As for those who have expressed concern with the animated Star Wars jumping ship from the Cartoon Network to DisneyXD, Filoni quickly quiets those storms. “To get [Disney’s] input on animated style designs was great. A big help — and benefit to make the animated styles fuse.” Remember, fellow parishioners, these same geeks had the same issues with Disney buying Marvel. And look at how that marriage has worked out thus far!
Sure, going by the clip, it’s impossible not to feel a far warmer, earthier Star Wars than of Dark Clone Wars past. Hell, even Filoni expressed that the new cartoon will feel much more humorous, “animated” and “expressive” than the more reticent, more realistic vibe of TCW. Mind as well cue Pharrell’s “Happy”.
With that said, it appears that Rebels will opt for more of A New Hope vibe stylistically than Return of the Jedi, Chopper included. “If R2D2 was the family dog, then (the new android sidekick) is the annoying cat. He’s a little jerk. He’ll fix the hyper drive when you don’t want him to.” Slapstick with conflict — sounds Moody approved. I also approve of the new art direction. After looking at these concept designs, how can anyone not?
Just as imperative as the visuals, is, of course, the sound. To even more panel delight, Anaheim was blessed with the presence of Kevin Kiner. In referencing his work with Filoni and crew the last 6 or so years, the composer kept it simple. “That was Clone Wars. This is Star Wars.” After we got to hear the new theme for Rebels, which comes off as a simultaneous blend of John Williams’ classic score to A New Hope and a more whimsical extension of other theatrical sounds of Jedi past (a sound that may take some time getting used to, but having the “Gathering of the Fleet” music doesn’t hurt), Kiner said it was George Lucas who didn’t want the original classics in The Clone Wars. But, this time around, Rebels — and perhaps even Lucas — encourages the use of the Force.
Above all, it’s good to know that the creators of my favorite animated series this side of Batman: TAS are keeping it all in the family. “The band never left,” stamps Filoni.
Stars Wars Rebels comes to DisneyXD in the fall.