So for our second piece about the amazing things we were witness to at Star Wars Celebration 2016, we’re talking about the awesome Star Wars Rebels Season Three panel, where we were shown exclusive images, clips, trailers and also treated to the first two episodes of the season. So come along with us on a ramble about what we saw…
Lewis: Ok, so, in what I think you’ll agree was the best panel we saw, Warwick Davis hosted Dave Filoni, Sam Witwer, and Tiyer Sircar for a talk about what’s to come in Star Wars Rebels.
Ben: Oh for sure, I am going to admit now I had never watched rebels (excluding a few episodes here and there) until this panel and since then I have binged my way through season 1 and part of season 2, and the brilliant panel was a big part in my decision to give it a go. This panel was kick ass. I think Dave Filoni might be my favourite person in the entire world.
The entire panel was well balanced everyone got their chance to speak and they were all funny and insightful about the process behind making the series and what is going to come in season 3.
Lewis: Exactly, they were all just really nice, really funny people who knew exactly what the fans wanted from them. I’ve personally followed Rebels since half-way through season one and while season two wasn’t quite as good (apart from the beginning and ending episodes), the looks we got of season three were awesome. I can’t disagree with you about Dave Filoni, he’s a real genuine guy.
Ben: They all got why the fans were there, and because of that we got a genuinely funny hour with them.
Lewis: Definitely the funniest, most relatable panel we saw… so what shall we start off talking about?
Ben: A couple of characters got new looks, which is probably bad news for the wallets of cosplayers.
Lewis: Well luckily they’re only minor changes, so they should be able to adapt their costumes without bankrupting themselves. Kanan has a sweet new mask to hide his scars, Sabine has a new hairdo, Hera looks more like a military officer, Zeb lost some of his armour, and Ezra got a weird new haircut that I’m not too keen on.
Ben: The eye markings on Kanan’s mask are similar to the markings on Rex’s helmet too, which, according to Dave Filoni, is intended to emphasise how they’ve bonded. To be fair, they are only minor changes and in all honesty I am not too fussed on the hair- not exactly a big issue for me. Sabine also gets some new gadgets in this season.
Lewis: Tiya was pretty excited about her new jetpack as well as the Darksaber, which we haven’t seen since the Mandolorian episodes in the Clone Wars… I’m pretty excited to see how she gets hold of that particular weapon.
Ben: I hope it isn’t just dropped in, because as if Maul would forget about it.
Lewis: Oh I’m sure he’ll be interested in getting it back, so we can look forward to that episode. Speaking of new weapons, Ezra has a sick new green lightsaber.
Ben: Yes, I was going to ask about that. I wondered where that appeared from, because I am still watching him with the blue blaster hybrid so thought something may have happened right at the end of season 2?
Lewis: Weeeellllll I don’t want to spoil too much, but his blue-blaster hybrid was destroyed in the last episode of season 2. I was hoping they’d have an episode of them trying to find a new crystal, but oh well.
Ben: Maybe they will come back to it?
Lewis: Maybe, but I feel like they’re happy to just move on. Although Maul might comment on it when they see him again. So that’s the new tech that they showed off, shall we talk about the new characters?
Ben: I suppose that’s true, and the nature of the show is fairly fast paced, if the new lightsaber was important it would have been covered.
I suppose we should move onto the characters, there is probably more to talk about with Thrawn so I think we should cover the other name drop first. A man by the name of Wedge is defecting from the Empire.
Lewis: I’m sure a lot of people will be disappointed about the fact that Ezra didn’t make a crossguard-saber yet, and yes, let’s talk about everybody’s favourite Rebel ace. I’m a little conflicted about the change to his backstory, since he originally had the occupation of smuggler in the EU after his parents were killed by the actions of the Empire. However, it looks as though they’re combining his story with Tycho Celchu’s, so I’m ok with it… and I won’t complain about any kind of exposure for Wedge.
Ben: Knowing very little about the EU or Legends as they are now known, I was more excited by the prospect of some more Wedge time than the revival of Thrawn. I really hope he becomes a recurring character if only because if he was in every episode he would distract me from the main characters, bloody love Wedge…
Lewis: I think he’ll either be a one-off Easter egg character or a recurring character like Lando; I hope he’s not just in one episode though. As for Thrawn, I’ve read the first book in the Heir to the Empire series, and he’s one of those characters that most people are at least aware of. He’s a very imposing villain, so I’m very much looking forward to seeing what he gets up to.
