This Saturday, Disney will air the third season finale of Star Wars: Rebels, and by all indications, it’s going to be awesome. I’ve said it before, but Rebels is probably my favorite entry into the Star Wars canon since Empire Strikes Back. Season three has only solidified its GOAT status as far as televised Star Wars stories go. If you don’t believe me, be sure to check out last week’s episode set on Tatooine — which only made me want a solo Obi-Wan movie even more.
In tandem with Rogue One, Star Wars: Rebels is the perfect bridge between the prequels and the Original Trilogy. And not for nothing, Rogue One, in a way, featured the first live action incarnations of our favorite members of the Ghost crew. While Chopper was the only Rebel we saw on screen, if we ever get to see the rest in the future, here are the actors I’d like to see playing them.
Ryan Potter as Ezra Bridger
It seems like we’re always fan-casting Big Hero 6 star Ryan Potter in something! Whether Spider-Man or Robin, it’s time Ryan got to inhabit a superhero. But if fighting crime isn’t in the cards, perhaps battling Sith lords is? As Ezra Bridger, the youngest member of the crew, he would get to be their version of Luke Skywalker: the hotheaded teenager who learns the way of the Force to become an important part of the Rebellion.
Potter already possesses the requisite martial arts skills that would make him a natural at wielding Ezra’s lightsaber. Plus, as Hiro Hamada, he’s already part of the Disney family and should be easy enough to slide on over to the Lucasfilm side of things.
Javier Muñoz as Kanan Jarrus
The perfect actor to embody Ezra’s Jedi Master Kanan would have to be Hamilton star Javier Muñoz! Not only is he a self-professed sci-fi geek, he’s also got the ability to mimic iconic scenes from some of Hollywood’s most famous movies. On top of that, Muñoz, who is Alexander Hamilton on Broadway, knows how to step in and be the lead of a ragtag volunteer army that somehow defeats a galactic super power1.
Plus, his connection to Star Wars super nerd Lin-Manuel Miranda — who contributed music to The Force Awakens, by the way — should be his one way ticket to the galaxy far, far away. Also, I just love fan casting Hamilton stars in my favorite franchises.
Rosario Dawson as Hera Syndulla
Back in February, a fan on twitter suggested Daredevil star Rosario Dawson should play a live action Ahsoka Tano to which the actress wholeheartedly agreed. Still, as cool as it would be to see her embody a grown up version of the Clone Wars veteran, but I think the actress would look even better sporting a different set of lekku — as Ghost captain Hera Syndulla!
Based on her performance as Claire Temple across Marvel’s Defenders series, Dawson has the experience playing a tough, no-nonsense leader who also exudes compassion and righteousness. And like Ryan Potter, Dawson is already part of the greater Disney family, so why not give her a starship to pilot too?
Ysa Penarejo as Sabine Wren
Believe it or not, Chirrut, Baze, and Bodhi from Rogue One aren’t the first Asian-coded characters in Star Wars canon. Rebels’ Sabine Wren was specifically designed to be an Asian woman — a fact made all the more clear once we meet Clan Wren in Season 3. And if you need any proof that most people will assume “racially ambiguous” characters are white, just Google “Sabine Wren fan cast” and see how many Asian American actresses are on most fans’ minds.
For my live action take, I think Ysa Penarejo would be an excellent Sabine. Best known as Camryn on Netflix’s adaptation of the STEM-focused doll line, Project MC2, Penarejo has the requisite amount of spunk to play the Ghost’s resident explosives — and graffiti — expert. She’s also got the multicolored hair look going for her as well.
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Zeb
Garazeb Orrelios is the team’s strongman with a short temper but a heart of gold. One of the last sons of Lasan, Zeb served as an honor guard before his species was wiped out by the Empire. Despite his intimidating size and even more intimidating weaponry, Zeb knows how to have fun, often pranking around with Ezra or bickering with Chopper.
For live action, a character like Zeb would likely be primarily CG with a few makeup enhancements. That said, the design of Lasats is modeled after Ralph McQuarrie’s original Chewbacca concept, so perhaps a live action version could be mostly practical too? Either way, Lost alum Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje has experience donning globs of makeup as Killer Croc in Suicide Squad and would fit right in on with the rest of the team.
So that’s the main team from Star Wars: Rebels that I’d like to see get their own live action spin-off Anthology movie. But before I go, I want to fan cast two more less prominent roles from the series as well. The first is a prequel veteran who’s due a more significant role in future Star Wars installments.
Temuera Morrison as Captain Rex
Captain Rex was one of a few Clone Troopers who disobeyed Order 66 during Revenge of the Sith and was not complicit in the extermination of the Jedi. By the time Rebels rolls around, he and his Clone compatriots actually help the Rebels in their fight against the Empire. Rex takes on an even bigger role in the nascent Alliance during seasons two and three of the series. A live action Captain Rex — who is older, balder, and greyer — is an excellent time to bring back former Jango Fett — and O.G. Clone — Temuera Morrison! Just picture Morrison with a shaved head and a grey beard wearing Stormtrooper armor. It would be a welcome return to the franchise!
Ming-Na Wen as Ursa Wren
Speaking of Jango Fett, we’re gonna need the live action Rebels movie to take place, in part, on Mandalore. One of my favorite aspects of the series is how it has opened up Mandalorian mythology for the canon. I also love how the most prominent Mandalorians we’ve met are AAPI! So who better to play the matriarch of Clan Wren than Ming-Na Wen?!
I’ve been pushing Ming-Na — who is an avid Star Wars nerd — to be cast in a Star Wars movie somehow, mostly so she can complete the Disney Triple Crown. Seeing her rocking some Mandalorian armor would just be icing on the cake!
- Yes, I am fully aware “Guns and Ships” is a Lafayette song, but the parallel to the Rebel Alliance was too tempting to pass up! That said, I’d be down with Daveed Diggs as Kanan too! ↩