Rebels Report 2: Behind the Scenes with Brent Friedman

In the latest episode of the Rebels Report, we sit down with The Clone Wars writer Brent Friedman who wrote episodes for season 4-7 of the show.

Brent gives us a peak behind the scenes of The Clone Wars production process, discusses his work on the show including an unfinished story arc that featured Captain Rex and R2-D2 on an adventure together. He hints at the actual scripted end of the series in season 7 and other stories that may never see the light of day. We then pick his brain on Star Wars Rebels and beyond

Is The Fairy Film ‘Primrose’ Lucasfilm’s Secret Animation Project?

Since August 2012 we have known that Lucasfilm was working on a secret animation project. At that time it was revealed that Brave co-director Brenda Chapman was hired as a consultant at Lucasfilm working on a “mystery project.”

This week’s Rebel Force Radio discusses a project that was in production at some point previously at Lucasfilm with the working title, “Primrose.” Jason and Jimmy also highlight a blog entry at the Disney blog, Blue Sky Disney which reported that Lucasfilm is working on a film about fairies and recently copyrighted the name “Primrose.”

What is a Primrose and what does it have to do with fairies?Primroses were considered fairy flowers in Ireland and Wales, where they were believed to grant fairies the power of invisibility. Eating primroses is supposed to enable you to see fairies. Hanging a spray of primroses on your door is said to be an invitation to the fae to enter your home, and to draw fairy blessings; but scattering primroses outside your door is said to keep fairies away by making a barrier that they cannot cross. Touching a fairy rock with a primrose posy that contains the right number of blossoms (try five) is said to open the way to Fairyland and fairy gifts. Be cautious though, for using a bouquet with the wrong number of flowers is said to bring certain doom. Use primroses for fairy magic. Plant primroses in your garden to attract fairies to it. Be sure to take good care of them though, for allowing primroses to languish or die is said to earn you the enmity of fairies.

Primroses are one key into fairyland. There is a German legend about a little girl who found a doorway covered in flowers, and when she touched it with a primrose, the door opened up, leading into an enchanted fairy castle.

For more on primrose you can also visit Western Isles Wildflowers.

I think the boys at Rebel Force Radio are on the right track.

Chapman’s recent foray into the British Isles with Brave and her deep experience in family friendly animated films makes it pretty clear to type of feature film she was likely consulting on for Lucasfilm.

In June of 2013 we got a little more information about the “secret project.” In an interview Chapman revealed that Gary Rydstrom would be directing the film and that she had finished her work at Lucasfilm.

“I have been working on a project with Lucas for quite some time — about six months. When Lucasfilm was handed over to Kathleen Kennedy, she asked me to consult on the film to help solve its story problems. It was an opportunity for me to work with her. I felt honored to be asked by her, after what happened at Pixar. DreamWorks was very generous to me in postponing my start date with them so that I could work with Kathleen, also. My work on the project is done. My good friend, Gary Rydstrom, is directing it now.”

In July of 2013 I noted that there was a number of animation job postings from Lucasfilm primarily in Singapore which pointed to an animated feature film with a production timeline that ended in April or May of 2014.

In a recent interview with Rebel Force Radio, Dave Filoni speaking from Taiwan’s CGCG animation studio where they are working on Star Wars Rebels mentioned during the interview that; “our talented people at the Singapore studio are on other projects.”

Based on the hiring pattern in Singapore it appears that production on this animated feature is ramping up in October/November and that would fit in with Dave’s quote.

While I would prefer Lucasfilm animation be producing animated Star Wars features, it is important for the studio to build its brand and different intellectual properties in order to prove it’s worth to the parent company and to avoid the same fate that befell LucasArts.

SOURCES: Rebel Force Radio, Blue Sky Disney

Full Synopsis for Star Wars: Lords of the Sith by Paul S. Kemp

Random House has posted the full synopsis for Paul S. Kemp’s next Star Wars novel, Lords of the Sith due out April 28, 2015 in hardcover and eBook.

Thanks to my friends at Jedi Bibliothek for pointing this out to me.

