Monday Musings: Star Wars, Black Panther, NBA

monday musings
Photo Credit: Ian Baldwin

Monday Musings returns with some Star Wars talk, the Black Panther trailer, and plenty of NBA with the season starting this week.

Davi Filoni Discusses the Final Season of Star Wars Rebels

As the show weaves through its final episodes, fans will find the installments feed into each other more than in previous seasons. “I’ve been able to build a lot better connections and motivations across all the episodes as we go. It is very unlike other seasons, because while the episodes are self contained, they are very next to each other in progression,” Filoni said, “They affect each other more; it’s more serialized than you’re used to.”

Today marks the start of the final season of Star Wars Rebels and this is a good interview with Dave Filoni on the show ending. I’m sad it’s going to be over soon, but it’s had a solid run.

Black Panther Trailer

Black Panther released an official trailer today and I’m so thrilled that this movie is happening. Now please excuse me while I do a deep dive into all of the Black Panther comics before this movie comes out.

The Ringer’s NBA Preview

The Ringer has a huge NBA preview going on just ahead of the start of the season. They even have what they’re calling Previewpalooza. They’ll be putting up videos for the conferences and have a full schedule planned. It’s a good way to get ready for the season.

You can find all previous editions of Monday Musings here.

Interview: Taylor Gray

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Check out an interview below with Taylor Gray, currently the voice of Ezra on Star Wars Rebels.

How did you first get started in acting?
I started doing commercials when I was about 13, and through my agent I began to get auditions for actual tv shows and movies.  I was fortunate enough to book a movie within that first year called The Take, which is when I became hooked.  I enrolled in numerous acting classes right away and it’s been a whirlwind ever since then.

You’ve done both movies and tv shows, do you have a preference for one or the other?
TV has gotten so good recently that it is tough to compare.  On one hand, you get to really dive into a character and play out an elongated story for however long the show runs.  The ultimate goal is usually movies though because film reaches more people and tells a more definitive story.  I love the opportunity to work in either medium, but if I had to pick one it would probably be film.

What was it like getting to work with Kevin Durant in Thunderstruck?

So many good things are said about Kevin Durant, and every single one of them is true.  He is an unbelievably cool person who likes to hang out and play basketball.  He was cool with me the entire time we shot Thunderstruck and would actually spend time hanging out which is not the case for every actor, especially of his status.  And watching him train, I can say, he really is the best shooter I’ve ever seen in person.

Did it help that you had played basketball when you auditioned for the role?
Yea, that was the last step of the audition process actually.  I had read for the producers and director about three or four times with just the script and then finally when they had narrowed it down to the last two, we were brought out to the basketball court at Warner Brothers studio.  I had brought my basketball shoes and was ready to go, thankfully knowing I could hold my own.  The director filmed us doing various drills and scrimmaging and then they made their decision from there.  When we got out to Baton Rouge for filming, I worked with a basketball coordinator and stunt double practicing Kevin Durant’s signature moves.   The most nerve-wracking part of the entire thing was having to show KD his own moves and ask for his approval.

How did the opportunity for Star Wars Rebels come about?

I had actually never done anything animated before but have always been intrigued.  My agent called one day and said “I know you haven’t really done this but there is a pretty cool show and I think you should read for it.”  So I got the sides and sent in a tape and didn’t hear anything for about a month, which is longer than usual.  One day, I got a call that the director and producers wanted to call me in to the studio with the other actors they liked and have us read again.  A couple weeks after that session, I got the call and was told it was Star Wars.  And that blew my mind.  The entire process was kept under wraps, so none of us knew what we were actually reading for.

Since Star Wars is such a huge franchise, what has it been like getting to be a part of it?
It’s unbelievable and I feel so grateful for the opportunity to be a small part in such a huge franchise.  You don’t want to let the lifelong fans, or the children alike, down.  But it has been unreal to be a part of and I hope it has a nice, long run.

What can we expect to see next from you? Are you just working on Rebels or do you have some other projects coming up?

We are currently working on more Rebels, and I recently started shooting a film called ‘White Fang’ and will be able to talk more on that as it goes along.  A film I was in, Walt Before Mickey, was just released in theaters in August of this year and will be out on DVD in December.  And then I also moved to New York to do some writing myself, which hopefully I will be able to talk upon more in the near future.