Saturday, October 18, 2014

Rating Rebels

 I recently watched the premiere episode of Star Wars Rebels (Subtitled Spark of Rebellion), the first effort put forth from Lucasfilm since its take over by the Walt Disney Company and I have to say I am very pleased with what I have seen so far. Set approximately 5 years before Episode IV, Rebels follows the crew of the Ghost, a not un-Millenium Falcon-esque transport as they set about the galaxy far, far away, doing their best to hamper the Empire in any way they can.

The Ghost crew seems new, yet familiar at the same time. You have a cocky pilot, an over-sized tough guy alien, a battered R2 unit, a Jedi-in-hiding, a brash young woman wearing some very familiar armor, and a young orphan just beginning to realize that he is Force-sensitive.  The story follows young Ezra, an orphan living on the Imperial-occupied world of Lothal, who gets by by stealing what he needs from the Imperials, and making them look like fools in the meantime. It is on one of these exploits that he meets with the Ghost crew, and eventually decides to join them in trying to thwart Imperial plans, which includes rescuing a group of Wookie slaves from the spice mines of Kessel.

At this time, the Rebel Alliance does not exist as a formal entity. I suspect that as the series progresses, we will see these characters meet with other rebel cells, and if the show runs long enough, we may even see the birth of the Rebellion.

I will admit that the animation was lacking somewhat - a surprise since The Clone Wars was so well done. The Wookies in particular could have been better. They looked too plastic, especially the young one who I thought had a head too big for its body. Like its predecessor, I'm sure that this will improve over time.

Having grown up on the Original Trilogy, I love that the look and feel of that series was so well replicated. I loved that certain shots were replicated from the TIE battle of A New Hope, as well as integrating cues from John Williams' original score throughout the soundtrack without making them feel cliche'd. The playful banter was also back, making these new characters already seem like old friends.

I know that Clone Wars was very well received, and was indeed an excellent series, but being a child of the 70's and 80's, my preference will always be for the Rebellion era. After a while, all the political intrigue and dark Sith dealings wore on me and I lost interest. I guess I'll always champion the underdogs. Always been more of a scoundrel and rogue myself.

I know many people have misgivings about the Disney/Lucasfilm merger, but based on what I have seen so far, I feel those worries are sorely unjustified. The fate of the Force is in good hands.

#StarWars #StarWarsRebels #TheForce #Disney #Lucasfilm

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