To start off this write up, I have to disclose that I am a big fan of The Clone Wars. I wasn’t at first, and a lot of people will agree, that the original CW movie was a turn off and almost convinced me that I shouldn’t give it a shot. Luckily I stuck with it and to my surprise, I fell in love with the show. After six seasons the show ended suddenly when Disney acquired the franchise. Then the company announced that there would be a new animated series coming our way, Star Wars Rebels.
Sometimes I really wonder where the time goes, but the debut of this show came pretty quick for me. Just last year at NYCC we got our first look at Rebels, which only made me more excited for it. But recently it was announced that most of the mythos that had grown out of the Star Wars movies, known as the expanded universe, was going to be erased. Disney had plans to build a whole new timeline to for their upcoming movies, cartoons, comics, video games, and more. A lot people of course were bothered by this, I mean these were the stories that I grew up on, and they became cannon for me. I couldn’t really picture a Star Wars universe without many of the characters I had grown to love. But such is life.
Star Wars Rebels marks the first major new story to take place in official cannon. Just this past summer, the first book in the new ‘verse, A New Dawn by John Jackson Miller, was released and acts as a prequel story for Rebels. I’m probably going to check that out very soon. No matter what, like it or not, we have to accept what’s coming for our favorite Galaxy far, far away. The good thing? Star Wars Rebels makes it VERY easy.
The premiere movie for the series, Spark of Rebellion, aired this past weekend on The Disney Channel. I had the chance to watch it over my busy weekend, but of course I made it top priority. It didn’t hurt that it’s only an hour long! The movie opens up with the scene from the sneak peek that we got not too long back. It introduces us to the planet of Lothal, which is under the control of the Empire. Setting the show in this time period is a real plus, as we haven’t really gotten a taste of what people were going through when the Empire ruled the galaxy. The original trilogy follows more of the struggles of the main characters and them working towards defeating the Empire, but in Rebels we really get a taste of WHY a rebellion was so necessary. Luckily for those struggling there are people working behind the scenes against the Empire. One of those rebels is Kanan Jarrus, (SPOILER ALERT) who if you’ve been watching any of the previews, is a Jedi. So that should be no surprise for anyone, I hope.
Jedi. Another reason why I love this time period. The Jedi were basically wiped out by the Empire, and the OT had always made it seem that Luke was one of the only left in the galaxy. It was only later that the books and comics told tales of others. It never really made sense to me, when I was younger, that Luke would be the only one. Of course the Clone Wars and Revenge of Sith introduce you to the idea that the Jedi went dark, and Vader and the Emperor were not totally successful in their mission. Whatever the case may be Kanan escaped the purge and now we have a Jedi leading our new team of misfits as they take on the Empire.
The main character of the show is Ezra. He’s a kid, an orphan actually, who has grown up on Lothal and despises the Empire. He reminds me a lot of Aladdin, and I’m sure that the character has a lot of those attributes on purpose. We learn right away that Ezra is Force-sensitive, so look forward to the master/apprentice plot-line between Kanan and him. The rest of the cast is made up of Kanan’s crew. There’s the Twi’lek pilot Hera, Zeb who is the muscle of the team, the Mandalorian weapons master Sabine, and their astromech droid Chopper. I love the diversity of the team, as each one has a seperate roll and personality. They all mesh really well and are given proper screen time, one of the most important aspects of a good team-based TV show.
Through a series of exciting events Ezra is thrown into working with these Rebels as they sabotage the Imperials, basically robbing from them and helping the poor, the classic Robin Hood storyline. I won’t ruin the episode for you, I really hope that anyone who’s a Star Wars fan will give it a shot. The music score for the episode has some great variations on the OT’s magical tracks, and it does a great job at setting the mood. Just seeing Tie Fighters, Stormtroopers, a JEDI HOLOCRON!, and more, reignites my love of the Star Wars universe. Building on my favorite time period is a major plus for Rebels. Not that I dislike the Old Republic time period, but there’s something about the Galactic Civil War that defines Star Wars for me. I love that Disney has created a series based on the time period between Episode 3 and 4 that will give us an insight into what happened before the New Hope rose.
The villains of the show are perfect. Hating the Imperials is easy and this is so much better than a bunch of droids. While I found some of the villains of the Clone Wars series ok, there’s just something right about having the Empire present. The main villain of the premiere is Agent Kallus, an ISB (Imperial Security Bureau) officier who seems to be pretty badass so far. He is tasked with keeping the good citizens of the universe loyal to the Empire’s rule. So when this cell of Rebels is revealed, Kallus start the hunt. When Kallus realizes that they are up against a Jedi, it’s time to bring in the big guns. We are introduced at the end of the episode to the big bad of the series, an Imperial Inquisitor. I can’t wait to see this guy in action!
As a HUGE Star Wars fan, I highly suggest that you check this show out. The movie did a great job at introducing the world of Rebels to the viewers, and I feel that it was a very strong first outing. It got me really excited for Star Wars to be in the spotlight again, and I feel that it can only get better. Especially as they start building this new mythos which COULD potentially lead into Episode VII. I also have to mention that they have already gave the green-light to season 2, so this show will be around for awhile! Consider me hooked!
Star Wars Rebels will start its regular weekly run on Disney XD on October 13th!
May the Force be with you