Rebels mid-season 4 trailer and key art released; Emperor Palpatine is voiced by Ian McDiarmid

From StarWars.com:

Star Wars Rebels strikes back on Monday, February 19 (9:00 p.m. EDT), on Disney XD, kicking off a string of brand-new episodes, all building toward its grand series finale. The final episodes of the series will unfold over three weeks with two back-to-back episodes premiering every Monday night on Disney XD until its epic 90-minute conclusion on Monday, March 5 (8:30 p.m. EDT). The official key art for the final installments is below — a striking image of the Ghost crew facing the might of the Empire.

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In addition, one of Star Wars‘ greatest villains will make his series debut in these final episodes. As teased in a new Star Wars Rebels trailer (which you can view below), Emperor Palpatine will appear for the first time in the show’s history, voiced by actor Ian McDiarmid, who reprises his iconic role from the Star Warslive-action films. Star Wars Rebels is set prior to the original trilogy, when the Emperor reigned and continued to tighten his grip on the galaxy. […]”

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The Lucasfilm story group pushed for the return of Ahsoka after the cancellation of The Clone Wars

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From The New York Times:

“Five days a week, in the foggy hills of San Francisco, 11 writers and artists discuss the minutiae of storm troopers. This is the Lucasfilm story group, and its members hold the keys to everything “Star Wars”: Under their guidance, the franchise’s narratives are linked no matter the platform, whether it’s television, games, theme parks, publishing, merchandise or, of course, film. With their ideas shaping each character and setting, they don’t see themselves as gatekeepers but as partners furthering the stories their creators want to tell.

Kathleen Kennedy founded the group in 2012 when she succeeded George Lucas as president of Lucasfilm, putting Kiri Hart, a former film and TV writer, in charge of the unit. […]

Today, the Lucasfilm story group is a diverse outlier in Hollywood: five of its members are people of color, and the team includes four women and seven men. This is a rarity in 2017, where women account for 13 percent, and minorities represent 5 percent, of all writers working on the top-grossing films. In addition to maintaining the continuity of the “Star Wars” universe, they aim to increase its diversity. This goal has sometimes led to struggles over their female characters.

Early on, the story group fought for the character Ahsoka Tano, a 14-year-old girl created by George Lucas and further developed by the director, producer and writer Dave Filoni. Not initially popular, she had a high, whiny voice and all the self-control of a bratty teenager when she was introduced in 2008 in the animated film and subsequent series “The Clone Wars.” In his review, Roger Ebert called her “annoying,” and angry letters and emails flooded in from fans.

Yet Mr. Filoni and the story group were insistent that there was more to Ahsoka Tano. Even after the series was canceled in 2013, the team would not let her die. Instead they included her in a new animated series, “Star Wars Rebels,” taking her on a journey from adolescent to compassionate 30-year-old adult, one whose nuanced arc reveals flaws in the Jedi order and insight into Anakin Skywalker’s descent. She now has a considerable fan following, including many young women who treasure their “Ahsoka Lives” T-shirts.”

Temuera Morrison would be ‘very happy’ to play Clone Captain Rex

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From au.StarWars.com:

“[au.StarWars.com:] IT MUST BE PRETTY COOL TO THINK, “I PLAYED BOBA FETT’S DAD”. PLUS YOUR VOICE GETS TO LIVE ON AS BOBA FETT, AND YOUR FACE WAS USED FOR ALL OF THE CLONES!

[Temuera Morrison:] They’re all in my Jango Fett line – I have clones lining up. Then, of course, there’s Captain Rex, who’s an iconic character. I’ve also voiced various games. What’ll make me really happy is if I get the phone call asking me to play another character – an older Captain Rex or something. I want to pop in on one of these new ones, that would be great. Suggest it to them for me! Let’s get on to it!”

