Dave Filoni Talks More On The Upcoming Star Wars Rebels Season 3
While we await the third season of Star Wars: Rebels that is set to air on Saturday, September 24 on Disney XD! Dave Filoni, takes time out from his grueling schedule to answer some huge questions regarding the upcoming premier. Read on for more!
Dave Filoni, who filled Season 2 of Star Wars: Rebels with so many iconic moments that included Kanan and Ezra single-handedly taking on a squadron of fighters, the return of the smooth-talker Lando Calrissian, ‘Maul’ battling along side of Ahsoka and Kanan, the incredibly fantastic scene of Lord Vader standing on top of his TIE Fighter, and Ashoka’s inevitable confrontation with her former master is back with an all-new season 3.
Now, nearly six months after the season 2 finale, we are just hours away from the premiere that will continue the adventures of Ezra Bridger and the crew of ‘The Ghost’ as they battle the Empire and the fan favorite blue-skinned Grand Admiral Thrawn, who was first introduced in books back in the 1990’s.
Recently, Blastr.com’s ‘Geek Girl Diva’ had a chance to sit down with Filoni one on one to talk about Rebels, what’s in store for Season 3 and how it all relates to the rest of the Star Wars universe.
Q: Geek Girl Diva: I’ve got… questions…about the show overall, and a couple that are specific to season 3. But the very first thing I want to ask you about, there’s been a lot of talk on and off about a live action Star Wars series. Given your experience show running for Rebels, is that something you’d be interested in doing? At some point?
Dave Filoni: Yeah I wouldn’t say no to that. That would be exciting. I am very happy doing Rebels now. But, you know, to me the storytelling is the most important thing. The medium of it, whether it be animation or live action, there are obviously things you can do in each, different costs associated and what not during production, but, I think it’s always a question of what’s the best medium to tell this story in. Sometimes I think animation works well. George obviously wanted to tell a lot of stories in animation in Clone Wars and I think that was exciting for him because we could tell a lot of stories in a short period of time. So you never know. I mean, the thing is we live in an exciting time now where there are so many possibilities for Star Wars and there are so many ways to tell these stories. It’s exciting that’s a potential possibility, right?
(GGD note: Dave asked me to reiterate that his answer is not, in any way, a confirmation or even a hint of anything.)
Q: GGD: Season 1 was focused on the Ghost crew and Lothal. Season 2 brought them into what we know is building into a larger expanded fight with both the additions of Vader and Maul. So what would you say is the overall theme for Season 3?
DF: Season 3 I think we are really finally challenging the activity of that greater rebellion. Not just hinting at it, not just becoming a building part of it, but, it’s a strange thing to say but I feel like in season 3 we’re at the point where a lot of people assumed we would have been at in season 1. When people traditionally thought of what the rebellion against the Empire was like they picture the rebels having a lot of starships…a lot of battles going on. They picture this vast thing. But we revealed it was actually smaller groups that slowly came together. I feel like you get a lot more payoff for that in this season, where we see them functioning. It’s gonna seem a lot more similar to what your experience at Echo Base is like. It hearkens back where we have this legitimate situation we’ve established. It took pretty much all of season 2 to establish, where can we even build a base that they’re not going to be able to find us. So I think you find, with that formalized feeling of a rebellion, the characters…get challenged…this is becoming real. And what does that mean for each of them? What are their roles in this rebellion? It means very different things for each of them, especially based on their experiences in the past two seasons.
Q: GGD: Last season we learned that the Ashla is the Lasat name for the force. The newest episode, Bendu mentions the Ashla and Bogan….Is the idea of the balance in the force also what Bendu actually represents? Does he represent the old ways?
DF: Well, the nod to Ashla and Bogan that I’m giving there is really a reference to the old old old original version of Star Wars, which was penned by George. And he had the name Jedi Bendu was the full name for the Jedi. It doesn’t actually come from the expanded universe, it comes from really old original Star Wars thinking, circa the mid-70’s. Then as things were cleaned up and trimmed down a lot of those names were lost.
