Now understand this is a review of the first two episodes, which happens to be a two-parter.
Star Wars Rebels, set five years before the events of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, tells the story of the Rebellion’s beginnings while the Empire spreads tyranny through the galaxy.
The Jedi have been wiped out while the Empire spreads tyranny through the galaxy. Hope runs thin. But on the small planet of Lothal a big change is looming. A group of rebels meet a 14-year-old con artist named Ezra and soon it’s clear their destinies are linked. Aboard their ship, the Ghost, Ezra and the rebels embark on an adventure to ignite a rebellion and strike back against the Empire.
Before people start automatically bashing the Star Wars series because of the Disney merger/buyout, understand that they didn’t really make any “Disney-fied” aspects that destroyed what we know of as Star Wars. Now I’m not saying that some things felt like Mickey had his hands in it either. Trust me, with Taylor Gray as the voice of the young protagonist Ezra, you will swear up and down that you’re listening to the voice of Aladdin, Scott Weinger. What doesn’t help is the constant name calling the boy gets because he is an orphan on the streets who steals to survive. Sound familiar Al? And just wait until you hear everyone refer to him as a “street rat”. I’m not kidding, this happens so often that it becomes really noticeable. Heck, he lives somewhere that looked like a Star Wars version of Agrabah!
Due to the lighter tone of this series (so far), the designs and the colors used are very vibrant. This also (at times) gives the show a simpler look, which can lead to the illusion that the quality has suffered. It really hasn’t, but man do the Wookies look goofy in this. This is probably due to the lack of textures in the 3D models, however. They have an even more plastic look than Star Wars: Clone Wars did. The action is very average, and in comparison to Clone Wars, it’s at times severely lacking. Hopefully in time, they’ll find their footing. It is only the first two episodes, and animation can really improve over time, so long as they’re willing to give it a change.
When it comes to the story, I have to say that I’m impressed that they were able to take the Star Wars universe and create something that feels genuinely new. It was exciting to want to learn about the universe and the rebels that are fighting for the cause, during the original movie trilogy (IV, V, VI).
The new original animated series, Star Wars Rebels, is coming to Disney XD October 3rd at 9pm EST.