Last night myself and the crew from MakingStarWars.net trekked out to the Walt Disney Studios lot in Burbank to check out the first official entry in the new era of Disney-owned Star Wars. They screened the first two episodes of Rebels, the mini-movie “Spark of Rebellion” that was also shown at San Diego Comic Con, as well as the fourth episode of the series in full.
Prior to the screening Dave Filoni made an excellent point to those haters who said Disney would buy Star Wars and ruin it. He said that they didn’t buy Star Wars to change it, as it wasn’t broken to begin with (sorry Prequel haters), but to continue it as it was and just make it even better. Those hoping the Immovable Objects of Canon Prequels would be retconned or remade now that Disney owns the franchise need to just give it up and move on with their sad lives.
We can’t provide an official review yet, but we can tell you that the future of Star Wars is in very good hands.
I didn’t see Spark of Rebellion at SDCC, so for me it was the first time seeing it in full (aside from the seven minutes that Disney released online). The first thing that struck me was how much Kevin Kiner’s music places it in the Original Trilogy era. Lucas always said that sound was half of the experience, and hearing Kiner finally being able to use familiar Original Trilogy themes really helps the series replicate that feel.
People have complained about the animation, but I loved it. Rebels has a much more “squash and stretch” animation look and feel to it than The Clone Wars had. Where that series looked great, the animation sometimes felt very stiff. Rebels looks much more animated with a more Pixar or classic Disney style feel to the animation. It helps the series immensely as this is a show with a relentless pace like the Original Trilogy.
Most importantly the show has a lot of heart. The characters show that camaraderie that the characters in the Original Trilogy show, and by the time the first two episodes are over there is a growing sense of family among the crew of the Ghost. This is like getting an animated weekly installment of the Original Trilogy, and I cannot wait for the show to start on October 3rd.
Disney also showed the fourth episode of the series (which was the sixth produced), and the first two episode “movie” wasn’t a fluke. The same heart continues to show with the characters in that episode, it expands the story begun in the premiere, and the reason Disney showed it is because it’s the first episode where the Inquisitor is featured as the villain.
Jason Isaacs is known for a wide variety of characters over the years, most fondly remember him from the Harry Potter movies, but my all-time favorite role of his was Colonel Tavington from 2000’s The Patriot. That character was pure evil, there was nothing ever redeeming about him, and he did it with a British flair. If you picture the Inquisitor as Colonel Tavington with a spinning double-bladed Lightsaber, you’ll have a good idea how awesome this villain is.
We’ll have a full review of both episodes closer to the release of Star Wars Rebels next month.