SPOILERS for the Star Wars Rebels episode “Idiot’s Array.”
On tonight’s episode of Star Wars Rebels we saw the return of the smoothest smuggler/gambler/scoundrel in the galaxy — Lando Calrissian, voiced by the one and only Billy Dee Williams. In “Idiot’s Array” Lando’s charms are on full display, much to the chagrin of certain members of the Ghost crew. Now let’s take a look behind-the-scenes and see how this unique adventure came together.
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In Rebels Recon #10, StarWars.com goes behind the scenes of the Star Wars Rebels episode “Idiot’s Array” for the inside scoop on Lando Calrissian’s return and much more.
“Idiot’s Array” finds Zeb in a high-stakes game of sabacc with a mysterious smuggler. His name: Lando Calrissian. Zeb bets — and loses — Chopper, but Lando agrees to return the droid and pay the Ghost crew for passage past Lothal’s Imperial blockade. The slippery Calrissian seemingly double crosses the team, turning Hera over to the gangster Azmorigan in exchange for a puffer pig; but when Hera escapes, the smooth-talking scoundrel says it was all part of his plan. Ultimately, Lando returns Chopper, and the crew realizes the the astromech is an essential part of the team.
This week, the Recon team completes their visit with the Star Wars Rebels editorial department, learning how sounds and visuals come together for a final episode.”The editorial department is kind of the gatekeeper for the entire show,” says editor Joe Elwood. “We touch every aspect.” Every single aspect of the show comes through editorial, and Elwood illustrates how various elements — from rough animation to sound to final animation — are layered and combined to bring a scene to life. Episodes go through different phases, including story, layout, animation, and lighting, before all work is done.
In this week’s deep dive, Lucasfilm’s Andi Gutierrez speaks with the Star Wars Rebels team about bringing back a certain ol’ smoothie. “I think you have to remember that the Lando that you see in “Idiot’s Array” is very much a smuggler and a schemer,” associate producer Carrie Beck says. The Story Group’s Pablo Hidalgo agrees, saying that this younger Lando “has a lot of irons in the fire.” And when it came to the voice of the character, there was really only one option.
“Lando’s so charismatic and his personality is so defined by his voice,” Hidalgo says, “that you couldn’t not have Billy Dee [Williams] in it.” In “Idiot’s Array,” Lando wins Chopper in a game of sabacc — which is finally established canonically. Executive producer Dave Filoni turned to Hidalgo, who defined the rules and supplied original cards to concept artist Amy Beth Christenson.
New episodes of Star Wars Rebels air Monday nights on DisneyXD at 9/8c.