A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a review of the book Star Wars: A New Dawn, the first officially canonical Star Wars book. This week, I’m featuring the new TV show Star Wars Rebels, for which A New Dawn served as a prequel. But Rebels picks up quite a while after A New Dawn left off, and now, instead of focusing on a couple of characters on one planet, Rebels is telling the story of the original core group that would eventually become the Rebel Alliance as the travel across the galaxy on their ship The Ghost. Needless to say, it’s pretty cool.
I’m going to go ahead and address this from the start. Yes, Star Wars Rebels is an animated show that is geared towards kids and airs on Disney XD. Some people may be turned off by this. But I don’t think you should be. First of all, the animation aspect means that the writers can do some really creative and cool stuff that wouldn’t be feasible in a live action format. And the fact that the show is meant for a young audience doesn’t mean it can’t be enjoyed by adults. The show is still fun and comical, and it’s accessible to Star Wars fans of all ages, which I think actually makes it stronger rather than weaker.
With that out of the way, let’s get into the review. Star Wars Rebels is only a few episodes in, but it’s off to a great start. It premiered on Disney Channel with a one-hour movie called “Spark of Rebellion” and then moved over to Disney XD for its full first season run. The movie did a great job of introducing the characters and setting up the tone of the series, and it left viewers wanting more. But the show didn’t lose any steam after the movie, and it’s still going strong a few episodes later.
As I said before, Rebels tells the story of the original group that would eventually become the Rebel Alliance. The story truly begins when the group comes face-to-face with a young burglar named Ezra who tries to rob them but eventually becomes a member of the team. Ezra is allowed onto the team by the group’s leader Kanan because Kanan discovers that Ezra is unknowingly Force-sensitive. Kanan, a former Jedi trying to hide his identity for his own safety, decides to take Ezra on as a sort of unofficial padawan and train him in the Force.
Other members of the crew include Hera, the group’s pilot and the owner of the ship The Ghost, which serves as the main setting for the show; Zeb, an intelligent but wild-looking creature who is the group’s strongest fighter; Sabine, a Mandalorian artist and explosives expert; and Chopper, a moody astrodroid with a personality of his own. Needless to say, these characters are all pretty nontraditional, even for the Star Wars universe, and that makes for a very cool premise.
This show has so much potential to explore things about the Star Wars universe that we’ve never had a chance to see before. Personally, I’m excited to see what the relationship between a Jedi and his padawan looks like in a galaxy dominated by the Empire and void of the Jedi Order. It will also be interesting to see how the Empire deals with the knowledge that a Jedi survived Order 66, which sets up the introduction of the Inquisitor, a lightsaber-wielding warrior who is sent out by Darth Vader to catch Kanan once his Jedi identity is revealed. This all sounds really cool, and I’m excited to see how it plays out.
But just because all the main characters in Rebels are new, that doesn’t mean we won’t see some familiar faces. We’ve already seen some major players from the Star Wars films (including Obi-Wan Kenobi in hologram form) on the show, and I’m sure there are many more appearances to come. Word on the street is that Darth Vader will make an appearance in the ABC re-airing of the Spark of Rebellion movie this weekend, and I predict that he’ll probably show up again before the show is over. This show is telling a story that hasn’t been told before, but it’s still very much a Star War story.
Now is the perfect time to get into Star Wars Rebels. Only a few episodes have aired so far, so you can catch up in no time and follow the show as it progresses. Rebels has already been picked up for a second season, so it’s going to be here for a while. The story has a very interesting premise, and it promises to fill in some gaps that the two film trilogies have left us with. The Star Wars universe is alive and well, and I can’t get enough. Check out Star Wars Rebels on Disney XD and let me know what you think! And of course, may the Force be with you all.