TV Review: “Star Wars Rebels” Invokes The Original Trilogy

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Review by James McDonald

A brave and clever ragtag starship crew stands up against the evil Empire as it tightens its grip on the galaxy and hunts down the last of the Jedi Knights.

Like many people, I grew up watching and loving the “Star Wars” movies. But not just any “Star Wars” movie, I’m talking about the original trilogy, “A New Hope”, “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi.” The prequels each had some scenes throughout that were fun but overall, none of them captured the magic and essence that made the original trilogy so successful, not just as a series but as individual films. I never actually saw “The Clone Wars” but heard a lot of good things about it so when the opportunity was presented to me to see “Star Wars Rebels”, I jumped at it and took my seven year-old nephew who is the biggest Star Wars fan and my sister and her husband. We all had a blast. The animation was excellent and the voice work was just as impressive.

Most of the music was taken from the movies themselves but used to great effect here. The events of the series take place between “Revenge of the Sith” and “A New Hope” with the Empire tightening its grip over the galaxy while it tracks down and eliminates any remaining Jedi Knights. We have a ragtag team of rebels who steal from the Empire and give back to those that the Empire cast down and oppressed. Along the way, they encounter a young scoundrel named Ezra, who just happens to be stealing from them in order to survive. He accidentally ends up on their ship and very reluctantly, both they and he, become friends and when he realizes that they are fighting against the Empire and trying to help those less fortunate, he eagerly agrees to join them on their adventures.

This is the pilot episode and was very evocative of the original trilogy and was a pure delight overall. At times, during some of the space battles, you’d be hardpressed to tell the difference between live action and animation the graphics and sound effects were so good. When the show ended, it showed a trailer for the next episode and it actually had me intrigued as we get to meet The Inquisitor, a new Sith Lord who just happens to be very good with a light saber. For any truly die-hard Star Wars fans, young or old, “Star Wars Rebels” should help fill the void in between movies until Episode VII comes along and after having watched the rebels on the big screen, it left me salivating at the possibility of what J.J. Abrams and co. will deliver next year. 2015 can’t get here fast enough.

Premieres on Disney XD Friday, October 3rd

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James McDonald
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