The best way I can think to celebrate Star Wars Day is by enjoying dinner with R2D2, a few Storm Troopers and Vanessa Marshall, the voice of Hera in the new Disney XD Star Wars animated series, Star Wars Rebels. On Star Wars Day this year, I and 24 fellow bloggers met Marshall, learned about the new show and why she was so excited to get the part as Hera.
I was invited to this event by Disney as part of a media event. Accommodations and other expenses were paid for in exchange for my coverage of the event, but all opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way.
About Star Wars Rebels
Star Wars Rebels is a new animated television series that takes place between Episode III and IV. It’s during a time when the Empire is securing its grip on the galaxy and it hunting down the last of the Jedi Knights as the beginning of the rebellion against the Empire takes shape.
About Star Wars Rebels Characters
- Chopper is the grumpy Astromech Droid. He’s cranky, takes his time and has a bad attitude but he’s also very loyal and heroic. His look is very similar to that of the familiar R2D2 but because Star Wars Rebels takes places years before Episode IV, Chopper has a much more retro look.
- Sabine (voiced by Tiya Sircar) is a Mandalorian Human weapons expert and was an active participant during the reign of Emperor Palpatine. You also get to see her passion for artwork and graffiti as she personalizes her armor, hair and ship and tags her next targets and victims.
- Zeb (voiced by Steve Blum) is the big muscle with a heart of the group. His character is based on Chewbacca but he’s of an alien race that has never before been explored in Star Wars films. He’s not just the groups dumb thug; he’s as intelligent as he is strong.
- Hera (voiced by Vanessa Marshall) is the pilot of the Ghost, the ship that is houses this crew. She’s the mother hen of the group but one of the strongest members. She commands the ship and keeps the team together.
- Kanan (voiced by Freddie Prinze, Jr.) is the cowboy Jedi. He has a past full of secrets which he is not eager to share with anyone. He’s perceived as the leader of the group. He is a Jedi, but not as we think of traditionally as he avoids the Jedi lifestyle in order to save his life.
- Ezra (voiced by Taylor Gray) is the street-smart hero and the loner of the group. At only 14-years-old, he’s a seasoned con-artist that sometimes feels guilty about the way of life, despite his seeing it as a way to survive.
As a Star Wars fan and a woman, I was excited to hear Vanessa Marshall (who is the daughter of legendary actress Joan van Ark!) call herself a “bionic nerd.” She was so excited to have been chosen for the role in the new animated series because she’d been a long-time of fan of the movies, she said.
“All of us have organically discovered our voices…they’re within ourselves,” Marshall said about voicing her character. She told us that much of the cast use their own voices instead of having created a more unique ‘cartoon’ voice. And, according to Marshall, the cast all love the story and the show. “Every time we get a script, I’m breathless with anticipation. I can not wait to read what’s next.”
She also explained how the cast all voice their characters together, instead of separately as it’s often done with animation, because they all like the interaction and feel that the process better lends to the authenticity and feel of the script.
You can check out Star Wars Rebels this fall on Disney XD or catch a full length sneak peek trailer here! Be sure to keep up on all the updates, including new trailers and interviews with the stars, on Stars Wars’ Facebook and on Twitter.