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Review: Star Wars Rebels

Following the success of the animated Star Wars: Clone Wars series that bridged the events between Episodes II and III, fans will again be treated to another animated Star Wars series that adds to the already epic science-fiction narrative.

Set between the events of Star Wars Episodes III and IV, Star Wars: Rebels unfolds during the dark period when the Galactic Empire solidified its power across the galaxy. Imperial forces have filled the void of the disbanded Republic creating discontent and tension.

Cue the motley and clever crew of the starship Ghost, one of the few groups brave enough to stand up to the Empire. The crew is made up of a cowboy Jedi named Kanan (voiced by Freddie Prinze jr), fly-girl pilot Hera (voiced by Vanessa Marshall), a street-wise teen named Ezra (voiced by Taylor Grey), the physically imposing Zeb (voiced by Steven Blum), a Mandalorian warrior named Sabine (voiced by Tiya Sircar), and a rickety old astrodroid called Chopper. The crew of the Ghost face villains and adversity during their adventures that eventually ignite a rebellion.

Perhaps the two most notable aspects of the new series are the musical score and the worlds where the series takes place. True to Star Wars, the different settings are beautifully animated and vividly pay tribute to the exotic settings that were a trademark of the original movies. And the score is well-written to enhance the action—such as lightsaber duels and blaster shootouts—that are taking place on screen.

Star Wars: Rebels certainly looks promising. Mysterious and imposing villains will certainly drive interesting plotlines for the series. At times the occasional humor misses and comes off as a bit forced and early on the characters feel a little vanilla. But the latter should subside in time as the character’s backgrounds are each revealed and their storylines developed. It was also strange to see some little details missing from the animation, specifically the Wookies appearance in the series; they looked less like the creatures embodied by Chewbacca and more like cheesy cartoon characters—surprising considering the quality of the animation that went into creating the settings for the characters.

Nevertheless, the new series will certainly quench Star Wars fans desires for new content in anticipation of the new movie. And they will certainly appreciate the feel of the series as it pays homage to the class trilogy in terms of its artistic style. There is a lot to build from for a series that should become quite popular quickly.

Star Wars Rebels: Spark of Rebellion will be a one-hour movie special and premiers on the Disney Channel Friday, October 3 at 9:00 PM ET/PT. Following the hour-long special, Star Wars Rebels episodes will debut Monday nights beginning Monday, October 13 (9:00 p.m. ET/PT) on Disney XD. Worldwide, the series will air in 33 languages across 163 countries in over 400 million households.

Grade: B

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Aaron Zamora

Aaron grew up in Whittier, California and is currently finishing his master's degree in Human Communication studies from California State University, Fullerton. His interest in journalism began in high school where he served as the Editor-in-Chief for his school’s newspaper and participated in their inaugural broadcast journalism program. An avid world traveler, Aaron has a wide array of interest that include a passion for cinema and television. He is also a sports fanatic.

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