That’s where a lot of those things came from. We’re famous in Star Wars, we don’t throw anything away. We keep reusing it. That was just a little wink for me at some of George Lucas’ original thinking which I always like to pay respect to of course. The Bendu, when you’re saying the Ashla and what not, or the Bogan, you’re talking about the Lasats. The Lasats feel like they’re following something that’s much older, much more ancient, and so does Bendu. So I thought there’s a fine correlation there between the two. It’s not like, they’re the only ones that have a concept of God. It’s nice to see that if there are universal things it’s not so singular. A lot of religions have common themes throughout, even if they have different names. It’s tying that galaxy together I’m hoping in a bigger way.
That’s where the names, originally Ashoka’s name was Ashla. When we did the first pitch to Clone Wars. Then George saw that and was like, we can’t call her that, let’s call her Ahsoka. That’s where her name came from. Ahsoka, I believe there was an Indian queen named Ahsoka in history, and that was one of the derivations of the name. He tweaked it around and created the name Ahsoka.
Bendu is another branch of the tree we got into in Clone Wars, where these Mortis beings that represent the dark side and the light side and the balance, and then the force priestesses who seem to go even beyond that type of division and be more like one person split into many different representations. Bendu is a little more in that realm, which I think is always an interesting character because they’re unpredictable. He’s not good and he’s not bad. We’ll have to see how he reacts to the rebels throughout the course of the year.
Q: GGD: There has been speculation and thought and belief and all of that in regard to Kanan and Hera’s relationship and the nature of it. So. I have two questions. One is, has that been defined? Two, are we ever gonna find out?
DF: I think it’s been, at least in the minds of the people writing it, we’ve been pretty sure about it from the very beginning. About what it is, and how it works. I think you do find out substantially more about it. Perhaps in this season but definitely going forward. We start to plan things out over a long period of time, it’s like, we want to do these things by this time. For me, I mean, the very simple way I’ve always thought about it, and I don’t know if I’ve ever stated this before, but I always feel like Kanan is the actual one that is more leaning into the idea of the relationship. Hera is the one that’s more resistant to it. Because she feels this greater need to serve this rebellion, and she can’t allow her personal feelings to override things she needs to do. So in some ways it’s playing at themes, that traditionally would be reversed. In the past, you have seen more where the Jedi is the one being stoic. I can’t because I have an Order. Or the knight typically has a service to the kingdom. You know. Whoever it be, the damsel or princess is the one leaning in trying to make things happen. But I feel like there’s a very big mutual respect between the two of them. As they’ve grown in the series, Kanan understands her better and understands why she’s doing the things she’s doing more. It doesn’t mean that he feels any less about her. I do think, and I don’t know if this is too much of a spoiler, but I think they feel very strongly about each other.
You can check out more from the interview here.
Also Filoni spoke with i09, revealing even more interesting details about the upcoming season
We didn’t just insert another Force-wielder here,” explained Filoni. “We didn’t just create another kind of lightsaber. You can only go to that well so many times. Now it was time for the Imperial Military.
On the relationship between Ezra and Kanan.
We’re doing another Jedi master-apprentice situation, so how are we going to make that story different from what we did with Anakin, Ahsoka, and Luke?” Filoni asked. “I think there will always be similar beats and trials but how they come through them and how they answer the challenges is what’s going to be different and define them as characters.
On Darth Maul’s story.
The Maul storyline is not a main storyline [of season three],” said Filoni. “He’s in episodes but he’s not in an overwhelming number of episodes. I didn’t want to overplay him. You don’t want him to be in that weekly guest role. So when he shows up you know it’s important and it’s a key moment for him.
For the full interview go to i09
Star Wars: Rebels season 3 premiers this Saturday, September 24. Stay tuned for our reviews of each episode and join us in The Cantina for a special event celebrating the premiere of the new season here. The thread will be opened on September 24 at 3 pm (EST)
May the Force be with you!