While talking to the press today about the upcoming season of Star Wars Rebels, supervising director Dave Filoni mentioned the new year will bring a new emphasis to Sabine Wren, the Mandalorian artist with a knack for mechanics and explosives. "There's so many interesting things, [like] the fact she's Mandalorian … the idea that she comes from this warrior culture gets brought to the forefront," he said.
He thinks the audience would love to know more about her family and upbringing in that culture. All of the characters will getting a greater exploration of their origins, he said, but "where we end up in the future, Sabine elevates and is every bit as important as important as Ezra as far as what you think of as who the show is about." He expalined that both are young people dealing with the war and both find mentor relationships. The parallels between them naturally led to a greater emphasis.
That was not always the plan, but the character came to fore both in the writing and the voice work of Tiya Sircar. "She's certainly earned it in her performance," he said.
Filoni also explained that the greater emphasis on female characters reflects the changing audience. "I listened," he said. "I listened to [my wife] and to any other woman who said, 'hey, this is what we're missing.'" It lead to exploring both Sabine and pilot Hera to a greater extent. Having these character to identify with is very important to younger girls, he learned. "We grew up with Han Solo as this great pilot," he said. "Now it's Hera and she's an awesome pilot." Similarly, Sabine turned out to be this great warrior.
"I have the authority to put these things into play," he said. "My strongest play is to activate that and create these opportunities and see where they go." He added that it makes the universe real and the characters are compelling.
He also teased a revelation to her Mandalorian roots, and a Clone Wars connection, will be part of new trailer to be screened next week at New York Comic-Con.
Star Wars Rebels premieres on Disney XD on October 14th.