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What Could Have Been / Star Wars Rebels

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A lot of things changed over the development of the series:

  • When Rebels was first being conceptualized, Filoni first came up with the base of a mom, a dad, and a kid.
  • There was a blue Twi'lek child mechanic that was an Expy of Mission Vao, but she was split into Sabine and Hera. There was also a buff Ithorian that was a prototype Zeb.
  • At one point, Hera underwent designs where she was pudgier, younger, and shorter, presumably in between the transition of her stage from a Mission Vao Expy to the Team Mom character she would become in the final version.
    • Towards the end of her designing, Hera went through different hues of green skin and different lekku tattoos, as well as minor changes to her pilot outfit like making her pants less puffy.
  • Early designs of Kanan indicated he was a lot older (bearing some resemblance to Jet Black, though Word of God has yet to state if this was intentional, but considering they're One of Us...) and one of the designs shows a cybernetic arm. Outfits for his older design seemed to have been tried out for Zeb in his own concept art.
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    • Kanan was going to be a Dark-Skinned Blonde with a cybernetic left arm, channeling the appearance of Roy Fokker.
    • In his final designs, the other version of Kanan besides his final one was a Palette Swap of him having slightly lighter tan skin, lighter brown hair, and a turquoise sweater.
  • Zeb was going to be more of a "scaredy cat" (as implied here, according to a caption in Year by Year: a Visual History regarding the image.
  • Judging by her concept art, the artist aspect of Sabine's character wasn't added until late into her conception. As Rook Kast was kept in mind for her design, she also appears to have had a more serious personality and was possibly slightly older than sixteen.
    • At one point, Sabine was considered as a Caucasian woman wearing unique female Stormtrooper armour, which has never been seen before in the franchise.
    • Sabine's design also at different points included Bare Your Midriff, a Red-Headed Hero, a Dark-Skinned Blonde, a Bandage Babe with extremely light blue hair, and two blatant Rook Kast expies of which one includes extremely similar armor to Kast's. It would seem that the Rook Kast versions were combined and later became a part of Sabine's final design.
  • Instead of bearing a regular Stormtrooper helmet or his cadet helmet, Ezra had a broken Stormtrooper helmet with only the top half, as seen in concept art.
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    • Originally, Ezra was a teenage pilot who flew the Phantom, which was its own ship, and not part of the Ghost.
    • Ezra was initially called "the Kid" before his name was created. His orange outfit was always planned from the start, as a reference to the orange color of the Rebel Alliance insignia.
    • However, at least one early design of Ezra had him wearing dark clothes. Ezra also had brown hair and had a different ethnicity, looking very similar to the final design of Jai Kell. In fact, Jai's design may well be based off of this early version of Ezra.
  • Chopper had a rounded top rather than a cone/trapezoid-like top.
  • The Ghost originally had more B-17 looks on it.
  • Agent Kallus was slightly leaner and more of a permascowl, as well as bearing sideburns that stuck out more and were ginger rather than the "soft" and strawberry-blonde ones he has in the final version. He also had a black visor on his helmet, making it more similar to riot gear.
    • Agent Kallus' reveal trailer shows that at one point in development he was going to be a Chiss (Thrawn's species).
    • At one point, Kallus was a black man and had no sideburns, looking like his voice actor, David Oyelowo. He either had a ton of armour or was lacking in armour.
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    • Kallus's sideburns looked more pointed, to which some people compared him to Zhao.
  • Grint and Aresko could've looked like this. Concept art Grint likely split into Grint and Konstantine, as he is seen in at least a couple of other concept art images accompanying the Grand Inquisitor.
  • According to his promo video, it seems that the Grand Inquisitor wasn't always intended to be a Pau'an.
  • The Seventh Sister went through designs that included literally black skin (with at least one including seemingly glowing facial tattoos in place of her Mirialan tattoos, with another contrasting with her white uniform), blue skin bearing the same hue as the Chiss, and red skin like the hue of a member of the Sith species would have. Nothing has yet officially been said about these, however.
  • The Seventh Sister was originally called "Chatter" earlier on in the production of Rebels, but her name was changed after the creation of a third Inquisitor in the second season warranted the numbered sibling naming motif.
  • A Visual Guide for Season 3 was copyrighted earlier during the airing of Season 2, but for whatever reason, it didn't bear fruit.
  • During the promotion of the show, Hera was initially billed as Cham's niece rather than daughter, although this might have been a fact caught incorrectly by the press, because Hidalgo later cleared this up on Twitter that she was Cham's daughter.
  • Several episodes had different titles.
