Watch this show, you will.
Ever since Disney bought both Lucasfilm Studios and Marvel Entertainment, fans and adorers feared that one day on the big screen, we shall see Mickey Mouse wielding a lightsaber or Donald Duck having the power of the darkside. Thankfully, that has not happened…yet. Cartoon Network’s Star Wars: The Clone Wars gave us an original series with it’s unique animation and storyline that takes place after Star Wars Episode II: Attack Of The Clones, but ever since the buyout, the last season was a tad bit short and released on Netflix. So is that it? No more extended universe storylines until we have to pick up the books, Star Wars Battlefront on the PC & next-gen consoles, or wait for J.J. Abram’s Star Wars Episode VII? Not very likely. Disney released it’s new series, Star Wars: Rebels to keep it’s fans occupied but is it enough?
Rebels takes place fourteen years after Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and five years before Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, when the Imperial Empire has established their oppressive order throughout the galaxy. It follows Ezra, a young con artist who fools citizens and Imperial groups. However one day, Ezra sees, follows, and steals from a group of smugglers led by Kanan Jarrus. Ezra decides to join the team to not only foil plans by the Imperials, but also learn the ways of the force from Kanan. The Imperials themselves won’t back down without a challenge as both Agent Kallas and the mysterious Inquisitor hunt down the group to put a stop to their actions in rising a rebellion.
With only the first three episodes shown, it’s safe to say that this show is a must see for a fan of the saga or a person who is interested in how the Rebel Alliance came to be or what happened during the Episodes of III & IV. It’s story and writing (by Teen Titans and Young Justice‘s own Greg Weisman) does feel like a Star Wars comic book with the action and space drama. However, since it is on a Disney, there are some comedic and kiddy moments that can be a bit corny at times. You can also see a similar type of storyline where a young person stranded on a planet wants to get off of this planet and do some small adventures. Sounds familiar no?
The animation unlike The Clone Wars which had a darker tone, is a bit brighter and gorgeous and sound effects from the famous blaster shot to a lightsaber being turned on are easily recognizable. The voice work supplied by talents such as Freddie Prinze Jr. (I Know What You Did Last Summer & Scooby Doo), Steven Blum (Cowboy Bebop, Naruto), Jason Issacs (Harry Potter series & NBC’s Awake) and some of the original Star Wars Cast Members, James Earl Jones (Darth Vader), Anthony Daniels (C3PO), and Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian) is on point. Oh, did I mention that if you are TRULY a Star Wars fan, you’re in for a treat with the amount of easter eggs and references that are mentioned or shown throughout the episodes.
Verdict: Besides the typical notion of a boy who wants to get off a planet to find himself to the Disney family humor, Star Wars Rebels is definitely a must see for any Star Wars fan or lover of cartoons.
Rebels gets a 4.5 out of 5.
+ A good storyline to fill in some of the gaps of Episodes III and IV
+ Balanced action and drama
+ Great animation and voice work
– Has cheezy moments and jokes a typical Disney Family Channel would have
– A storyline of a young character who wants to find adventure and meaning, we’ve seen that already.
Catch Star Wars Rebels on Disney XD, Monday nights at 9 PM Eastern/8 PM Central