STAR WARS REBELS' Taylor Gray Reflects On Playing Ezra, Season 4's Shock Ending, & What Comes Next - EXCLUSIVE

STAR WARS REBELS' Taylor Gray Reflects On Playing Ezra, Season 4's Shock Ending, & What Comes Next - EXCLUSIVE

STAR WARS REBELS' Taylor Gray Reflects On Playing Ezra, Season 4's Shock Ending, & What Comes Next - <font color=red>EXCLUSIVE</font>

We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Taylor Gray to talk about his role as Ezra Bridger in Star Wars Rebels and if you're a fan of the Disney XD series, you definitely need to check this out...

Star Wars Rebels came to a close with its fourth season and while the door was left open for these characters to be revisited somewhere down the line, it still felt like a satisfying ending for the beloved Disney XD series which was launched shortly after Disney purchased Lucasfilm for a whopping $4 billion in 2012. Arguably the breakout character, however, was Ezra Bridger, played by Taylor Grey. 

His journey from kid to Jedi was great fun to follow and Grey's work in the series was fantastic as he handled all of Ezra's ups and downs and ultimate transformation perfectly. I recently had the opportunity to speak to him about his work on the show and he was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to address everything from how the show ended to some of his best moments. 

He also reveals which other characters he'd like to play and weighs in on both the legacy of Star Wars Rebels and where he would like to see Ezra go next. So, check out our interview below and be sure to pick up season four on Blu-ray when it goes on sale in stores everywhere tomorrow. You can also find Taylor on Instagram by clicking here and I'd like to thank him once again for chatting
to us last week!

I wanted to start by asking how you found out Star Wars Rebels was ending and what your reaction to that news was?
It started when we were going into the fourth season. Dave [Filoni] brought all of us in for a recording meeting and said, 'Look, the plan from the beginning, even from episode one, was that we were going to do four seasons, tell a story, and do this arc. We can make seasons and seasons of this but we want to end it at the right time and tell a story all the way through.' And he was like, 'We're getting there and this last season will be the most important in bringing this story to a head.' Dave was basically setting us up for the work ahead and letting us know that was how the show was going to run its course. We were all on board because he's had a plan and vision since the beginning. It was a really cool way to tell us and we were all really sad as it was such a fun show to make and we'd hit our stride but it all made sense. 
Over the course of these four seasons, what was it like for you to see Ezra go from essentially a regular kid to a Jedi and how challenging was that evolution for you as an actor?
That was so fun. Rarely do you get to play a character all the way through for a story like that. Every other show I've been on has been cancelled after a couple of seasons or just ends right as you're developing. With Ezra, we really got to flesh him out over so many episodes and he went through this transformation and one of the biggest transformations you can have is going from a regular kid to a Jedi. That is a real turn of psyche and personality and characteristics. It was so cool to play that and do it in Star Wars. That's the most fun world you could ever ask for and under Dave's leadership and with the rest of the cast, it was such a great role to play.
Over the years, there have been a lot of fan theories about Ezra's future – how much fun was it for you to read those, potentially knowing if they were right or wrong?
That's the most fun part of it. While you record, you're just in a studio with the other actors which is amazing as you have a creative family in there and that's where the story comes to life. However, the show exists out in the world with everyone else watching it so it's so fun to see what fans think is happening with your character, where it's going, and we all hypothesise what's happening and bring it up with Dave. The only problem is, I get some responses from him so I am able to shoot down a lot of the ideas I throw out through him but at the same time, that's the fun of it. Everyone on the cast is saying stuff like, 'Well, maybe this will happen or that will happen.' It's just the best and we all get to come together at conventions, or events, or screenings, or wherever it may be and it's fun to have that dialogue with everybody. 
Throughout the series, Ezra interacted with a lot of iconic villains, including Darth Maul, Darth Vader, and Grand Admiral Thrawn. As a fan, just how cool of an experience was that? 
It was amazing! There was an experience early on in the show where there was a line that Ezra had when he corresponds with Darth Vader during their first battle and he doesn't really know who Vader is so he still has that cavalier attitude. James Earl Jones had already recorded all his lines so we're in the booth and I think Dave thought it would be funny as he had that cued up and ready to go while we were recording. We're going through the scene and I expected to wait with no response and then go on to the next line but I say my line and in response, Dave put the recording of Vader up. I mean, it's Darth Vader! Every person on the planet knows who that is and it sent this shiver down my neck and all my hair stood up because it was this amazing. I felt like I was standing there as Ezra just terrified. It was amazing as well because once I got my senses back, I realised that Darth Vader just spoke to me and it was the coolest experience in the world and it was so unexpected as well. 

Did you have any other surreal moments like that working on the series over the past few years?
The first time that he said, 'May the Force be with you.' It's one of those lines that, as a kid, you joke around and say and you hear it so many times but until you have to say it with the gravitas that it requires, I don't know if you necessarily tap into it. The first time I said it, I realised, 'Oh wow, this means something.' Any time they refer to you as a Jedi...that's now become a normal word in everyday vocabulary for people and if you see someone doing something a little magical in how amazingly they're able to do things, people will say it's a Jedi-like quality. Every time someone says, 'Look out for the Jedi!' in reference to you, it was always so surreal to hear that and still is. It's so funny that right now we're having a conversation and saying Jedi. It blows my mind and it's been so fun to be part of the Star Wars Universe and the best part is talking with fans and seeing that people watch the show and connected with the story. I really loved every part of it. 
This weekend, it was revealed that Star Wars: The Clone Wars is coming back. Has that given you hope for a Rebels reunion down the line?
I would love that. The big question when Rebels ended was 'Where is Ezra?' Dave came out soon after the series wrapped and said that Ezra is out there and alive. That alone gave me hope for the future knowing he's out there. Star Wars characters are always around. When you think about how much has been made in the Star Wars Universe, I wouldn't put it past them to bring certain Rebels characters back and explore more of their stories further down the line. I think it's amazing that The Clone Wars is coming back as it was such a celebration for so many people and I'm stoked to see what else they make. 
I know this might be a tough one to answer but where do YOU think Ezra ended up following the events of the finale?
He obviously went out with the purrgil and with Thrawn but my focus is more on what type of character he's become now. He wouldn't do that unless he had some sort of plan because what we realise in the final is that Ezra is much more capable than we even imagined he would become. When we get to the very end of the show, we see he had this whole thing set up with Sabine long ago and that it's this selfless act. I believe he's out there somewhere which would require some Easter Eggs to find him that he's dropped along the way where he's almost waiting for someone to find him while he goes more into a sentient state, almost like a monk, growing in the Force and doing everything Jedi would on his own, as a solo Jedi out there. 
Do you hope there will be a time jump when we next see Ezra and would it be exciting for you to possibly play a much older, grizzled version of the character?
I would absolutely love to. We've taken him from being a kid to this teenager/young man and that's literally run parallel to my life. We, as people, are trying to become Jedi-like people. We're trying to become the best versions of ourselves and that's pretty much the path of a Jedi! So, even though Ezra – I'm not like him right now – I'm still on that process so if and when I pick Ezra back up, there are certain characteristics to tap into to play this character and I feel like he'll just join on with my journey wherever he might be. It would be so cool to play him down the line as an older, more experienced Jedi. 
There are obviously a lot of great superhero animated movies, TV shows, and games out there – is that a world you'd be interested in exploring next?
Of course. When you're young, action heroes and comic book heroes are what you dream of. As a kid, I'd play with my brother and we'd get whatever we had in the house or garage and we'd throw it around at each other and pretend we had these superpowers and abilities to do things. I hadn't done any animation before Star Wars Rebels as everything had been live-action, so now getting to explore that through Star Wars, and learn so much, I would love to do more. To play a live-action superhero would be such a dream. 
Do you have any characters in mind? 
I know they're doing a new Teen Titans and that would be very cool. I never read for that but those always seemed like cool guys to be. Even Spider-Man. He's probably my favourite comic book character and it would be so much fun to swing around the streets of New York! 

Looking back at your time working on Star Wars Rebels, what do you think you'll take away from the experience?
First off, just amazing, amazing memories. So many new friends through the cast, the producers, the crew. Then, the fans. I've met so many fans, especially throughout the UK. I've done some events out there now and I've got friends I've met there I've hung out with here – I'm in Los Angeles at the moment – and in London. I've travelled up from Manchester all the way up to Scotland and it's been so much fun to connect with so many people over Star Wars. That's one thing Star Wars fans have in common: they all appreciate this wonderful storytelling and this magical galaxy. We all get to share that. Those are the big takeaways and also just a great experience. It was so fun and I learned so much. I don't think Star Wars is over for Ezra and I'm excited for what else is to come. 
What's coming next for you and where should fans be looking out for you moving forward?
Everything I've done since has been live-action but I did do a VR video game. There's also a new show called She-Ra which Dreamworks is doing and I did a wizard character on that show. I just completed another movie last month which wrapped filming called Hard Rock Love Song and that's with Michael Dornan and Sophia Bush. Right now, I'm actually working on a show called American Princess that Kenji Coen is doing. That's actually where I am right now as I'm on the set shooting and it's been such a blast over the past few months. 
What would you say to fans about why they should pick up Star Wars Rebels season four on Blu-ray?
It's Star Wars! They need to. There are so many extra goodies on the Blu-ray and Lucasfilm is so good about making it worthwhile for fans. It was fun to watch the show on TV but on Blu-ray, you get to watch it without any stopping for commercials. And, there are interviews, behind the scenes stuff, and little sneak peeks into things that I know I would love to see. When I get my hands on a show I know I'm going to enjoy, it's the coolest. Lucasfilm is so good at throwing those in and they're all here. We recorded things up at Lucasfilm actually and I can't wait to get my hands on it to watch it. It's going to be so cool and you can have all of Rebels back to back – you should have the whole box set [Laughs]. 
Finally, what's it been like for you to see yourself as an action figure and to know how much Ezra has inspired people across the globe?
It's been surreal and I'm so grateful for the entire experience. It literally blows me away. The first time Lucasfilm sent a package to my doorstep, I opened the box up and wondered, 'What can this be?' It was an action figure of my character and a note from them thanking me for my contribution and bringing him to life. Here's a little plastic version of you, do what you will! It's been so much fun to see so many fans with it when we get to interact at conventions. You see that people young and old – kids who are five years old and collectors – it has such an impact on them and people have come to this story, connected to it, and I'm just so thankful for the experience and I know that it will continue on. That's the fun of film and TV. You've made it and now it's out there and it gets to live on. 

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