Star Wars Rebels Ezra crossguard lightsaber

Ahead of its return this week, Disney XD recently released a new trailer for the second half of ‘Star Wars Rebels’. This preview showed off some of the epic action coming to the popular animated series set in a galaxy far, far away and even featured the appearances of some of the most iconic characters in the entire franchise. But aside from seeing characters like Princess Leia, Yoda, and Anakin Skywalker in the last six episodes of the season, we’ll also get some other unexpected surprises from the films like the crossguard lightsaber and more. Curious about that “and more”? Well, the showrunner has opened up a little bit about the details.

In anticipation for the show’s return tonight, January 20th, executive producer Dave Filoni spoke to Entertainment Weekly about the various happenings on the horizon for young padawan Ezra Bridger and the crew of the Ghost as they further their fight against the Empire. He discussed everything that we saw in the recent trailer, including that familiar lightsaber design made famous by Kylo Ren in ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ and the power of repeated imagery (and sometimes plot points) in the ‘Star Wars’ universe:

“I wanted to put a nod to this new history we’re seeing in ‘The Force Awakens’. It’s important to have these links between stories in major ways and subtle ways. Here you find a sword we’ve encountered before, and it gives a little more context to something that turns up later… History repeats itself. There are always these ideas in Star Wars about power, control, and might [You’re] picking up on the visual similarities, which I think strengthens the mythology.”

Star Wars Rebels Princess Leia

In addition to strengthening the mythology through visual similarities, Filoni and his crew are also expanding this world and laying more groundwork for characters that we’ve come to know and love. The latest product of that will be a young Leia Organa (voiced by Julie Dolan) as we get to catch up with her prior to her first introduction to the world in ‘Episode IV’:

“We were really focused on trying to discover who Leia was prior to ‘A New Hope’. We know that she’s very strong, somewhat rash, super intelligent, but how did she develop those skills? In ‘A New Hope’, she’s really an impressive character when you think of her standing face to face with Tarkin, standing face to face with Vader, talking back to them, lying to them, deceiving them, misdirecting them. Leia is technically a part of the Empire at this time. Her father is still working within the Senate, and she would be seen by the Imperials as someone who’s more on their side. She can’t just pick up a blaster, necessarily, and start shooting Stormtroopers like she did on the Death Star.”

Star Wars Rebels Old Master

Finally, Filoni touches on the mysterious hooded figure known only as “Old Master”. Due to the markings on the shadowy figure’s face (which I totally missed in my initial viewing of the trailer), many have guessed that it will be revealed to be Darth Maul, who was thought dead after his appearance in ‘The Phantom Menace’ but turned out to be alive and present in ‘The Clone Wars’ with a robotic lower half. But is that really who this character is? The show runner won’t say for sure, but he does bring up some interesting points:

“Even if they guess right about everything they think they’re seeing, they won’t know how it comes together, which really becomes the fun part for me. So if you’re guessing right and the character is who you think it is, it still doesn’t answer: What in the world is that character up to?”

Notice how Filoni doesn’t even mention the name of Darth Maul. He does say, however, that it’s fun for him to see fans’ theories about everything that’s happening on ‘Rebels’ and ‘Star Wars’ in general. Could he be trolling? Yeah, he could be, but I know that I’m more motivated to tune in and find out if he is. If you plan on doing the same, let us know in the comments what you’re most looking forward to in the final few episodes of ‘Star Wars Rebels’ season two.