Disney XD’s Star Wars Rebels animated TV series will be the first canon installment in the Disney/Lucasfilm era of Star Wars, so it’ll be interesting to see how much the show does (or does not) connect to the upcoming Episode VII film installment. There are already rumors circulating about how one of Rebels‘ villains, The Inquisitor, might be linked to certain baddies in J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars movie. We can discard some of those claims, now that we know for certain who David Oyelowo is playing in the Star Wars universe.
Oyelowo, as the video above reveals, is lending his voice to Agent Kallus, a member of the Imperial Security Bureau – a group that Rebels executive producer Dave Filoni describes as being a militaristic FBI-type organization, though it sounds closer to being the Empire’s version of the Gestapo, more than anything. In an equally intriguing twist, we learn here that Kallus will be actively involved with hunting down and trying to capture/kill the show’s heroes – as opposed to, commanding Stormtroopers from afar, as most Imperial officers tend to do.
Filoni told Hero Complex that Oyelowo was actually considered for “several different parts” on Rebels, which helps explain some of the previous confusion about what role in the Star Wars universe he’s been recruited for. Oyelowo has continued to gain admirers and respect as an actor, thanks to his performances in such recent films as Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Jack Reacher, and The Butler; he’ll be appearing in Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar and playing Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, later this year.
Which is to say: we would’ve preferred to see Oyelowo appear in a live-action Star Wars film – maybe we still will one day (probably not, though) – but for now, we’ll take him as the 3D animated “Rebel Hunter” Kallus, ’70s inspired mutton chops and all (see below).
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The Star Wars Rebels series is clearly intended foremost to be viewed by a younger audience – as evidenced by the kid-friendly protagonists and the approachable nature of the show for non-adults in general. At the same time, though, there have been elements and characters (like Kallus) teased in the marketing buildup to the series’ premiere that suggest Rebels could also address more adult issues and story material, at the same time as providing whiz-bang fun for the juice box crowd.
Indeed, the animated Clone Wars TV series (another show that Filoni worked on) was able to manage just that, over the course of its run – without pushing away kids at the same time. Studios such as Pixar and DreamWorks have also shown that it is possible to tell good, complex, stories that fans young and old can appreciate – something that the best Star Wars tales have done in the past, too.
Star Wars Rebels will premiere on Disney XD with a one-hour special in Fall 2014.
Source: Hero Complex