In an interview exclusive with USA Today, Tom Baker discussed his new role as Bendu on Star Wars Rebels. Tom Baker is not a stranger to geeky fandoms. He is known most famously for portraying the Fourth Doctor on BBC’s Doctor Who, playing the scarf-wearing character from 1974 to 1981.
So, it should come to no surprise for any of us that he would be joining a different fandom as an all powerful being. This power is what was the biggest appeal about portraying the character for Tom Baker:
It all has to do with inexplicable power. I had a very religious upbringing — believing in angels, devils, divine forces and other worlds — so when it comes to playing a life force like Bendu, I can easily embrace in my imagination all those thoughts I have from my past. My fate is guided, of course, by the script writers, but I try to record on days when I believe in fabulous forces.
via USA Today
The Bendu, as explained during the short ‘Meet Bendu’ clip below, is neither good or evil. He’s neither light or dark. However, he still possesses a great deal of Force. So much, it seems, that he is sought out for help by Kanan to figure out his path after his blinding.
It appears that Tom Baker’s Bendu is being set up to be the Yoda-like figure for this season of Star Wars Rebels. However, since the Bendu himself has admitted that he is not representative of the Jedi or the Sith, he is definitely different from the familiar green Jedi mentor that we recall.
I think the inclusion of a character who resides in a more grey area of the Force does a lot to expand our image of Force wielders. Mind you, the grey Force users have been minutely explored before in the non-canon novel series, but I don’t recall the concept being visited in the cinematic universe.
Star Wars Rebels’ third season premieres on Disney XD on September 24, 2016, at 8:30 PM EST/PST.
What are your thoughts on Bendu? On Tom Baker fandom hopping? Let us know in the comments below.