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STAR WARS: REBELS Season 1
#1

Premiering at the end of September.



Disney's first strike in their new STAR WARS multiverse.



When the first previews hit I was a bit skeptical about having another Jedi, another Padawan, another Sith...



But over the last month of watching the ramp up for this, I'm actually relatively optimistic about this show.  Sure it's for DisneyXD, so maybe it might skew a bit younger than THE CLONE WARS- though maybe not, it's hard to say.



I never watched TCW until it's appearance on Netflix, then I worked my way thru the series over 6 months.  It started off weak and got progressively better as it went on- turning initially gown-inducing characters like Ahsoka into fan favourites by the end of the run.



I'm getting my now 4 year old son all worked up for the premier- this will be his first real exposure to Star Wars.



I think what I initially found off-putting above is now what I'm most looking forward too about the show.  Since none of the main characters are familiar or known to make it thru to either the OT or later- there's a real opportunity to do a story where you really don't know what's going to happen.  This is in sharp contrast to TCW, where the fates of any of the leads was never in question.  And in that context the villains were never really threatening.  Obi-wan and Anakin could never get killed.  Dooku or Grevious could never be truly defeated.  It a way it trapped the show into a format very familiar to kids shows in general- where every week the hero would beat the villain, and then have to do it again next week.



Outside of knowing that these Rebels aren't going to topple the empire anytime soon, it's all up in the air.  And if anything, the prognosis is pretty bleak for the heroes.  I can't help think that Kanan, who isn't even a full Jedi, is ultimately a doomed character.  Perhaps Ezra will ultimately survive and pop up in the new trilogy, but I think ultimately all the characters are expendable- which is a great thing story-wise.



Filoni certainly seems to be saying the right things about the overarching narrative of the show- and I'm sure for him it's somewhat freeing to not just be bounding around a narrative box between two movies.

Hopefully show can maximize the potential of it's setup.  I'm very curious to see what comes of it- and see how my son reacts to his first long-form narrative experience.

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#2
AI was heartened by the 70s look and seeming spirit of the show, but the animation is a nob starter for me, I just don't like the style.
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#3

Did you watch CLONE WARS?  Do you see this as different bad or same bad.



They're definitely going with a less "painterly" and overtly "squared-off" style for character design.



I'm expecting the show to have a somewhat rocky start, just like TCW, but if the characters are interesting- it can carry me thru any issues I have with the animation, which I think we need to qualify is leaps and bound better than anything I could have imagined was possible for TV when I was a kid.  It can't be Pixar or similarly feature-level slick on a TV budget.

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#4

I actively dislike the incredibly bland aesthetic and rendering.



I'm told the budget on this series is lower than it was for Clone Wars which eventually evolved into an incredibly GORGEOUS show.



What I've seen of this makes it feel like seeing REBOOT again (relatively).  Of course, should the show be good and continue to evolve, I hope it can develop the way Clone Wars did.

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#5

I've heard that too.  I think I remember hearing Lucas didn't even have a distribution parter when they were working on CLONE WARS- and it was only later that CN bought in.



I think the comparisons to REBOOT are a bit harsh- but I agree it doesn't feel as... textured as CW was.  There are some truly beautiful episodes of that show- but I have to admit that as far as character design goes, I'm liking what I see of REBELS over the overly blocky aesthetic of TCW.



I think I'm willing to give the show a bit more of a shot cause of the crap I've had to watch with my 4 years old son in the last couple years.  I rue the day he discovered 20 years worth of POWER RANGERS on Netflix!  Ug.



If this has a decent narrative spine then it will carry me through rocky first season- it will be better than a lot of alternatives.

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#6

I came to love the blocky wood puppet aesthetic of Clone Wars.  It felt like a CHOICE.



Rebels so far looks like stock/default character models in whatever CG modeling program.



I can't remember which podcast, but I listened to some people comment on seeing a 3 episode arc at a convention that played out like a movie.  Their word was very positive.

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#7

Yeah, they played the SPARK OF REBELLION (basically the first 2 episodes) at a special screening at COMICON.  Any reviews I've heard have been pretty positive so far- much better than the initial reviews of the CLONE WARS movie (which was also the first 3 episodes badly hacked together).