Ben: I really hope he recurs.
I had heard of him but having not read the books I really wasn’t sure what he was all about. He definitely seemed imposing. Although like we talked about at the panel, I would prefer to see him rise through the ranks perhaps starting as a commander rather than just straight out introducing him as a Grand-Admiral.
Lewis: Well, and this is kinda a spoiler I guess, they introduce him as Grand-Admiral Thrawn in the second episode, so unfortunately we won’t be seeing that which is a shame because I like that idea. I also felt like they actually did a better job of setting his character up in the trailer than they did in the episodes we saw.
Ben: I think it was just the wording; when you rewatch the trailer after watching the episode (because we got to see the first two episodes if you were wondering) the cut is pretty obvious. It shouldn’t take away from the character, in fact with his back story he should only get better.
Lewis: Oh I hope so, and if he is going to be the villain that actually manages to thwart the Rebels group I’d be content, because if he turns out to be just as incompetent as everyone I think there’ll be a lot of disgruntlement amongst the fanbase.
Ben: I am not sure how they are going to play it. You’re right though, Thrawn can’t be a push over but at the same time he can’t really destroy every Rebel in sight, can he?
Lewis: Well no, but I think it’d be realistic for him to lose but still do a lot of damage, even if it was to only the Ghost crew, not the rebellion as a whole. I just really don’t want them to waste such a good character. Anyway, is there anything else from the actual panel section that we’ve missed? Did you want to talk about some of the interactions they had on stage?
Ben: I suppose that is true, but we shall have to wait and see; in Filoni we trust and all that. The stand out bit for me was probably casting Warwick for Sam Witwer’s role as Maul and Sam for Wicket; that was pretty funny.
Lewis: Ah yeah, they had some pretty good chemistry going on up there. Sam Witwer’s little tantrum was pretty convincing, and of course Dave Filoni is always a crowd pleaser.
Ben: It was a funny panel, anytime else that you can think of?
Lewis: Well just to cover them, I think the two most important questions that people asked were; a) will we see Mara Jade in Rebels? (this is important because of the rumours about Rey’s origin) and b) will Ashoka return? The answers to which were a categorical no for Mara Jade and a maybe for Ashoka which was something like “She may return in one form or another at some point but I can’t really say.”
So apart from those questions I think that’s it for the panel. Shall we talk about the episodes they showed us?
Ben: The answer Dave Filoni gave did hint at a return, and not in an easy-get-out-way through a flash back. I think that is the next thing on the list, considering they were my first two episodes I thought it was pretty solid.
Lewis: Yeah I really enjoyed them, and watching them with a crowd was both a good and bad experience as it always is for me. They were a pretty good introduction to what’s going to be coming up in the next series though.
Ben: I can’t fault the episodes really, I enjoyed watching them, but I always find watching a film with a crowd of fans to be a positive thing. Do you want to re-cap the episode? Are we even allowed to do it yet?
Lewis: It does get frustrating when they cheer or clap over some dialogue though… but I suppose I can always rewatch them when they show on tv (which I believe is going to be in autumn this year).
And you know that’s a very good question that I don’t have an answer to…
Ben: But all those people clapping and cheering love the show which makes it all the better. Well we could just leave it there and say it was a solid introduction with a guest appearance from a Doctor of sorts.
Lewis: We’ll do a proper review of them as soon as they air in the UK, and yeah, the one and only Tom Baker played a very interesting character that definitely brings in an area of the force that hasn’t yet been discussed canon-wise.
Ben: I think if Tom Baker could be immortalised in the Star Wars universe this is the best role for him. His voice adds real weight to the character of the “Bendu”. I really like the idea, and shows the force as a spectrum not just as two groups of people.
Lewis: Exactly, it complicates the good vs evil theme of Star Wars, and as for Tom Baker, you can’t really compete with his level of gravitas (for Dr Who fans anyway). So aside from the updates to characters, reveals in the trailers, and a brief talk about the merits of Tom Baker, is there anything else?
Ben: The return of Maul (no longer Darth) also complicates the spectrum as he is now neither Sith nor Jedi. And no I don’t think so; pretty sure we have covered everything important.
Lewis: Oh yeah, he’s back (which is why Sam Witwer was on the panel).
Alright-y then, I guess we’ll conclude here and be back with another piece on Star Wars Celebration 2016 in a day or two.