Star Wars Bits: Donald Glover Dodges Lando Questions, New 'Star Wars Rebels' Season 3 Footage, And An Insane BB-8 Theory

In this edition of Star Wars Bits:

  • Donald Glover deftly dodges a question about playing a young Lando Calrissian.
  • The BB-8 theory so preposterous that it actually makes perfect sense.
  • A new trailer for Star Wars Rebels season 3.
  • Dave Filoni talks about Dark Vader, Ahsoka Tano, and their ongoing dynamic.
  • Voice actress Ashley Eckstein weighs in on the fate of Ahsoka.
  • Newly released concept art from Star Wars Rebels.
  • Check out a new clip from the Star Wars Rebels season 3 premiere.
  • Updates on Thrawn, Ezra, and Maul.
  • A review of a life-size BB-8 that may look a little familiar...

A few weeks ago, we learned that a young Lando Calrissian will play a role in the upcoming Han Solo spin-off film and that Donald Glover was reportedly the first choice to play the part. And now...we still don't know much more than that. However, Time spoke to Glover as part of an interview promoting his new television series Atlanta, where he acknowledged that yes, he had heard this story too:

Okay, stop me if there's anything you can confirm. There have been rumors that you will be in the Han Solo spinoff.
Yep. There are rumors.
How do you feel about the Star Wars franchise?
I mean, I grew up on it. My dad was a big fan. I had all the toys when I was little. I had a Darth Vader with the lightsaber he has. It was cool. It's a dynasty. It's like the bible. I love that franchise.

Directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord have a strong knack for casting and Glover is the exact kind of actor that you can imagine that wanting in a role like this. However, Glover is also a busy man with a new television show eating up much of his time. We'll have to wait and see if this comes together (or if it's even a thing at all).

A brief new trailer for Star Wars Rebels season 3 has arrived online, complete with that very specific kind of voice over narration that surely excites anyone under the age of 11 but gradually becomes more irritating with every year you pack onto your life. However, the actual footage on display should please fans of all ages – it looks big and dramatic and colorful. Anyway, everyone seems to agree that the show had really hit its stride last season and that the season 2 finale was as good as anything to have come out of the Star Wars universe. No pressure, season 3. Look for the season premiere on September 24.

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If you want something to occupy your time until the new season premieres, io9 has collected a bunch of concept art from Star Wars Rebels season 2, and it's good stuff. Although the CG animation on Rebels certainly gets the job done, I would love to see a full Star Wars animated series done in the style seen in this concept art. I've collected a few of my favorite pieces here (including a few from the season 2 finale), but you can follow the link above to check out more.

Star Wars Rebels showrunner Dave Filoni sat down for an interview with StarWars.com and the whole thing is a good read and a reminder that the saga is in a good place as long as this guy is involved. You should read the whole thing, but I especially enjoyed him digging into how you explore new aspects of a character as familiar to audiences as Darth Vader:

I have a strange kind of entry into it because I've worked with Anakin Skywalker as a character for so long. The thing that's really apparent is just how different they are. Anakin and Vader have a different manner of speaking, and they have a different way of, obviously, reacting to things. Their physical nature is similar but different. When you deal with Vader, you have to remember that he really is Darth Vader. Everybody knows that he is Anakin Skywalker, but when he becomes Darth Vader, the good person is largely destroyed. We made a special trailer focused on Ahsoka and Vader, and someone was saying that when Vader speaks, they didn't think of it as Anakin. I thought, well, yeah, why would you? That's Darth Vader. It's kind of interesting to have that evolution.

In Rebels, we wanted to see Darth Vader do things that we hadn't really seen him do before, but still stay true to the character. One opportunity was showing Vader as a pilot. Anakin was a pilot, but we had never really seen Vader piloting the TIE fighter after A New Hope. So, there was a chance to do something with that starfighter and show Vader blowing away a rebel fleet, which was something we knew he did, but we never got to see. I was pretty pleased with the results. It felt, to a lot of people, like this was the Vader they had imagined.

Filoni also takes a deep dive into the ongoing relationship between Vader/Anakin and Ahsoka:

When Ahsoka reaches out with Kanan to see who Vader is, that's different. She digs in and she's so close to him physically, flying after him, and strikes into his consciousness. It's almost like realizing something that's so jarring you can't handle it. Like Force feedback. She gets knocked out because, I believe, in a flash of a moment, she sees this truth that there's a layer of hate. An angry, horrible being, and then underneath it is Anakin Skywalker. But when Ezra asks her, "Do you know who or what he is," she wouldn't necessarily say yes she does. She is open to the idea that there's something about this Darth Vader that's familiar to her, but she's not ready to name him Anakin Skywalker yet. She has to do a search. That's why she's saying there are questions, questions that need to be answered. In the very next episode she starts a kind of long exploration of who Darth Vader is and, specifically, where does he come from and what does it all mean and can it be true. Her unconscious mind knows it's Anakin; her conscious mind cannot accept that Anakin could be this horrible person.

The full interview is chock-full of info about the entire second season, so pour yourself some blue milk and dive in.

Speaking of Dave Filoni talking about Ahsoka and Vader, the series showrunner also spoke about their epic confrontation on the Star Wars Rebels season 2 Blu-ray. If you already own that disc, you may have already seen this clip above. If not, click play and enjoy.

Ahsoka Tano

And now: one final Ahsoka Tano note! CBR interviewed Ashley Eckstein, who has lent her voice to Ahsoka since the days of Star Wars: The Clone Wars and she thinks the character is still alive and still has a role to play in the Star Wars universe:

I think she's alive, I hope she is. I hope we get more of her, because I think it's very rare nowadays that you get to know a character over so many years. We've gotten to know Ahsoka now since 2008. You don't get that with many characters nowadays. Many kids had grown up with her. I think there's a lot of people that just have this attachment to her because they've gotten to know her so long.

Her ultimate fate after her duel with Darth Vader was intentionally left ambiguous and it's unlikely that the show would kill a popular character offscreen...so yeah, Eckstein is probably right about this one.

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Disney has released a series of Star Wars Rebels season 3 character images, each of which also includes a paragraph explaining their role in the upcoming season. The most interesting of the bunch belongs to Maul (formerly Darth), who is finally free to explore a vastly changed galaxy.

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And then there is Grand Admiral Thrawn, who has escaped the "Legends" prison and has entered the new canon. The description here sounds very much in line with the character introduced in the Heir to the Empire book series.

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And then there's Ezra, who is older, more powerful, and finally has a haircut that doesn't make him look like a huge dork.

Let's wrap up this deluge of Star Wars Rebels news with a new clip from the season 3 premiere, "Steps Into Shadow," which finds Ezra using his Force abilities to turn the tables on Imperial forces in a fairly staggering fashion.

YouTuber Jenny Nicholson has a theory. A theory so outlandish and silly and bizarre that it...actually makes a lot of sense? According to this wacky (and yes, intentionally comedic) video, BB-8 is the key to the new trilogy and a vital piece of understanding who Kylo Ren is, where he came from, and how he will earn his redemption. As preposterous as this whole thing is, I can't help but wonder if she's got something here...

And while we're talking about BB-8... If you visited a Target store at any point in the past year, you probably saw one of those life-size BB-8 models on display near the toy section. Originally installed to grab eyes during the initial roll-out of Star Wars: The Force Awakens toys, this thing was never intended for sale. But someone managed to get his hands on one, and since this is the internet, he's posted a video review. Of an item, you can't actually buy. Sure! Why not? Enjoy.