Synopsis
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. . . .
When the Emperor and his notorious apprentice, Darth Vader, find themselves stranded in the middle of insurgent action on an inhospitable planet, they must rely on each other, the Force, and their own ruthlessness to prevail.
“It appears things are as you suspected, Lord Vader. We are indeed hunted.”
Anakin Skywalker, Jedi Knight, is just a memory. Darth Vader, newly anointed Sith Lord, is ascendant. The Emperor’s chosen apprentice has swiftly proven his loyalty to the dark side. Still, the history of the Sith Order is one of duplicity, betrayal, and acolytes violently usurping their Masters—and the truest measure of Vader’s allegiance has yet to be taken. Until now.
On Ryloth, a planet crucial to the growing Empire as a source of slave labor and the narcotic known as “spice,” an aggressive resistance movement has arisen, led by Cham Syndulla, an idealistic freedom fighter, and Isval, a vengeful former slave. But Emperor Palpatine means to control the embattled world and its precious resources—by political power or firepower—and he will be neither intimidated nor denied. Accompanied by his merciless disciple, Darth Vader, he sets out on a rare personal mission to ensure his will is done.
For Syndulla and Isval, it’s the opportunity to strike at the very heart of the ruthless dictatorship sweeping the galaxy. And for the Emperor and Darth Vader, Ryloth becomes more than just a matter of putting down an insurrection: When an ambush sends them crashing to the planet’s surface, where inhospitable terrain and an army of resistance fighters await them, they will find their relationship tested as never before. With only their lightsabers, the dark side of the Force, and each other to depend on, the two Sith must decide if the brutal bond they share will make them victorious allies or lethal adversaries.
We have known that Palpatine, Vader and Cham Syndulla were going to be in the novel for a while now, but it appears that the former slave character of Isval is a new character.

In his Star Wars writing Kemp has had a very heavy male cast, but Isval as a female Twi’lek former slave, this will be the second such character that Kemp has written following Eleena Daru in The Old Republic novel, Deceived.

It was revealed at the recent New York Comic-con that Cham Syndulla is the uncle of Star Wars Rebels character Hera Syndulla. It will be intersting to see how Cham’s rebellion fits into the larger continuity. One key thing is that unlike some planets at the end of The Clone Wars, Ryloth likely had a significant Imperial military presence in place. Whereas planets like Onderon and Mandalore likely did not. I hope to see a diverse set of stories about varied types of Imperial occupation and resistance.

I am excited for this novel as a fan of Kemp’s unique prose, but also for the fact that we can pretty much guarantee there will be a scene in the novel where Vader has the choice to make to either allow Palpatine to die or save him and I can bet readers will be shouting at the book.

Full Publisher’s Synopsis for Star Wars: Heir to the Jedi by Kevin Hearne

Random House has updated the product page for Star Wars: Heir to the Jedi which will be released

Synopsis:

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. . . .
A thrilling new adventure set between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, and—for the first time ever—written entirely from Luke Skywalker’s first-person point of view.
Luke Skywalker’s game-changing destruction of the Death Star has made him not only a hero of the Rebel Alliance but a valuable asset in the ongoing battle against the Empire. Though he’s a long way from mastering the power of the Force, there’s no denying his phenomenal skills as a pilot—and in the eyes of Rebel leaders Princess Leia Organa and Admiral Ackbar, there’s no one better qualified to carry out a daring rescue mission crucial to the Alliance cause.
A brilliant alien cryptographer renowned for her ability to breach even the most advanced communications systems is being detained by Imperial agents determined to exploit her exceptional talents for the Empire’s purposes. But the prospective spy’s sympathies lie with the Rebels, and she’s willing to join their effort in exchange for being reunited with her family. It’s an opportunity to gain a critical edge against the Empire that’s too precious to pass up. It’s also a job that demands the element of surprise. So Luke and the ever-resourceful droid R2-D2 swap their trusty X-wing fighter for a sleek space yacht piloted by brash recruit Nakari Kelen, daughter of a biotech mogul, who’s got a score of her own to settle with the Empire.
Challenged by ruthless Imperial bodyguards, death-dealing enemy battleships, merciless bounty hunters, and monstrous brain-eating parasites, Luke plunges head-on into a high-stakes espionage operation that will push his abilities as a Rebel fighter and would-be Jedi to the limit. If ever he needed the wisdom of Obi-Wan Kenobi to shepherd him through danger, it’s now. But Luke will have to rely on himself, his friends, and his own burgeoning relationship with the Force to survive.
Looks like Luke has some interesting female co-stars in his new book in Nakari Kelen and the as yet unnamed alien cryptographer. Sounds like a book with a lot of moving pieces.

