Greetings and salutations folks.
In recent Star Wars news actor Donald Glover (‘Community’) aka recording artist Childish Gambino has been cast as young Lando Calrissian in the 2018 Han Solo standalone spin-off movie. Glover will be taking over the role from Billy Dee Williams who played the character in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi; Young actor Alden Ehrenreich had previously been cast as the young Han Solo who was previously played by Harrison Ford.
We last saw the fast talking character of Lando on the small screen when he guest starred in an episode on animated series ‘Star Wars Rebels’ (now that is a fantastic segue). The series, which airs on Disney XD, recently begun its third season though it does not get the amount of love and attention that the movies do. And this is unfortunate because it is a wonderful slice of the Star Wars universe and a must see for any fan.
For this post I will be listing my Top 5 Reasons you need to check out ‘Star Wars Rebels’. Let’s do this thing:
#1 Original trilogy love
‘Star Wars Rebels’ is set in the period between Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope so fans of the original trilogy will be in very familiar territory. It is a time when the Empire is at full strength and the Rebellion is now growing. The weapons, the ships, the music and the sound effects are all the same. And even some of the original trilogy characters can be found making appearances; a young Princess Leia is shown above. Seeing stormtroopers get blasted and TIE fighters explode is like a warm wave of nostalgia flowing over you.
#2 Cool heroes
Our band of rebel heroes are quite the fun group and a worthy addition to the canon. You have plucky Jedi Padawan Ezra Bridger, stoic Jedi Knight Kanan Jarrus, wise and level headed Twi’lek pilot Hera Syndulla, artistic and explosives expert Sabine Wren from Manalore (Boba Fett’s home planet), strong and wisecracking Lasat Garazeb “Zeb” Orrelios and grumpy droid C1-10P aka “Chopper”.
Unlike the prequel trilogy here we have likable, relatable characters that you actually care about. They are a dysfunctional family that laugh together and fight the evil Empire together and it is most enjoyable.
#3 The Clone Wars tie-ins
Before ‘Star Wars Rebels’ there was the ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ CGI animated series (not to be confused with ‘Star Wars: Clone Wars’ micro series) and it was 12 flavours of awesome. For the first time in the franchise we actually got to explore the galaxy and the universe from various perspectives. Many people were disappointed when it was cancelled even with an additional sixth season on Netflix.
While ‘Star Wars Rebels’ may not be of the same caliber of ‘The Clone Wars’ it is still a worthy successor and has been improving with each season. And in its more two seasons there have been a tonne of references and links to its predecessor. The most obvious is the inclusion of former Jedi Knight Ahsoka Tano who was a main character in ‘The Clone Wars’ and kicks a whole lot of butt in ‘Rebels’.
For Season 3 we have the inclusion of freedom fighter Cham Syndulla, Weequay pirate Hondo Ohnaka and clone trooper Captain Rex who lends his military experience to the rebels. The Season 6 episode “The Last Battle” featured battle droids and a Super Tactical Droid and was a beautiful ‘The Clone Wars’ homage.
#4 Awesome action
The show may be on a Disney network but it is no kids series. The battles play out like they do in the movies and you see stormtroopers get blasted and killed and ships explode with both good guys and bad guys. There are stakes here with real life and death consequences and the blaster fights and the lightsaber battles are pretty sweet and exciting.
The space battles also look pretty great and are pulse pounding. The animation in the show overall is high quality and though animated it is like a mini Star Wars movie with every episode. And that is a very good thing.
#5 Epic villains
One of the best aspects of the show is the villains. In Season 1 we had the dread lightsaber wielding Inquisitors and Grand Moff Tarkin. In Season 2 we had Sith Lord Darth Vader himself show up and put the smack down on some rebel behind.
Also in Season 2 the evil Darth Maul also put in an appearance. If you are confused by his reappearance in ‘The Clone Wars’ it was shown that Maul survived his bifurcation in The Phantom Menace and received a mechanical lower half. After stirring up trouble in that series he returned in ‘Rebels’ and attempts to corrupt young Ezra Bridger.
And speaking of villains one of the best decisions by the showrunners was to introduce Grand Admiral Thrawn in Season 3. Thrawn, a blue skinned Chiss and expert tactician, was introduced in the 1991 Timothy Zahn novel Heir to the Empire and is one of the best known and most beloved characters from the Expanded Universe (EU). Now the EU was declared non-canon after Disney bought Lucasfilm so it is really commendable that Thrawn has been brought into the canon. He has only appeared in a handful of episodes but I am already impressed by his cold, calculating manner.
For any Star Wars fan there is a whole lot to love in ‘Rebels’ and if you have not been watching it you are missing out big time. It is definitely time to get caught up in this wonderful corner of a galaxy far, far away.
So have you checked out ‘Star Wars Rebels’? What did you think of it? Feel free to comment below.
For Rogue One: A Star Wars Story trailer number two preview you can click here and for the planned ABC Star Wars TV series you can click here. And for more space opera posts you can like the MovieVille Facebook page here and follow me on Twitter @suprememango012.
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