Disney has provided me with an expense paid trip to Los Angeles for the #VeryBadDayEvent and #DisneyInHomeEvent in exchange for my review of the events of the trip. No other compensation is given. The opinions and experiences in my posts are 100% mine. You can read my full disclosure policy here.
The all new Star Wars Rebels series began a week ago today on Disney XD. Did you watch?! This series is AWESOME! I recently had the chance to interview some of the cast. Be sure to check out my interview with voice cast member Freddie Prinze Jr. (Kanan) and Producer Dave Filoni AND my interview with the ladies of the show, Vanessa Marshall (Hera) and Tiya Sircar (Sabine). Today I’m sharing my interview Steve Blum (Zeb) and Taylor Gray (Ezra).
Star Wars Rebels is the latest piece of the Star Wars saga. Half-hour long shows began airing with the series premiere on Disney XD on October 13 so we’re in full swing now! If you check out the image above you can see when Star Wars Rebels takes place, between the prequels trilogy and the classics trilogy, right between Episodes III and IV.
Star Wars Rebels continues the epic tradition of the legendary Star Wars saga with all-new exciting, action-packed adventures. Set between the events of Star Wars Episodes III and IV, the story unfolds during a dark time when the evil Galactic Empire is tightening its grip of power on the galaxy. Imperial forces have occupied a remote planet and are ruining the lives of its people. The motley but clever crew of the starship Ghost — cowboy Jedi Kanan, ace pilot Hera, street-smart teenager Ezra, the “muscle” Zeb, warrior firebrand Sabine, and cantankerous old astromech droid Chopper — is among a select few who are brave enough to stand against the Empire. Together, they will face threatening new villains, encounter colorful adversaries, embark on thrilling adventures and become heroes with the power to ignite a rebellion.
Steve Blum (left, above) voices the character of Zeb Orrelios, the rough-and-tough muscle of the Ghost ship crew. Taylor Gray (right) is the voice of Ezra, the central character who is a 14 year-old boy that gets taken under the wing of Jedi Kanan and his crew to join the rebellion. They were a lot of fun to chat with together and as you can see in the picture above, they have a great relationship. They’re both passionate about their work on this project and enjoying every minute of it. Here are some of the highlights of our interview with them.
Q: What drew you to the show?
Taylor: I love it. I think it’s so cool. My favorite part about it is all the action. I think that that’s so fun. I think kids are going to enjoy all the characters and their multiple layers and how they run around firing off blasters and taking down troopers. I think it’s all a lot of fun. It’s action along with a lot of nice dialogue.
Steve: I was drawn when I was a kid when I first saw it. I was seventeen. I was fresh out of high school, and I went to the premiere in 1977, and I was one of those kids in the theatre whose head snapped back when the imperial star destroyer comes across the screen and the whole theatre rumbled. So, I get to relive this on a cellular level. It activates all of those memories from that time. When I was graduating high school, I was one of those apathetic youth and I didn’t go to my own graduation.
And to get to go and see something like that that was brand new. It was stuff that we hadn’t seen before. It woke up something in me and kind of gave me a new hope. But to get to work on something like that now where we’re bringing this to a whole new generation. It’s really exciting for me, and I’m a dad. And so I like working on quality programming that’s safe for kids and it’s really got a great underlying message. It does offer a notion that there’s something bigger than we are and that we can strive to be better than we are and that a small group of people can be just as powerful as a large army against injustice.
Taylor : And a little bit of the force.
Steve: And a little bit of the force, yes.
Q: Were you a Star Wars fan prior to this?
Taylor: Yes. I hadn’t seen all the Star Wars movies. I had seen 4, 5 and 6. It’s a nice joke with us, because we have some people in our cast, Vanessa and Freddie and then Dave as well who know more about Star Wars than anyone I’ve ever met. They know things that I think aren’t even in Star Wars! Steve knows more than I do as well, but it’s been fun because it’s cool to be a fan. I’ve now caught up and understood why everyone loves it so much.
I remember being in school when I was little, and every other kid had either a Star Wars shirt on or a lunch pail or a back pack. And it all makes sense why it’s so appealing, but it’s really cool. The best part of it is talking to fans of Star Wars and hearing their sentiments and why it’s so special to them, because everyone has their own connection to the Star Wars story. So it’s been really cool coming up through all of it.
Q : How have you embraced the hardcore Star Wars fans?
Taylor: I think it’s awesome. The first little taste of it we got was they sent us to this thing called Star Wars Weekends in Florida. And I had no idea what to expect. I was like oh, it will be fun to like hang out with a couple people who like Star Wars and go on some rides. There were like 60 thousand people who all had Star Wars shirts or full on costumes, wardrobe, outfits, everything and, light sabers. And just seeing that, I realized oh, wow, we’re in something much bigger than I thought. And it’s, it’s been so much fun and they’re saying there’s so much more to look forward to, and I can’t wait.
Steve: I’ve been doing the convention circuit for the last 10 years for my other work and going to that weekend in particular seemed, you know, there was 20, 30 thousand people on the parade route, and they put us in convertibles and we’re waited on. It’s great, and I’m thinking the show hasn’t come out. Nobody’s gonna know who we are, and they’re chanting our names. It’s my name. This guy had researched and knew everything that we did and people were bringing stuff up to me from my whole career. It was amazing.
It’s been awesome. It’s a whole different level of fandom too, and so show-specific. It’s just amazing to me that after all these years, that the fandom is stronger now than it’s ever been. It’s incredible.
Q : What was your favorite scene to voice over?
Steve: I love all of it for so many different reasons. I think one of my very favorite scenes that I’ve seen so far was Ezra’s realization that he was doing something of value. After our first initial struggle, and then stealing stuff, and he’s sitting there and we’re giving away food, and that was the whole purpose of our mission. And we’re risking our lives to do that. And to see that look of realization on his face where he’s just going, well, I didn’t do anything. It’s like he didn’t deserve the praise and you see a little bit of a transformation in him and that was, that was a very powerful moment for me.
STAR WARS REBELS: SPARK OF REBELLION airs on Disney XD! Check your local listing for the time. You can visit StarWars.com for more news on the series and be sure to follow @DisneyChannelPR and @StarWars on Twitter to stay up to speed with the latest news. I have a bunch of free printable coloring pages and activity sheets for the the kids, too. You can order the movie on Amazon now!
May the force be with you!