Four Star Wars Rebels Teasers coming to Disney Television Summer 2014

Star Wars Rebels teasers are coming to Disney television in the Summer in 2014.

Bryan Dean over at Knights’ Archive is the Sherlock Holmes of book catalogs and he spotted a new update to Disney Book Groups Spring/Summer 2014 catalog listing for Disney Press’ Star Wars Rebels Read-Along Storybook and CD.

Promotional campaign plans have been added to the products listing, that states the following:

A NEW ERA: Star Wars Rebels is a CG animated series that takes place between the events of Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. The series gives TV viewers their first-ever glimpse into this exciting period and the genesis of the Rebel movement.
TERRIFIC TEASERS: Four short-form interstitials will release in Summer 2014, introducing viewers to the characters of Star Wars Rebels. In Fall 2014, a one-hour debut special will air on Disney Channel and Disney XD, followed by the series rollout on Disney XD.
TOP TALENT: Under the supervision of Executive Producers Dave Filoni (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Avatar: The Last Airbender), Simon Kinberg (X-Men: First Class, Sherlock Holmes, Mr. & Mrs. Smith) and Greg Weisman (Young Justice, The Spectacular Spider-Man, Gargoyles), Star Wars Rebels boasts the talents of the production team that brought us the hugely successful and Emmy winning Star Wars: The Clone Wars series.
SUPER SYNERGY: Star Wars Rebels will have A-level company-wide marketing in Summer/Fall 2014, as well as a huge push across consumer product divisions, including digital, electronics, toys, apparel, stationery, and home furnishings.
What is an interstitial you might ask?

According to the always reliable Wikipedia it is:

In television programming, an interstitial program (or wraparound program or wraparound segment) refers to a short program which is often shown between movies or other events, e.g. a cast interview(s) after movies on premium channels. The term can also refer to a narrative bridge between segments within a program, such as Leopold Stokowski’s segments in the Disney film Disney’s Fantasia or the Simpson family’s interludes between segments during their annual Treehouse of Horror Halloween specials.
Disney television and Disney XD has used interstitial liberally. Some examples are the “This is Me” interstitials celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, the fitness promoting “TRYit” interstitials, Phineas and Ferb Secret Missions ‘Robot’ interstitial, Disney XD Extra, and the “Marvel Comics Close-Up” interstitials.

How Disney used the Marvel interstitial gives us an idea on how the Star Wars ones may be included in programming in the Summer of 2014.

It’ll be during this 7 – 8 p.m. ET / PT broadcast that Disney XD will be rolling out its “Marvel Comics Close-Up” interstitials. Which will be hosted by Joe Quesada (Marvel’s Chief Creative Officer) and Dylan Riley Snyder (who played the character of Milton on Disney XD’s martial arts comedy, “Kickin’ It”). These interstitials will take TV viewers deeper into the Marvel Universe by exploring 10 classic comic books. Which — not-so-co-incidentally — are the exact same titles that are now being offered through the “Reading With: Marvel Comics Close-Up” program.
It is easy to see Disney using Star Wars to cross-promote its other shows. We could see cast members from other shows introducing short animated clips of the new Rebels characters or we could see something similar to what has appeared on Starwars.com with The Clone Wars and see Pablo, Greg, Dave or Simon introducing a clip.

