What if you were a Jedi and didn't know it? That's the concept behind the latest reveal for Star Wars Rebels, which introduced one of its main characters today. Meet Ezra (Taylor Gray), a teenage con artist with special abilities who helps the forming Rebel Alliance over take Imperial Forces on his home planet of Lothal.
Star Wars Rebels is set to premiere with a TV movie sometime this summer, before debuting this fall on Disney XD. The action is set between the original and prequel trilogies, and follows the formation of the Rebel Alliance on the planet Lothal. One of its residents is Ezra, a teenage boy with little interest in becoming a revolutionary. He is an orphan with no clue that he could become the next great Jedi.
Producer Dave Filoni explains,
"To survive, instinctively every now and then when he's in a jam he uses the Force. He doesn't call it that. He doesn't know that's what he's doing. He thinks he's got some abilities that are a little strange every now and then, but they help him out. It's instinctive, it's reactionary."
While Ezra has no interest in becoming a soldier, Darth Vader's death grip on the Out Rim forces his hand.
"With Ezra we see how a kid is reacting to this imperial rule. That becomes a big question: What is imperial rule like? We've seen it in the movies with a big rebellion that ends up blowing up the Death Star, but do we just assume that when the Empire took over in Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith it was seen as a bad thing? I would challenge that. It wasn't this terrible thing that came in and was cruel to everyone all at once. It was slow to build its power base and spread out, and then we get to see the rebel alliance it affects, and the repercussions of that tyranny."
Taylor Gray, best known for his acting work on Nickelodeon, voices this new character. Here's what he had to say about landing the role of a lifetime,
"I'm excited to voice the role of Ezra in Star Wars Rebels but I'm even more excited to be a part of the Star Wars legacy. I can't wait for fans new and existing to come together and see the next chapter in the most legendary tale known in the galaxy."
Dave Filoni explains that he chose Taylor Gray because he didn't sound like a contemporary teenager.
"I don't want to sound like I just went down to the local mall [to cast the role]. There's a rawness to him that feels very authentic. Taylor really seems to be able to occupy the character in this time period of the Star Wars universe. He's a real kid who's out there in the galaxy."
Eventually, Ezra will be mentored by cowboy Jedi Kanan, who was /star-wars-rebels-featurette-introduces-cowboy-jedi-kanan/introduced last week. Freddie Prinze Jr. voices this Knight who went into hiding after Order 66 was put into place by Emperor Palpatine, and was forced to trade his light saber for a blaster.
Tune in to Disney XD on Monday, Feb. 17 during Kickin' It (6/5c) and Lab Rats (6:30/5:30c) for the premiere of two new teaser trailers for Star Wars Rebels.