Saturday, October 4, 2014

Star Wars Rebels - Spark Of Rebellion

I was a huge fan of The Clone Wars series. For years it was a weekly Saturday morning tradition for me. I loved all the complicated storylines and deep relationships between all the characters. When Lucas sold his empire to Disney, the Clone Wars was ended and the same group of creators put onto a new project - Star Wars Rebels - which takes place in the five years preceding the first Star Wars movie and 14 years after the Jedi order were wiped out by Emperor Palpatine. The Empire has drown in those years and it's all the life that some in the galaxy remember.

Jedi who have survived Order 66 have been forced to go underground. Any who want to survive can never reveal their abilities and ESPECIALLY can't use their lightsabers. When Kanan, a former Jedi meets a young force sensitive thief, he adds him to his rag tag crew and the adventure is on.

I am not impressed so much by the animation which seems a step down from what I came to expect from the Clone Wars but that minor quibble is overcome by some great characters and amazing visuals. I especially like that many of McQuarries designs for the original Star Wars movie still live on in the character of Zeb who as you can see was the original look for Chewbacca.

The look of the series is heavily influenced by Episode IV. They are pulling heavily from Ralph McQuarrie's art as well as a bit from Joe Johnston's work. I think this quote from Hidalgo says it all: "As much as possible, this show is a Ralph McQuarrie painting come to life."

The story has a great enemy in the Empire and it's Grand Inquisitor - another sort of Sith Lord with the body and attitude of a praying mantis. Yes, he will do nicely.

The crew is a nice mix of personalities and I look forward to learning more about them while searching out Easter eggs for the an old school Star Wars fan like myself.

I also like nothing better than the sound of Tie Fighters and their laser blasts.

The soundtrack is also reminiscent of the motion picture and gives that same level of grandeur to the adventure playing out in front of us. There is the big reveal moment that plays out to the soaring notes that we all know. Something memorable is about to happen here and you know it by the music. I have to admit that in that moment, my heart swelled for Star Wars. And for that REBELS get my full endorsement.

"You want to let me in on the secret?"
"Kid, I'm about to let EVERYONE in on the secret."



Erik Johnson Illustrator said...

I expected the first episode to be bogged down with exposition explaining each of these new characters and what is going in the wider universe, but instead they put you in the action and kept it moving!

I'm going to stick around to see who these characters become. They may have their roots in concepts for the classic characters but I suspect they'll be full of surprises.

Kal said...

It was a great surprise. I am all in.

Hobgoblin238 said...

Thanks for the review! I have all the Clone wars on DVD...Anticipating this one

Unknown said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again. I do like a woman in Mandalorian armour.