Does the number of interstitials give us a clue to the number of main characters, with each clip introducing one of four main characters, or will each one feature multiple characters? We don’t yet know the answer to that question but the fact we got five actors rumored to be cast in leading roles makes me wonder. The interstitials could also be used for groups of characters, such as two for the heroes, one for the villains, one for the rogues/pirates/smugglers.

Exclusive Advance Reader’s Copies of Star Wars: A New Dawn at San Diego Comic-Con

If there wasn’t reason enough to be excited for San Diego Comic-Con 2014 already, Del Rey has just pulled out the turbo-lasers.

Usually at Cons you would get a sampler of upcoming novels, maybe a free copy of a novel’s re-release in paperback, but at San Diego Comic-Con in July you will be able to score a special Exclusive Advance Reader’s Copy of Star Wars: A New Dawn by John Jackson Miller.

This exclusive Advance Reader’s Copy (ARC) will contain not only the full A New Dawn novel but also excerpts from the forthcoming novels, Tarkin, Heir to the Jedi, and Lords of the Sith.

Del Rey will have copies of the ARC available every day at Comic-Con and will also have copies available during the autograph signing events for John Jackson Miller.

Here’s a sneak peek at our Exclusive Advance Reader’s Edition of STAR WARS: A NEW DAWN by John Jackson Miller, which we’ll be giving away for free at select times during San Diego Comic-Con. Though the final book doesn’t hit shelves until September, the promo edition of A NEW DAWN will contain the full novel, as well as excerpts from STAR WARS: TARKIN, STAR WARS: HEIR TO THE JEDI, AND STAR WARS: LORDS OF THE SITH. Author John Jackson Miller will also be on-hand providing signings throughout the convention. Stay tuned for more details about the giveaway, and the signings, as we get closer to the show.

2 Beyond The Lost Missions: The Clone Wars Story Conference Sketches By Dave Filoni

In conjunction with the release of Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season Six “The Lost Missions” on Netflix, supervising director Dave Filoni returned to the official Star Wars Blog and posted some of his story conference sketches for story arcs and episodes that were not far enough along in production to make it into season six.

Dave says in his post that he loves theories, so I thought I would oblige him.

Kashyyyk Arc:

Season6WritersConferenceDaveNotes-66_Fotor_Collage

These sketches seem to reveal the return of Tarfful to The Clone Wars. Perhaps an arc featuring Yoda visiting Kashyyyk and further establishing those “good relations” with the Wookiees.

Mon Cala II Arc:

Season7WritersConferenceDaveNotes-62_Fotor_Collage

Anakin and Padme return to Mon Cala and meet with King Lee Char and visit the surface Quarren city and meet with Senator Tikkes.

Monastic Darth Maul:

Season7WritersConferenceDaveNotes-79

A single image of a heavily robed Darth Maul doesn’t seem to fit with the earlier sketch of Maul. Perhaps this is a later story after the fate of Mandalore is resolved.

Naboo Arc:

Season7WritersConferenceDaveNotes-70

The sketch of Padme and a Naboo speeder bike could be related to the Mon Cala arc or it could be a completely different arc returning to Naboo and focusing on Padme.

Bounty Hunter Arc:

boba46_Fotor_Collage

These images seem likely to be from the bounty hunter arc that former head writer Matt Michnovetz wrote for the series. In these sketches we appear to see Cad Bane and Boba Fett on Tatooine. The pair looks like it was visiting a Tusken Raiders camp. We also see a shot of Boba, Bane, Embo, Bossk, probably HELIOS-3E and another unknown youth walking the streets.

Quinlan Vos Double Agent Arc:

Quindark_Fotor_Collage

Probably one of the biggest arcs appears to be an adaptation of sorts of Quinlan Vos’s story from the comic books. Perhaps with Vos posing as a fallen Jedi and approaching Dooku about joining the Confederacy and the Sith. In one image we have a movie poster style sketch with the Jedi on one side, Darth Maul’s Death Watch on the other with Palpatine, Dooku and Maul looking over Quinlan Vos and what appears to be Vos and Maul dueling. The next sketch appears to show Vos over a fallen opponent potentially Dooku or Vos’ Jedi Master Tholme. The third image is of Vos carrying a unconsious or dead Asaaj Ventress. A Jedi going undercover with the Sith is something that we didn’t really see explored on The Clone Wars and I would be very excited if they take a less surfer-boy/silly route with Vos’ character in the series.

