What a fantastic time to be a Star Wars fan! Now that the final season of Star Wars Rebels is on the air, I can go ahead an discuss season 3 with little care of spoiling anything. I last posted about this show just about a year ago. Now, the third season is finally available on DVD/Blu-Ray for your binge watching pleasure.
This is the season where the show really came into its own. Rebels no longer rides the coat-tails of Clone Wars. It features a cast of characters that are now fully developed, and a story-arc that fully bridges the gap between the prequel trilogy and the original trilogy. The character of Ezra has matured, Kanan has been forever changed, and we’re beginning to see the mechanics of the early Rebel Alliance in better detail.
Probably one of the more exciting developments of this season is the introduction of Grand Admiral Thrawn, a popular Expanded Universe character who has now been brought into the official canon. This is important for a number of reasons. First, it gives us a good look at just how Disney plans to pluck content from the old EU. Second, it also tells us that they are listening to fans. Thrawn is arguably the most popular “non-Lucas” Star Wars character. Recognizing this, Disney took the initiative to incorporate his character, as we already know him, and bring him into the official mythology. They did this in lieu of inserting some cheap replacement/copy-cat. This is good sign.
The second big event in season 3 is the fate of Darth Maul. In this season of Rebels, fans finally get the chance to see the ultimate end of this character. For me, this was probably the most memorable part of the season. In case you don’t know, I’m going to go ahead a drop a spoiler here: Darth Maul is killed by Obi Wan Kenobi. (Yes. I know that happened in Episode I… except, it didn’t.) I loved seeing the portrayal of Kenobi in Rebels. The character’s introduction here is the perfect blend of the young and old version of Kenobi. The voice acting for character was SPOT ON. I also particularly enjoyed the noble way that Darth Maul was finally laid to rest and the massive hint provided by Obi Wan regarding a major plot point in the Star Wars story. (I’m not giving this one away).
In my opinion, season 3 of Rebels has been the best season yet. It’s a high point for the show and it has me very excited for the fourth and final season. If you’re a fan of Star Wars in general, this show is very much worth your time.
Considering the third season of Star Wars Rebels is already on the air and half over, I guess I’m a little late with this review. But, that’s ok since I plan to discuss several details in the series that can be considered spoilers. Be forewarned!
The second season of Rebels keeps the momentum that finished off the first season going. Over the course of this season, we can begin to see the Rebellion against the Empire as it starts to solidify. Different rebellious factions are slowly starting to come together. A big part of this season involves the search for a suitable location for the Rebellion to establish their first base. The second major story-arc focuses on Vader’s newfound knowledge that Ashoka, his former student, is alive and aiding the rebels. As a result of this revelation, Vader dispatches more Imperial Inquisitors to seek out and eliminate Ashoka. In the meantime, Ashoka is determined to learn all she can about the Emperor’s new Sith helper.
There’s a lot of content to digest in this season of Rebels. There’s certainly a fair share of fluff episodes. But the producers did a pretty good job of keeping the main story arcs going in this season. Again, much like in season one, the last handful of episodes are best. In the final two episodes Kanan, Ezra and Ashoka discover an ancient Sith temple. However, upon their arrival they learn they are not alone. The temple is currently occupied by none other than an aged Darth Maul as well as two Imperial Inquisitors. The inquisitors were there seeking to put an end to Maul once and for all, but upon discovering the Rebel’s presence they turn their attention to them instead. This leads to some really great combat scenes that put our heroes on the same side as Maul temporarily. Seeing an opportunity in young Ezra, Maul tries to plant the seed of the dark side into the boy’s young mind by convincing him to slaughter one of the Inquisitors, but in the end Ezra refuses. This results in Maul going on a rampage and finishing the job himself. Before it’s all said and done, Maul turns on the team and another battle ensues. During this fight, Kanan is seriously injured and blinded by Maul’s lightsaber.
Eventually, Vader arrives on the scene and an epic showdown ensues. After doing away with Maul, Vader turns his attention towards our heroes. Now fully aware of Vader’s identity, Ashoka confronts him one-on-one – allowing Ezra and Kanan to escape as the Sith temple crumbles around them. Naturally, Vader escapes the battle – injured but alive. The fate of Ashoka remains unclear.
