Well this is my first review so I thought I would start with a franchise that I have been with since childhood.
Firstly I just want to get something off my chest: I think Clone Wars fans who hate on rebels just because they cancelled the former should be more open minded as it is very good. Granted it does have some faults but still I think they’re just salty. Most of them I bet probably wouldn’t have a problem with it if The Clone Wars was finished. Anyway now that that is out of the way lets move on to my thoughts on Star Wars Rebels Season 1.
Star Wars Rebels season 1 is set approximately four or five years before A New Hope and follows the lives of six rebel crew members: Kanan a jedi purge survivor, A Twi’lek called Hera, Sabine, L Lassat, a astro droid named Chopper and a force sensitive boy named Ezra operating around an Imperial planet called Lothal that gain the attention of a High Ranking imperial officer named Kallus and The Grand Inquisitor a dark side user trained in order to wipe out any surviving Jedi.
Now what impressed me most about the first season when I first is how likeable the main characters are and how great the chemistry is between all of them. They all act like a one big family that have there ups and downs.
Kanan seems very laid back and likes to joke around at times. I like the father and son dynamic he has with Ezra and you can tell that acting as a teacher to him as well is rather new and difficult for Kanan as he never made it past the Rank of Padawan. You can also tell from one great scene towards the end of the season when he talks about his experience during Order 66 that he is.
Hera who is my personal favourite of the Crew acts as the captain and “Parent” of the rest of the crew. She is everything you want in a good mother figure character: She is Kind, fun, strict when it is necessary and the voice of reason most of the time. I also like how She doesn’t take shit from anyone as Lando Callrissian learned if you cross her you will most likely end up getting a punch in the gut (Or was it the plums? Either way she is awesome). She also seems to have a thing going with Kanan as they hint at it through their dialogue together.
Zeb can I just say I love the cockney accent he has provided by Steve Blum. Just by looking at him you wouldn’t expect him to speak the way he does but it works really well in my opinion. He is not typical all muscle no brains character that I have seen in other cartoons as he is very smart. He does have a short temper at times which is a bit cliche for the all muscle no brain trope I mentioned but to be fair this ship has perhaps the most “unique” little droid on board that would probably drive anyone crazy.
Sabine a young free spirited mandalorian girl who loves to paint and blow shit up. Her dry sense of humour is also great. Her love art is also an interesting aspect of her personality
Ezra who is essentially the new guy on ship when he arrives. He is not inexperienced as he has lived on the streets most of his life so he has had it rough and knows about how difficult life is so he is learning what it means to be part of a family again throughout the season. He can be slightly annoying at times but in his defence he is fourteen and lets be honest with ourselves we’re all annoying at that age and if you believe otherwise your lying to yourself.
And Finally we have Chopper. I am not sure what Chopper is but he is definitely not like your typical astro droid he is more likely an assassin droid in disguise and thats what makes him cool. While R2 does have a few droids that he has helped destroy on his rap sheet you get the sense was doing it because he was on a mission and the situation called for it. With Chopper however he will destroy a droid out of jealously or just because he feels like it and laugh after he does it. He also seems to give zero fucks about sentient life forms. In one episode were Kanan is teaching Ezra how to deflect blast bolts with a lightsaber by having chopper throw cartons at him which leads to Ezra falling off the ship while it is in the air and as soon as Kanan pulls him up Chopper immediately proceeds to throw another carton at him. He also lets a group of stormtroopers get sucked into the vacuum of space and gives zero fucks about it. Seriously this is one twisted and almost psychopathic little droid and just does whatever he wants. However that being said he does pull through when he is needed and is without a doubt loyal to the Ghost Crew but he will do things his own way from time to time.
The new animation style also is pretty cool and does work well. It is not as detailed as the later seasons of The clone wars but it does look better and smoother than the first couple of episodes of the clone wars season 1 which I didn’t think was awful it just seemed a little awkward to me when you compare it to the clone wars movie which was obviously polished up since it was getting a theatrical release.
The episodes are also well paced and flow very well especially in the two part first episode.
There are also moments of humour that seem to gently poke fun at some of the Star Wars tropes and lines from the original and prequel trilogy though do miss Obi-wans dry humour from the Clone Wars.
Criticisms. Well the Villains while fun to watch are a little one dimensional here and are only really here to be foils for the heroes and we don't really learn much about them (I have seen the second season so I am aware that Kallus becomes more developed but this is a review of the first season only). Though Jason Isaacs does bring a lot of charm and weight when voicing the Grand Inquisitor which is what saved him from being what I thought of Darth maul when I watched the phantom menace as a kid: Just a bad guy with a cool lightsaber (I personally never really cared about Darth Maul until the Clone Wars turned him in to a more three dimensional character).
Another thing is that the action while good at times seems toned down. I mean in the clone wars we got an obscured shot of darth maul beheading someone ands in this when two characters are beheaded in this series they just cut to the next shot before it happens. I am not sure if this was because they are using the same strategy they used with the clone wars to start of as relatively light hearted fun for the younger audiences before getting darker in themes and tone as the series progresses or if it is just you know “disney”, Although they did approve Darth Vader mowing down rebel soldiers brutally in rouge one so I suspect it might be the former.
Overall This was a pretty solid start to the new star wars show.
Overall rating: B+
Favourite episode: Fire Across the Galaxy
Least Favourite: Breaking Ranks
Thanks for reading and I will put up my thoughts on the clone wars seasons and rebels season 2 some other time.
(Please note that I have only watched a few episodes from season 3 and won’t be able to watch it until the blu-ray release here in Australia so try not to spoil it for me in comments.)
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