Image(s) of the Day: Stunning, hand-drawn Star Wars: Rebels concept art

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Mar 2, 2015, 11:18 AM EST

The first season of Disney XD’s Star Wars: Rebels is winding down, and the series has quietly  grown into a surprisingly good half-hour of intergalactic action. But how did it look when the show was still just an idea on a page?

In honor of the first season finale set to air Monday night, Star Wars has posted an excellent interview with executive producer Dave Filoni digging into the genesis of the series — not to mention some of Filoni’s early sketches used to actually pitch the show. The art is a fascinating peek behind the scenes, and surprisingly, it looks like very little changed in the translation from page to screen. 

We’ve compiled the hand-drawn art below, and here are some interesting comments from Filoni about the development of the Rebels concept:

“Everything I’ve learned about making Star Wars comes from George. I’ve been here 10 years now, and even though George hasn’t been here these last two years, everything that I execute now is based on all our discussions, editorial sessions, and story meetings. That’s how I still try to inform what I’m doing now on Rebels — with all the building blocks of Star Wars. At the same time, I think we have to stay open-minded and have an eye on the future and the possibilities for evolving stories and types of characters. That’s why I wanted Sabine to be an artist. It was something I hadn’t really seen in Star Wars.

We all had different concepts for stories. Carrie had an idea we all liked for an A-Team-style group, so that stayed on the table. I had an obsession with the pilots of Star Wars. I’m dying to do something that’s non-Force related and completely about pilots, which is what I thought a large part of Star Wars was about as a kid. So, we each had different ideas, but really with [creative executives] Kiri [Hart], Rayne [Roberts], Carrie, and I sitting around the table, we decided to focus on the A-Team idea. I’m always drawing in these meetings and that’s where some of the early character design started. When we met with Simon, he said ‘Let’s focus on this family dynamic, so I drew a kid, mom, and a dad.”

The full interview is well worth a read, and loaded with interesting tidbits fans should enjoy (Kanan originally had a robotic arm! Ezra was originally nicknamed “The Kid”!). What have you thought of the first season? A worthy successor to Clone Wars?

(Via Star Wars)