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06 October 2014 @ 01:34 pm
Star Wars: Rebels  


Star Wars: Rebels premiered last week. (For those who missed it, it is re-airing tonight on Disney XD, and is also available on OnDemand.) The husband and I watched it over the weekend.

It should be made clear that we are of course giant Star Wars geeks. And that we absolutely loved the previous series on the Cartoon Network, The Clone Wars. We were very sad when that series came to a rather abrupt end after the acquiring of SW by Disney. (We harbor hopes that at some point on this new series, we will find out what actually happened to Ahsoka!)

So, going into this our expectations were pretty high. Rebels met all of them. I think something that this new series has going for it, that the previous series did not (however awesome it was - and it was completely awesome) is the nostalgia factor. Right away, Rebels is playing on the heart strings of every kid who grew up in the 1970's-80's, wishing they, too, could be a Jedi.  Within the first five minutes, the familiar force theme of John Williams epic music plays, as Ezra, the street kid who has a strong connection to the Force, feels something is about to happen. We are immediately transported back to Luke on Tatooine, talking with Obi-Wan for the first time. But Ezra does not have Obi-Wan to explain what is happening. He thinks this is weird, but allows himself to be drawn into the events unfolding because his interest is piqued.

Little things like this happen all the way through the first one hour episode. We are at times reminded strongly of our favorite scenes, from "these aren't the droids you're looking for", to Han and Chewie, to Luke learning the ways of the Force, to Yoda meditating. The new characters are their own people, unique and not based off of anyone we have seen before, and yet they have traits which allow us to fondly remember the past.

The entire episode leads up to the huge reveal we all know is coming, and knowing it does not in any way lessen its impact, when Kadan finally tells Ezra "Kid, I'm about to let everyone in on the secret," right before he draws his lightsaber to confront the battalion of Stormtroopers attacking them. He reveals himself as a Jedi, knowing it will put him on the Empire's radar, but also knowing it will buy his people the necessary time to escape and save all of the Wookie slaves relying on them. The audience is not shocked, of course. Even without seeing any of the promotional materials, hints have been heavy throughout the episode that Kanan is, in fact, a Jedi in hiding. However, the complete shock of the Stormtroopers and their leader, Agent Kallus, is apparent, and makes very clear just how unusual it is to see a lightsaber or a Jedi in this current age of the universe.

"All troopers, focus on your fire on … on the Jedi,” says Agent Kallus, forcing the words out past his shock.

This premiere episode was very good, well written with strong characters. In many ways, it was better than the pilot to The Clone Wars, which makes me very excited about the possibilities of where this is going. The Clone Wars got better and better with each passing season. If Rebels does the same (and it has already been renewed for a second season), we are in for one heck of a good time. Being set 4 years (I believe) before A New Hope, it is even possible that familiar characters could make appearances. Could it be that we will see Han? Chewie? Lando? Even Leia? Leia and Luke would be approximately the same age as Ezra in this time period. Obi Wan, Vader...they are all possible cameos, though am sure we will be focused 99% of the time of the characters created for the show. It is very exciting territory, indeed.

 

Cross-posted from Dreamwidth - there are comment count unavailable comments there. Comments welcome on either post.