“To defeat an enemy, you must know them. Not simply their battle tactics, but their history, philosophy, art.”
Header Credit: Starwars.com
I wanted to wait until finishing the Clone Wars to start Rebels, because for some reason I thought I needed to watch that first.
So, there’s the first part of my review: you don’t. There are some characters and information that you would have more background on, but for the most part, everything is explained well enough that you don’t need to know everything about that show. However, knowing some stuff did help me a little in the end.
Star Wars: Rebels ran for four seasons with around 24 minute episodes (the only exception being the final episode at 44) and was much easier to tackle.
With nothing I was interested watching on at the moment, I wanted a new show to watch each week, and with Ahsoka’s series coming up and more references in the live action shows, I wanted to understand the big reaction over Grand Admiral Thrawn’s name drop in The Mandalorian.
I do. I do understand.
Force Sensitive Desert Orphan #2
Credit to a Twitter user for that joke.
Ezra Bridger is a young teenager living alone on the planet Lothal during the height of the Empire’s run in power (about five years before A New Hope.) He steals and uses his personality to get what he needs to survive.
Think of space Aladdin.
One day he runs into a group of rebels and from there, joins them on a mission where he meets Hera, one of the best pilots ever, Chopper, her droid, Sabine, a mandalorian, Zeb, one of the last of his kind, a Lasat, and Kanan, a Jedi who survived Order 66.
To no surprise, Ezra agrees to join the group and be taught by Kanan as they spend years trying to get ahead of the Empire, helping people, and growing as individuals as well. They meet an array of characters as over the years the rebellion grows, as well does Ezra’s abilities.
I Am No Jedi
There are a lot of big moments that happen in Rebels. One being the return of Ahsoka and clone, Rex, as well as introducing the Inquisitors, a group of Force users who work for the Empire and hunt down any remaining Jedi.
The first season feels “cozier” (if that’s the right word) as the show is focused on the main group and with the galaxy not aware of any remaining the Jedi and Kanan trying (and failing) to keep it a secret. Their missions are smaller and focused on those characters.
But like I said, the rebellion grows and so do the stakes. By the third and fourth seasons, everything is on the line. More characters are dying and the mythological surrounding the Force gets interesting. The show does a good job of not solely being focused on the Force/Jedi. It also introduces the Dark Saber and how Bo Katan comes to its possession.
Not all episodes work for me. Obviously, a show with a bunch of episodes won’t turn out 5/5 every time, but there can be a lot of filler. Some work, giving more character depth and by putting two characters together, allows them to get closer, but others not so much.
Other than Darth Vader showing up a few times, the biggest threat comes in Grand Admiral Thrawn who is such a different villain in Star Wars. He thinks things over, gives credit where credit is due, and really gets to know his advisories, learning not just about them but their culture and history. There are a few times he becomes unhinged but for the most part, keeps a calm composure in most situations.
To me, characters make up more of a story than the plot itself. If I can’t like them, then there’s no point in me wasting my time, and I grew to like each one for their own reasons. I loved seeing Kanan and Hera’s romantic relationship grow overtime, even though you don’t get more “serious” situations until the final season. I loved seeing Zeb and Ezra start out hating each other to becoming brothers. Those are my favorite parts of stories.
Rebels is a kids show but like so many other animated kids shows, there are serious moments and real consequences. I wish there was more of that because there were times I knew they’d come out of the situation getting saved at the last moment. Sometimes though, I really didn’t know how, and I wanted more of that.
Again, technically a kids show.
If you’re someone who is following the live action shows, I high recommend watching Star Wars: Rebels if you haven’t. It gives so much more to the lore and background to the characters. The characters are diverse, coming from all different kinds of walks of life, most with family issues because it’s Star Wars.
On a side note: I want to see Ezra teaching Grogu. I really think he would be the best fit in terms of training and understanding why Grogu wants to stay with Mando. Ezra has a fun personality and really wasn’t trained under the “traditional” Jedi ways. He got attached to people and even used dark-side techniques.
I won’t get started on that…I won’t get started on that.
The artwork is also great. I love how “soft” they look, especially close up. It’s a different style to the Clone Wars and allows them to be separate from each other.
Overall, Rebels does a good job of showing what the galaxy is like during the Empire’s run and a small group of rebels doing what they can to destroy them in any ways they can. The characters are likable in their own ways and when the stakes are high, you feel it.
I’m hoping to see all of them in the future and what they’re up to. Sabine is already cast for Ahsoka but you never know who else will show up.