During an interview with Comic Book to discuss his work on Star Wars Rebels, creator Dave Filoni has revealed that very early in development his original plan for the show was to explore the theft of the Death Star plans, but that changed once it emerged that Disney and Lucasfilm were to explore that event on the big screen in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
“There were some really early on conversations with Rebels about it being it about them finding the Death Star plans,” said Filoni. “But as Rogue One came about and took shape, it was obvious we weren’t gonna do that story. I didn’t wanna do that story, frankly, honestly, with Rebels because I thought I don’t want their whole existence to just serve and hand off to another part of the plot. I want it to be its own story about this kid.”
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Filoni went on to explain how he then built the story around the character of Ezra Bridger, and how writer and executive producer Simon Kinberg was instrumental in the show’s development:
“In the first episode, you see a kid on a planet oppressed by an empire. So, the promise of that kid’s journey is probably that he will overcome that, and save the people there. That’s a really hard goal when we know, if you’re an experienced fan, that Luke Skywalker does that for the whole galaxy. So the question becomes how do we solve that particular story problem. How does Ezra have a significant win? How does he save his friends and people?”
“[Simon Kinberg] helped focus my story efforts because he was always adamant about the family aspect of the show. That this is this kid, and it’s about his family. And through that, over time we started to connect the dots about the importance of that family, and his birth parents versus his new family and his new parents, and Kanan and Hera. The story grew out of that, for what he is attached to, and what he needs to let go of. How his friends become more a part of his life. You kind of build to the point, and, in the end, we got where I wanted it to be in the beginning, which was he saves his friends significantly, and the planet Lothal from the Empire.”