/Film Interview: Dave Filoni Talks Darth Vader, A-Wings and the Rebellion in ‘Star Wars Rebels’ Season 2
Posted on Friday, May 8th, 2015 by Germain Lussier
The Star Wars Rebels season 2 premiere, The Siege of Lothal, will premiere on June 20. And you do not want to miss it. In an instant, the stakes on the Disney XD show are shot through the roof. However, when I spoke with the show’s executive producer Dave Filoni at Star Wars Celebration, I didn’t yet know that. We had just seen the epic season 2 trailer and I knew the notoriously cagey producer wasn’t going to spoil anything. So, instead, I looked ahead to season to and back to season 1. What did I want to know as a Star Wars fan after watching that amazing series and that awesome trailer?
In our interview, Filoni talks about the shadow Darth Vader will have over the upcoming season of the show. He talks about the weight of holding back secrets, Ezra’s lightsaber, as well as how the Rebellion will develop this season and the reintroduction of some iconic ships. Below, read our full season 2 Dave Filoni Star Wars Rebels interview from Star Wars Celebration.
Now I just talked to Simon about a couple of these things but I want to get your take too. You guys are always so adverse to spoilers, which is great, but then you show Darth Vader trying to kill Ezra in the trailer. That’s a huge, huge thing. He wouldn’t tell me how far it is into it, but what was it about revealing that that was important?
Well I think, with the trailer, you have certain responsibilities. You wanna get people hooked. You wanna get people excited and I have this thing about being a TV series where you don’t really gain anything by being too coy. I don’t want you to find out about something great that happened on TV last night and go “Oh, I missed it.” So if we’re showing you Ezra battling Darth Vader or Kanan, then you go, “Oh my gosh, I wonder when that’s gonna happen? I gotta watch this show.” So for me, it’s in part that and it’s in part the visuals of seeing Darth Vader. I mean, it’s so hard to keep this stuff secret. That frankly when it’s out…you know…I’m so glad now Rex is out. I had so many people this weekend ask me about Rex leading up to today. And I’m just like please come to the panel Saturday.
And last year Ahsoka.
She’s the reveal.
Yeah, so part of it is just to get it out there so it makes my life less stressful.
As a Star Wars fan one of the things that really threw me for a loop last season was the Ezra lightsaber. Which is both a blaster and a lightsaber. What were the logistics of actually making that happen? You draw it, but do you question ‘Is authentic enough to be Star Wars?’ ‘Cause we’ve always known lightsabers as a lightsaber.
The lightsaber itself as it exists is perfect. There’d be no reason to change it. So Kanan has a kind of classic lightsaber. For me, when challenged with looking at a character like Ezra I thought, ‘There’s no way I can believe this kid can fight one to one with any sort of really character we’re gonna have.’ You know, he’s gonna get his butt kicked. So we had him build into his functioning saber. ‘What if it was like a revolver saber where it could actually fire a bit’ And that way he can keep people at range and only saber fight as the last resort.
And for [art director] Kilian Plunkett and I, we try to limit ourselves and say, ‘If we only had the devices to make a saber as they did in the ’70s as a prop, let’s go down to the hardware store and see how we would build this thing.’ And we instantly started looking at nail guns and staple guns. That if you look at a silhouette, it reminds you of those things and we kind of fashioned it. And I think what I like is that it looks like something that’s from the era of the original trilogy in its shape. That ‘It’s a lightsaber’ is a bit surprising more than ‘It fires as a blaster’ is a bit surprising. I think it’s a function that, as Ezra gets better, would go away. But for now it’s something he actually needs to survive.
Was it something that was hard to get by the story group? ‘Cause it is so different from everything else we’ve seen?
No, I don’t think so. I mean, everybody seemed to be in favor of it. Any time you change something like a lightsaber, obviously it’s a flash button. You know, you put a little guard on the lightsaber and suddenly it goes nuts for a while. But in a way that’s good ’cause it means it’s new. It means you hadn’t thought of it and it challenges you. And as I’ve said before, we have to keep challenging the Star Wars viewer not just keep doing what we’ve always done. But add new and interesting twists of things. Even like lightsabers.