"Freddie Prinze Jr. was born to play a Jedi. He even has the scars on his face to prove it, the result of some lightsaber fights as a 4-year-old rough-housing with friends. As an adult, the actor is voicing the character of Kanan, a gunslinger full of bravado and the Force who's one of the new main players in the upcoming animated series Star Wars Rebels.
The show debuts with a one-hour special on Disney Channel in the fall before moving to half-hour episodes on Disney XD. "For people who are around our age and a bit older, Star Wars is in our DNA," says Prinze, 37. "I've heard 'May the Force be with you' about as many times as 'Hey, how you doing?' " Rebels takes place 14 years after the last of the movie prequels, 2005'sStar Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith, when the evil Emperor enacted "Order 66" to wipe out all the Jedi in the galaxy, sending the likes of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda into hiding. Since then, Kanan has been on the down-low, too.
He keeps his lightsaber under lock and key and brandishes a blaster instead to avoid the attention of the Empire, especially the Inquisitor (a Sith villain) and his Stormtroopers. But Kanan gets his Force-ful groove back with his crew on the spaceship The Ghost and fights back against the imperial menace. The "Star Wars Rebels" character Kanan, voiced by Freddie Prinze Jr., has a symbol on his shoulder armor that looks an awful lot like the later Rebel Alliance sigil. "He's been forced to shove a massive part of his life under the bed, so to speak," Prinze says. "Is he living a lie?
At a certain point, the lie kind of becomes the reality. And to suddenly be forced back into your Jedi ways, it'd be a bit of a challenge for him. And pretty awesome, too, when you can see what a Jedi can actually do." Executive producer Dave Filoni describes Kanan as a "cowboy Jedi." And unlike the stoic knights of his order in the Star Wars mythos, his banter is as sharp as his blue lightsaber strokes.
There is some melancholy, too. Kanan lived through the attempted extinction of an entire culture when Order 66 came down during his formative years, and he's massively affected by it, says Prinze."READ MORE