Should be a force to be reckoned with...
As the Star Wars juggernaut gathers speed towards December 2015 and The Force Awakens, the unceremonious cancellation of The Clone Wars left room in the schedule for a new animated series from Disney and LucasAnimation. Just as The Clone Wars bridged the gap between Episodes II and III (and went a long way to expanding the universe and explaining away many of the discrepancies in the films) so Star Wars Rebels bridges the gap between Episode III and IV, telling the story of a small group of resistance fighters who sow the seeds of rebellion that lead up to the capture of Princess Leia.
It is still early days and the series is still finding its feet somewhat, with the earlier episodes having a very ‘kid friendly’ attitude; however as the stories progress and the stakes begin to rise the tone and focus of the show shifts into something far more akin to The Clone Wars latter seasons where a far more sinister element enters the narrative. This can only be good. Where it does win out is in the design of the universe; being tied much closer to Episode IV most of the prequel ideas have been replace with ships, guns, characters that resemble something much more familiar.
It tells the story of a rag-bag set of smugglers aboard a Millennium Falcon type space ship whose activities cause the Galactic Empire no end of trouble. When their paths cross with a young street urchin, Ezra - who shows a talent for the force – Kanan the smuggler gang leader and a Jedi himself, takes him on as a Padawan, leading them all into the sights of the evil Inquisitor (a dark Jedi trained in the ways of the Darkside). As the stories progress their rebellious behaviour as well as their Imperial entanglements become analogous to the wider struggle against the Empire.
The series is showing good promise, although the early episodes were very ‘kid friendly’ the latter shows have real potential with a darker edge as the stakes get higher. Packed with interesting designs much closer to the original Star Wars and the return of characters we know and love (and one or two surprises as well) this first season is off to a great start. If it can keep up the momentum of the series finale it should be a force to be reckoned with.
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