A not so long time ago in Hollywood, which is not so far away from me, I spent Star Wars Day with 25 bloggers, Storm Troopers, R2-D2, Chopper and Hera from Star Wars Rebels. How cool is that? We gathered to celebrate the “Fourth” and to learn about the upcoming Star Wars Rebels television series which will air this Fall on Disney XD.
Star Wars Rebels goes back to the tone of the original Star Wars trilogy. This is the origin story of the Rebel Alliance that stands up against the evil empire. Luke and Lei are about 12 years old and if you are not familiar with the original Star Wars Series than this is a good entry point to get aquatinted with this galaxy.
After fighting off Storm troopers we sat, ate and watched a new trailer for Star Wars Rebel. We also learned about creative directors and learned more about the six characters from the animated series, Twi’lek pilot Hera Syndulla, the alien enforcer Zeb Orrelios, the Mandalorian Sabine Wren, the astromech droid Chopper, the former Jedi Kanan Jarrus, and the con artist Ezra Bridger of the starship Ghost. Chopper the cranky droid, the original idea for R2-D2, was revealed for the first time earlier this year and will be a part of the new season of Star Wars Rebels. I’m not sure why but I have a thing for robots and I love him!
We also sat down with the lovely Vanessa Marshall who voices the new character Hera. Hera is beautiful, strong and the leader of the motley bunch of characters. Vanessa addressed bloggers and praised us for our work, “I was thinking of the day each one of you came up with a great idea, it was a spark and it was a creative moment and you didn’t let it pass. You seized it and created something that is helping women all over the world.” Vanessa continued to say, “To me, I think this is a good fit. This is the triumph of the human spirit and exactly what goes on in Star Wars Rebels. My heart goes out to you and I thank you deeply for what you are doing.” Wow, I love this woman!
Vanessa talked to us about her celebrity mom, blogging and finding her voice:
Show business advice for families– Her mom is Joan Van Ark who played Valene Ewing on Knott’s Landing. Vanessa identified with Luke Skywalker’s journey throughout the original trilogy where she was coming of age. Because of her mother’s busy career, Vanessa didn’t get to spend quality time with her when she was growing up. Vanessa looked at show business and the entertainment industry as the “evil emperor” who was taking her mom away from her. As she grew older, she came to terms with the “dark side” and found her own creative spark through writing, stand up and theater. She advises that there is a price to pay for visibility, and she saw that with her mom and the paraparzzi, “Look at the whole picture. It’s not all glamour. There is a bit of privacy that is sacrificed.” She goes on to advise that if it brings joy to a child to perform than to go for it but to consider all the levels before getting into it.
Blogging– Vanessa wanted to create her own blog called “Finding Your Voice”. She wanted to encourage women to speak up and to empower themselves with their voice.
Being a Star Wars Nerd– “I was a total nerd. When I went on the audition for Star Wars Rebels and saw the artwork on the wall, saw my race the “Twi’lek”, I had to pull it together.” She admits to falling to her knees and crying when she found out that she was chosen for the part. This was a dream come true for her.
Hera’s voice– She is discovering things within herself and the Hera voice naturally comes out. Vanessa loves Star Wars so much that she channeled elements of the force, the dark side, and the empire in all of the films and used that information towards creating her voice.
Star Wars Episode IV– Vanessa is excited for all of it, she’s thrilled and loves the whole thing. She knows just as much as we do about what’s next in the movies and is eagerly waiting to hear the next stage of news!
Being a role model- Vanessa has the opportunity to use this platform to reach and empower young girls, women and boys as well, “Hera and Sabine are great role models. Everyone is equally oppressed by the empire in Rebels, they just happen to be females. You are either for the empire or against it. I think boys will also learn from Hera and Sabine as they aren’t just female role models.”
Vanessa can relate to Hera- Hera is the leader of the group. Vanessa is “sorta the Mom” of the cast. She makes sure that they have bananas and takes cares of them. “We’ve formed a family, the story is so well written – we get out of jams and it’s a wild ride for us all.”
Stayed tuned for more Star Wars Rebels news on this blog and “May the Force be with you.”
* I attended an all-expense paid press trip courtesy of Disney/ABCTV/Disney XD. The review is in our own words and is our opinion.