I was really hoping to have a report on how the virgin Star Wars viewing went last week…but turns out my friend’s husband decided to get appendicitis that day so they were in the hospital and had to reschedule. Really? Lame excuse.
So instead I’m here to talk about the first season of Star Wars Rebels, my thoughts, what I liked and disliked.
*Thar be spoilers ahead!*
You can read my initial reactions on the first episode here.
Overall, I really liked Rebels, and I definitely liked it a lot more than I liked The Clone Wars when I first started watching it. You guys have heard me mention many times that I actually was furious at TCW when they began the show (Anakin has a padawan? What?? What are all these random storylines thrown in??). I didn’t want there to be the recurring, older characters. I wanted a fresh start. Though I grew to love and enjoy TCW, we definitely had a rocky start to our relationship.
This was not the case with Rebels. I loved these characters that were not in the movies and I loved the settings. It was different from TCW in that the animation was softer, not as angular or harsh. For the most part, I liked the animation style. I thought the ships were done excellently, though I believe the people didn’t flow as well as I would have liked. Most of the time they were good, but sometimes they seemed a little jerky.
The throwbacks in Rebels were also fun to watch. I loved that they pulled from Ralph McQuarrie, especially for Lothal, and his touch was a constant, even with Zeb and Chopper. The lightsaber fight in the last episode screamed of TPM (it was nice to see a Prequel nod) and characters like Lando were thrown in to remind us of the OT.
The storyline was also pretty good. Out of the entire season, there was only one episode I really disliked and that was “Droids in Distress”. Clearly it was an episode just to throw a bone to the fans who wanted to see characters they knew (Artoo and Threepio). I didn’t like “Path of the Jedi” (I’m not a fan of Yoda speaking to people when he’s off on some far off swampy planet) or “Idiot’s Array” that much either, but I thought they had nuggets of character development that I appreciated.
My favorite episodes were:
- “Breaking Ranks” – Ezra joins the Empire temporarily and befriends Zare Leonis, who later becomes a spy for the band of Rebels. I still think Zare is also Finn, but maybe I should drop that point for now.
- “Empire Day” – I loved the political undercurrents in this, as well as finding out a lot about Ezra’s family. It gave us some insight into who he is and why he is so against the Empire. It kind of put a purpose to his mischief, as opposed to someone who just caused trouble for the hell of it.
- “Call to Action” through “Fire Across the Galaxy” – I understand why they can’t do episode arcs that much in the beginning of the season. First, they need to find out if they are going to get renewed. No point in investing in characters and storylines if it gets canceled. Second, you need to pull the viewer in and the easiest way to do that is with one-and-done episodes. Everything is somewhat resolved by the end of the episode, but there are hints to a larger storyline. But this episode arc was really great. The Empire (including a steady appearance of Grand Moff Tarkin – whom I actually didn’t mind showing up at all) is getting uneasy with all the Rebels and Tarkin is upset that Agent Kallus and the Inquisitor have not been able to capture them yet. By the end of the first episode, Kanan is captured, and the next two episodes show how the crew of Ghost come together to rescue him. What I liked is not that it was a simple, “Yes, let’s go get him!” but there were doubts, especially from Hera. She had to decide between the mission and Kanan. It took some convincing from the rest of the crew (and disobeying her orders), including Chopper, to finally make her see that Kanan was worth going after. At the end of the final episode in Season One, we get to find out who “Fulcrum” is … and it’s Ahoska! I did a little squeal, I admit it. AHSOKA HAS RETURNED!
So now that Ahsoka is back in the storyline and canon, I guess it brings up a lot of interesting questions. Does she know Vader is Anakin, her former Jedi Master? Does she know Yoda and Obi-Wan are alive? Or is she acting on her own in this rebellion? She has connections to Bail Organa, and Organa knows that Yoda and Obi-Wan are alive. Do you think Ahsoka just assumes Anakin died in the Jedi Purge?
My favorite character was the Inquisitor and I loved him so much. I thought he was actually kind of brilliant, though he actually created more questions for me than anything else. Maybe I just liked Jason Isaacs voice (ahhh so hot). But I understood why he had to die. Grand Moff Tarkin made it quite clear that he would not suffer failure…so if Kanan got away (which he did), the Inquisitor would not have been a welcome guest at Vader and the Emperor’s dinner party. But now they bring in Vader…this could be interesting. If they keep Vader in Season 2 as a steady character, I hope they stay true to his character. Don’t take away from his scariness, add to it. Don’t be afraid of making him as ruthless as he seems to be in ANH. Don’t show any sympathetic gestures from him.
I think Rebels has potential. I’m interested to see if there are any tie-ins to The Force Awakens and to see how they link this back to ANH. Already they have Tarkin playing a somewhat major role and Vader seems to be stepping into the picture as well. I want to see more interesting episode arcs and less silly standalone episodes. Perhaps I’m asking for too much, too soon, but I think they’ve been doing a good job, but I want to see it become great, like TCW did.
What were your thoughts on Season One of Rebels? Did you like it? Dislike it? Will you watch Season two?
For some great reading on what Dave Filoni says about Season One, check out this article.