Disney Infinity's Star Wars Rebels Play Sets Get the Details Just Right for Superfans
Get ready to step into a galaxy far, far away with Disney Interactive’s two latest Play Sets, which introduce the Star Wars universe to the video-game-toy-hybrid series.
Players can now purchase the Twilight of the Republic and Rise Against the Empire Play Sets, which will let them take on the role of a few popular Star Wars characters—like Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia, or Anakin and his padawan, Ahsoka Tano—as they explore the worlds of the original trilogy, as well as those in the Clone Wars animated series, which is set between Episodes II and III.
“From a story point of view we knew we wanted to do the Episodes IV through VI characters, and then obviously you have to do I through III,” explains Jeff Bunker, VP of Art Development at Avalanche Studios, who worked closely with the Lucasfilm team to craft the storylines of both games. “Clone Wars just sits perfectly in that time frame of the story we were trying to tell.”
This meant that for voice actor Ashley Eckstein, who has voiced Ahsoka since 2006 in Clone Wars and who now voices an older version of in Disney XD’s Star Wars Rebels series, playing a Clone Wars-era Ahsoka was like taking a trip back in time. “In Rebels, she’s a lot different. She’s more like a master or a mentor,” says Eckstein. “So it was fun to go back to Clone Wars Ahsoka and just stick in a little bit of her sarcasm and sense of humor.”
Setting the Twilight of the Republic Play Set during the prequels also allowed Disney Infinity to incorporate some of the Rebels characters—namely Ezra, Kanan, Sabine and Zeb—into the game, as the show takes place between both trilogies. “[Within the game] you unlock the ability to bring in all the rest of the Star Wars characters,” says Bunker. “So it just seemed a more appropriate approach that allowed the Rebels characters to come in after the fact.”
When it came to picking which characters would be featured in both Play Sets, it was an easy choice to include Princess Leia and Ahsoka instead of characters like Obi-Wan Kenobi or Yoda—both of whom are available for purchase separately instead.
“We’re finding that the mix of the demographic playing our game is much closer to 50/50 girls and boys,” says Bunker. “With that being the case, it’s very important to us that we have a character that represents half of our audience. Boys are fairly likely to play as a boy or girl, but girls feel pretty strongly that they want to play as a girl character so we strongly feel we need to give them that.”
Eckstein is definitely grateful to Disney Infinity and Star Wars for their focus on including female characters like Ahsoka and Sabine in the game.
“What Star Wars has done with these strong female characters is a true testament to achieving a very popular female character where fans are able to look past gender and enjoy the character,” says Eckstein. “I’ve noticed over the years with Ahsoka that we actually don’t point out the fact that she’s a girl. Past the first Clone Wars movie in 2008, we never say she’s a girl. She’s just Ahsoka Tano, Anakin Skywalker’s padawan.”
In fact, Ahsoka is one of the strongest players in the Twilight of the Republic, with Eckstein being quite impressed with the character’s Jedi skills and how skilled her fighting technique is. “She’s learned from the best, from Anakin,” says Eckstein. “Disney Infinity takes it to a whole new level. She has some light saber techniques I didn’t even see in the show.”
Introducing a new character into the Disney Infinity universe is more than redesigning a character to fit the specific style of the games—otherwise known as “Infinitizing” them—it’s also about capturing the personality and spirit of the character in the little figurines that accompany the game.
One way of doing this is by recreating an iconic pose of the character. "If you were to look through Anakin’s light saber fights, [there's a] pose [that] is the type of pose he is commonly going into,” explains Bunker. “Ahsoka’s pose is inspired from some moments in the show. I think it shows her confidence and personality really well.” Eckstein agrees. “The [figure] truly captured the spirit and spunk of Ahsoka. I love her attitude and stance. They really got everything perfect. It’s one of the most advanced figures out there," she says.
That’s also the case for the Star Wars Rebels character figures, of which Sabine is the most expensive. “She may be one of my favorite poses,” says Bunker. “She’s very complex, with a lot of paint on her. And her pose speaks to her personality really well.”
What’s more, fans will notice that the figures look a little different than they do on the show. That’s because the Disney Infinity figures were updated just before the figures went into production. “The color of Sabine’s hair and some of the logos on her costume changed,” says Bunker of the tweaks that were made. “We were also able to put the scar on Kanan’s shoulder armor and the scars on Ezra’s cheek. We definitely want to be as relevant as we can be.”
The Twilight of the Republic game sees Anakin and Ahsoka investigating the activation of a Battle Droid factory on Geonosis. In the process, players will have a chance to explore Tatooine, Coruscant and Naboo while battling Separatist forces before facing off against Darth Maul himself.
“We took the highlights, the locations and events that fans would expect,” says Bunker. “We’re not telling a new story. We’re linking together those location events in a way that you would expect if you’re a Star Wars fan.”
The Twilight of the Republic and Rise Against the Empire Play Sets are both available for purchase now.