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Star Wars: Rebels Review: The Force Is Strong with This One

Marshall Lemon | 4 Oct 2014 13:00
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First of all, Rebels visual style is a great combination of The Clone Wars and the original, live-action movies. Characters are animated with an appropriate amount of cartoon physics and proportions, while the sci-fi designs comes straight out of the original trilogy. We're back to bulky transport ships and awkward-looking Imperial walkers, instead of the sleek designs of the prequels. Star Destroyer interiors look a little more polished than I remember, but by and large this is just a upgrade of the classic visuals for old-school fans to appreciate.

Rebels also packs an impressive number of action set pieces into its premiere. We've got two space dogfights, a vehicle chase sequence, multiple Stormtrooper skirmishes, and a climactic assault on an Imperial slave mine. Sabine is an explosives expert who adores setting off charges once Stormtroopers have gathered around them, while Zeb can physically dispatch enemies as effectively as any Wookie. In other words, Rebels is fast-paced from the very beginning, establishing the entire Ghost crew as hardened badasses.

The main focus, however, is on Ezra, the Ghost's latest crew member. It's pretty clear from the start that Ezra is force-sensitive, but now that the Jedi are almost extinct, he has no idea his abilities are extraordinary. He also thinks quick on his feet, and has a knack for getting himself both into and out of trouble. But thanks to his time alone, Ezra has a lot of difficulty trusting people, especially this surprisingly altruistic Rebel crew. Of course, despite his concerns, he starts behaving just like them after a few minutes around them. It comes off as sudden, but by the end of the episode, we start to realize that Ezra is just looking for some kind of family, and this crew fits the bill.

The most interesting characters however are Kanan and Hera, the Ghost's captain and pilot. Of the entire cast, these two have the best chemistry, subtly teasing they're in an "old married couple" relationship. You can definitely sense a shared history between the two, which makes sense: Their first adventure was already detailed in the latest Star Wars EU novel. On top of that, Kanan is a Jedi in hiding, trying his best to live a mercenary life while still following his Light Side principles. There's a lot these personalities can bring to the table, and it'll be great to see how they lead Ghost in future episodes.

Bottom Line: Star Wars: Rebels is off to a good start, returning to the original trilogy universe we haven't seen in decades. Most characters come off as a little one-dimensional, but Rebels makes up for it with well-designed battle sequences and seeds for future episodes.

Recommendation: The Force is strong with this one.

Marshall Lemon had a slight weapons malfunction, but everything's perfectly all right now. We're fine. We're all fine here now, thank you. How are you?

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