R2- D2’ s not- so- cuddly cousin in
Star Wars Rebels
UK Broadcast Disney XD US Broadcast Disney XD
For fans who love Star Wars, but were too put off by the prequels to get invested in The Clone Wars, Rebels has been something of a revelation. It’s amazing how simply tweaking the iconography – bringing back “proper” Stormtroopers and Imperial uniforms and TIE Fighters – instantly makes the show feel more “Star Warsy”. It’s also a bit of a shame, as The Clone Wars, particularly in its later years, was actually very good. But we digress…
Rebels has a strong cast of characters. They’re all riffs on familiar archetypes, but just twisted enough to make them interesting. Kanan is the Obi- Wan figure, but because of the Order 66 Jedi purge, he never finished his training and is wracked with self- doubt. Ezra is the feisty young pupil, part Luke Skywalker in his eagerness to learn the ways of the Force, and part Han Solo in his recklessness. And then there’s Chopper…
C1- 10P, to give him his true name, is a beaten up old Astromech droid who’s been bolted together from various scavenged spare parts. He’s an obvious analogue of loveable R2- D2. Chopper, though, is very different.
Where Artoo tries to help, and seems to care, Chopper has an attitude. He’s grumpy, selfish and just as likely to cause the crew of the Ghost trouble as he is to get them out of it. Plus he’s funny, without being annoying and loveable without being too cutesy.
That’s not to say that he doesn’t come in useful and help out the rebels – he does. But he’s not a shiny, happy freedom fighter. He’s on the Ghost because he has nowhere else to go.
Executive Producer Dave Filoni has said, “If Artoo is your favourite dog, then Chopper is a cat”. What can I say? I was always a cat person. Will Salmon