All in all, Season 2 serves as a step up from the debut season. This second season does a great job of linking the prequel/clone wars era to the original trilogy. Things are certainly falling into place. I promise not to wait until six months after the release of season three to share my thoughts on it.
I’m a little late getting this review out. But considering all the work that has gone into the new site, I think it is forgivable.
So far, when it comes to comics and Star Wars, we have a number of things going on. First, we have the main Star Wars comic. Next, we have Darth Vader. There’s also a Princess Leia mini-series (which I plan to review upon its conclusion). Next in the ongoing category is the new title: Kanan: The Last Padawan.
This comic focuses on Kanan, one of the lead characters from the Star Wars Rebels television show. Kanan was once a young Jedi in training around the time of the Clone Wars. During the purge of the Jedi, his master was killed but Kanan managed to escape. Ever since, he’s been a scoundrel of sorts. Hiding away any trace of his Jedi heritage. This comic aims to tell the story of Kanan during the aftermath of the Clone Wars and beyond. It’s a prequel to both Star Wars Rebels and the novel A New Dawn. So far, the title is off to a good start. The art work is well done, (matches that of the tv show to a good extent), and so far based on this debut issue, the writing is also top notch.
Being a new character in the Star Wars universe, having a whole book dedicated to Kanan may seem like a bit of a gamble. But so far, I’m very impressed. I look forward to seeing just where Marvel plans to go with this title. If you’re interested at all in the events between the prequel trilogy and the original trilogy, this book seems to be a good entry point.
Artwork: Excellent. Very well drawn. Good use of color.
Story: Stars off strong. A solid first issue filled with suspense. Good Star Wars storytelling.
Recommended: Yes. Especially for fans of the prequel era and Star Wars Rebels.
The first season of Star Wars Rebels has come to an end. So here are my thoughts on the show thus far.
Overall, I feel the show has been a success but with a few minor rough edges. The first half of the season seemed a bit directionless. I understand the goal of the first few episodes are to establish characters and upcoming plot points, but even so, I was left feeling like it dragged by. A big point of controversy, was with the re-airing of the pilot on ABC. The ABC version was a re-cut that featured James Earl Jones reprising his role as Darth Vader. Many fans missed this awesome scene as a result. For the record, this is NOT the version of the Rebels debut episode that is available for purchase on DVD. So fans may want to wait for a definitive season one package to finally see this version of the first episode.
By mid-season, the show has started to pick up and we were treated to a Bill Dee Williams cameo, reprising his role of Lando. While it was nice to see Lando again, I have to admit that this felt a little forced. Thankfully, the show finished strong with the last three or four episodes being simply amazing. Since the finale is almost a week old, I’ll go ahead and post some spoilers:
In the finale, we learn that a band of “rebels” are not alone. They are but a single cell in the larger network. Ie: The Rebellion we all know and love. We find that this rebellion is indeed lead by Bail Organa and also features…. Ashoka Tano! Yes, one of our favorite characters from The Clone Wars has finally made her return and now as a full grown adult. Naturally, this leaves fans with many questions. What an excellent set up to season two. The series finale completely turned me around from feeling luke-warm on the series to being full of excitement.
I look forward to getting my hands on a complete season Blu-Ray in the future and binge watching to see if my attitude towards the first half of the season has changed any.
In the meantime, Star Wars fans have a lot to keep themselves occupied with. The third novel in the new continuity was just released, Kevin Hearne’s: Heir to the Jedi. The first issues of Marvel’s the Princess Leia mini-series just dropped, and there’s a handful of new novels scheduled for release in the coming months. December will be here before we know it.
If you’re a Star Wars fan like me, you’ve no doubt seen the above still frame already. It’s a shot from the first teaser trailer for the upcoming Star Wars movie.
Now, I’m not going to go over the contents of the teaser, picking apart every second of it frame-by-frame. If that’s what you’re interested in, there’s plenty of other sites just for that. I’m just posting this so that I can share in the excitement. December 2015 is going to be epic.
To hold us over until then, we have Star Wars Rebels. This is the new animated series airing on Disney XD. It’s created by the same individuals that brought us The Clone Wars. It is set a few years before Episode IV, this series follows a band on unlikely heroes as they lash against the oppression of the Empire. Currently, the series is on hiatus, as we’ve reached the mid-season but it will be back with new episodes after the holidays.
Now is a great time to catch up if you’ve not had the pleasure.