Dave Filoni will be attending all four days of Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, but that’s not because he has nothing to do. Far from it. The co-creator, supervising director and executive producer of “Star Wars Rebels” is still in the midst of creating that show’s second season. But the light is visible at the end of the tunnel.
“The finale scripts just came in, so I’ve been planning how the end of it is going to go,” Filoni said in a recent phone conversation. “But it’s always working on the whole thing at one time, from beginning to end. What’s nice is that you can see the whole thing now and make plans on episodes still in production to make things more worthwhile.”
Production on the second season is still underway, but the show’s season premiere is finished and ready for presentation. Filoni will be giving fans a screening of the episode along with a repeat showing of the two-part first season finale during the convention. And he has plans for a whole bunch of surprises during the show’s panel with members of the cast on Saturday morning.
“I know the fans of the work I’ve done pretty well now and there are a couple of things that are engineered to be meaningful to them,” he said. “I’ll be very curious to see how they react to what we have planned. We have special moments planned.”
Star Wars Celebration, which is taking place at the Anaheim Convention Center through Sunday, has extensive programming for fans, including Thursday morning’s panel and trailer unveiling for the upcoming sequel “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” But for anyone who has been following “Rebels” on Disney XD, the panel to be at is Saturday at 11 a.m.
Filoni will be joined on stage by cast members Freddie Prinze Jr., Vanessa Marshall, Tiya Sircar, Steve Blum and Taylor Gray. There will also be some unnamed “special guests” on the panel. It wouldn’t be a fan event if they didn’t have a few unannounced surprises.
The screening of the “Rebels” second season premiere will take place Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. A follow-up panel, which Filoni says will allow fans to collect their thoughts from the premiere screening and present them with a few more, will happen Sunday at 12:30 p.m.
The first season of “Rebels” ended in March with the surprising return of fan-favorite characters Ahsoka Tano from “The Clone Wars” animated series, as well as Darth Vader from — well, that Sith Lord doesn’t really need an explainer, does he?
As a lifelong “Star Wars” fan, the prospect of having that iconic character in all his dark glory to play with is exciting for Filoni, but he’s experienced enough with this world to tread carefully.
“For me, Vader is always a less-is-more,” Filoni said. “It’s thrilling and exciting to have the opportunity have him as a character, certainly with James Earl Jones, it takes it to a whole other level. When I have my fan moment is when James reads the lines.”
Filoni will also be on panels for “Clone Wars,” which still has a passionate fan base. And he wants to be available to the fans as he walks the convention floor.
“I like to see all the droids in the Droid Builder Club and I like to see what the different artists have been up to, fanwise,” he said. “It’s a great concentration of ‘Star Wars’ memorabilia, so the fan part of me never gets tired of seeing those old vintage boxed figures and ships.”
And yes, Filoni was excited about the big “Force Awakens” panel on Thursday.
“It doesn’t matter whether you already know stuff or not,” he said. “You want to see how people react.”
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