  • "Spark of Rebellion" was supposed to have a foot-chase. It was also supposed to start similar to the final product, where Ezra fakes the Code Red and drives off with a crate, but instead he successfully makes it back to his tower, only to discover that the crate is full of Imperial propaganda leaflets. He would've met the crew the next day. Ezra was also going to take jobs from a criminal named Slyyth.
    • Something extremely similar to this would become canon in the adaptation novel as part of the prologue.
  • A minor one: One of Kallus' lines heard in his promotional video was grunting, followed by "Demonstration complete." This was supposed to be after Kallus defeats Zeb in "Droids in Distress", as shown in the novelization.
  • In "Fighter Flight", Tua was supposed to show up instead of Lyste.
  • In the A Look Ahead Season 1 trailer, Senator Trayvis' message in "Rise of the Old Masters" has a different voice or a different adjustment to his voice.
  • A man, Cob Tier, who would've been a family friend of the Bridgers, was supposed to have introduced Tseebo to them, in an early draft of "Empire Day".
  • For "Path of the Jedi", rather than receive his kyber crystal from the temple, Vizago and Jho were supposed to be involved in Ezra's search for one. Due to the script becoming more centered to the spiritual aspect of Star Wars, they were cut out so that more focus could be provided on the temple.
    • This is also due to Filoni deciding that The Reveal that the reward at the end of the episode was Ezra's kyber crystal was that it meant Ezra wouldn't be as challenged if he knew what the prize would be at the end of his struggle.
    • Vizago was also going to try to capture Ezra and Kanan outside of the Temple.
    • We would've seen that the reason why Ezra was late in "Path of the Jedi" was because he and Sabine were working on the TIE from "Fighter Flight". This was removed because the writers wanted to make their secret project more of a surprise when it showed up later in "Fire Across the Galaxy".
  • Tarkin originally didn't have a grand introduction via a welcoming party for his shuttle in "Call to Action", he simply just walked into a room and it went from there.
    • Aresko and Grint's execution wasn't in the original script of "Call to Action", and was instead added later.
  • Kanan was going to reach out to save the Grand Inquisitor when the latter commits suicide in "Fire Across the Galaxy". It was decided that there was no good reason for Kanan to do anything of the sort, so it was written out.
  • Lando was supposed to show up in person in "The Siege of Lothal". His absence is explained in Rebel Bluff.
    • Mr. Sumar was going to receive a cameo, shocked to hear that the crew supposedly assassinated Minister Tua (and in turn made the lockdown on Lothal even worse for the civilians), and would harbor anti-rebel and anti-Imperial thoughts. Fortunately, he has become a rebel in his return appearance in "An Inside Man".
    • In earlier drafts of "The Siege of Lothal", Governor Pryce was supposed to debut and be killed rather than Tua, who would then be promoted to Governor. Besides to keep up The Ghost status of Pryce, this was presumably to invoke a You Can't Go Home Again tone for Ezra (and the audience) due to Tua being the last major tie to Season 1. Due to S2's faster pace and enough plots to cover already, there likely wouldn't have been time to further develop Tua, who had already received some characterization back in S1.
  • Word of God at Celebration 2017 revealed that there were supposed to be nine clones as a homage to Disney's Nine Old Men. Rex, Gregor, and Wolffe were among those nine clones, as well as Jesse and Kix, but it was reduced to just the former three (with Kix later having a different fate, which was detailed in The Crimson Corsair and the Lost Treasure of Count Dooku).
  • According to writer Steven Melching, in "Relics of the Old Republic", Kallus was also supposed to have seismic sensors triangulate the AT-TE's position based on its 6-legged footfalls. Rex would've thwarted that attempt by having Gregor mimic the AT-ATs' 4-legged footfalls.
    • In "Relics of the Old Republic", Word of God was that the episode didn't have enough time to show that Sabine left Wolffe and Gregor, who opted out of joining the Rebellion, a painting of hers on their home.
  • In "Blood Sisters", C-3PO was supposed to be the courier instead of EG-86, but the writers felt that the guest star appearance would take away from Sabine and Ketsu's story.
  • Fenn Rau's name was once proposed by Dave Filoni as "Glenn Rau", in tribute to Lucasfilm concept artist Chris Glenn and episodic director Brad Rau, but as you can see, only the last name stayed. Apparently, Filoni didn't like Rau's original name before proposing it to be Glenn Rau.
  • Ryder Azadi's name was supposed to be Vol Freilus.
