|Evil extends his reach in Season Two of STAR WARS REBELS. Image: DISNEY.|
Last night, worldwide fans got their latest special treat from STAR WARS CELEBRATION, linked to the upcoming extended episode run of REBELS Season Two: the debut of a spectacular all-action trailer leading in to this Summer's hour-long DISNEY XD airing opener, The Siege of Lothal. From the get-go, this new year looks set to be far more sophisticated in its storytelling and animation, featuring Darth Vader (once more voiced by James Earl Jones) at his Jedi-hunting finest, accompanied by new enemies who'll surely fill the gap when his character is absent - notably one helmeted female who might either be former Sith assassin Asajj Ventress, or, more fan theory intriguingly, "The Emperor's Hand" (aka Mara Jade). On the heroes front, our Lothal departing band have now joined forces with the far ranging Rebel Alliance, headed by Bail Organa and the older Ahsoka Tano, and, in another strong merging with the previous THE CLONE WARS animated series, fan favourite Captain Rex and some of his other retired clone soldiers chums not affected by the events of ORDER 66 will get a piece of the action, too!
▶ Star Wars Rebels Season Two Trailer (Official) - YouTube
Star Wars Rebels - Darth Vader vs. Ahsoka Tano Potential; Emperor Voice Actor Revealed - Star Wars Celebration 2015 - IGN Video
Star Wars Rebels - How Season 2 Will Be Much Bigger - IGN Video
Personally, I'm thrilled that Vader is properly into the series now, especially as the previous season's The Inquisitor ultimately proved so disappointing and underused. Here's hoping that Vader gets the better crack of the whip and doesn't become the stock heavy to escape from after a few episodes. This is also the best opportunity yet to present fans with the Vader they've always wanted to see in that evocative and deadly period between the Prequel and Classic Trilogies- let's not have him restricted to just searching for our band of heroes- here's to seeing more of him with the Emperor (now voiced by Sam Witwer) and in the Empire itself, and that we get to experience some of the important character developments, his duty to evil and the nature of the Dark Side of the Force, and the damage he's done to the universe, since his terrifying "birth" in EPISODE III.
Here's some classic past visual material from the Ralph McQuarrie archives that we'd also like to see explored within the new series:
|Let's have this now iconic McQuarrie painting realized in REBELS.|
|An early idea for a visual conference with the Emperor and his servants.|
|Concept art for Vader's mountain castle.|
|The interior of Vader's castle, with the intriguing insignia flag.|
|The underground lava lair of Coruscant from RETURN OF THE JEDI.|
SWCA: Star Wars Rebels Season Two Panel Liveblog | StarWars.com