Today, I will be talking about one of the latest installments in the popular franchise Star Wars. Yep, it's Star Wars Rebels, produced by Lucasfilm and Lucasfilm Animation, released this year.
Before I start the actual review, however, let me tell about how this new show technically came to be. You see, the recent Star Wars: The Clone Wars series (which, if many of you wonder, takes place somewhere within the original hand-drawn animated The Clone Wars) was pretty good and lasted for a long time. However, things began to change when Lucasfilm was recently bought by Disney (just like what Disney did with buying Marvel). Now this new show, in the same style of computer animation as SW:TCW had, had come about, taking place between Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, and actually has a visual style inspired by the original Star Wars trilogy concept art by Ralph McQuarrie. It premiered as a 44-minute movie pilot (called "Spark of Rebellion") on Disney Channel on October 3rd prior to premiere of the series on October 13th on Disney XD (which is a somewhat weak replacement of Toon Disney).
Now then, on with the actual review:
Set 5 years before A New Hope and 14 years after the fall of the Galactic Republic and the Jedi Council in Revenge of the Sith, the series follows a motley group of rebels (all of whom have been affected by the Galactic Empire in one form or another) that band together aboard a freighter starship called the Ghost. It will also focus on the origins of some of the groups that will form the Rebel Alliance.
Now for the main characters:
* Ezra Bridger: a 15-year-old Human con artist with Force abilities who lives on the Imperially-controlled planet Lothal before joining the Ghost crew. Before, he has been a pickpocket, living as a thief just to survive since he was orphaned at the age of 7 (sort of reminds me of Aladdin). As he becomes more knowing of what the Empire is capable of, his eyes are opened to the fact that there are people who care, who are trying to fight the good fight, and he has become one of the members of the Ghost crew. His call sign is "Specter 6."
* Kanan Jarrus: (voiced by Freddie Prinze Jr.) a Human who is one of the last Jedi in existence (apparently surviving Order 66). He is the de facto leader of the Ghost crew. Even though he's a Jedi, he's not all that traditional, being a little more rough around the edges. He has become Ezra's mentor in learning how to be a Jedi. His call sign is "Specter 1."
* Hera Syndulla: (voiced by Vanessa Marshall) a Twi'lek who is the owner and pilot of the Ghost starship. She is very strong-minded, kind of the heart of the crew, always trying to keep everyone together and not fall apart. She pretty much acts as a motherly figure to the team. Her call sign is "Specter 2."
* Sabine Wren: (voiced by Tiya Sircar) a Human of the Mandalorian race who is a graffiti artist with expert knowledge of weapons and explosives. She is definitely very creative through her art. Oh yeah, and she appears to be a love interest of Ezra. Her call sign is "Specter 5."
* Garazeb "Zeb" Orellios: (voiced by Steve Blum) a Lasat honor guard who serves as the team's muscle. He has a little bit of temper, but he can be very articulate, witty and funny. His species, the somewhat werewolf-like Lasats, is critically endangered since their home planet, Lasan, was destroyed by the Death Star when they refused to pledge allegiance to the Empire. Yet the Lasat survivors were rescued from extinction by Wookies (Zeb pretty much owes them his life now). Interesting thing, his physical appearance is based on Ralph McQuarrie's original conceptual artwork for Chewbacca. His call sign is "Specter 4."
* C1-10P, aka "Chopper": an irritable astromech droid built and owned by Hera. When he has orders to do, he likes to do things his way instead of how the rest of the team expects him to do it, but he still gets the job done. He is very loyal and summarized. Another interesting thing is that his design is heavily modeled on the original Ralph McQuarrie conceptual artwork for R2-D2. His call sign is "Specter 3."
Now for the recurring characters:
* The Inquisitor: (voiced by Jason Isaacs) a Pau'an whose true identity is not known by our heroes. He wields a double-bladed light saber and is tasked by Darth Vader to hunt down the remaining Jedi left in the galaxy.
* Alton Kastle: (voiced by Steve Blum) an unseen male journalist who works as a broadcaster on HoloNet News on Lothal. It's unknown if he is a Human or not.
* Tseebo: (voiced by Peter MacNicol) a Rodian who is a friend of Ezra's missing parents.
* Yogar Lyste: a Human Imperial officer stationed on Lothal as Imperial Supply Master of Capital City.
* Agent Kallus: a high-ranking Human agent of the Imperial Security Bureau who serves under the Inquisitor.
* Cumberlayne Aresko: an Imperial Commandant Human stationed on Lothal.
* Commander Myles Grint: an Imperial Taskmaster Human stationed on Lothal.
* Minister Maketh Tua: (voiced by Kath Soucie) a Human originally from Lothal who is a minister for the Empire. She is a graduate from the Imperial Academy.
* Gall Trayvis: (voiced by Brent Spiner) an exiled Human senator who is the only member of the Imperial Senate with the courage to speak out publicly against the Empire. He occasionally hacks into holonet news broadcasts.
* Cikatro Vizago: a Devaronian who is the chief scoundrel of the Lothal underworld. The crew of the Ghost occasionally runs errands and smuggles goods for Vizago in exchange for credits and Intel.
* "Fulcrum": a mysterious being who provides Hera and Kanan with Intel on imperial activities and supplies. However, his (or her) true name and species is currently being kept a secret from Sabine, Zeb, Ezra and Chopper.
Some guest appearance characters include a couple that we already know. These include C-3PO (once again voiced by Anthony Daniels), R2-D2, Obi-Wan Kenobi (voiced by James Arnold Taylor), Darth Vader (once again voiced by James Earl Jones), Yoda (once again voiced by Frank Oz) and a couple others, including totally new characters.
Now so far, this show is actually pretty good. I don't get why a lot of people are saying "It's like the new Clone Wars, ruining the franchise!" Well guess what, people who dislike both programs, they have not ruined SW. I for one think they are fine additions to the Star Wars universe. All you SW fans like me should definitely check out Rebels and see for yourself how good it actually is.