Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Greg Weisman Talks 'Rebels'

By: Benjamin Hart

News surrounding the upcoming animated series Star Wars Rebels has been heating up recently! Yesterday we got our first confirmed cast member with the announcement of Freddie Prinze Jr. playing Jedi knight Kanan Jarrus. Now Greg Weisman, one of the three executive producers alongside Dave Filoni & Simon Kinberg, was interviewed by Eric Goldman at IGN and had a lot of interesting thing to say about Rebels.

Aside from humorously talking about his visit to the Lucasfilm archives, Weisman had great things to say about his fellow executive producers and crew:

"I've got a couple of tremendous producing partners in Simon Kinberg and Dave Filoni -- two incredibly great guys that are really wonderful to work with. Then, just from a personality standpoint, there's no doubt of the three of us, I'm the crankiest. I'm the curmudgeon of the three of us. But they are just joys to work with, so incredibly talented. Then we've got -- I'm not allowed to say who -- a terrific writing staff on this show. We've got a phenomenal cast on this show -- I'm also not allowed to say who! -- but I know the names are going to be revealed very soon, just not yet.”

He continues, talking about his Star Wars knowledge compared to Pablo Hidalgo's:

"...I don't pretend to be an expert in it. I've seen the movies, and I've seen most, not even all, of The Clone Wars episodes yet. I've been watching them in my free time, but I don't have a lot of that right now. But there are guys like Leland Chee and and Pablo Hidalgo who are working with Lucasfilm. Pablo in particular has been on the story team from the beginning, and aside from being really smart and good at story, Pablo is also like a breathing, walking, talking Wookieepedia... So what that means is that, even when my knowledge falls short, I've got someone to go to to say, ‘Okay, I want to do something like this. What can we use from the canon to fit this story?’"

And on the expected audience of the series, he said:

"...We know that on the one hand there's an audience who's going to be watching this that knows everything there is to know about Lucasfilm canon and knows beyond that tons of stuff from the Expanded Universe, which may or may not turn out to be canon once Lucasfilm decides what is official and what's not. So we want the show to work for that group, the most extreme fanboys out there. At the same time, we also have the responsibility that for a certain generation of kids, this is going to be their first exposure to Star Wars. By the time this comes out next fall, their kids were young enough that they won't have seen Clone Wars..."

Weisman also talks about the tone and time frame of the series:

“The tone of this show is very much in the vein of Episodes IV and V -- that is, there's some serious stuff going on; that doesn't mean we can't have humor, that doesn't mean we can't have romance, and that doesn't mean we can't have anything, frankly. We just also take the jeopardy very seriously, but we think we've got a great ensemble of characters to work with here in a world that starts on the planet Lothal and will continue to expand, assuming -- I mean, it even expands in Season 1 -- but assuming we get a pickup for multiple seasons, we'll continue to expand it, because this series really is about the founding of the Rebel Alliance. It doesn't exist when we come in.

...It starts about 14 and a half years after the end of Episode III and about four or five years before Episode IV. This is about how the Rebel Alliance came to be. So once the Rebel Alliance is, that's pretty much where the show ends. I don't know how many seasons that is. It's not like we've nailed that down like, ‘Oh, we're going to exactly X amount of seasons.’ But if all goes well, that's the goal: we go from the origins of the Rebel Alliance to the point where the Rebel Alliance is, which would lead in essence directly into A New Hope..."

Here he confirms that the main cast will consist of six characters:

“We have a character who's our focus character, and then five other characters that make up this group of six rebels. Even within the first season, that cast expands, and there are more people, but the focus is still on this small group of rebels who are basically gadflies from the standpoint of the Empire they're fighting. The amount of damage that six individuals can do is probably pretty limited. But as they begin to build alliances and find allies and expand, the show gets bigger and bigger in scope..."

He again brags on the mostly unknown cast & crew:

“We have these phenomenal voice sessions with, like I said, this terrific cast. We've gotten some incredible guest stars, some names you'll have heard of and some names that you won't have heard of, but you'll be wondering why you've never heard of them before once you hear what they are doing. The sessions are just such a joy because everyone on the show, from guest actors to regulars to storyboard artists to writers, are such huge Star Wars fans. It's just a thrill to be working on the project.”

Be sure to read the full interview with over at IGN!


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