March 5th is Rebels Remembered Day, and this year is a special one as it is the 5th anniversary of Star Wars Rebels coming to an end. But it wasn’t just the ending of Rebels. It was also the end of one of my favorite Lucasfilm projects ever created. This ambitious series was unique to Rebels and it’s something I would love to see them bring back for other shows. I am talking about Rebels Recon!
Rebels Recon was a behind-the-scenes YouTube webseries produced by StarWars.com. It starred Andi Gutierrez discussing each episode of Star Wars Rebels after it aired. Lucasfilm Story Group’s Pablo Hidalgo was also part of the show with Andi hunting him down in the office to ask him fan questions. There was also a bit where they built a real-life Chopper who would cause chaos around the office in his segment, Chopper Cam.
I can’t even begin to summarize how amazing Rebels Recon was to the fandom. This unique after-show was like a mini-party each week celebrating a new episode of Star Wars Rebels. Andi, who was the most delightful host, sat down with the creators and voice actors to do a bit of deep diving into the production. It was a staple to have people like Dave Filoni, Joel Aaron, Kilian Plunkett, Freddie Prinze Jr., Taylor Gray, Venessa Marshall, and more popping up for discussions. A lot of the background information we know about Rebels came from Rebels Recon.
One example is from “Twin Suns.” Fans often wonder why Obi-Wan Kenobi and Maul’s final showdown was done in such a short squirmish. The creators from Producer Carrie Beck, Filoni, and more explains thoroughly their inspiration and choices for this battle. There are also cool details too like Maul trying the move that killed Qui-Gon Jinn on Obi-Wan, but Kenobi prevails, unlike his master.
I’ve actually lost track of how many times I’ve cited Rebels Recon over the last five years when it comes to explaining Star Wars lore. It was a wealth of knowledge during this time.
Also, Rebels Recon is fun! It’s so much fun with many fandom jokes spinning out of this series. I can’t imagine how much work it took to write, produce, film, and edit the webseries on top of all these people at Lucasfilm doing their normal jobs. The Chopper Cam skits, especially around the time that Rogue One came out, were the best. It was an entire side story of Chopper believing he was the star of the movie as he filmed his cameo. But it also doubled as a behind-the-scenes look for Rogue One too.
As mentioned, there was a segment where Andi would seek out Pablo to answer fan questions. At first, these segments were fairly straightforward. Andi would ask him the question and Pablo would answer. But as the show went on, it became more of an elaborate spectacle. Sometimes, Andi was actively searching for Pablo while he was hiding from her. One time he was on a boat calling in. We got to see different parts of the Lucasfilm office where he would be reading children’s Ewok books in different places doing supposed “research.” On the occasion that Pablo wasn’t available, other Lucasfilm employees would pretend to be Pablo, complete with his coffee cup, to answer the question. There was even one day when they were doing pet adoptions and Pablo was holding a puppy for his entire segment.
But probably the most well-known bit with Pablo Hidalgo was from the episode for “Through Imperial Eyes.” It’s raining that day at the Lucasfilm office. Andi comes to ask her question. And with absolutely no explanation whatsoever, apparently, Pablo is sad for REASONS. The music is heavy and somber. Andi asks her question, leaves, and then we get the spectacular moment of Pablo dramatically reaching out and touching the rain-drenched window. The bit is so funny because there is nothing to explain why it is this way. But it is a gif that will live on forever in the Star Wars fandom.
Probably my personal favorite joke came in the final episode of Rebels Recon for “Family Reunion… and Farewell.” For the entirety of Star Wars Rebels, the voice actor for Chopper was a well-kept secret. Dave Filoni had been asked many times over the course of the show’s tenure to in turn always deflect the question. As the credits for the final episode rolled, it was finally revealed that Chopper’s voice actor had been Dave Filoni the entire time. During the Chopper Cam bit, Chopper has a full-on existential crisis as he runs around the office seeing Dave haunting all of his memories of previous Chopper Cam segments. He wakes up from his supposed bad dream to have Pablo Hidalgo comfort him, saying that he is Chopper and no one else.
Then Pablo deadpan looks at the camera and says, “None of Chopper Cam is canon.”
Mic drop. A perfect joke to cap off a long series with our loveable murder droid. It was amazing and a great send-off for the segment.
I miss Rebels Recon all the time and wish they would have some version with all the new shows. Could you imagine this behind-the-scenes look with The Mandalorian, Andor, The Bad Batch, and all the future series? All I’m saying is B2EMO Cam would snap the internet in two under its power. Andi sitting down with Pedro Pascal, Diego Luna, Michelle Ang, Dee Bradley Baker, and all the other cast members to talk about their characters would be fantastic. We got so much information about the making of Rebels that to have that same care given to these other shows would be fantastic. Having Pablo answer questions about the Aldhani heists, the return of Bo-Katan, what the Empire is really cloning with the Zillo Beast, and everything in between would be such a vital lore resource. I wanted so desperately for Rebels Recon to continue for Star Wars Resistance and season seven of Clone Wars, and I’d love to see it for all the shows too.
It had to be a massive show to make. There was no way they could have done it during the Covid lockdown. But now, maybe it wouldn’t be so crazy to have a version come back at least for the Ahsoka show since it has so many Rebels characters in it. I can dream, can’t I?
Rebels Recon was a labor of love. Five years later, it still holds a very special place in the heart of the fandom. All of Andi, Pablo, and Chopper’s antics still are some of my favorite moments of when Star Wars Rebels was airing.
I miss you all the time, Rebels Recon. I wanted to say a very special “Happy Rebels Remembered Day” to you as you were an incredibly special part of this show. I will sadly touch a rainy window over my coffee cup as weepy music plays in your honor.
You can watch all of Rebels Recon on the Star Wars YouTube channel. Fingers crossed they put it on Disney+ one day!
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