We’re in high anticipation for the Star Wars Rebels presentation coming next month to the New York Comic Con, but earlier this month we got one of our first big pieces of casting rumors – word spread that actors David Oyelowo, Freddie Prinze Jr, Vanessa Marshall, Taylor Gray and Steve Blum were being brought on to voice characters.
This rumor holds some weight in my opinion, because a few of these performers have past histories with Star Wars properties. Some have even commented about it since the rumor hit the Internet.
In an interview with RebelForce Radio a few weeks ago, voice actor Tom Kane, best known for his role as Yoda in The Clone Wars, disclosed that he landed the job due to previously working with Lucasfilm, voicing some early Star Wars games. So it’s no surprise two of these individuals come from this arena.
Of the names mentioned, Steve Blum has the longest relationship with Star Wars projects – having provided voices for nearly a dozen Star Wars video games – including such recent titles as The Old Republic, The Force Unleashed II, and games as old as 1996’s X-Wing vs. TIE Fighters.
Vanessa Marshall is also part of the Star Wars family, having voiced characters in The Old Republic, Knights of the Old Republic and Jedi Knights II – like Blum, she has been in the folds for more than a decade. Both of them also have working relationships with producer Greg Weisman.
Most of the roles Blum played has been Imperial troopers, whether AT-ST drivers, Infantry, or Imperial officers. Marshall has played Force users, whether Sith or Jedi. Could these hint at what parts they’ll play in the show?
Some of the other actors are a little harder to tie to the project. This is Taylor Gray’s first major voice work job, previously best known for a Nickelodeon show, Bucket and Skinner’s Epic Adventures.
However, odds are strong he landed a lead role – and it’s a Jedi – source? – Well, an article from Hollywood Reporter, announcing Gray’s been cast in a lead role was posted as news on Gray’s official website. Gray also tweeted the following four days ago, dropping a bomb: “Cool article that came out today. Always wanted to be a Jedi!”
David Oyelowo is one of the most exciting names attached to this rumor, because earlier this month it was reported he may be the first actor casted for Episode VII and that he’d also play a role in Rebels that would lead way to the film performance. The exciting part of this rumor is Simon Kinsberg is working with Rebel producers to create continuity between the two projects.
However, this is no surprise, Weisman has mentioned on Twitter, on multiple occasions, he’s talked story with Kinsberg. Like most actors who’ve been onscreen for a while, he’s been quiet.
Hollywood Reporter also broke that Freddie Prinze Jr was being sought to voice a role. Prinze has done voice work before, in video games like Mass Effects and television shows like Kim Possible and Robot Chicken.
It’s no surprise that so far evidence points to Jedi being around in Rebels. The premise of the show, as stated by Lucasfilm, is the Empire hunting down the remains of the Jedi Order. That would be a little hard to do – with no Jedi characters.