Us Star Wars geeks positively adore pretty much almost anything Star Wars. The storylines. The cool and very unique characters. The starships. The hopping from planet to planet to planet….
And let’s not forget sequels.
Almost right after Star Wars: The Clone Wars (one of my personal, all-time favorite TV series, besides Bones and Avatar: The Last Airbender), DisneyXD started airing a brand-new series, Star Wars Rebels. Rebels is set, according to Wookieepedia, 14 years after The Clone Wars and Revenge of The Sith and 5 before A New Hope (enter Luke Skywalker.).But, unlike most S.W. franchise, instead of lots of cool and adventurous planet hopping, the main characters stay mostly either in space, or on their home planet, Lothal. A good deal of the story is kinda watered down; this, I’m assuming, is to try to appeal to the fresher, younger, pre-adolescent audiences who were born decades and decades before the original S.W. However, as a result, they lack a certain, special, unnamed quality (you can disagree with me if you like, this is just my perspective) that most of the rest of the series seems to have. Oh, it’s got a decent cast of characters, and enough action alright, but it’s…. missing something. Something all the films (not counting Episode 7 yet, as I am not going to see it until Monday, with several close friends, and then I will be making an opinion on that) and The Clone Wars had, but this…. lacks.
Maybe, it’s the lack of a decent storyline. One of the best that Rebels came up with was to rescue their friend in captivity (which, while somewhat meaningful, was kinda lame as a climax, since multiple people have been kidnapped in The Clone Wars, so it’s really nothing new under the sun), and the mysterious “Fulcrum” (I won’t give away “Fulcrum’s” real ID, for those who haven’t watched Season 1, but I will hint that it’s a much beloved character in The Clone Wars 😉 ). There is sometimes a bit of tension between The Ghost’s crew members, but that doesn’t really account for the lack of good plots. In The Clone Wars, we had assassinations. Political conspiracies. Bounty hunters. People were being kidnapped/held hostage a good deal, not just as a climax. The moral struggles and risks were higher, the stakes just seemed higher. The young romance between Padme and Anakin, though destined to eventually fail, was beautiful in its time (and yes, I also squealed like a little girl in adoration when I learned of Obi-Wan and Satine’s “relationship”, LOL).
Rebels seems to stop short of many of these. There are no assassinations, no bounty hunters to speak of. The biggest “political conspiracy” we have is that the Republic-turned-Empire are the bad guys, which is pretty much obvious. (Oh, and the “Rebel” senator faking it? Kinda good, but still….) It does a bit better in the moral struggles department, but not by a whole lot. As for romance, well… I don’t really think an unreciprocated crush from Ezra for Sabine, and the watered down flirting between Kanaan and Hera, count for much. In fact, I’m betting the producer(s) was/were trying to make it not so “gushy” for the younger folks, which is a pity, because I really see potential in the latter’s relationship together.
OK, now that I’ve voiced out all my complaints for Season 1, time for some positive highlights of Rebels.
Kanaan’s Jedi Past, and his training Ezra despite his own insecurities. I absolutely love this theme in the series, in all S.W. series– Master and Padawan truly connecting, it’s always given me chills. The good kind. And it also makes me wonder about Kanaan’s Jedi past. Where was he living when he was selected for the Order? How many characters of The Clone Wars did he actually get to meet, besides Luminara and Yoda? Was he still a Padawan when he tragically deserted his poor Master? Guess we (or I, anyway) will find out later in the series.
Hera. I’ll be completely honest, I think she’s probably one of my favorite characters on the show. I’ve always loved Twi’leks as a S.W. “species”, and was thrilled when she showed to be an admirable main character. She often shows maturity far outweighing those of her crew, and acts as the voice of reason/peacemaker during disputes. She is streetwise, clever, and compassionate. (Now, if they would only put her in an actual relationship, instead of a “flirtationship”,with Kanaan, my life would be complete.) In short, she is awesome, beautiful, strong, and I adore and admire her (as a character).
The Inquisitors. This, I’ll admit, is a completely new twist on hunting out to destroy, or, in these guys’ case, destroy/convert the remaining surviving Jedi of Order 66. The original movies never mentioned the Empire having assassins specifically for this purpose, so it intrigued me, a bit. Don’t get me wrong, as far as rooting for sides go, I’m definitely on the Light Side of “The Force”, but still, the Inquisitors make me wonder. Were they originally Jedi, or did Darth Hideous train them himself? Is the original Inquisitor actually the son? (I refuse to capitalize that guy’s name, for belief reasons) The questions continue!
Calrissian, C-3PO, Artoo, and “Fulcrum’s” appearances. Nothing, no matter the fandom, is gonna get the fans more hyped up than to see at least cameos of their old favorite characters from either sequels or prequels come into the current series. Nothing. (I can guarantee I get pumped when I see this sort of thing happening in Pokemon Adventures manga, too) Like I said, I won’t make major spoilers, but I will say that a certain famous major S.W. villain makes a dramatic entry at the end of Season 1, making the final ep worth the watching (along with “Fulcrum” 😉 ). I greatly, GREATLY look forward to the day that that villain and “Fulcrum” will meet and battle, I’ll say that much.
In parting, I’ll conclude in saying that S.W. Rebels is alright if you’re like me, and just looking to see what happens to everyone after Order 66 and the Empire is put into full motion, but if you’re expecting S.W. in its greatest glory, like the rest, then you may end up a bit disappointed. But, if you can withstand a somewhat sugarcoated plot line and newer characters, I think it may be worthy for you to check out.
Now, my fellow fans, if you’ll excuse me, I have my purple lightsaber to tend to, in anticipation for Monday. But please, don’t hesitate to post your own comments, ideas, and theories related to the article (just no major spoilers, por favor) below. I’d love to read them.
May God’s Holy Spirit be with you. Godspeed, until we meet again.