I had to laugh the other day when I realized Lucasfilm HAD previously explored this era in the STAR WARS universe... with DROIDS!

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#8

True enough.  We'll know ourselves in a few week- my son is very excited about the characters, so that's going to be my window on this.  If it's a step up of from other things he makes me watch like RESCUE BOTS or godhelpme POWER RANGERS, it will be enjoyable enough.



I came away from CLONE WARS relatively impressed- though certain arcs were junk, but that's going to happen in just about any show with 22ep seasons.

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#9

I'm definitely down for this. Especially with the talent involved and the era they'll be exploring. Can't wait!

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#10
AWhy isn't this in TV?
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#11

Gonna be fascinating to see how this show goes.  There's gotta be tons of pressure on Filoni and Weisman to deliver, given that this is the first really big thing to come out of the Disney acquisition.  Word out of Comic-Con was positive, though (for what that's worth), and they've been running around the country doing preview screenings of those two episodes plus an additional one - word there is also quite positive.


Then again, if it's a free screening, by and large you can find an audience who'll cheer whatever you throw up on the screen and create positive buzz.  Especially for a franchise big-deal thing like this.

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#12

It's available to watch via the DisneyXD app or website apparently.  Can't get it where I am.



Response continues to be very positive.



It will broadcast a week from today, then be available for download shortly after on iTunes.

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#13

Just watched it.  It's a solid enough start - the opening is definitely the weakest section, but once Ezra is on the Ghost it picks up considerably.  It uses way more of the Williams themes than Clone Wars ever did, and it's a lot of fun to hear them again.  More importantly, it did a pretty decent job of defining most of the main characters.  Zeb in particular is the scene-stealer (he has a great moment about two-thirds of the way through after he's had to make a difficult choice that really gives the sense this is not the first time he's had to make that decision, and his vitriolic relationship with Ezra has a lot of potential), but aside from Sabine the Mando girl it gives a pretty good sense of who all the rebels are.  The biggest issue thus far is the villains - Agent Kallus (which, I know this is Star Wars, but really?) is the only one who feels competent, whereas the stormtroopers often feel like they're auditioning for the Keystone Kops.  There are definitely indications of what the Empire is capable of, though, so hopefully Filoni and Weisman can work on this -  not asking for it to be grim or gritty at all, but so long as the bad guys seem like they actually challenge the heroes, that will make the show that much better.  Animation's all right, except for one classic SW species that looks flat-out terrible.  Dialogue can be a bit simplistic, but it is Star Wars, and an animated show, so it's not going to be Shakespeare.  Tonally, it does feel very OT-ish once it really gets going and, for the beginning of Disney's Star Wars, could've been a hell of a lot worse.  I'd say it's certainly a lot better than early TCW, at the least.  So, overall, not perfect, but promising.

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#14

Yeah, I thought it was a pretty solid debut.  Agreed on the "classic-species" observation though.  I was thinking "Rebels I want to love you quit making it hard!"  Aside from that, good stuff.  Felt like classic Star Wars with some new blood playing in the sandbox.



The isolated snippets previously released felt a bit cutesy, but I think they'll work fine in the grand scheme.  Pink Boba Fett even grew on me as long as they don't treat her like a gimmick.

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#15

I'm confused.  Where can I see this?

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#16

It's on DisneyXD's OnDemand/App, depending on your cable provider:  http://watchdisneyxd.go.com/star-wars-rebels



But it'll air on Disney proper on Friday.

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#17

I was fairly pleased.  A solid start with some rough edges.



A couple of clips are floating around from future episodes that seemingly up the ante for the heroes.  And not necessarily in good ways.  REBELS is much fewer episodes than CLONE WARS, so I'd expect much less narrative treading water in the course of a season.

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#18
AIts good. Like it a lot.

Got a good aesthetic and feels more Star Warsy than I was expecting (as in more like the original Star Wars than any of the other movies.
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#19

Oh yes this was a lot of fun. The style, the humor and the Empire being complete dicks definitely felt firmly rooted in the OT.  Really liked the use of the Force theme when Ezra was letting his instincts guide him to the Holocron and lightsaber stashed away in Kanan's quarters.



Looking forward to where this show goes given the creative team behind it.