 

Star Wars Rebels season four viewing schedule

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From StarWars.com:

Star Wars Rebels returns for its fourth and final season beginning Monday, October 16, on Disney XD. Many episodes will be broadcast back-to-back through November 13, making for an hour of action and adventure courtesy of the Ghost crew. (Even Chopper is excited!)

You can mark your calendars for the following episodes:

  • Monday, 10/16 – “Heroes of Mandalore”  Parts 1 & 2
  • Monday, 10/23 – “In the Name of the Rebellion” Parts 1 & 2
  • Monday, 10/30 – “The Occupation” and “Flight of the Defender”
  • Monday, 11/6 – “Kindred” and “Crawler Commandeers”
  • Monday, 11/13 – “Rebel Assault”

Following a holiday break, Star Wars Rebels will be back in early 2018 for its final run of episodes leading up to the top-secret series finale.

Look for new episodes every Monday with five airings throughout the day at 12:30 a.m. ET/PT, 3:00 a.m. ET/PT, 7:30 a.m.ET/PT, 5:30 p.m. ET/PT, and 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on Disney XD, the Disney XD App, and VOD. StarWars.com’s Rebels Recon behind-the-scenes series will be posted after the 9 p.m. ET/PT broadcast, and episode guides will be published on Tuesdays at 9 a.m. ET / 6 a.m. PT.”

Rebels EP Dave Filoni likes ‘anything that brings the prequel and the original trilogy periods together’

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From StarWars.com:

“StarWars.com: This season also offered you a chance to tie up some loose ends from The Clone Wars, and one was “The Last Battle.” Where did the idea come from that you were going to take an opportunity to give some closure to characters who went through the Clone Wars?

[Rebels executive producer] Dave Filoni: We had toyed with this old battle droid story many times and we never found a good place for it. With Rex back, it seemed like there was an opportunity. Plus, Ezra didn’t have any perspective on the Clone War. He didn’t grow up in it, so there was the opportunity to have him ask, like he did when he first met Rex, “What is this all about?” Ezra sees it from a point of view that helps both Kanan and Rex understand what they went through. Even they didn’t fully understand it.

It’s a great thing to produce because you make battle droids, and when you make one, you get a whole bunch of them, so it works from a production level. The thought of battle droids confronting stormtroopers was really appealing. I like anything that really brings the prequel and the original trilogy periods together. I think it’s important to do so people understand these stories all work together as one piece. It’s not like the prequels end and everything in them just disappears.

Having worked in the prequel era for a long time, I know it really well. It was really interesting to see Kanan, Ezra, and Zeb dealing with it and, frankly, how dangerous some of it was. While the droids weren’t much of a match for Anakin Skywalker, they’re more than a match for someone like Ezra who’s not as well-trained. So, it gave a great perspective into what they’re capable of, too. […]

StarWars.com: There’s something about seeing original and prequel trilogy elements come together that’s so surprising.

Dave Filoni: Right? It shouldn’t be, but it is.

We do have this strange thing where I was able to finish a lot of storylines from Clone Wars, things that never really got dealt with in the past. That felt good, and I felt like that followed through for a lot of people who wanted to know more about Ahsoka and wanted to know more about Rex, and so here’s how they got it.

StarWars.com: Is it important to you to tell those stories on a personal level, like it’s unfinished business? Is it for George Lucas, is it because you think it makes the story better? Or is it a little bit of everything?

Dave Filoni: I think it’s a little bit of everything. It feels right for Rebels characters to be involved with other characters. Plus, in a lot of ways, creatively, I’ve been the guardian of those characters. I think the audience feels it’s authentic if I’m the one behind telling their story. They have invested in these characters, and want to see that I’m still invested in them, as well. When I go back to telling more of their story, it validates everyone’s investment in them. Many people felt cheated that they didn’t get an ending to Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

Now when you look at it, and it wasn’t really intended, you can say you need to watch Clone Wars and then go into Rebels, and then you get the whole story. Which is kind of unique. We’ve been pretty lucky with what we’ve been able to do — telling these stories and finishing stories that would’ve otherwise had no way to end.”