I wasn’t quite the fan of Clone Wars series either, so imagine my surprise when I saw Rebels, which visual style I liked even less. But as a Star Wars fan, I don’t have much of a choice, because there are really few Star Wars things that are now considered a canon, and if anything will influence and tie to the new Star Wars movies and games, it is those things. However, I’m not usually the one to rant, so bare with me as I’m trying to give it a chance and explore the series further.
After taking a better look, this style is better for showing character emotions but it still kinda sucks for human characters, or atleast looks like it. Strangely enough, but deservingly so, I find aliens to be better and more sharp in terms of characters than the humans. Arguably the two main characters; Rogue Jedi Kanan and force sensitive youngling named Ezra, are somewhat overshadowed by some of their companions who are both; more likable and more defined characters at the start.
Hera fulfilles her role as a savvy, smart and decisive ace who you can depend on. Sabine does not sell the stubbornness and heavy temper of Mandalorians, but as a creative orphan child with a rebel spirit and sharp skills, she does do the justice. The problem is that Ezra is also an orphan with pretty much the same characteristics and is trying to fill the shoes that are already full. Fortunately, he is nowhere fully explored so we may yet see new sides of him. Kanan is also the one we could find out more about as the seasons go, but he is a solid character so far. The only thing that bothers me is the “Cowboy Jedi” title that they gave him, because honestly I’m not seeing much of that “cowboy” mentality in him at all. Zeb is basically the Wookie who speaks, but in a good way. He is often grumpy and short tempered, but he has a sense of humor and is really likable character. Now, I did saved the last but least; Chopper is created to be something like the opposite to R2-D2. Grumpy, scrappy, selfish and rude droid but the problem is – he is just that. He is not likable and he is there to give a hard time to both, the crew and the viewers. Still, the crew overall does work and you could easily find yourself caring for them by the end of the very first episode more than you cared for any of those in the Clone Wars for entire seasons.
The synergy of the characters is very good, especially when it’s revolving around Ezra, everyone influences him and has a certain role: Hera like the mother, Kanan like the father, Zeb like nasty big brother, Chopper like grumpy, bad cousin and Sabine like that first girl that he gets a crush on. The “Ghost” ship itself is a very good scrappy but useful ship. It is the good home for the crew, and it might as well be known as a “mini Falcon”.
The villains are solid so far. They do seem serious, capable and as a threat. However, on the other hand, we did came back to stupid and utterly ineffective Stormtroopers unfortunately. There are many of those silly situations, just like in Return of the Jedi, when the Ewoks defeated the Empire with sticks and stones. I mean; “No. Just… No…”.
Talking about old stuff, there are plenty of Easter Eggs throughout the series; From Kanan explaining the Force to Ezra with exact words which Obi-Wan told to Luke, Bail Organa storing the data in R2-D2 just like Leia did in A New Hope, over famous quotes like; “I have a bad feeling about this.”, “Do or do not. There is no try.”, “It’s a trap!”, “You are my only hope.” all the way even to cross-universe references showing older Luke Skywalker as a veteran general.
What I noticed in my The Force Awakens Trailer Analysis is also been continued throughout these series aswell – the different lightsabers. I’m not talking about the difference in style (like the inquisitor’s spinning blade) but function. The crystal Ezra gets for his lightsaber is alot smaller than those we’ve used to seen so far (like a “mini crystal”), which goes with another change – thinner lightsabers. Personally I cannot get used to them in these episodes, however, the one from The Force Awakens trailer looks alot more solid so… We’ll see how that develops in the future.
Slower pace of the show is definitely better because it allows certain characters to breathe, but it really lacks some epic battle scenes which were the strongest part of the Clone Wars series. To put it simply, Rebels has thrown the action of Clone Wars out the window, but along with smaller skirmishes it gained heart.
It is a show that people can, and probably will like, atleast for some parts. But it definitely isn’t gonna attract anyone who’d like to see Star Wars in more realistic, mature and serious tone. All in all, it is a nice and decent show, but to be honest, “nice and decent” is not nearly enough for something as big as Star Wars.
Not to play stupid, we knew this “sell out thing” was going to happen. It happened before so we’d be fools not to think that it may happen again. But as a fan I really hope they will offer us something different and something more serious of Star Wars in the future. Personally; I will not rest until something like this (video at the end) is made officially for Star Wars animated series. It is so embarrassing for these big studios when a single fan, with no budget whatsoever makes better job than the entire force of “official development studio” backed by limitless funding and resources. So because of that: Shame on you Disney! Be smart, listen to people and start taking notes.