So I’ve been watching Star Wars Rebels recently, a new addition to Star Wars canon and a sort of sequel to the long running, successful ‘Clone Wars‘, I didn’t watch Rebels when it started airing though, despite being a big Star Wars fan but I probably should have.
Rebels is an entertaining, light hearted drama with some real stakes in it, set between episodes III and IV, it follows a group of rebels in Jedi Kanaan, Hera, Zeb Orellios and their droid Chopper as they go about Rebel business, disrupting the Empires’ trade, running mercenary missions and so on, while one day they run into Ezra. A spunky, enthusiastic orphan on his own, also stealing from the empire Ezra quickly gets brought into the group reluctantly, steadily growing fund of them and vice versa, they form a group together, going on missions against the empire as Ezra slowly and steadily learns to become a Jedi.
The setting for Rebels is great because it’s at a point in the series where it can feature classic, iconic characters like Vader, Grand Moff Tarkin, Obi-Wan and even Lando, while familiar faces from The Clone Wars series also make appearances, alongside brand new characters made for the show. Rebels stands as a great mix between the old and the new, each character has a unique feel to them and they’re all entertaining in their own right, or just evil and intimidating like the Sith, The Inquisitor. The show’s great because it works as a standalone series, even if you’ve only seen the prequels (if so watch the Originals) or the other way around, the world you get introduced to is set up in a way that new viewers can jump right in and understand what’s going on.
That’s because the premise and story is pretty easy to follow on a basic level, though not too basic which is a good thing, I did have my doubts about how good the show could be as it was on Disney XD (a kids channel) but I was surprised at the darker tone in the season as it went along. Sure the humour is quite juvenile at times and it is technically a ‘kids show’ but any longtime Star Wars fan jump right into it and will probably like it, another great thing about Rebels is the voice acting being enthusiastic, on point and consistent. The actors bring life to the characters on screen with great work especially from Taylor Gray as Ezra, Freddie Prinze Jr as Kanaan and Jason Isaacs as The Inquisitor.
Touching again on how easy it is to get into the show, the format is 21 minute long contained episodes with a different mission/adventure for the rebels, though there is an over-arcing serialized plot for the whole season, namely with Kanaan training Ezra to be a Jedi and the Rebels coming to terms with their position against the Empire.
Star Wars Rebels is a great show, lighthearted but also tonally balanced with darker moments, it’s really not just a kids show if you’ve heard it described as that, it’s a nice follow up to The Clone Wars and also a nice bridge between the prequels and sequels, featuring some Star Wars favourite characters. I’d recommend it if you’re a Star Wars fan or even if you’re not and want to watch something out of the universe.