There are a lot of people on this planet who are excited
about "Star Wars Rebels." But perhaps the person who is most looking
forward to this program (which will debut on Disney XD in the Fall of 2014) is
Freddie Prinze, Jr.
You see, as Prinze revealed at a Disney Consumer Products
presentation yesterday at Toy Fair 2014 ...
"If you're anywhere near my age -- I'm almost 40 --
Stars Wars is pretty much in your DNA. You can't get away from it. You've
probably heard 'May the Force be with you' as much as you've heard 'Have a nice
Freddie Prinze, Jr. poses with his Stormtrooper honor guard atyesterday's Disney Consumer Products press event at ToyFair. Photo by Nancy Stadler
And Freddie has been a hardcore Star Wars fan as far back as
he can remember. As he stood onstage at the Jacob
K. Javits Convention
Center, Prinze insisted that ...
"Were I to ever met Harrison Ford, I would then have to
tell him that I bought a Han Solo action figure with my own allowance money.
Back when we were kids, if there was ever a battle between Star Wars and Star Trek fans,
Star Wars always won. I mean, we had lightsabers and the Force. How could a
phaser ever hope to beat that?"
So having had these sort of childhood experiences, you can imagine how Freddie
felt when he went in for an audition last year and ...
Copyright Lucasfilm / Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved
" ... I went in and another actor I knew was coming
out. And he looked at me and said (quiet, conspiratorially) "Hey. Hey."
And I said "What?" And he said "You know this is for Star Wars,
right?" And I said "What?!"
So Prinze then walks into this audition. And who does he see
behind the glass of that recording studio window but Dave Filoni, the
supervising director of the Emmy Award-winning "Star Wars: The Clone
Wars" TV series. And next to Dave is Greg Weisman, the creator of Disney's
Gargoyles. So as soon as Freddie sees Dave & Greg together, he says ...
"Well, I can't say exactly what I said because (Star Wars is owned by)
Disney now. But I said 'Is this BLANKing Star Wars?!' And I then said 'You
gotta give me a minute.' And I walked out of the room and I took a breath and
then thought about the pages that I had been given for this audition. Which had
all these references to a weapon called a sun swords. Only now I realize that
the characters on this show aren't really going to be using sun swords. They're
going to be using lightsabers. Which are just the coolest things ever."
So Prinze heads back into that recording booth and just nails this audition.
Which is how he winds up voicing Kanan, the cowboy Jedi character on "Star
Wars Rebels." Which is set 14 years after the events seen at the very end
of "Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith." Which is after Order 66 has
been executed and the Empire's search for the last of the Jedi Knights is still
And Kanan ... After watching so many of his friends being hunted down and then
killed, he's given up on being a Jedi. To avoid detection by the Empire,
Kanan's locked away his lightsaber and gone underground. Kanan has kept to the
shadows for more than a decade and earns his keep by being ... Well, sort of
this intergalatic gun-for-hire.
But then something happens in the first episode of "Star Wars Rebels"
(which -- FYI -- gets underway approximately five years before the events we
see in "Star Wars IV: A New Hope"). Something that forces Kanan to
reconsider the current course of his life and ... Well, maybe -- just maybe --
leads to the formation of the early, early version of the Rebel Alliance.
Sorry that I can't be more forthcoming when it comes to actual details about
this new Disney XD animated series. But as Prinze confirmed at yesterday's new
conference, both Disney & Lucasfilm are extremely secretive when it comes
to this "Star Wars" -related project.
"I'll tell you, honestly, when I auditioned for this show, it was called
something completely different. (At that time, this proposed animated series)
was called 'The Wolf.' I'm pretty sure I'm not supposed to say that. I sense
Lucasfilm attacking me now.
('Star Wars Rebels') comes out this Fall. We're still working hard on it. We're
about halfway through our first season. I don't know if I'm allowed to say that
either, but we are. (To date, this whole experience has) been absolutely
After yesterday's Disney Consumer Products presentation, reporters & bloggers then moved into the display area to check out some of the upcoming "StarWars Rebels" and Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy" toy line.Photo by Jim Hill
What Freddie particularly enjoys about working on this animated series is how
Dave & Greg have decided to record all of the scripts for "Star Wars
"The way that they've allowed us to put these episodes
together, we are all in a room together at the same time. It's kind of a big
time 'Breakfast Club' vibe. That was a film that they shot all together all in
order, which doesn't usually happen but makes for a great movie. It's the same
kind of thing here. Everyone works together.
And the cast of 'Star Wars Rebels' is
awesome. I'm not really allowed to talk about many of (the performers who've been
doing voice work on this show) because (Filoni & Weisman are) still being
cool and secretive. But (working on 'Star Wars Rebels' has) really been
awesome. I have a lot of fun doing this show. I get really amped up every time
we have a new script. And when there's a week when we don't record, I actually
get bummed out. I jones for it. I mean, you see this kind of stuff, I'm eight
years-old again all of a sudden."
Freddy Prinze, Jr. holding the LEGO version of Kanan's Ghost ship from"Star Wars Rebels." Photo by Nancy Stadler
And when Prinze mentioned " ... you see this kind of stuff," he was
actually referring to the LEGO version of the Ghost. Which is the craft that
Kanan & his crew use as they're zooming through space, avoiding the Empire.
And Freddie ... Well, he really did look like he was eight years-old again as
he held that LEGO version of the Ghost in his hands and said ...
"When I was a kid, I had LEGO X-wings and Millenium
Falcons. And my friend had a soldering iron and he would literally reshape
these models so that they would look like the exact ships. So to be holding
this now is both crazy and awesome."
Mind you, it will probably be a while before Prinze will be able to bring any
of the "Star Wars Rebels" LEGO sets home because ...
Photo by Nancy Stadler
"(I have a) four year-old and a one year-old. And if there's a LEGO piece
lying around, my one year-old then tries to eat it. But as soon as he's old
enough, he's almost there ... I'd love to (put one of these on display at
I'm looking forward to Star Wars Rebels. It takes place in a timeline that is interesting to me. Plus, the characters look great.
The thing that is really amusing me is all of the overly dramatic comments on Facebook and Youtube about how the show will suck and of course how "The Clone Wars was better". It should be noted that when "The Clone Wars" series first came out, everyone hated it. Now, everyone loves it.
There are enough people who are excited about "Rebels", and all those negative people are still going to watch it too, no doubt.
By the way Jim, cute title for this article, I got a real kick out of it.