Last night I watched the season two finale for Star Wars Rebels and something hit me in the closing moments of that episode that inspired this question. Major spoilers for Star Wars Rebels Twilight Of The Apprentice follow, so skip this post if you have yet to watch the episode...
Ok you've been warned.
In the closing moments of Twilight Of The Apprentice we see Kanan and Maul (formerly known as Darth Maul) engage in a Lightsaber duel. During the fight Maul gets the better of Kanan and blinds him. This leads to a great moment for Kanan, as he battles Maul using nothing more than the Force and defeats him. As I was watching this I got a flashback to an article I'd read about Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The story discussed Donnie Yens character and how he is blind. It was the first mention of the character being blind and included some interesting quotes from Donnie Yen about the character. Which we will get into in a moment, but I also remember other chatter about how the character would be Force sensitive, and that he would use the Force to compensate for his lack of sight. Could Donnie Yen be playing a live action version of Star Wars Rebels' Kanan Jarrus?
Now it's important to say, at this point that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story director Gareth Edwards has said, very openly and plainly, that there will be no Jedi in Rogue One. No superheroes to come rushing to anyone's defense. But there is room to play the politician here and say, Kanan isn't really a Jedi. He was a Padawan during The Clone Wars and Order 66 and never completed his training. Same goes for Ahsoka Tano and Ezra is a student to both of these characters, so there are three potentially powerful, Force wielding non-Jedi characters who could face Darth Vader during Rogue One.
Could Donnie Yen be playing Kanan in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story? The timing seems about right. Twilight Of The Apprentice is set three years before the events of Star Wars Episode IV A New Hope. So there is still time to develop the Kanan character when Star Wars Rebels returns in August. If the show makes the rumored time jump forward, closer to Star Wars Episode IV A New Hope we might find an adjusted, blind Kanan with a new look that could lead directly into Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
What about Donnie Yen? He has made some comments about his Rogue One character. Is there anything to be taken from them?
You can find Donnie Yen's comments and a little more on the subject of his Rogue One: A Star Wars Story involvement here at Star Wars News Net, which includes the mention that his character will be blind.
We know that it is not likely that the Star Wars animated universe will influence the live action properties directly, information flows the other way, to be sure, but wouldn't it be awesome if the story group designed Donnie Yen's character as a nod the animated show. It might be a nice way to wrap up Star Wars Rebels, to have it hand over to a major movie release. It might indicate future animated live action crossovers like my personal theory that Ashoka Tano goes to Tatooine to ask Obi-Wan for help in confronting Maul. Obi-Wan would be deeply disturbed by Maul's reappearance and concern for Luke's safety may motivate his getting involved. All of these things are still possible after the season two finale. So will we see more animated characters slide over into live action?
Dave Filoni, Star Wars Rebels show runner, made some comments recently that indicated he may well retcon a character seen onscreen in Star Wars Episode VI The Return Of The Jedi to be a Clone Wars veteran and Star Wars Rebels regular, Captain Rex. See the image below and go here to read more on that at /Film.
When I first thought this was a possibility I tweeted my question to Kanan Jarrus himself, Freddie Prinze Jr. who replied with the following:
This means nothing of course because as Freddie points out, the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story team probably wouldn't tell him until much nearer the time, and I think he would remain silent on the issue if he knew anything at all, but it is a possibility. Personally I would prefer the Star Wars Rebels voice cast portray those characters if they made the move to live action. They could certainly pull it off, even if their involvement was little more than as cameos. You never know, we might even get a dedicated Star Wars Rebels A Star Wars Story live action movie one year.
What do you think? Is there a chance that Donnie Yen's reportedly blind Rogue One character might be the recently blinded Star Wars Rebels lead Kanan Jarrus? Would Lucasfilm's story group use an animated character in live action? If so is it fair that the man who brings Kanan to life is over looked? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Thank you for reading,