Star Wars: Episode VII isn’t the only return to the Galaxy far, far away that’s imminent; before that comes out, we’ll have the premiere of Star Wars: Rebels this year, and now, via a story in USA Today, we have our first glimpse into one of our main characters, a “cowboy Jedi” who goes by the name of Kanan. Rebels takes place fourteen years after the events of Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, so he’s been hiding out and forsaken the Jedi code after the destruction of his way of life by Darth Vader and the Empire. Kanan is clearly a Han Solo type, rough around the edges and comfortable using a blaster, and only the events of Rebels lead him to pick up his old lightsaber once again. Voiced by Freddie Prinze Jr., Kanan seems to be a combination of Luke Skywalker and Han Solo, with a little facial hair added for good measure. It also appears that Kanan is the captain of the main ship on the show, The Ghost, which looks a lot like early Ralph McQuarrie concept drawings for the Millennium Falcon.
37-year-old Prinze, a definite member of the Star Wars generation (he even has the scars to prove it, from “lightsaber fighting” when he was four years old) said about his character, “He’s been forced to shove a massive part of his life under the bed, so to speak. Is he living a lie? At a certain point, the lie kind of becomes the reality. And to suddenly be forced back into your Jedi ways, it’d be a bit of a challenge for him. And pretty awesome, too, when you can see what a Jedi can actually do.” Having survived Order 66 as a kid, and seeing his culture all but wiped had a deep impact on him. “He definitely has seen more than what a young man should see. And what he had to see was pretty much the worst thing you would have to witness.”
The show debuts with a one-hour special on Disney Channel in the fall before moving to half-hour episodes on Disney XD.