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#20

I am so extremely very happy with this.  Without going too nuts, that was the most I've enjoyed Star Wars since the OT.  The look was perfect and very old school Star Wars.  The characters were fun and interesting, Stormtroopers got KILLED, which for some reason was a big deal for me.  If this is the direction Disney is going to go for handling Star Wars it's the best thing that has happened to the franchise since fucking Empire.

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#21

Oh, and how about that Jedi reveal moment?  What a great scene.

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#22
Quote:

Originally Posted by Freeman View Post
 

Oh, and how about that Jedi reveal moment?  What a great scene.


Agreed. It's fantastic how everything just stops when Kanan busts out the lightsaber. Made the Jedi feel special in a way they haven't in a long time.

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#23
AThe subtle use of the Force theme was great.

In fact all of the cues were used to perfection.

And The Empire is back to being British!

And yeah, Stormtroopers died. The main baddie even kicked one to his death.

Jedi reveal was tops. We cheered Smile
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#24
AI loved the kick. It's such a Saturday morning cartoon thing to say no, he's okay! Only to kill him a moment later.
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#25
Quote:

Originally Posted by Freeman View Post
 

Oh, and how about that Jedi reveal moment?  What a great scene.


This was what amazed me:



The Prequels gave us 6 hours of lightsabers swinging around with massive choreography.



This show gave us 10 seconds of a guy walking TOWARDS the enemy, assembling his lightsaber, and turning it on.



And one of those gave me goosebumps.

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#26

I agree that this has gotten off to a really good start. The characters are all likeable, the action is well done, and it has the kick-ass Star Wars music from the OT! It's been a while since I followed an animated show but this feels like it might be worth my time.

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#27

Dead on with how this made the Jedi feel more awesome and mysterious than all the PT did.  And Obi-Wan's holocron message had more tragedy over their fall than all of the Order 66 with about half the effort.



Totally hit the ground running, and is miles ahead of where Clone Wars was at this point.

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#28

Not surprising really after all the trial and error of the early seasons of TCW.  You can tell Filoni and Co.  are just having a ball doing this show.



Watched it again last night and enjoyed it even more.

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#29

This looks like fun.

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#30
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jacob Singer View Post
 

This looks like fun.


Oh it's great.

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#31

I love the preview for the next episode makes it look like a lost episode of DROIDS. Which, ironically enough, was also set in the same time period.  I still remember when ABC would do their live action "Saturday Morning Cartoon preview" specials back in the 1980s.  The 1985 season that also brought us the 13 GHOSTS OF SCOOBY DOO (w/ Vincent Price!), TURBO TEEN. and yes, RUBIK THE AMAZING CUBE.  Yes I've just hopelessly dated myself.



But I digress, this show will appeal to SW fans young and old.

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#32

These reactions are a big relief. I enjoyed the shorts, even if I wasn't 100% sold on the animation and character design. But this is sounding as good as I was hoping.

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#33
Quote:

Originally Posted by Workyticket View Post
 

These reactions are a big relief. I enjoyed the shorts, even if I wasn't 100% sold on the animation and character design. But this is sounding as good as I was hoping.


Honestly, if they shore up the animation and keep this tone, this could be something very special.



I watched it again, and the Tone was what really stuck out this time - this is a show where people really die (agree with the above poster who noted how satisfying it was to see Stormtroopers get shot/blown up/fall to their deaths and not get up), but with the right amount of humor thrown in to keep it from seeming needlessly violent.  This show nails Han's "Don't get cocky!" and "*blast* eh, it was a lousy conversation anyway" humor while delivering the adventure too.  That's a credit to the writers, and a balancing act that despite how easy ANH and Empire made it look, is incredibly hard to achieve.



The animation needs to improve pretty rapidly though.  And whoever thought the chin-beard thing was a good idea for the Jedi needs a spouse.  In fact, facial hair in this show was decidedly weird.  That Imperial commander's facial hair was a perfect mirror of his helmet.

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#34

I'm not crazy about the look of our Jedi, but I liked the Agents mutton chops.  He reminds me of the best and coolest class in The Old Republic, the evil James Bond Imperial Agent, only with Wolverine mutton chops.

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#35

You expect characters in a galaxy far, far away to have to good facial grooming? The nerve of you lot!



Next you'll be telling me that having naked Wookiees on a Disney show is an FCC violation or some such rubbish.

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