Timothy Zahn Crashes the Star Wars Rebels Panel – Dragon Con 2016


Only at Dragon Con.  

This is a sentence I have often uttered over the years I have attended the annual Sci-Fi and Fantasy convention in downtown Atlanta. This is the exact thought which ran through my head as Timothy Zahn crashed the Star Wars Rebels panel at Dragon Con 2016. 

The panel featured the Star Wars Report’s own producer Bruce Gibson moderating and Executive Editor Bethany Blanton, and featured some absolutely incredible insights from Star Wars Rebels co-executive producer Henry Gilroy.

Fans of “The Clone Wars” know Gilroy from his role as a lead writer on the series, and he offered many insights into both “Star Wars Rebels” and its predecessor “The Clone Wars”. He was willing to offer a few tidbits for “Star Wars Rebels” season 3, including the fact that you may just need ‘special undergarments.’ :)

“When you see what we’ve got coming, you’re going to lose it.”

The panelists also discussed how Ezra may or may not go to the dark side. Gilroy offered that turning to the dark side is more like the Anakin story. It’s important that for Ezra, they need to find a story that’s unique and interesting.

On Ahsoka, Gilroy discussed how she had a very strong foundation in Jedi training. This is why she is much more successful in fighting the inquisitors. Ezra, however, did not, and it’s harder for him to walk the path of the Jedi.

She doesn’t mess around.

Gilroy also offered some insight into the genesis of “The Clone Wars” series. Early plans included how the series was originally going to be about spies working behind the scenes in the outer rim. The creative team was a bit surprised when Lucas wanted to include main characters like Anakin and Obi Wan.

Also let it be known, Henry Gilroy does an amazing George Lucas impression. And the crowd loved it.

A very important (dare I say absolutely critical) question came from Bria on the panel to Gilroy. “Are Hera and Kanan space married?” The answer, “how do you define space married?” and “tune in next season?”

Aw yeah.

Some additional point of interest:

  • Originally, “Twilight of The Apprentice” was the name of the season finale for Rebels season 2 because in the original script, Maul died.
  • As to how long will Rebels continue – according to Gilroy – “as long as they have stories to tell.”
  • Also according to Gilroy, as to whether or not the inquisitors story will be resolved, “there is a plan.”

And then it happened, as the discussions and Q&A continued, I heard a rustling in the back of the room, and as I turned my head to the right, I saw renowned Star Wars author Timothy Zahn had entered the room to loud applause as he took the stage.

Tim Zahn!

Zahn told the story of how he was invited to Lucasfilm to meet with Dave Filoni for two hours. He pointed out rightly that a two hour meeting with Filoni must have been important, so he traveled to Lucasfilm not knowing exactly what to expect. When Filoni told Zahn that they were bringing Thrawn into Rebels season 2, his first thought was “the internet’s gonna melt.”


  • Zahn described how difficult it was to dance around the question of whether or not he was returning to Star Wars over the course of several months while he had to keep it a secret.
  • He described watching the Rebels panel at Star Wars Celebration Europe from his computer as surreal.
  • He was super excited and laughed as he commented that he spent the entire day taking in the reactions online.
The Creator of Thrawn – Timothy Zahn

The panel then ended with a give away from the amazing folks at Del-Rey who provided the Star Wars track with brand new copies of the to be re-released edition of Zahn’s Thrawn trilogy!

The only thing I can say is, “only at Dragon Con.”

Stay tuned for more of our coverage in the coming days!


Editor in Chief – Star Wars Report

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