Ahsoka/Mandalore Arc:

Season7WritersConferenceDaveNotes-77

Potentially a mind-blowing arc with Ahsoka briefing Jedi Council members (Yoda, Obi-Wan, Plo Koon, Ki-Adi-Mund and what looks like Agen Kolar and Saesee Tiin), via hologram in the Temple war room and Ahsoka appointed Bo-Katan as the provisional leader of something, presumably of Mandalore. What would Ahsoka be doing working with the Jedi after she left the order? She has some ties to Mandalore so it is easy to see her returning there at some point during the civil war and Republic invasion.

Echo’s Return:

Cyborg-headgear_negwt_Fotor_Collage

Dave reveals that despite what we thought we saw during the Citadel arc, that ARC Trooper Echo (ARC Trooper Fives’ brother from Domino Squad) survived the explosion that appeared to kill him. But perhaps he didn’t escape the blast unharmed as he appears to be wearing a cybernetic implant similar to Lobot’s Borg Construct Aj^6. Is Echo wearing it to combat injuries or for the ability to tap into computer technology?

What do you think of these images from untold Star Wars: The Clone Wars stories?

As Dave says,

While we weren’t able to tell every story in the Clone Wars era, there is plenty to look forward to. Every day there are amazing new Star Wars stories being developed here at Lucasfilm. I guess my intention here is to encourage you all to dream, to imagine, not just what these stories might have been, but what the possibilities are for other new stories which have never been told before. And maybe the person who tells those stories will be you. I hope you have enjoyed what was, and what yet might be, a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…

Battle Meditation Review: Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Unknown (Episode 6.01)

The Clone Wars is back with a bang! At 12:01 am March 7th The Clone Wars was released on Netflix including the entire series and the feature film. Included in the Netflix deal was the release of Season 6 subtitled “The Lost Missions.” I will be reviewing each of the episodes in their episodic order for Season 6. So without any further delay lets jump into episode 6.01 “The Unknown.”

Jedi Fortune Cookie:

“The truth about yourself is always the hardest to accept.”

Introduction:

Written by Katie Lucas and directed by Bosco Ng, “The Unknown” is the first episode in the Protocol 66 arc starring ARC Trooper CT-27-5555, better known as Fives.  ARC Trooper Fives isn’t the only old friend we have return in this episode, we see the usual suspects of Anakin Skywalker, Captain Rex, Admiral Yularen, clone troopers Kix and Tup, as well as the villains Darth Sidious, Count Dooku, and Admiral Trench.

One of the earliest teaser trailers we got for the “bonus content” was from this episode and that brief clip revealed the execution of a Jedi by Tup and the reveal of the return of the presumed dead Admiral Trench.

In this episode saw the introduction of the super tactical droid Kraken, Clone Commander Doom, and Jedi Masters Tiplee and Tiplar. The new Jedi Tiplee and Tiplar are voiced by The Clone Wars veteran Anna Graves. We also visit the new Separatist planet Ringo Vinda and the massive ring-shaped space station that encircles it.

ringo-vinda-battle

Summary:

Locked in a stalemate on Ringo Vinda’s space station Anakin, Tiplee and Tiplar are leading a new attack against Admiral Trench’s droid forces when clone trooper Tup begins experiencing some confusion. At the height of the battle as the Republic forces seem to be gaining the upper hand Tup draws his blaster rifle and murders Master Tiplar with a blaster shot to the head. Fives quickly subdues Tup who is taken into custody, but the loss of Tiplar causes the Republic’s momentum to fail and forces them to retreat.

Admiral Trench monitoring the battle witnesses this and almost immediately notified Count Dooku who then contacts Darth Sidious. The Sith Lords are afraid that this event is related to protocol 66 and that if they don’t get clone trooper Tup away from the Jedi they may be able to uncover the truth of protocol 66.

