Monday, October 6, 2014

Star Wars Rebels - Spark of Rebellion

Set between the events of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and the original Star Wars, the latest animated Star Wars series is set in the early days of the Rebellion when a young thief named Ezra (Taylor Gray) finds his fate linked to a crew of the Ghost who get into almost as much trouble as he does. Attempting to steal the goods the mercenaries stole themselves from Imperial Stormtroopers, Ezra gets caught up in the group's mission in the two-part movie that introduces the series' core characters and the era in which their adventures will take place.

The pilot an owner of the crew, a Twi'lek named Hera (Vanessa Marshall), is the only member of the crew that recognizes the kid's pontential and takes to Ezra immediately. It takes longer for the former Jedi (Freddie Prinze Jr.), Mandalorian weapons expert (Tiya Sircar), and the ship's muscle (Steve Blum) to warm to Ezra's charms. Although his skills in helping them out of more than one jam eventually earn the respect of the rest of the crew.

I think having the show include two Jedi, be it an outcast former Jedi Knight and an unskilled newbie, during a period when the Jedi are "all but extinct" is questionable, but I like the makeup of the ship's crew and far more enjoy this period of the Star Wars timeline than more Clone Wars adventures. I'm also more intrigued by the glimpse we get of the mysterious Inquisitor than the show's apparent regular villain, ISB Agent Kallas (David Oyelowo). And I'll admit I wouldn't have minded if that young Wookiee that Ezra saved had stuck around to give the show another non-human member of the crew.

Even as a die-hard Star Wars fan I'll admit that not everything carrying the brand is what one would call good (or even passable). "Spark of the Rebellion" thankfully proves that Disney knows what its doing with the new series. Even if I think the concept may have played better with no Jedi involved (except with an appearance here and there by a certain Dark Lord of the Sith), I'm looking forward to see where the future takes the Ghost and hopefully enjoying the ride as much as I did the two-part opener.

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