By Curt Wagner, @ShowPatrol
8:36 AM CST, January 28, 2014
"Star Wars Rebels" has introduced its latest character, a cranky, lazy astromech droid nicknamed Chopper.
"If R2's your favorite dog, Chopper's a cat," says Dave Filoni, executive producer of the animated series set to debut this fall. Check out the photos of Chopper in the gallery to the left of this page.
Chopper, a.k.a. C1-10P, is tasked with keeping the starship Ghost running and operable for its heroes. Because of his many unique upgrades and customizations using spare droid parts, no other crew member could handle the job.
"Rebels" takes place four years prior to the events of "Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope," which meant Filoni and his team found inspiration for Chopper's retro look from early Ralph McQuarrie concept art for R2-D2, especially the expressive arms that fold out of his head.
Chopper's retro look creates an aesthetic continuity with droids of the original trilogy, and gives the character a visual individuality that goes along with his grumpy demeanor.
"The biggest difference between Chopper and R2 is that R2 cares whether or not you like him, whereas Chopper doesn't care at all," art director Kilian Plunkett says. "Half the time he doesn't even do what he's asked to do."
Still, the ill-mannered droid often saves the day, Plunkett says in the video above.
"Star Wars Rebels" is scheduled to premiere this fall as a one-hour special on Disney Channel before moving to Disney XD.
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