Tup is interrogated but he doesn’t remember or believe that he killed Tiplar. He seemingly had a psychological break and keeps repeating the phrase, “Good soldiers follow orders.” Tup is to be transported to Kamino for further examination but on the way the shuttle carrying him is attacked and droids take him back to the Separatists. Anakin, Rex and Fives stage a rescue mission that recovers Tup and then Fives and Rex transport Tup to Kamino as Anakin looks on wishing them luck.

tiplee-tiplar-jedi-sisters

Review:

“The Unknown” is a mixture of action and intelligent storytelling that begins an arc that explores the nature of the clones creation, their free will and the Sith plot against the Jedi.

The episode opens with a terrific looking space battle surrounding a very cool new planet inspired by Revenge of the Sith concept art. We see some new animation and design in this episode, a new space suit for Anakin, a new Clone Commander in Doom, a new design for the rocket Super Battle Droids, and a new species in Tiplar and Tiplee. The animation really is top notch.

There are some very cool action scenes in this episode as well, the clone troopers’ use of the shields in battle, the buzz droid assault on the shuttle, the droid assault on the clone troopers inside the Republic shuttle, and Anakin, Rex, and Fives ascension cable assault on the Separatist shuttle. I thought it was particularly dramatic that they showed the clone pilots being pulled into the vacuum of space after the buzz droids attacked.

Tiplar and Tiplee raise an interesting question about the Jedi. They are said to be twin sisters and both are referred to as Masters and Generals . It would seem unusual for the Jedi to allow to siblings to grow up together and work together so closely with their worry about attachment.

In terms of the clones we get to see the return of Fives. Fives is my favorite clone from the series because in terms of characterization he comes closest to the clones we saw in the Republic Commando series. Outside of Rex, Fives is also the clone we have spent the most time getting to know in this series, appearing in 10 episodes before this story arc. Fives is brave and loyal, but is also suspicious and can act rashly.

tup-interrogationOne of the new clones that we met during the Umbara arc is 501st member Tup. The clone with the teardrop earned the respect of Fives during that arc and they clearly are friends as this episode opens. Fives tries to snap Tup out of whatever is affecting him before he assassinates Tiplar.

The clones were designed to withstand intense psychological stress and they cannot figure out what would have made Tup snap. The Tiplee reports that the Jedi have heard rumors about a Separatist biological weapon targeting the clones, but clone medic Kix and the medical droids are not able to find anything wrong with Tup.

From the films and the Expanded Universe we know that the clone troopers where flash-trained as part of their growth period and received other intensive training on Kamino. In Episode III, Palpatine issues “Order 66″ via hologram to the clones. There isn’t much more information given about it in the film except that this order resulted in the near simultaneous murder of the Jedi by their clone troopers.

Order 66 has caused a great deal of discussion over the years about whether it was programmed into the clones or whether the clones did it because they were trained to follow orders and this was a seemingly lawful order given by the Supreme Chancellor. It is particularly difficult to understand because these clones would have been fighting and dying beside the Jedi that they end up murdering. In the Expanded Universe we see that some of the more independent minded clones do not follow Order 66.

This episode begins to unravel the mystery about how and why the clones would follow Order 66 but it does raise questions about what we are to make of the Expanded Universe stories and how they fit in to George Lucas’s explanation of Order 66.

I really enjoyed our journey into “The Unknown” rating a solid 8.5 out of 10. This was a very good episode but much of it was setting up the larger story that is to be revealed in the next three episodes.

Next time on The Clone Wars: Episode 6.02 “Conspiracy.”

“The wise benefit from a second opinion.”
In the sterile laboratories of Kamino, the ailing clone trooper Tup and his friend ARC Trooper Fives are quarantined for examination following Tup’s shocking murder of a Jedi Master. With the help of medical droid AZI-3, Fives is determined to get to the bottom of Tup’s condition and uncovers a secret buried deep within the Republic’s cloning program.

You can watch all the episodes of The Clone Wars now on Netflix. Stay tuned to LightsaberRattling.com as I continue to examine the remaining episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season Six.

