In the past, with very few exceptions, anything that wasn’t in the live-action movies did not make the cut as canon so far as Star Wars was concerned. But in today’s franchise-heavy climate, if you’re not divesting your IP you’re leaving cash on the ground because fan service equals money in the bank (theoretically). So what about the future? Star Wars Rebels on Disney XD, which is set between the two movie trilogies, has brought in characters from both Star Wars eras, but could the reverse also be true? Might Rebels show up in future Star Wars movies or TV series in a live-action capacity? Well, according to the two men behind Rebels, the answer is a definitive maybe.
While talking to /Film a couple of weeks ago at Star Wars Celebration, Simon Kinberg and Dave Filoni were asked in a roundabout way if the characters of Rebels might intersect with other Star Wars stories. To put it another way, maybe some members of the Ghost crew were in the Hoth system during the events of The Empire Strikes Back, or helped out in the Battle of Endor in Return of the Jedi.
“Absolutely there’s been conversation about it,” explained Kinberg. “That this story could be a story that crosses over into other films, whether it’s A New Hope or other movies. And that movies could potentially even enter into our timeline and our moment.
“It’s a big galaxy, he continued. “So, you know, things are happening all over the place that don’t necessarily have to react to each other, the way we react to news around the world. We never meet the Chilean miners that are trapped in that mine. We know about it and the world reacts to it. So each of the different stories has to acknowledge the reality of what’s ever happening in that moment in time.”
“I think one of the things that’s really fun about Rebels, and potentially some of the films, is there’s a sort of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern version of these stories,” added Filoni referencing the well-known Tom Stoppard play. “I mean, the stories that George [Lucas] told were stories about specific characters in a massive galaxy. And so there are a lot of other characters’ stories that he hasn’t told.”
So far, Rebels has brought in C-3PO, R2-D2, Yoda, Lando Calrissian and Darth Vader into the animated world and its pre-New Hope setting. More stuff like this seems promised as the show enters its second season this fall, further ingratiating the show to fans who love those kinds of appearances and Easter eggs, especially since the producers have gone to the trouble of inviting back the roles’ live-action portrayers like Anthony Daniels, Frank Oz, Billy Dee Williams, and James Earl Jones. The iconic actors are playing their icons in other words.
But what are the chances of Rebels becoming its own live-action hit movie should the show prove popular enough?
“I would never say never to that. I mean, now that Lucasfilm is so integrated in story from top to bottom in all different forms of media, we already have had our characters cross over into novels” said Kinberg. “We’re gonna have our crossover into comic books. I would say it’s entirely possible. And I would encourage it.”
“I’ve talked to the creators of the other films going on and, you know, I’ve always made it clear if you want somebody, just let me know,” added Filoni. “They can jump over there. I don’t care. I’m all for it. Because I think it makes the experience for fans so much stronger. And what a moment it would be to see some of these animated characters up there live on the screen. It would be great for me too.”
Too long; didn’t read – Maybe.
Star Wars Rebels returns to Disney XD with new episodes later this year.