  • Zeb's nickname was conceived first before his real first name, which besides Garazeb, was also considered to be Zebbit, Zebcharr, and Zebbathule. One of Chopper's proposed names was also, we kid you not, J3-RK0, at one point. Additionally, Cikatro Vizago's name (then codenamed Scarface)) was once considered to be Katro Zago.
  • Senator Trayvis was codenamed DeGaulle before his name was officially decided.
  • "Legends of the Lasat" was supposed to have Gron say that the reason why the Empire is after Lasat refugees is because they don't want living proof running around and telling people of how genocidal the Empire is.
  • At the end of "The Honorable Ones", there was supposed to be a scene of Kallus being found by a passing trader, who brings him back to his ship. This scene was cut for time.
  • The Bendu was supposed to debut in "The Mystery of Chopper Base", which would've had a totally different plot (and this is also why the title seems unfitting to the final product); Chopper Base mysteriously disappears after the Rebels leave it. It would turn out that because they unknowingly built it on top of the Bendu's back (and the Bendu would've been much larger than he is in the final product), who woke up and just moved. A similar idea had also been around back in the The Clone Wars but it was too expensive to produce.
  • At one point during the writing of "Twilight of the Apprentice", the superweapon was supposed to fire a blast that would turn living things to stone. After that, it was supposed to be shown that the Eighth Brother survived his fall by using the Force and was scrambling back to his ship, but would get caught in the wave. The TIE stolen by Maul (having survived the blast by being on a lower level) takes is the Eighth's.
    • Filoni also stated that originally the Malachor arc would've revolved more heavily around a confrontation between Vader and Maul, and ultimately in the ensuing battle, Maul would die. It was deemed to be unfitting emotionally, and Maul was spared for Season 3.
    • According to the Collider Jedi Council interview after "Twilight of the Apprentice", The Seventh Sister was supposed to be cut in half (the lightsaber in the final product was actually thrown towards her head/neck area) and we would've seen and gotten more than just her screaming in fear and her body slumping down on the ground, because Filoni wanted to push for a Knight of Cerebus for Maul and Darker and Edgier for the show, in case Disney was willing to go through with it.
    • In Celebration 2016's Ahsoka's Untold Tales panel, Filoni revealed early concepts for the Vader and Ahsoka confrontation were that Vader was supposed to walk in on Ahsoka, whereas in the final product, it was vice versa, as well as that instead of Ahsoka running at Vader to slash his mask to buy Kanan and Ezra time, Ahsoka would've instead leapt up to him during the battle to slash it and would've received a slash to her side from him as well, which would've been even more implicating to the audience that this was her death scene.
  • Kanan's Season 3 design was going to have him wear the Jedi Temple Guard mask he took from Malachor, but it was deemed impractical for everyday use and the writers felt that the audience needed to know what he was looking at easier.
  • Disney Infinity had figures of the Ghost crew minus Hera and Chopper. While the latter's absence was justified, Hera was not revealed to have a planned figure until the franchise was cancelled midway through 3.0, early-mid 2016. As her figure depicts her Season 3 appearance, this suggests she would've been released around Fall or Winter of that year to tie-in with the season's release.
  • For "The Antilles Extraction", Biggs was originally going to appear and the episode would've been called "Darklighter", fueled by the idea that the dejarik pattern on his helmet was designed by Sabine, who also had a dejarik pattern on her right shoulder armorpiece. However, there wasn't enough story the writers could come up with for it to justify it as well as the implication that he joined the Rebellion not too long before Luke did, so they just had the defectors be Wedge and Hobbie, which fitted the timeline much better as well.
    • The instructor in "The Antilles Extraction" was going to be Valen Rudor. He was replaced with Commandant Argin Relik.
  • The battle droid continuously mentioned throughout "The Last Battle", B1-268note , was going to be saved by Ezra, nicknamed "Clanky" (which would have been "Roger" if it wasn't already being used by LEGO Star Wars' The Freemaker Adventures) and would have joined the Atollon Rebels. The writers chose against it as Clanky would then have to become a major character, which is a problem due to the show's already-gradually increasing ensemble cast, especially in Season 3. (As an example, AP-5, after his debut episode, only had cameos for the rest of Season 2. His first actual Season 3 appearance was in "The Wynkahthu Job".)
  • In "The Wynkahthu Job", the planet was initially called Commodia (as in "commode", which means toilet) as a reference to the spiral flush-like appearance of the storm. Ultimately, better taste prevailed and the world got renamed to Wynkahthu, and so did the episode title.
  • "An Inside Man" was originally the midseason finale for Season 3, but was switched after production with "Visions and Voices" due to "An Inside Man" being connected to the midseason premiere, "Ghosts of Geonosis", the creators wanting to keep the plot on hold for a little longer.
