Star Wars Rebels -OR- Why we should all just calm down…

Some of you may have heard that Lucasfilm, and by extension the Star Wars franchise, was bought by a little company called “Disney”.  This was met with much wailing and gnashing of teeth as many facets of the fandom (the same fandom, interestingly, that tended to want George Lucas to step down as the head of the Star Wars universe) cried out in terror and were ANYTHING but silent.  It was less than 24 hours before the first “Disney Princess Leia” meme was born, and the message boards were filled with various Chicken Littles screaming about how Disney would “sterilize” the series or add musical numbers or other such nonsense.

The same things were said when Disney purchased Marvel Comics, and we all know how horrible THAT turned out…

avengers-age-of-ultron
“I bet Ultron has a musical number. Disney is gonna screw this one up!”
Image Marvel Studios via nerdbastards.com

While I could go on about how odd it is that all post-buyout Star Wars projects are referred to as “Disney’s Star Wars” while nobody refers to Marvel projects as “Disney’s Avengers” or anything like that (even Pixar movies get a special distinction, ever hear about “Disney’s Wall-E”?), I am most interested about the upcoming animated series, “Star Wars: Rebels”.

For those unaware, Lucasfilm produced a really good show called “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” (which is totally different from “Star Wars: Clone Wars”, confused yet?) that covered the once-mythical period that Luke and Obi-Wan referred to in “A New Hope”.  It was the source of much speculation for years, giving birth to many theories and out-of-continuity novels.  The Clone Wars started proper at the end of “Attack of the Clones” and ended during “Revenge of the Sith”.  This particular series covered the material in between.  As I said before, it was really good.  How good was it?

It made Jar-Jar Binks sympathetic, funny, and tolerable.

That’s how good it was.

Jar_Jar_BombadJedi
This guy.
Image Lucasfilm via wookieepedia.com

When Disney bought Lucasfilm, it was announced that “The Clone Wars” would end after its fifth season.  Fans were rightly upset.  However, it was also announced that a new series, made by the same creative team, would debut the following year.  This new show, “Star Wars: Rebels”, would be set in between the two trilogies and cover the period that saw the Empire consolidate power as well as the formation of the Rebellion.  It would see a return to classic technology, with TIE Fighters, Stormtroopers, and classic Star Destroyers.

Fans were…still upset.

Many were unhappy with the (possibly true) perception that “The Clone Wars” was shelved in favor of “Rebels”, with the accusation that Disney wanted something they could put their own stamp on instead of inheriting an earlier series.  There were also accusations that Disney would “kiddify” this new series and not allow it to explore some of the darker themes that “The Clone Wars” handled.  The introduction of some of the new characters, which include a “street-smart” orphan and a Mandalorian that spray paints the Rebellion symbol on Imperial areas they attack, only seemed to add fuel to the fire.  Parts of the fandom declared that this was the worst thing to happen to Star Wars since the last worst thing to happen to Star Wars.

This is where I take issue.  “Rebels” has retained most of the creative team from “The Clone Wars”, including Dave Filoni, the supervising director.  I, for one, am comforted by this.  This particular creative team has had five (and a half) seasons to refine their craft and I see no reason why their experience wouldn’t carry over into the new series.

When short introductory videos were released showcasing the new characters, the usual suspects were quick to complain, with Ezra Bridger, the already-mentioned orphan, seeming to take most of the dislike.  While this particular type of character has been done many times before, I am still not terribly concerned.  Star Wars fans may recall a certain other teenage character who could be described with words like “sassy” and “tough”, and while Ahsoka was rather annoying at the beginning of the first season, she quickly became one of the most loved characters on the show.  The fact that people are STILL asking about her ultimate fate after Order 66 is a testament to her popularity.  While growing pains are almost certain, I expect that people will come around to the new characters as they grow and change.

hera
This is the pilot Hera Syndulla. Based on her intro video,
I have taken an instant liking to her. I predict she won’t survive Season 2.

Image Lucasfilm via wookieepedia.com

I am choosing not to be worried or upset about “Rebels”.  I feel this series is in good hands, and I have no reason to believe that its association with Disney will be a burden of any kind on it.  I am happy to be getting more Star Wars, and I look forward to the premier of this series, which will be kicked off in my house with a Star Wars marathon, of course!

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~ by Chris on March 30, 2014.

One Response to “Star Wars Rebels -OR- Why we should all just calm down…”

  1. I know im your little brother but I think this blog is awesome. I do have a couple things though. I think maybe less parentheses and more pictures. But other than that it is a great reading and great job.

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