So, lately I seem to be coming in possession of several pilots before they air. Earlier I came across the first Episode of the upcoming Star Wars Rebels. Like many, I saw the clips being released and I let out a “meh”. I wasn’t a fan of The Clone Wars, so I didn’t expect to be a fan of this. So far, I was wrong.
The episode is, admittedly, formulaic. If I had to compare it to something, it feels very much like a session of the Star Wars RPG being played out by a group of players. But it’s a VERY well written session. I don’t really want to spoil anything, but the characters are likable and the story is well written (even if the Mary Sue-ishness of the main character is predictable). I’ve always been an R2D2 fan, but Rebels’ Chopper is quickly replacing R2 as my favourite Star Wars character of all time. He’s like a more sarcastic version of R2 (which is saying a lot because he communicates in muted beeps). The only voice actor I didn’t like was Freddie Prinze Jr. His character, Kanan Jarrus was supposed to be a sort of reserved Han Solo, but Freddie delivers a wooden performance that makes him the flattest character of the bunch. Everyone else worked very well.
The crew, itself, feels like it was designed after watching too much Firefly. For instance:
- Kanan Jarrus: He’s very much the Mal of the group. He has a traumatic and mysteriousish past but covers his pain with sarcasm.
- Hera Syndulla: The Twi-Lek pilot who acts as Kanan’s confidant and in a way is a mix of Wash and Inara.
- Zeb Orrellios (voiced by veteran voice actor Steve Blum): The Lasat muscle who is very much the Jayne of the group
- Sabine Wren: a young Mandalorian girl who comes off as the Zoe character but has a pyro/vandal edge that adds some youth to her.
Toss in an overly stressed astromech and your basic Luke Skywalker meets Aladdin of Ezra Bridger and that’s your main cast. They’re a great deal of fun to watch and the chemistry between characters works incredibly well. The episode even ended with a glimpse of The Inquisitor, who is hinted to be a major part of Episode VII. If this is a hint at what I can expect from the Star Wars universe after George Lucas, I’ve gone from vaguely interested and mildly pessimistic to excited and incredibly positive.
Star Wars Rebels airs on Disney XD tonight with a one hour special and the series officially premieres October 13th at 9p/8c.