Star Wars Rebels Alum Freddie Prinze Jr. Reveals Why He Stood Up To Disney And Nearly Quit The Show

Kanan Jarrus on Star Wars Rebels
(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

During the ‘90s and early ‘00s, Freddie Prinze Jr. made a name for himself in Hollywood via rom-coms and YA horror flicks but, in recent years, he’s gained notoriety through other roles. One of those is that of Jedi Kanan Jarrus, who Prinze voiced on all four seasons of Star Wars Rebels. The actor’s performance was praised by fans and, at this point, it’s hard to imagine anyone else voicing the hero. But as it turns out, that could’ve been the case, as Prince revealed that he nearly quit the show at one point. He explained the reason for that and how it led to him standing up to the big brass at Disney. 

The She’s All That icon recently engaged in a discussion about wrestlers and what they must do in order to obtain contracts as well as cash that they’re owed. Freddie Prinze Jr. likened the processes to those in the Hollywood realm, making note of how certain actors are treated within the industry. After putting specific emphasis on performers who do mostly animated productions, he began to discuss his own experiences on Star Wars Rebels and revealed that monetary concerns caused him to come into conflict with the Disney-owned Lucasfilm

In the world of animation, these animation actors, the voice actors, as people call them – again, they're just actors, they're just not doing live-action stuff – the paychecks are whack. When I did Star Wars Rebels, they weren't paying any of us a dime. When I said, 'I'm gonna walk unless you give not only me but the rest of the cast a raise' - and I made sure we all got paid the same - that was the biggest, like, I can't say that's the biggest check any of them ever got on a show, but it was the biggest check that Disney ever paid voice actors per episode.

It sounds like the star was eager to make some lasting change when approaching the execs. Based on the story he shared during the episode of his Wrestling with Freddie podcast, they were not keen on losing their stars. And thank goodness that didn’t come to pass. The veteran actor’s comments point to a bigger, long-standing discussion regarding voiceover artists and their wages, which can reportedly vary by person. It’s a complex topic and one that’s often brought up when it comes to companies such as Disney that own major IPs like Star Wars.

To that point, Rebels became relatively popular following its debut in 2014. The former Disney XD offering was lauded for its animation, writing and voice acting and has since become an important part of the franchise’s canon. Some would argue that it’s must-see content for Clone Wars fans or those who just generally enjoy the galaxy far, far away. Freddie Prinze Jr., for his part, forged a connection with his character and was eventually instrumental in determining Kanan’s fate in Season 4. Though creator Dave Filoni said another season isn’t in the cards, the show’s legacy lives on, as some of its characters will appear on the live-action series Ahsoka.

Freddie Prinze Jr. reprised his role via an off-screen, vocal cameo in 2019’s The Rise of Skywalker and voiced the character again in The Bad Batch in 2021. There’s no telling whether he’ll voice the character again at some point, but anything can certainly happen. And if he does play Kanan again, it’s likely that he’ll be paid a wage that he deems appropriate, given what the actor says transpired years ago. 

You can stream all four seasons of Star Wars Rebels using a Disney+ subscription. Also, be on the lookout for connected shows like The Bad Batch and Ahsoka which are on the 2023 TV schedule.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Erik Swann is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He began working with the publication in 2020 when he was hired as Weekend Editor. Today, he continues to write, edit and handle social media responsibilities over the weekend. On weekdays, he also writes TV and movie-related news and helps out with editing and social media as needed. He graduated from the University of Maryland, where he received a degree in Broadcast Journalism. After shifting into multi-platform journalism, he started working as a freelance writer and editor before joining CB. Covers superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. He eats more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.