  • In hindsight after watching Rogue One, Filoni wishes that there was enough time during the production of "Warhead" to have the Imperial infiltrator droids be from the KX-series, acknowledging the similarities between the two droids and the missed Continuity Nod opportunity.
    • Rex was going to accompany Zeb instead of AP-5 and Chopper in "Warhead", but it was decided Zeb had more entertaining chemistry with the droids.
  • "Warhead" and "Trials of the Darksaber" were originally going to be in one episode, with the plot of "Warhead" being the B-plot. Ultimately, the plots were written to a point that it was decided they were better off being separate episodes so that they could tell the stories without interruption.
  • In "Legacy of Mandalore", Tristan Wren's name was originally Jona Wren. During the preproduction of Rebels, Sabine originally had a twin sister named Sacha Wren, but later became her brother. At one point, this brother was considered as the Protector of Concord Dawn, but that was changed to a different character, Fenn Rau.
  • "Through Imperial Eyes" was going to be from Kallus' perspective entirely, but this would've been challenging and would've taken up too much time to make. Instead, part of the intro used this due to how well it establishes the episode.
    • Kallus almost had another outfit for sleeping in for the intro of "Through Imperial Eyes", but again, there wasn't enough time to create a new animation model for him, especially for such a minor scene and a one time use. This was Handwaved in-universe as Kallus being the kind of person that is ready to jump into action after being awakened by an emergency. It may or may not have been affected by having to create an injured animation model for him later in "Zero Hour".
    • "Through Imperial Eyes" was produced before the Mandalorian two-parter and was supposed to air in between the episodes, but it was moved to after "Legacy of Mandalore" to help fit the flow of the stories.
  • In "Twin Suns", Kanan was supposed to accompany Ezra instead of Chopper, the holocrons weren't originally a plot point in the episode, and there would've been more of Kanan and Ezra journeying through the desert (including crossing paths with a merchant that gave them some clues on Maul's whereabouts). Other ideas included a short scene of Ezra sensing Maul's death before he boards the Gauntlet and scenes with Kanan, Hera, and Zeb talking about how both Sabine and Ezra have left and grown up and realizing it might just be the three of them from now on, adding extra weight to Ezra's return. While the writers loved these scenes, they had to cut them for time, since the episode would've been around 35 minutes otherwise.
    • Word of God at Celebration 2017 also stated that there were more Kanan and Hera scenes (apparently not in regards to Ship Tease), as well as Savage making a cameo appearance (considering what was going on with Maul, probably as a hallucination). However, Savage was cut since there was concern it would evoke Continuity Lockout for viewers using Rebels as a Gateway Series.
  • Filoni and co. went back and forth on whether or not Kallus would live or die at the end of his Fulcrum arc, before deciding that they would let him live and join the Rebel Alliance, realizing that he had a lot of story potential going down that route as well as delivering a more positive message about how reforming does eventually result in Earn Your Happy Ending/Throw the Dog a Bone rather than the more Family-Unfriendly Aesop/Broken Aesop/Shoot the Shaggy Dog of a character trying to become a better person, only to be badly hurt/killed in the end anyway as well as They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character.
  • In "Heroes of Mandalore", Bo-Katan was going to be the one that wanted to use the Duchess while Sabine would try to convince her otherwise. This was changed to show that Bo-Katan had the capabilities to lead Mandalore.
  • "In the Name of the Rebellion":
    • Saw's pilot was originally going to be a new character, a Klatooinian named Lorc. This was changed to Two Tubes as a better tie-in.
    • The droid that shows Saw's message, R4-C2, was originally going to be a rival to Chopper.
    • The space station was originally going to be Taos Station before being changed to Faos Station. However, the change came too late to alter the model of the station in Saw's hologram, which has TAOS in Aurebesh on it.
    • A Mook Lieutenant was going to be namedropped as Captain Wells, but was dropped.
  • An early version of "Always Two There Are" would've had more cutaways to the game of dejarik between Rex and Kanan, with the game following gameplay rules that were developed by Lucasfilm but never officially released.
  • Hydan from "Wolves and a Door" and "A World Between Worlds" was originally supposed to be Vanee, Vader's mysterious attendant from Rogue One, but as the story developed further he became a separate character.
  • There we’re going to be Funko Pops for the Season 3 versions of Kanan, Ezra, and Sabine, as well as Kallus (unmasked and masked; the unmasked variant was going to be retailer-exclusive, but they couldn't find a retailer that wanted it), Leia, Saxon, and an Imperial Supercommando. Padmé was also going to be released with this wave.


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