Last week, Star Wars Rebels executive producer Simon Kinberg revealed new details about the upcoming LucasFilm series, debuting this fall with a one-hour special on The Disney Channel before moving over to Disney XD. Today, executive producer Dave Filoni introduces us to one of the many new characters in this animated series with a new behind-the-scenes featurette. Check out the first footage and photos of Chopper, a cranky astro-mech droid that was made out of spare parts, since the fledgling Rebel Alliance can't afford anything new. Read on for more details on the series from Dave Filoni, who teases when and where the story takes place, how the show is different from Star Wars: The Clone Wars and what aspects of the original movies will be included in this highly anticipated series.
Star Wars Rebels is set 14 years after the events of Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, where the Galactic Empire rules over the entire universe with an iron fist, before the Rebel Alliance is born. When asked what the biggest differences between Star Wars: The Clone Wars and this series are, Dave Filoni revealed that this story is associated more with the original movie trilogy, rather than the prequel trilogy.
"I think that the animation style has most changed. The look of Rebels is more similar to the original Star Wars trilogy, while Clone Wars refers more to the new trilogy. We will see many things that are popular in the Star Wars universe. The Star Destroyers, TIE Fighters, and the stormtroopers - basically the empire is back and that is the big change. The whole tonality is thus different. Clone Wars was just towards the end, with the fall of the Jedi Order."
He also spoke about setting the series in the Outer Rim, particularly a planet called Lothal.
"Rebels takes place in the Outer Rim. The audience typically thinks of Tatooine as the place where Luke Skywalker grew up, when the Outer Rim is mentioned. We are on a more civilized planet, and one that profited from the Empire's existence in the beginning. Most of the stories take place on the planet Lothal, which is a grass planet with large monolithic stones on the surface. The look comes from some Ralph McQuarrie concept paintings that were done for the original Star Wars films. We tried to make Lothal look and feel like a planet that would have been in the original film trilogy. It's alien, but you feel like it's someplace that you could visit on Earth geographically. Hoth, Tatooine, and Endor are all like this, so we think it fits in well."
When asked why fans should tune into the new series, Dave Filoni had this to say.
"I think you will like the characters and their adventures. It is simply a classic Star Wars narrative structure. Our heroes are nevertheless pursued by the mighty galactic empire and I think you will really immerse yourself in the story and want to follow what is happening week after week."