At today's Star Wars Rebels press conference in LA, I sat down with executive producer, director and writer Dave Filoni, who is primarily responsible for both [Star Wars: The Clone Wars](tag:200641) and Rebels, a former "padawan" of George Lucas himself. Filoni, along with his trusty brown cowboy hat, has added hundreds of storylines to the beloved Star Wars canon. He's responsible for the creation of Ahsoka, the Clones, and Hondo Ohnaka, among countless other fan favorite characters.
I asked him about the decision-making process behind bringing back older characters, he explained that any older characters must directly affect the main cast in a meaningful way. Expanding on that, Filoni was kind enough to mention Hondo Ohanaka -- voiced by the iconic Jim Cummings -- the returning character who we've arguably heard the least about.
Even Hondo ... has a purpose. It's not just that we all think he's fun, or that Jim Cummings is great. It's that Hondo -- this is a bit of a giveaway, but I'll give it to you --
Hondo in some ways can represent a future that was open to Ezra, had he not met Kanan. What was Ezra when we met him, if not a little scoundrel pirate sneaking around?
But there's a key sort of magic behind Hondo's inclusion that leaves it much more meaningful than a cameo, in context:
The inclusion of Hondo to me taps back into myself as a kids when I would read stories about kids that ran away with pirates. There's something very alluring about that fantasy, that magic. Look at 'Pirates of the Caribbean' when it came out, and how kids suddenly took up arms and said "oh, I want to be a pirate! It's great!"
You always want to leave those clouds to dream on with kids where they can say 'awh, I wish I could run away with a pirate', but we all know how those stories end. You know, and I think Hondo provided us a window for that type of story.
While it's not the biggest spoiler around, it's going to be interesting to see how Hondo stirs the pot between the Rebels, and the effect he particularly has on the show's young hero, Ezra Bridger.