It may have gotten lost in the flood of Adam Driver news yesterday, but Amy Ratcliffe wrote about the Rebels reveals, toys and being a woman in fandom for The Mary Sue.
While we’ve focused on the female character introductions and (lack of) toys so far, Mia Moretti at Eleven-ThirtyEight takes on the issue of character races and representation – and the fandom reactions to it.
The importance of diversity is something that Bria and Nanci at Tosche Station wrote up not so long ago, while Brian took on some of the common arguments against it. While we’re a while from seeing if Rebels can deliver diversity beyond the main cast, it’s interesting to note that these discussions weren’t happening as openly even as far back as The Clone Wars debut.
As for the issue of female action figures, Amy Ratcliffe has some numbers.
Newsarama’s Lucas Siegel has the first interview with one of the Rebels crew: Vetern voice actress Vanessa Marshall, who plays the ship’s pilot, Hera. I think it’s safe to say she’s into it:
…When I got the call for Star Wars Rebels, that I booked Hera, I hyperventilated, fell to the ground, I think I was sobbing, and my agent then asked if she should call an ambulance. (laughs) Truly, of all the roles I’ve ever played, this is by far the most epic. I look forward to the long-term implications of interacting in the Star Wars universe. It’s really, really thrilling.
She also has a few things to say on our latest issue:
You know, it’s interesting – I would say from a marketing standpoint, I know how it serves them to target an audience, whether it’s male or female. I do know there are a ton more female sci-fi fans – there always have been, but perhaps now they have a greater visibility, so I predict that some of that stuff will change.
I will say that in a greater sense, I’m not so sure that there’s a stigma for the people who are buying those toys. In a real way, I think that George Lucas kind of destroyed the stigmas as far as gender is concerned, and raised the bar for future filmmakers. The fact there are female Jedi straightway levels the playing field. There are so many alien races that gender is sort of the least of the issues (laughs).
You look at Princess Leia, and Mon Mothma, Ahsoka Tano and Asajj Ventress – even to go to the games and EU [Expanded Universe – the Star Wars stories that are told in novels, comics, and video games], Jan Ors or even Mara Jade – the women in the Star Wars Universe just kick butt, in a way that transcends gender. And each in their own way.
I’ll say, even the female characters in Rebels each have their unique strengths – it’s another reason I’m so excited to be a part of this show. Just to get into Hera a bit again, she’s strong-willed, but she’s also nurturing. She really knows how to bring out the best in her team. She leads with humility. Her agility and physical skills are admirable; she can pull just the right punch at just the right moment and get the job done, and that’s how she delivers. Her very personal reasons for rebelling against the empire, I think, are things viewers are going to delight in uncovering each season.
Anyway, believe it or not, that’s only a tiny bit of the interview, so head over to Newsarama and read the whole thing.
We saw Sabine’s official reveal this morning, and although we’re still waiting for Hera’s, Hasbro confirmed with Newsarama’s Lucas Siegel that action figures of both Rebels ladies are coming, and will be unveiled at SDCC.
There’s been some blowback to the concerns over the lack of women showed in the first wave of Hasbro Rebels toys. But together with the ‘for boys’ nature of Disney XD and the apparent ‘ladies last’ spacing of the character reveals, it’s really felt like the female characters – and thus female fans – are there as an afterthought. (Is it really still not a given that women and girls like action?)
Yes, we know ‘this is how it is.’ Yes, we know that ‘it’s all here to sell toys.’ Yes, we know that’s ‘what advertisers want.’ And that’s exactly why we’re fighting so hard over this. This is our first major rollout since Disney took the wheel, and this is an uphill battle.
IGN got the scoop on Rebels’ Zeb. Voiced by Steve Blum, he’s “a tough, seasoned and very intelligent member of the Rebels crew.” His species is new, though based on some very old Chewbacca concept art.
The teasers are up! You see a brief glimpse of Hera (in the pilot/captain’s seat?) in both clips, and some shots of Ezra and even Chopper in action.
These will air tonight on Disney XD during during Kickin’ It (6/5c) and Lab Rats (6:30/5:30c,) but thankfully Lucasfilm has spared us this time.
Toy Fair. Jedi Temple Archives reports (a bit hyperbolically) that Lucasfilm has told Hasbro that the Expanded Universe is off limits, save for a few figures that were already in the pipeline.
I think this makes sense. We’ve never gotten all that much EU from Hasbro to begin with, and at this point any EU figure is going to be pounced on by fans as some sort of “proof” for Episode VII. They’re cutting back on prequel-era figures as well, to focus on the OT – with a heavy focus on Return of the Jedi as we approach the new films – and Rebels.
Rebels. Is Brent Spiner voicing a character? This tweet from Gallifrey One, a con held in Los Angeles this weekend, leads us to believe so… The actor, who played Data on Star Trek: The Next Generation, has worked with Rebels’ Greg Weisman before – they were on a Young Justice panel at the con. (He voiced The Joker on the show.) He was also one of several TNG actors who did voices on Weisman’s Gargoyles. And we’ve had Trek crossover before: George Takei voiced General Lok Durd on The Clone Wars.
Episode VII. Tom Hiddleston and Alex Pettyfer talk their Star Wars chances. (Both unlikely, if for very different reasons) while an Irish unknown, Daryl McCormack, talks about getting far on in the audition process.
— Justin LaSalata (@JustinL81) February 16, 2014
Still haven’t seen anything about additional toys of either her or Hera, though. UPDATE: A card for Hera!