Darth Vader in Star Wars Rebels

The trailer for Star Wars Rebels Season 3 premiered at Star Wars Celebration Europe 2016, revealing a new villain for our heroes. But with Grand Admiral Thrawn resurrected from Legends back into Star Wars canon, what does this mean for Darth Vader and his Inquisitors? Will we see the Jedi-turned-Sith leader or his Force-empowered Jedi hunter team of Inquisitors in the third season of the acclaimed Disney XD series? Star Wars Rebels creator Dave Filoni answers these questions, after the jump.

Will We See Darth Vader in Star Wars Rebels Season 3?

I had a chance to ask Star Wars Rebels creator/producer Dave Filoni if we will see Darth Vader in Star Wars Rebels Season 3, here is what he said:

You know, I’ve kind of gone on this course, which is pretty, pretty direct about certain things ’cause I don’t like to tease people along and then have them be disappointed. So it’s really an elected decision to not have Vader around because, as we get closer to A New Hope, I want him to serve as that story.

Filoni explained that he doesn’t want to “take up too much of Vader’s time.”

I know it sounds funny. I don’t wanna fill in every hole. I don’t know what we benefit from that. As much as you need to say, okay, this is a major point in his life when he’s confronted by his former apprentice. That is worth doing. Him chasing the rebels of the Ghost crew around is never something that really interested me. Mainly because I didn’t think they could survive it for very long. And now that I have Thrawn, it’s more interesting to me to setup this completely different kind of villain that’s gonna play a long game against our guys that they’re not typically used to.

Filoni went on to praise James Earl Jones who has returned to voice the iconic character for the series, stating that he appreciates the actor’s time and knows that “he’s a very busy man.”

He is performing on stage all the time and he is gracious to take time to come and perform for us. And to play the role of Vader. And I really appreciated that.  And I just wanted to make sure that it was a limited thing.

All of that said, Filoni leaves the door open for Darth Vader’s return to Star Wars Rebels:

You know, could he ever come back?  Possible, but not presently.

Star Wars Rebels Inquisitors

As for the Inquisitors, Darth Vader’s team of Jedi Hunters, Filoni didn’t want to commit to a definite answer.

I’m not gonna define if they’re done not or yet. But I feel like you have to start to phase those things out. Because you get the feeling when Tarkin’s talking to Vader in A New Hope that Force wielding usage wasn’t something that was very prevalent in A New Hope. He talks about it like something that’s a bygone era. So it was risky to me to have these kind of modern Force wielding guys around as close to the timeline as we were. And so I’ve kind of tried to push them away and kind of got rid of them a lot in one fell swoop last season. And now I’m bringing in more of a military man who I think actually fits that type of feeling and time period more like the Piett’s and those kind of bad guys. But, you know, ’cause when I was a kid and remember Tarkin says that line to Vader about their fire’s gone out in the galaxy. I felt like it was hundreds of years. You didn’t realize as a kid how recently it was. It was in Tarkin’s lifetime that the Jedi were running around. But yeah, it’s gotta be feeling like it was a while ago.

I think Filoni is dead-on in his reading of A New Hope, and as much as I love this show, I almost wish that the Inquisitors weren’t brought in at all. I like the idea of a Thrawn-like big bad, and I love the idea of setting up Maul as an adversary to both the Rebels and the Empire.

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