Organa has been an underused character thus far. We didn't have much time to get to know him in the Prequel trilogy, and then in Episode IV, BOOM, literally, he’s presumed dead upon the destruction of Alderaan. He has such a huge impact on the entire Saga, saving Obi-Wan & Yoda from Order 66, raising Princess Leia and being one of the founders of the Rebel alliance. The latter of which makes him the best candidate for a major role in the series. A glimpse into his work in the Imperial Senate would be awesome to see as well.

Dana: Bail Organa. By far the most interesting of the lot. They could show the foundation of the Rebellion and what it took for them to become what they were by the time IV comes along. Vader = played out. Ventress = please. Another throw-away character that was spawn from necessity to fill a 'writers block'. Mon Mothma = would be as boring as she was in Jedi.

Peter: Tough one, but I'd pick Mon Mothma. I believe she was one of the first starters of the Rebel Alliance, and I would like to see that unfold. Basically, Episodes 1-6 were based on the rise, fall, and redemption of Anakin Skywalker, so I don't think we need him here as a major role. Sure, he can be a great villain and antagonist, but I wouldn't like the show to ONLY be based on him. The movies focused a lot on the Skywalkers, so I'd like to see something other than them. I'd like to see the Alliance expand from Mothma to see the political aspect of it. 

David: As much as I'd love to see Vader and his relationship with the 501st, I'd love to see more about Mon Mothma. She is the glue that holds the fledgling rebellion together, but has to wear so many hats. Recruiter, battle leader, diplomat, dealing with so many issues, all while still being in the Imperial Senate. It would be like seeing George Washington running the American Revolution...while serving in Parliament. How does she do it? She could be the single most complex character in the show. 

4. Who will fly the "Ghost" ship featured in the concept poster?

Andy: Some swashbuckler, ex-Republic, political idealist, non-Clone, soldier...guy. I may have just described a Star Wars version of Malcolm Reynolds there.

Ben: Who would be better than Mr. Wedge Antilles? He's a fan favorite character, he’s appeared in all three original trilogy films, he helped destroy two Death Stars, and yet his character hasn't been delved into outside of the Expanded Universe. Being that Rebels will most likely focus on brand new characters, including Wedge would add some familiarity to the series. Unfortunately for EU fans, his back story may need to be tweaked to make way for his role in Rebels.

Dana: All I know is it better not be Han Solo. Unless they are stretching this out of the 20-ish year time table for the series, then MAYBE then I'd accept that. Towards the end of course

Peter: As for who those teenagers who fly the Ghost are, I have an interesting theory. Instead of just putting random people in, they could put people like Bail Organa's son, Mon Mothma's daughter, Han Solo's brother (Yes, you heard me), a combination between an Astromech and a protocol droid to give that R2-D2 yet C-3PO feeling (Take that Disney!), and perhaps some more relatives of famous people. Since the main characters will be the teens who fly the Ghost, I'd like to be able to connect with those people. I want to feel like I am going through their plight and that I want to help them.

David: Bring on Dash Rendar! Nah, I have a feeling we'll see a couple of original characters. Perhaps they'll be in the mold of Han and Chewie where they are privateers. It would be cool to see someone running guns under the Empire's nose, helping to keep the Rebellion alive. To be honest, I wouldn't be stunned to see Lux Bonteri at the helm. Bitter, disheartened, feeling betrayed, he'd have a bone to pick with the Empire. 

5. True or False: Star Wars Rebels will be for kids (ages 8-15)

Andy: False, it’ll be for everyone to enjoy, like all good Star Wars is.

Ben: True. But not JUST for kids. Star Wars as a whole has always been a family friendly franchise. The Clone Wars did a fairly good job of riding the fence between age groups and appealing to everyone. I expect nothing less than that from Rebels. Yes, it will be airing on Disney XD which is aimed at kids and tweens, but they wouldn't bring in heavyweights like Simon Kinberg & Greg Weisman to produce a Star Wars version of Wizards Of Waverly Place

Dana: True. Of course it is. That's probably why I'm not going to be able to watch it!

Peter: False! Even though I am only 12, I would like to watch something that would be more mature. TCW started out for younger audiences, but as the seasons flew by, they had more depth, plot, and character development. Also, it matured as it went, and many of the episodes were pretty dark. So bottom line, I would like it to be dark and, most importantly, that it just gives us a nice feeling when we watch it. That is all I want; to just sit back, relax, and enjoy some STAR WARS!!!

David: False-ish. With the cast that Dave Filoni has assembled around him, we should see a darker tone. However, seeing as the Mouse is writing the checks, I can see the show starting friendly. Perhaps R2 and Threepio are in "Ghost" with a happy-go-lucky kid who got the ship from his, now dead, father. They go on a few adventures, poke fun at the Empire, and have a few laughs. Then things go darker as the audience grows with the show.

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