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'Star Wars Rebels:' Hera is in control

'Star Wars Rebels:' Hera is in control
"Star Wars Rebels" flies onto Disney and Disney XD in fall 2014, with Hera as the pilot of the starship Ghost. (Lucasfilm)

"Star Wars Rebels" has its Han Solo, and her name is Hera. OK, the Twi'lek pilot and owner of the starship Ghost isn't exactly like Solo.

Executive producer Dave Filoni says she's the heart of the Ghost, and keeps the merry band of rebels flying with her together as they fight the Empire. Filoni and others from Lucasfilm talk about Hera in the latest behind-the-scenes introduction video that also features character sketches and animation previews.

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"I think she really makes flying the Ghost look easy," says Joel Aron, CG supervisor, agreeing that she also can be warm and nurturing. "She knows how to talk to them to get the best out of themselves and to be part of that team. That to me is the commander of a ship."

Hera's a no-nonsense character, says art director Kilian Plunkett, who says she forgoes glamor for her orange "utilitarian flight gear." "[Being glamorous] is not a priority for her," he says.

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Supporting the Ghost's crew members, which include the band's de facto leader Kanan, a Jedi Knight in hiding; Zeb, the muscles of the group; Sabine, the explosive artist; Ezra, the con man who needs convincing to fight for a cause, and Chopper, the droid with an attitude.

Actress Vanessa Marshall, who is voicing Hera, confirms Hera's strong will, leadership capabilities and warmth."Every time we get a script I am breathless with anticipation," Marshall says. "I cannot wait to read what's next because I want to see where we're going, too."

Disney and Lucasfilm have been dropping teasers and introducing characters on a weekly basis to pump up the already huge interest in the series:

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Premiering with a one-hour special this fall on the Disney Channel before moving to Disney XD as a weekly series, "Rebels" will cover the action between big-screen films "Episode III--Revenge of the Sith" and "Episode IV--A New Hope."


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