After finally finishing all the seasons of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” the CGI animated series, I was definitely in the mood for more Star Wars stories. While I felt like “The Clone Wars” ended a bit too soon and I wish there was at least another season, Disney came out with another Star Wars animated series called “Rebels,” which is set between “Revenge of the Sith” and “A New Hope.” I was able to get a copy of the first season, which premiered in 2014, from my local library.
The series features a band of ragtag rebels who are engaging in a small-scale resistance against the tyranny of the Empire (I have a feeling season two will take on a larger scope as the rebels hook up with the larger resistance movement). This group of rebels includes a Twi’lek pilot, Hera; a Jedi named Kanan; a teenage Mandalorian, Sabine; Zeb, a warrior whose species was massacred by the Empire; and the feisty astromech droid Chopper. They pick up a teenage scavenger named Ezra who learns from Kanan that he has Force powers. Initially skeptical, Ezra eventually agrees to join their resistance efforts, and Kanan begins training him in the ways of the Jedi.
Although “Star Wars: Rebels” isn’t immediately as deep or emotionally resonant as “The Clone Wars” eventually became, I see a lot of promise in this series and I’m definitely hooked. This series introduces some fun new characters to the Star Wars canon and brings back some classics, including Darth Vader. I was also very excited to see Anakin Skywalker’s former Padawan, Ahsoka Tano, in the final episode of “Rebels” season one. Ahsoka had a powerful story arc in “The Clone Wars” but in that series we never got to learn what happened to her after she walked away from the Jedi Order. I’m looking forward to seeing her character again in “Rebels” season two.
I think my favorite of the new characters is the Jedi, Kanan, and I’m really hoping for some flashbacks in season two so we can see how he survived Order 66 and how he came to be a part of this band of rebels. I’m also curious to see how he felt about the rules of the Jedi Order before the fall of the Jedi versus how he feels about them now. Ezra is technically too old to become a Padawan (he’s even older than Anakin was when he started training, and the Jedi Council definitely balked at his age). Has Kanan thrown some of those old Jedi rules out, since the Jedi are practically extinct and more Jedi are desperately needed to fight the Empire? I also haven’t heard Kanan talk a lot about the order’s old rules against attachment. Is he romantically involved with the Twi’lek pilot, Hera? Will he expect Ezra to follow the “no attachment” rule? I think there are some very interesting issues to explore here, and I hope season two addresses some of them.
I enjoyed the balance of personalities in the team of rebels, and I think my second favorite character is actually the droid, Chopper. R2-D2 can be a bit feisty at times, but he’s nothing compared to Chopper, who seems to enjoy antagonizing and sassing the crew. He may only be able to communicate in beeps and whistles, but he most definitely gets his point across.
In short, I’d recommend this series for fans of “The Clone Wars” and Star Wars in general. I’m looking forward to starting the second season, although unfortunately right now I’m on the wait list for my local library’s copy. I guess patience is probably a good Jedi discipline to practice… 😉