As the fall premiere of “Star Wars Rebels” grows ever closer, we’re getting more familiar with the characters created to bring us into this new era of the space saga. On the bad guy side, images of the Inquisitor has been available for a long time, but now we’re getting our first look at his right-hand man, Agent Kallus, the so-called “Rebel hunter.” And the actor selected to voice him, David Oyelowo.
Oyelowo’s acting career is red-hot right now. In the last couple of years, he’s appeared in “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” “Lincoln,” “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” and has upcoming roles in Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar” and will play Martin Luther King Jr. in “Selma.” Now he’s voicing the evil agent of the Empire, working for the Imperial Security Bureau. The way “Rebels” executive producer Dave Filoni describes it, it’s a little like the FBI and a little like the military police.
One of the most striking things about Kallus is his impressive facial hair, two imposing sideburns that sweep down the side of his face.
“We definitely wanted to capture that ’70s feeling that was so strong in ‘A New Hope,’” says Filoni. “Art director Kilian Plunkett and I looked at a lot of reference to try and make that influence fit into ‘Rebels.’ At one point we had [Rebel pilot] Zeb in bell bottoms.”
Unlike some of the more outlandish “Star Wars” looks, Kallus’ mutton chops are easy to grow for potential cosplay opportunities.
“I’m hoping to see some people sporting that look at Comic-Con next year,” Filoni adds.
Getting an actor of Oyelowo’s stature for the series was something of a coup for the “Rebels” creative team. He may not yet be a household name, but fans have bandied his name about as perfect casting for iconic characters such as James Bond and Doctor Who.
“We actually had David read for several different parts,” Filoni said. “We knew we wanted to use him, but weren’t quite sure where.”
According to Oyelowo, the role in “Star Wars” is what it takes to elicit shrieks of joy from his children when it comes to his work.
“I wish I had that when I was going off to film a scene in ‘The Butler’ or something in ‘Lincoln,’” Oyelowo says in the video. “But no. ‘Star Wars Rebels’ gets the big scream.”
– Patrick Kevin Day | @patrickkevinday
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