I Know That Voice: The Familiar Names Bringing Star Wars Rebels Characters to Life

Does a certain Rodian sound a bit like Janosz from Ghostbusters 2? There's a reason why.

Over the last few years, Star Wars Rebels has introduced fans to a whole new heroic cast of characters, but it’s also given a ton of our favorite actors a chance to join the Star Wars universe…with just their voices.

The most ardent Star Wars fans are sure to recognize some familiar voices on Star Wars Rebels. After all, Billy Dee Williams, Frank Oz, Anthony Daniels, and the man himself, James Earl Jones, have all come back to reprise their iconic roles from the feature films. Sarah Michelle Gellar voiced the Seventh Sister, Sam Witwer reprised his role as Maul, and we all know and love the Ghost crew (Freddie Prinze Jr. as Kanan, Vanessa Marshall as Hera, Steve Blum as Zeb, Tiya Sircar as Sabine, Taylor Gray as Ezra, and Dee Bradley Baker as Captain Rex). Still, there are some major stars whose work on Star Wars Rebels might be news to you. Have you been able to recognize the vocal talents of these 10 film and TV stars on Star Wars Rebels? Some are easy, some are stumpers, and, yes, some won’t make their debut until Season Three. So to celebrate Season Two arriving on Blu-ray and DVD this week, here are the surprisingly famous folks behind the voices of some of your favorite Star Wars Rebels characters.

Agent-Kallus

David Oyelowo

Who He Is On Star Wars Rebels: Agent Kallus, an Imperial officer who often finds himself doggedly chasing the crew of the Ghost.

Where Else You Know Him From: British actor David Oyelowo had a massive breakout moment a few years ago when he starred as Martin Luther King, Jr. in Ava Duverny’s celebrated historical drama Selma.

Essential Episode: Kallus has proven himself to be a worthy adversary for the crew of the Ghost throughout the run of Star Wars Rebels, but “The Honorable Ones” might be the one episode where we see him as a three-dimensional human, and not just a villain.

Star Wars Rebels - The Inquisitor

Jason Isaacs

Who He Is On Star Wars Rebels: The Grand Inquisitor, the big Force-using baddie from Season One.

Where Else You Know Him From: Jason Isaacs kind of has a reputation for playing delightfully campy British villains. He was the bad guy in The Patriot, played Captain Hook in a 2003 adaptation of Peter Pan, and, oh yeah, was Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter flicks.

Essential Episode: “Fire Across the Galaxy” features the Inquisitor’s most dazzling fight against Kanan and Ezra.

Gall-Trayvis

Brent Spiner

Who He Is On Star Wars Rebels: Gall Trayvis, the one Imperial senator with the guts to call out the Empire — who then betrayed the Rebels out of cowardice.

Where Else You Know Him From: Brent Spiner will forever be linked to another major franchise: Star Trek. Spiner played Data, the lovable android officer on Star Trek: The Next Generation and in subsequent films. (He also was a mean John Adams in a Broadway revival of 1776.)

Essential Episode: “Vision of Hope” puts Trayvis — and his duplicity — front and center.

Tseebo

Peter MacNicol

Who He Is On Star Wars Rebels: Tseebo, the Bridgers’ troubled Rodian friend.

Where Else You Know Him From: Peter MacNicol is a veteran actor of stage and screen. Back in the day he co-starred in Sophie’s Choice — yes, that Sophie’s Choice — and was a series regular on Ally McBeal. You might also know him from a little film called Ghostbusters 2. (One his many great quotes: “He is Vigo! You are like the buzzing of flies to him!”) Most recently, he’s guest-starred on Veep.

Essential Episode: “Empire Day” sets up Tseebo’s rather sad storyline, but “Gathering Forces” is the one that wraps it all up.

ketsu-onyo

Gina Torres

Who She Is On Star Wars Rebels: Ketsu Onyo, Sabine’s old Mandalorian “frenemy.”

Where Else You Know Her From: Gina Torres is probably best known for her incredible work as Zoe Washburne on Joss Whedon’s classic sci-fi caper Firefly, but she’s also popped up on Hannibal, Alias, Suits, and in The Matrix trilogy. Torres typically plays badasses because she is, without a doubt, a total major badass.

Essential Episode: “Blood Sisters” introduces Ketsu and her complicated relationship with Sabine.

ryder-azadi

Clancy Brown

Who He Is On Star Wars Rebels: Ryder Azadi, the former governor of Lothal who was sent off to prison with Ezra’s parents.

Where Else You Know Him From: Clancy Brown has carved out quite the career for himself as a voice-over actor — Mr. Krabs, anyone? — but he’s also made an impact in front of the camera. He’s appeared in classic pulpy action flicks like Highlander and Starship Troopers, but he also scared us all as the sadistic Captain Hadley in The Shawshank Redemption. (You also may remember him as Savage Opress from Star Wars: The Clone Wars.)

Essential Episode: “Legacy” throws Azadi straight into the path of Ezra Bridger, whether our young hero likes it or not.

fenn-rau

Kevin McKidd

Who He Is On Star Wars Rebels: Fenn Rau, a Mandalorian and leader of the Protectors of Concord Dawn.

Where Else You Know Him From: Scottish actor Kevin McKidd’s big breakthrough came in Danny Boyle’s infamous indie film Trainspotting (starring a guy named Ewan McGregor). After that, he crossed over to American TV with turns on HBO’s Rome and Grey’s Anatomy.

Essential Episode: “The Protector of Concord Dawn” introduces Rau and gives us a closer view of Mandalorian culture.

Rx-24-pilot-droid

Paul Reubens

Who He Is On Star Wars Rebels: RX-24, the “stickler for rules” pilot droid shepherding commuter flights between Lothal and Garel. Fun fact: Paul Reubens voiced this exact same character on the Disney Star Tours rides.

Where Else You Know Him From: He’s Pee-Wee Herman. ‘Nuff said.

Essential Episode: RX-24 made his big leap from Star Tours into official Star Wars canon in “Droids in Distress.”

Bendu

Tom Baker

Who He Will Be On Star Wars Rebels: The Bendu, a mysterious Force-sensitive creature that straddles light and dark — whom we’ll encounter next season.

Where Else You Know Him From: Tom Baker is best-known worldwide for his iconic work as the Fourth Doctor on Doctor Who. He gave the character a wild quirkiness and a love of long scarves and jelly babies.

Essential Episode: Still to come!

Grand Admiral Thrawn

Lars Mikkelsen

Who He Will Be On Star Wars Rebels: Grand Admiral Thrawn, a legendary Legends villain crossing over into the mainstream continuity this season.

Where Else You Know Him From: Like his brother Mads Mikkelsen, who will be appearing in this December’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Lars Mikkelsen is a major star in his native Denmark. American and British audiences might remember him as the super-creepy Charles Magnussen on Sherlock or as a Putin-esque Russian politician on House of Cards.

Essential Episode: Still to come!

Meghan O’Keefe is the deputy editor of Decider.com, an entertainment journalist, member of TCA — and a big ole nerd. She skipped senior prom to see Attack of the Clones in theaters. Follow her on Twitter @megsokay.

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