Star Wars Rebels - Season 1 Review

Season two of Star Wars Rebels just started airing, so let's take a look back at the surprisingly good first season.
Taking place five years before Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Star Wars Rebels follows the crew of the Ghost as they make attacks against the Empire as they try to spark a Rebellion. 

Before its release, Star Wars Rebels appeared to be a rushed replacement for the superb Clone Wars series. The trailers for the series made it look even worse than we all feared. However, to everyone's surprise, Star Wars Rebels turned out far better than we could have hoped.

Plot 7.0/10- Star Wars Rebels started a bit shaky with several weak episodes that started to lean towards the younger audience with its tone and content. At times, during the early, the series was a slog to get through, as the more childish tone in the first three episodes was more apparent. Thankfully, by the midway part of the series, Rebels' storylines improved with a stronger tie-in to the larger Star Wars universe and surprise cameos by classic characters.

In terms of tone, Rebels remained generally lighthearted throughout. However, it managed to almost capture the feel of the Original Trilogy at times. As the series headed towards the finale, the episodes continued to improve until the superb final episodes. With that said, Rebels fails to live up to the Clone Wars' dark and complex stories, yet it still had its moments of darkness.

Characterization: 7.2/10- The crew of misfits actually had some development, and to a degree, they reminded me of Firefly's crew of likable characters. 

Ezra Bridger is the main protagonist, and he is easily the least interesting. His character seems to be more aimed at the younger audience, and even though he progresses as a character, he is just an average character.

Kanan Jarrus is a human Jedi that survived Order 66, and due to circumstances, is cavalier and cowboy-ish in his attitude. Hera Syndulla is the Twi'lek owner and pilot of the Ghost, the ship that the team flies, and she has a romantic relationship with Kanan, although it is only vaguely hinted throughout the series. Both characters are fairly interesting as they remind me of Wash and Zoe from Firefly to a small degree.

Sabine Wren is the graffiti artist and Mandalorian explosive expert and one of the more fun characters on the crew. Based on the original concept art for Chewbacca, Zeb Orrelios is the muscle of the crew and one of the last of his race after Empire slaughtered his people. His backstory is interesting, although, due to the content restrictions of the series, his seemingly tragic backstory cannot be shown.

Lastly, The Inquisitor is the main antagonist of the series. Thankfully, despite the content restrictions of the series, he is allowed to kill people mercilessly to demonstrate his villainy when needed. 

Animation: 5.5/10- My main issue with the series is the awful character designs. Ezra, the main protagonist, looks absolutely ridiculous with his giant nose, and while the female characters look fine, it is hard to take the series seriously when the protagonist looks like that. Overall, the background art is where the series shines, yet it is a far cry from The Clone Wars' last two seasons in terms of quality and atmosphere, unfortunately. 

Acting: 7.8/10- The cast's strength is how many classic actors, like Frank Oz (Yoda) and James Earl Jones (Darth Vader), return to create some amazing cameos. The main cast is okay, except for Jason Isaacs as The Inquisitor, who stands out as an impressive villain.

Entertainment Value: 7.3/10- The early episodes can be boring and the childish are annoying. However, towards the end, the classic Star Wars feel makes for an entertaining series to sit and enjoy.

Overall: 7.3/10- Star Wars Rebels is a fun and enjoyable series once you get past the slow start. It might not be nearly as dark or complex as we might have hoped, but with such an impressive season finale, it makes me excited to see what season two will deliver next and how it will tie-in to the overall Star Wars universe.

Watch if you like: Star Wars, Animation, 

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