It’s been a slow boil, but Star Wars Rebels has slowly grown into an excellent, compelling chapter in the larger saga — and it’s only getting wilder next season. So, where is it all going? Turns out you might want to look to J.R.R. Tolkien for some hints.
While chatting with io9, showrunner Dave Filoni said the recent decision to introduce beloved Expanded Universe baddie Grand Admiral Thrawn to the main continuity did not come lightly, and all feeds into the larger decisions of making sure these characters fit into the cohesive universe. Filoni said they’re taking a page from J.R.R. Tolkien’s world-building approach as they move all these characters across the chessboard.
Here’s an excerpt from his comments:
“We need to know what our end game is for this character, [and] I think [that] is exciting. You go through a number of questions. ‘Does he survive? Does he not survive?’ We’ve been the architects of that as we’ve been going. I think we have a nice path figured out for Mr. Thrawn. I wouldn’t bring him back lightly without that plan…Here we’re introducing this pretty potent Force-using kid [Ezra]. Where is he? You’d think he’d be a pretty important tool for the Rebellion to use in the later films. But eventually [fellow producer] Simon [Kinberg] and I figured out what that means, where they go and what happened to them…
I love to give a lot of Tolkien references. But [in those stories] Faramir is kind of doing his thing, Frodo is doing his thing, Aragorn is doing his thing, everybody’s got their different movements. If you really study, Elrond was doing his own thing, Galadriel was doing her own thing, in the Iron Hills they were doing their own thing and it’s amazing how he orchestrated all that. So even bits that weren’t necessarily in the books, he knew what was going on. And when you take on mass continuity like this, that’s what you’re really getting at. You have to understand the world and all the moving parts of it. And I think the challenge is you want each story to be original and exciting.”
Filoni makes some interesting points here, and it’s nice to know they’ll be addressing what the heck happened to the Ghost crew and why they weren’t a factor during the original trilogy. The answer is obviously that they hadn’t been conceived yet, but if you’re looking to ret-con in a bunch of new stories and make them feel cohesive, these are all questions you need to answer.
How do you think the Rebels saga will play out?