While I don’t like everything in the franchise, I am a lifelong Star Wars fan. From the moment the animated series Star Wars Rebels was announced, I couldn’t wait to see it. I was a little worried that I wouldn’t love it as much as Star Wars: The Clone Wars (which I still wish hadn’t been cancelled, even though we got The Lost Missions). My concerns vanished into thin air as I watched the first season of the show.
Star Wars Rebels is a unique flavor that blends many familiar things from the franchise. This is the way to go in such long existing universe. Giving room for new stories and characters without erasing what came before (or after in a narrative timeline point of view) gives more heart to the new creations and productions.
Not many spoilers to follow for Season 1 of Star Wars Rebels!
The way Star Wars Rebels takes place between the prequel trilogy (and thus The Clone Wars series) and the original one gives it pivotal place in terms of elements to play with. I develop this idea in the chapter ‘Star Wars Rebels: A New Text To Link The Old’ in my collection of essays A Galaxy of Possibilities: Representation and Storytelling in Star Wars.
After one season and several other tie-ins, from the prequel novel Star Wars: A New Dawn by John Jackson Miller to the opening movie Star Wars Rebels: Spark of a Rebellion, we have a solid basis to look back on this new Star Wars sub-universe.
As much as I love the epicness of the movies or The Clone Wars, I like the smaller scale of Star Wars Rebels. We still get amazing action scenes and fights but the small group doing their part in the grand scheme of things is an interesting angle. I have the feeling that with the next seasons, the scale might become larger, and I am excited about it. Yet, I believe we’ll still focus on the Ghost’s crew, with Hera, Kanan, Sabine, Ezra, Zeb and Chopper. Can I also say how much I love inclusiveness and diversity in this show? It isn’t perfect and there is still room to give more space to Hera and Sabine for example, but overall, diverse representation is fairly strong.
Out of all the characters we knew prior to this show, who were included, my favorite are Bail Organa, Lando Calrissian, Ahsoka Tano and Darth Vader. Just typing it makes me thrilled because of how it brings everything together in this middle ground that Star Wars Rebels is because of the timeline.
I got spoiled regarding Ahsoka’s return but it took nothing from all the emotions I went through when I saw her on screen. Ahsoka is right up there in the Star Wars female role models, along with Leia Organa, Padme Naberrie, Mara Jade and Hera Syndulla. (I don’t mention any of the sequel trilogy characters as I am waiting to know more about them, regardless of how excited I am about this movie). Seeing her return and be an important part of the Rebellion warms my heart. I also can’t help thinking how ‘right’ it is to have her work with Bail Organa, who was close to Padme, just as she was, and who is adoptive father to Padme’s and Anakin’s daughter. As much as Ahsoka may never know this last bit of information, I find lots of poetry and symbolism in it.
Star Wars Rebels has been growing on me a lot and the finale of the first season was outstanding. It was Star Wars at its best: the character bonding, the action sequences (space battle, lightsaber duel, blaster shooting), the gorgeous visuals, the emotions.
Is it time for season 2 yet?