ORLANDO, Fla. (KUTV) - The third season of “Star Wars Rebels” wrapped up a significant storyline that had its origins dating back to before “The Phantom Menace.” I could tell you, but if you don’t know, I’d hate to ruin the journey for those who have yet to embark on it.
Moderated by David Collins, the panel included Executive Producer Dave Filoni and voice actors.
The discussion started off with a look at some of the third season’s highlights, pulling back the curtain a little bit in regards to the resurrection of classic characters including a particular blue-skinned menace whom Filoni had wanted to include since the beginning of the series. But the timing had to be just right.
“It has to make sense. You can’t change him. You have to be true to who he is,” Filoni says.
Filoni also talked about Obi-Wan and the redemptive role that he had to play in the storyline.
Season four finds the group dealing with the losses and reaching a point where all their experiences push them to a point where real progress will occur.
An intense discussion of hair followed.
Filoni admits that discussions with Chopper, who had a featured cameo appearance in “Rogue One: A Star War Story,” have been difficult regarding getting the droid to come back to television now that he has appeared in a film.
“He doesn’t have an arc and that’s why he’s upset with me,” Filoni says. “In season four you’ll find out he has a bigger heart than you realized. When the chips are down he likes [his crew mates]."
Collins shifts his attention to Tiya Sircar and the future of her character Sabine.
“I don’t know, what I can say?” she says, turning toward Filoni.
Filoni responds, "We could roll the dice and see what you say.”
Sircar says, “For any of you, if there are any Mandalorian fans out there, I think you will be happy with some specific episodes … I think you might be surprised where we end up and who might show up. There might be some people you know, there might be people you’ve never seen before.”
This caused spontaneous chants of “Boba Fett” to rise from the audience, but to their credit, none of the cast nor Filoni reacted in any discernible way.
Instead, Sircar continued to focus on Sabine saying that over the course of the first three seasons she has grown into a capable adult and that she will now be exploring issues with her newly reunited family.
Collins then moved on to Freddie Prinze Jr. to talk about his character, Kanan.
Prinze explains, “He’s still blind, but he sees more than he has ever seen before. He knows what path they need to be on.”
Prinze says that for years we’ve watched Kanan struggle to be a “decent Jedi.” It's his struggles that make Prinze love the character.
He also suggests that even though Ezra has surpassed his abilities of a Jedi, Ezra still looks up to him for instruction, not necessarily in the Force, but in life itself.
We shift to Taylor Gray, who voices Ezra Bridger, who says that season four finds the character “deciding what kind of Jedi and what kind of person he wants to be.”
The time has come for Ezra “to see what he can go and do for his people.”
The conversation shifts back to Filoni who promises that the next season will include familiar faces like Mon Mothma, Saw Gerrera and Edrio “Two Tubes.”
A new character, Rhook, who is pulled from Timothy Zahn’s “Heir to the Empire,” where he was Grand Admiral Thrawn’s assassin/bodyguard.
The character will be voiced by Warwick Davis, due to him tricking Filoni at last year’s Star Wars Celebration London into promising him a role.
Davis appeared onstage briefly, but the biggest announcement of the afternoon was just around the corner as Filoni announced that season four would be the last. The animation department would continue on, but “Rebels” was coming to a close.
“I feel creatively that I can make this story the most meaningful it can be by arching it at the end of the season,” Filoni said.
Referring to the preemptive end that came to “The Clone Wars,” the previous animated series that was shelved when Disney purchased Lucasfilm, Filoni said he knew what it was like to not be able to end a series and he didn’t want history to repeat itself.
The audience was then shown an episode from the upcoming season - an episode with quite a cliffhanger. All indications suggest that the final ride is going to be a wild and, hopefully, satisfying adventure.