Star Wars Special: Rebels Season One Review (Spoiler Free)
The clone wars are over and the Empire won, but the story isn’t over yet! What happened during the rise of the Empire? And how did the rebellion come to be? Star Wars Rebels answers these questions.
Created By: Dave Filoni, Simon Kinberg, Carrie Beck
Cast: Taylor Gray, Freddie Prinze Jr., Vanessa Marshall, Tiya Sircar, Steven Blum, David Oyelowo & Jason Isaacs.
Network: Disney XD
Average Runtime: 25 min.
Release Period: 2014 - present
The Republic has fallen and the Empire is ruling the Galaxy with an iron fist. Star Wars Rebels is the space-opera’s second TV show, exploring the occurrences that happened 15 years after the rise of the Empire and takes place right between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. Dave Filoni, who also developed the preceding series The Clone Wars, creates it amongst others.
Rebels explores a complete new area of Star Wars lore and treat us with new characters and heroes. It broke several records outside the US, as the most-watched broadcast episode on a network and garnered modest positive reviews by several critics. The animation was praised among others, for its photo-realism.
I currently started with Season 2, so like with The Clone Wars I can’t give you a full insight of the television series, but I will let you know what my thoughts are so far.
This television show follows a group of rebels who are taking on missions to sabotage the expansion of the Empire in the Outer Rim Territories. When a young orphan by the name of Ezra (Gray) crosses paths with these rebels, he unleashes a set of events that will forever intertwine their destinies. Ghost rebel leader Kanan (Prinze Jr.) takes a liking to Ezra, revealing a secret while trying to protect him that will draw the full attention of the Empire.
Star Wars Rebels is a very entertaining television show that explores the vast world of this magical science-fiction universe. Still, there are some shortcomings to this series such as some stories and characters coming off as too childish, but this might simply be because the series is in its early stages, as it was the case with The Clone Wars.
I also found it very odd that the stories in Season 1 mostly took place around the same planet, since I hoped for the rebels to fly to other planets and help out where they can. Especially since they are wanted persons and staying on the same planet over again will soon draw the Empire’s attention, where they are hiding.
Other than that, though, Rebels really managed to capture the spirit and mythology of Star Wars; exploring different sides of force sensitives and visiting old Jedi training temples. I also loved the fact that old characters from the prequels and the former TV show made guest appearances. This production truly elevated my fanboy spirit and is a nice time filler, until The Force Awakens is released.
Character wise, I thought it was very smart to give the fans a new array of personas and supporting cast. It not only gave the viewer a whole new set of heroes to cheer for, but the characters themselves were also troubled and flawed, making them more relatable. Even the former Jedi who are hiding from the regime, have trouble upholding their moral principles. I also liked how they made use of classic characters; it was subtle and so far never felt forced.
I never was a big fan of Freddie Prinze Jr. but his portrayal of Kanan so far was actually quite good. Him and Ezra are my two favourite characters in this television show, even though the boy makes stupid decisions from time to time, without thinking about the consequences. What I like about these two is the fact that both are tragic characters that suffered through a painful and dark past.
Further regular characters are amongst others the lovely Hera, a Twi’lek pilot of the rebel ship Ghost. Sabine, a teenaged Mandalorian rebel and potential love interest for Ezra and my two least favourite characters, Zeb (a Lasat) and C1-10P, better known as Chopper. The last two are too childish for my taste.
As far as villains go, I found the Grand Inquisitor (a dark Jedi Pau’an) to be the best of the villains. He not only was ruthless but also gave off a threatening vibe that sent chills down my back.
The animation of Rebels tops that of The Clone Wars and a gem to look at. The style and design of the original trilogy was captured perfectly and the emotional display of the characters is top notch. Star Wars Rebels is a great looking animated series.
Verdict: The new Star Wars television series sets the quality bar a bit higher, topping the already good The Clone Wars. Two or three episodes have a couple of week moments but this is because it needs time to develop, as any other T.V. show. Other than that, it has good characters, a solid story and the music we all know and love. I will give Star Wars Rebels an 8 out of 10.
Have you seen Star Wars newest television series? If so, do you agree with my opinion? Leave a comment below and if you are interested in further Star Wars reviews, scroll down to my related reviews.