NYCC Star Wars Rebels Panel Announcement Reveals Plot Details

On September 12th it was announced by Lucasfilm that they would be holding a Star Wars Rebels panel at New York Comic Con on Saturday October 12th in addition to other Star Wars programming.

Interestingly the same announcement was posted on New York Comic Con’s website except there is an extra paragraph in the description of the panel which tells us a little more about the plot of the show.

Luckily, there are those who are brave and daring enough to stand up against the oppressive Imperial might: the crew of the starship Ghost. Star Wars Rebels follows their adventures as they carry out thrilling missions against these dark forces.

Star Wars Rebels Report: A Look at Taiwan Animation Studio CGCG

CGCG is the 3D animation studio that will be responsible for a good portion of the work on the new animated series, Star Wars Rebels.

Star Wars Rebels co-executive producer Dave Filoni recently appeared on October 18th episode of Rebel Force Radio and talked Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Rebels. In this wide-ranging interview he revealed that since Lucasfilm Singapore (the company’s overseas animation studio) was still getting up and running when The Clone Wars began a lot of the production for that show was done by another firm, CGCG. Filoni went on to say that Lucasfilm Singapore is not currently focused on Rebels saying, ”Our talented people at the Singapore studio are on other projects.”

We knew Filoni was in Asia visiting and working with animators based on comments from Pablo Hidalgo at the New York Comic Con panel, but it was assumed by many including myself that this meant he was in Singapore at Lucasfilm’s facility. Instead Filoni is back in Taiwan and once again working with CGCG.CGCG2

CGCG worked on the Star Wars: The Clone Wars movie in 2008, the first two seasons of Star Wars: The Clone Wars series and also on the recently released LEGO Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out. CGCG on animating Star Wars Rebels. CGCG provided Modeling, Color/Texture, Rigging, Layout, Animation, Lighting, VFX, Compositing and Rendering for the production of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

One of the more interesting facts about CGCG is that apparently it is or was partially owned by George Lucas.

In a 2011 story the news website Want China Times discussed CGCG’s relationship with George Lucas and The Clone Wars:

”The 3D computer graphics maker, 43% owned by Lucas, is soon expected to make its way to the Kaohsiung Software Technology Park, Shen Jung-chin, director general of the Export Processing Zone Administration, under Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs, said Thursday (Jan. 13). The Taipei-based company, which currently has 300 employees, is optimistic about the talent provided by universities in the south, said Shen (Shih Wen-hsiang, chairman CGCG).”

This is the first I had heard that Lucas or Lucasfilm owned a portion of this studio, it is not clear whether Lucas retained an ownership interest in CGCG. It is not clear if Disney | Lucasfilm retains an equity stake in the company.

“Shih declined to comment on the details of Lucas’s investment but said that his company would continue production of the animated Star Wars film series in Kaohsiung. “A lot of the creative energy in the south has not been developed,” he said.

Lucas is believed to have invested US$2.4-2.7 million in the computer graphics maker.”

A shade under $3 million was not a major investment for Lucas, but it would seem to be a great way to get more value out of his dollars instead of investing it in domestic animation resources.

“The animation company spent only ten months to complete production of Lucas’s film as opposed to the three to five years it usually takes to produce a 3D animated film.”

Now this is the impressive part, CGCG’s ability to deliver quickly could be very important particularly on Star Wars Rebels which is getting a much shorter time for development.

For continuing Star Wars Rebels Coverage check out the Rebels Report Podcast, episodes airing monthly until the show airs.

SOURCES: IMDB, CGCG, Rebel Force Radio, and Want China Times

Editor’s Note: One of the goals of Lightsaber Rattling and the Rebels Report podcast will be to provide the most comprehensive coverage and analysis of Star Wars Rebels that you will find on the web. In that effort we will focus on not just the show as it is on the screen, but also all steps in the creative process and production. We do this not only because we are looking for as much information as possible but to provide a greater understanding for how the industry works and to provide those interested in working in the entertainment industry with as much knowledge as possible about the technical and creative processes.