Star Wars Rebels is a major part of the Star Wars saga. Thus, it’s no surprise that with the release of Disney Infinity 3.0 Star Wars, Rebels characters are part of the experience. Back in June we covered some details on the first Rebels characters that would included at the game’s launch. Today, Dan Brooks at StarWars.com went in-depth on the creation of the Rebels characters for Disney Infinity 3.0 with a behind-the-scenes interview with Lucasfilm’s brand creative director Hez Chorba and eff Bunker, vice president of art development for Disney Infinity at Avalanche Software.
We already knew that the first wave of Rebels characters in the game are going to be Sabine, Kanan, Ezr,a and Zeb. However, what’s interesting is that the idea of bringing the characters to the game was conceived even before the show aired, which created some development challenges.
“When we first started thinking about doing the Rebels characters, I had heard about the series, but I hadn’t seen anything yet,” says Jeff Bunker, vice president of art development for Disney Infinity at Avalanche Software and, for all intents and purposes, the father of the game. “Lucasfilm provided us quite a bit of early concepts and early episodes for us to watch, and we ate it up. We watched everything we possibly could to see if we could understand their characters, because that’s critical to getting the right pose for each one. So there was a great deal of research that went into the first round of each character.”
What’s also interesting is that apparently, from the beginning, the goal was to create Season 2 versions of the characters, even as the show had not yet premiered. That’s why you see a blue haired Sabine and a more mature Ezra. Indeed, the level of detail that has thoroughly impressed me about the Disney Infinity figures can be seen applied to the Rebels as well:
“We got to a point where we had real synergy happening,” Chorba says. “We said, ‘These characters need to be Season Two.’ So, when you look at Ezra, he has his scars. You look at Kanan, he has his marks on his shoulder padding. You look at Sabine and she has a different paint deco. We’re talking to each other across departments to ensure accuracy. We’re all working as one.”
The results are as impressive as the rest of the line.
The article also provided some interesting insight to general product design practices at Lucasfilm:
“I worked with Jeff Bunker and created the first versions of the characters,” Chorba says. “I then took 3D prints [of the figures] and met with Dave and Kilian.” Filoni and Plunkett advised on details and attitudes in order to truly capture the characters and develop them. “That’s an agreement that we have within Lucasfilm. We always go back to the person that created the character and get their point of view. Dave always wants his characters and their expressions to be right.”
It’s no surprise of course that Dave Filoni would want to be involved in the design of his own characters, but I think it’s just great to hear it specifically spelled out that LFL has that internal policy. It’s a fantastic way to ensure that the integrity of these characters is maintained.
Sabine was the standout. As I mentioned before, her figure is one of the most detailed and complicated that Disney Infinity has ever done.
“Without revealing too much,” Bunker says, “she’s one of our more expensive characters to make. There’s a lot going on there and I’m really happy with the way she turned out. I was pretty excited to work on her, because she is complicated, but at the same time, she’s very cohesive. She really works well as a character. I love how strong she is.”
Stay tuned for more in-depth looks at Disney Infinity 3.0 in the days to come.
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— Jason Ward (@MakingStarWars) August 24, 2015