Everything We Learnt About Star Wars Rebels Season 2 at Star Wars Celebration
Spoilers for Star Wars Rebels Season 2 below
Rebels Gets A Longer Run For Season 2
After only being given a 13-episode run for its first season, Star Wars Rebels' huge success has led to it being given a beefed up presence for Season 2. In both Saturday's press conference and Sunday's panel, Dave Filoni confirmed that Star Wars Rebels season 2 would be on the air for no fewer than 22 episodes starting this fall. According to Filoni, this extended season run will allow the show to explore more story lines in greater detail than was possible in season 1.
Darth Vader's Role Will Be Bigger Than Previously Expected
Having been limited to a mere cameo in the season 1 finale, Darth Vader wasn't expected to be a major player in Rebels second season. Instead, many believed he would be more of a 'presence' looming over everything the Imperial protagonists did in their efforts to stop the Rebels in their track, but when the first 2 episodes of season 2 premiered, it became clear that Vader was going to be a major, major player in this Rebels story.
James Earl Jones Returns
With Vader being so prominent in the show, Filoni and Kinberg felt it was important to ensure that, in Rebels, he was as close to the original trilogy iteration as possible. Getting James Earl Jones, the original voice of Vader, to return to the character after a 10 year absence became the show runner's top priority. James Earl Jones has indeed returned to voice the Dark Lord of the Sith and when the thousands who were packed into the show's season 2 premiere heard his booming tones, the raucous cheers proved that getting him to do so was a huge boon for the Rebels team.
We'll Get To See Vader's True Power
In the original trilogy movies, much of Vader's power was left to the imagination of the crowd, with his reputation and anger merely being implied throughout the story. If the first two episodes of Star Wars Rebels season 2 are anything to go by though, we're going to get a continuous display of Vader's sheer strength and ability throughout this upcoming season and beyond. In the footage of Vader's brief battle with Kanan and Ezra, we see Vader easily dispatch the rookie Jedis almost as if he was toying with them. But when the Dark Lord of the Sith has an entire Imperial Walker fall on him, what happens next is probably the most bad-ass Vader moment we've ever seen. Just as you think that he has been crushed by the weight of all that metal, Vader is seen lifting it up through the force with just one hand held in the air. This display of brute force was something that Filoni and the Rebels animation team worked hard to depict. Vader's fighting style from the original trilogy was studied by Rebels' animators and replicated for the show, which along with James Earl Jones makes this depiction of the Sith Lord feel entirely faithful.
Popular Faces From The Clone Wars Will Have A Prominent Role
As the teaser trailer for season 2 revealed, some of Star Wars: The Clone Wars most popular characters are making the leap into the world of the Rebels. As well as Ahsoka Tano, who was teased at the end of season 1, we now know that Captain Rex and the pirate, Hondo, will both play significant roles in Star Wars Rebels' second season. In Sunday's panel, Filoni said that adding these characters in wasn't just a narrative decision, but it was also a way for him to say thank you to the legions of fans that The Clone Wars built up over it's 6 season run.
Never before seen clips from the show's second season were shown at Sunday's panel, and they proved that bringing these characters into the Rebels universe will add a whole new dimension to the show. The first clip, which was shown by accident depicted Hondo and Ezra in a bind as they attempt to liberate a cargo of shield generators. The clip showed us that Hondo's comedic moments will be just as present in Rebels as they were in The Clone Wars, and his presence immediately added a dimension that had been sorely missing from much of Rebels' first season.
The Clones' Accelerated Aging
Another clip shown during Sunday's panel saw Captain Rex and his now-retired band of clones in a repurposed walker using Zeb as bait to catch a giant tentacled beast. One of the most-striking things about the clip was the fact that Rex appears to be a little bit unhinged, and comes across as someone who has been shipwrecked on a desert island for years. Henry Gilroy revealed that this is all down to the Clone's accelerated aging, which means the 15 years that has past since the Clone Wars ended is actually more like 30 years to Rex and co. The second season will also show us that this accelerated aging hasn't just had a physical effect on the clones, but has also impacted their minds.
Season 2 Will Show Us The Origins Of The Rebellion's Ships, Uniforms And More
Rough footage with unfinished animation was also shown on Sunday and it gave us the first look at the Rebel fleet's B-Wing. But the Rebels' version of the B-Wing is far from the established fighter we see know from the original trilogy. Instead it is being taken out for it's first test-flight by Hera, who after a few nervy moments, immediately gets to grips with the craft and puts it through its paces. It's clips like this that make Rebels such a great prospect for Star Wars fans, because we get to see exactly how the Rebellion started to take shape. We see how the iconic vehicles, uniforms and characters evolved into the massive army that we see in the original trilogy movies.
We Still Don't Know Who Sarah Michelle Gellar Will Play
Despite all of the big reveals, one element of Star Wars Rebels remains firmly rooted in mystery. Although Sarah Michelle Gellar was announced as joining the cast of the show shortly after the season 1 finale, we are still unclear as to who it is she is voicing. When the question was put to the cast and crew who assembled for Saturday's press conference, the answer we received from Gellar's husband, Freddie Prinze Jr. was one of pure mischief, saying that she would be playing a Wookie because she has the hairiness and growl that a perfect for the species.
Mystery Surrounds Sabine
During Saturday's panel, Tiya Sircar, who voices Rebels Mandalorian graffiti artist, Sabine, may have potentially let slip a big spoiler for the show's second season. When responding to a question about the dynamic of the characters, Sircar said that the Rebels were all family to Sabine...at least for now. Although it's easy to read to much into these words, they would potentially confirm the rumors that Sabine is going to play a potentially antagonistic role at some point in the Rebels story.