Freddie Prinze Jr. joined a popular franchise when he began starring in the animated Disney XD series Star Wars Rebels, as the follow-up to the popular Clone Wars TV show, to expand the stories set in Star Wars' galaxy far, far away. Prinze voiced the Jedi Kanan Jarrus on Rebels from 2014-2018. Now part of the Punky Brewster cast on Peacock, he has revealed the hilarious way he found out he was auditioning for one of the biggest franchises ever.
Getting to be a Jedi, the first moment is the best moment. It’s like a drug. The first moment was the audition. When I went in, I didn’t know it was Star Wars because they’re so stupidly secretive about everything. Who cares? Just tell people you’re making a Star Wars cartoon. I was in the parking lot and there was this legend voice actor. I won’t say his name, but he was smoking a joint in the parking lot, and he went, ‘Oh, you’re here for Star Wars?’ I was like, ‘No, man, I’m here for something called Wolf Pack.’ He goes, ‘No, man, it’s Star Wars.’
Thinking you’re auditioning for one thing and it turns out to be something else and something much bigger was the case for Freddie Prinze Jr. Nothing beats seeing someone walk into a room with a cowboy hat on to get you on board with the show. And according to Prinze Jr., that somebody with the cowboy hat was the only one that wanted him:
I went inside and saw the artwork on the wall and I was like, ‘Oh, wow, this is Star Wars. They’re just lying.’ So then, I was looking at the role way different. I knew what they wanted. It was like Han Solo with a lightsaber. And I walked into a room and saw [Dave] Filoni with his goofy cowboy hat on that. I love that he’s so committed to it. Even when it’s not the coolest hat, if you still commit, it becomes cooler than it could have ever been, and I love that. So, I was one hundred percent certain what the show was, I read the lines and gave a real strong audition, felt great going out, and they called Seth Green to see if I was a good guy. Disney did not want me. They wanted someone else, but Dave wanted me. So, later that day, I got the call saying, ‘Hey, you’re gonna get the role.'
That audition story (including meeting executive producer Dave Filoni) is not one to forget, especially for a franchise as iconic as Star Wars! Freddie Prinze Jr. added another legacy project to his list without even knowing it at the time and it worked out for the better. In fact, his Star Wars Rebels character became one of the most iconic elements of the series, and Kanan not only appeared (albeit briefly) in the revival season of The Clone Wars on Disney+ but also had a voice cameo in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
You can find Freddie Prinze Jr.'s run as Kanan Jarrus with all four seasons of Star Wars Rebels, streaming on Disney+ now. As for his newest series, Punky Brewster is streaming on Peacock.