Friday, October 17, 2014

Star Wars Rebels

Well, with the double-length pilot now out, and the droids cameo episode now out, and with the a Zeb/Ezra buddy "cop" episode impending, I thought it might be a good idea to talk about this show and the Star Wars franchise as a whole (interesting after a bunch of leaked concept art has appeared on the internet just recently.)

I'm still waiting for the show to get really good.  It had a credible beginning.  It's certainly not bad.  But the character relationships and the plot haven't really "gelled" yet.  And although the Robin Hood approach is a familiar one to Americans, who appreciate a good rebel, the problem of keeping these character heroic and sympathetic seems like an interesting and difficult line to walk.  In this regard, I'm interested in seeing where the next episode goes.

What bothers me a little bit is that there isn't any hint yet of a direction for the show. If it devolves into "caper of the week" it won't go very far.  So far, that's all we've seen.  Even the pilot didn't really hint at much of a direction, although it does set up an apparently recurring antagonist in the form of Agent Kallus.  One of the things that made The Clone Wars good were the arcs, however.  If we don't start seeing arcs that go somewhere, this show will not be as good as the show it replaces.  Even though, as my kids say, the era is more interesting.

I do like the concept of an ensemble cast being the crew of a heist team, basically, though.  That's not a bad idea at all, and one that feels almost like a shout-out to RPGers everywhere.  I've heard more than one gamer say that they are tuning into the show basically because the crew of the Ghost reminds them an awful lot of their own PC group in an Edge of the Empire game or something.

Speaking of my kids and the franchise overall, I also recently found out that there's a Star Wars: Battlefront reboot in the works.  This is tremendous, since the first two games are really quite good.  I haven't had a chance to tell my boys yet, but I'm sure they'll be thrilled.  I found some interesting concept art for a fallen Dark Obiwan Kenobi that is pretty interesting.  It's probably best repurposed, but we've seen both Clone Wars and now Star Wars Rebels have been able to quite nicely repurpose old concept art into new characters to good effect.

For what it's worth, the Star Wars Rebels character Zeb is based on original Ralph MacQuarrie concept art for Chewbacca and Chopper is based on old concept art for R2-D2.

And oh, hey, here's some concept art from cancelled game 1313 of a younger Boba Fett.


James Sullivan said...

So far, I am underwhelmed. But that is probably because The Clone Wars spoiled me. Rebels isn't a bad show. But it just seems to lack the style of The Clone Wars. I miss the little aphorisms and war-time news reel clips at the beginning. The little things.

I will continue watching though. My five year olds love it, too, so it won't be hard to keep up with it.

Joshua Dyal said...

I always try to give new shows about half a dozen episodes or so to hit their stride. Luckily for Rebels, it's not bad. I just don't like it as much as I had grown to like Clone Wars.

Joshua Dyal said...

Last night's episode was a fun character episode, I suppose, but again; it doesn't do much to advance the state of things for the crew of the Ghost. I still wonder exactly where they are going with this.

James Sullivan said...

My son and I both enjoyed this last episode. For my part, having not one but two interesting villains is a big help.

Also, the opening sequence of Jedi training on the Ghost while floating at 30,000 feet or so, was absolutely fantastic. What a great lead in that was! My son nearly choked when Ezra fell from the ship. To see a five year old look of shock and then relief when Ezra doesn't fall to his death was awesome. I wish I could see everything through 5 year old eyes again.