The second season of Star Wars Rebels premiered in June, and far too long of a break, new episodes return to Disney XD on October 14. The crew of the Ghost—Hera, Kanan, Sabine, Zeb, Ezra, and Chopper—are now part of the growing Rebel Alliance. The entire crew became aware of the organization at the end of Season 1, and instead of continuing to work on their own on Lothal, they’re now part of the bigger, galaxy-wide picture. They’re also on the Empire’s and Darth Vader’s radar because of their rebellious activity and because of Ahsoka Tano.
As our rebels step forward into a full 22-episode season, they’ll work with new allies like Captain Rex and face enemies like the Seventh Sister. Even though more puzzle pieces are in play now, the story will still very much focus on the Ghost crew—their present and their past. I spoke with executive producer Dave Filoni and cast members Vanessa Marshall (Hera Syndulla), Freddie Prinze Jr. (Kanan Jarrus), Ashley Eckstein (Ahsoka Tano), and Dee Bradley Baker (the clones) about the new Inquisitors, characters’ roles and challenges, the state of the Rebellion, and more.
On the new Inquisitors and why they’re called the Fifth Brother and the Seventh Sister
Filoni: For a long time we just referred to them as the Inquisitors, and that was really easy when there was one. And then when there were more, we had the male Inquisitor and the female Inquisitor. That was very clear, but not really fun. So we all sat down and said, “Well, what do they call themselves?” The trick with them is that you never want them to be too individualized. They’re not Sith, right? They don’t get a cool Sith name like Darth Vader, Darth Maul, Darth Sidious–they don’t get that. So, I had this thought that they could seem almost kind of monastic in their acolyte nature, so they would refer to themselves as “brother” and “sister” within this order, this structure, and that their number refers to when they came into it.
On Hera’s role in Season 2 and whether she’ll have to continue to keep secrets
Marshall: I think now she can, for lack of a better term, kick back, to the extent that she has brought this crew to this point, and that was her goal. And now, it’s really the luck of the draw. She has to trust the militaristic system that’s in place and the ranking. Her only obstacle is convincing Kanan that it’s safe to do so. She follows more orders rather than giving them this time. She still runs her ship very tightly, but I think she becomes more part of a greater machine that’s necessary to fight the greater machine of the Empire.
On how the clones and Ahsoka will fit into the picture and if Rex and Ahsoka will have missions together
Baker: The story of the Rebels versus the Empire, that is the main story. It is not the Rex and Ahsoka show. Our characters are there to serve that story. As such, Rex is sort of mentoring these two Jedi. They go off, and there’s some good missions there and that serves their growth. Ahsoka, as I understand it, she’s working another angle where she’s operating on a higher plane, dealing with maybe the strategy of how to engage with the Empire. Those are two different things that do not necessitate them being together and working out anything that they have because we’ve seen all that together, really.
Eckstein: You’re going to get bits and pieces [about what Rex and Ahsoka have been up to]. But to Dee’s point, it’s not the Rex and Ahsoka story. And in fact, those bits and pieces may leave the audience with more questions than answers.
On how Kanan and Ezra will react to the clones and how their relationship will change
Prinze: Kanan’s going to go as far as almost having a mental fracture at a certain point where he finally speaks about [Order 66], because he’s never talked about it, ever. You can explore a conversation between him and Hera, but that’s with someone that you have love for, that you’re in a relationship with. It’s not a teacher telling a student, “I’m not as strong as you think and here’s why.” I’ve never met one that did that. And so, to me, [Kanan] had to have what I would basically equate to PTSD. He had to deal with some of the worst stuff that a kid could ever deal with as far as seeing a parental figure, a master, a teacher get slaughtered right in front of him–and by people who he trusted and loved and had meals with and saved their lives. All that comes out in an episode and in Season 2.
Kanan’s definitely going to be the more hesitant one. And Ezra is going to–he’s in the middle of puberty. Between the strict parent and the cool uncle, who are you going to go to? You’re going to go to the cool uncle who lets you shoot guns and takes you out and shows you how to hit targets, and that’s Rex. He’s way cooler than the guy that says, “No, you’re going to finish your vegetables.” Rex is like, “I’ll take you for a hot dog.” That’s just more fun. So, there’s going to be more conflict there, but it helps Kanan grow as a master. It helps Kanan grow as a Jedi. It helps him let go, which is the most important thing for Jedi to do to grow.
On the scope of the Rebellion and how we see it advance
Filoni: My image of the Rebellion was always one that was on the move, and for different story reasons we decided we wanted to center around Ezra’s home in the first season. But, now we’re on the move a bit more, and the Rebellion is much more complex than people, I think, have thought. People try to throw it into a World War II metaphor, which isn’t really correct, because they’re just not that well armed. The Allies were really well armed when they got going. They had factories where they could build stuff. They had a continent away over an ocean that the Axis couldn’t get to. Where are you going to hide from the Empire? If you’re a planet and you declare you’re against the Empire, the Empire is going to show up and oppress you and destroy you.
I think there are several key things, though, where you have these pockets of resistance, and they’re very cautious about revealing to the Empire how big or small the movement is. The group that we have, Phoenix Group, is very much–it’s more like a regional group. They operate within a certain sphere and one of the goals in this season is you see what a struggle this is just for them to find a place where they can hide.
So, it is a bigger adventure where we travel to different planets and are not always the most welcomed people when we get there. Plus, you know, Vader being after them puts a pressure on them that they’re not used to. Ahsoka being with them from time to time is a help and also a big hindrance.
Want even more of the galaxy far, far away? Check out the very best Star Wars comics: