Lucasfilm animation set a surprising standard with Star Wars: The Clone Wars, when showrunner Dave Filoni decided he wanted his actors all in one room together. As often as possible, the episodes were recorded "radio play" style, with the cast of the appropriate scene all in one room, so they could fully play off each other. Star Wars Rebels continued the tradition, and it was almost more important for that series. Rather than the rotating cast, the series really focuses considerably on the Ghost crew as a whole, and they need to feel like family.
But despite it being a scene that played out in front of two other characters, the pivotal moment of "Trials of the Darksaber" was a private affair. For the emotional scene where Kanan Jarrus, voiced by Freddie Prinze, Jr. goads Sabine Wren, voiced by Tiya Sircar, Filoni decided to make it a "closed set" as it were. He even prepared them a little more than usual.
"Dave actually, so considerate of him and a sign of a really throughtful director and human that he knew this would be a really emotionally charged session for us, as actors," Sircar told ComicBook.com. "Dave doesn't like to tell us anything, and he gave me a lot of advance notice of what he was planning, and he said, 'I'm going to have you guys record by yourselves in advance so that we can really work on it and you have the time and the space to really go to where I need you to go.'"
That gave Sircar and Prinze time to "mentally prepare for an emotional episode," so they knew more of what they were getting into.
"Then, getting to record with just Freddie and myself was really special. Kanan and Sabine don't actually have that much one-on-one interaction and for it to be like this was really incredible and I really cherish that session that we had because it was ... I don't know how many opportunities people get like this in voiceover, doing animated series, and this was maybe a unique experience so I feel really fortunate," the actress said.
During recording, Filoni took them through the scene line by line, step by step.
"He has a crystal clear vision of what it's going to be. He knows, it's all up there in his brain," she said with clear admiration in her voice. Aside from the emotional aspects, she had to imagine all of the action at the same time, which provided "a new challenge" for Sircar in voice acting.
"Going through the paces and all that stuff, and then going through this emotional monolog, a speech that I give, and there being all this physicality that's happening throughout, that was its own challenge to be truthful and authentic in the emotions of the scene and yet also having to be physical and being in attack mode. It's just this combination of things that was a unique challenge for me."
When she saw it all in its finished form, though, it was all worth the extra privacy and extra challenge.
"Getting to watch that was really incredible. It looked beautiful. The choreography, and the animation; I was like, 'Oh. That's what he meant.'"
Sircar also specifically pointed to Kevin Kiner's score in the episode, saying "I don't know what awards it could be up for, but it should win all of them."
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