About the Show
Minor Character Spoilers
The Ghost. When Disney purchased the rights to Star Wars in 2012, only content that was from the movies or the Clone Wars TV show wasn't considered canon. Because they only cover so much of the overall timeline, there's a big time period that we haven't seen.
So with a previously unseen time period, and a different approach to the Star Wars universe, here is three reasons why Star Wars Rebels is excellent:
Reason 1: The A-Team! Wait, I can't call them that can I?
The Clone Wars was quite based in scale, as the series was based on the entire republic, with loads of Jedi, senators and clones on the show. Rebels takes a different approach, as it's based on a small crew on a small ship. This may be similar to other shows and movies in the past, but it's an angle that works well within the Star Wars universe.
The crew amongst the ghost, the small ship that they call home, vary in personality and skills, and are pretty different to what we have seen before in the Star Wars universe. You have Kanan the rogue Jedi, Hera the owner of the ghost, and has many contacts who are willing to fight against the empire, Ezra is a young boy who is a master of deception and luck.
Sabrine is an Mandalorian, who attended imperial school for a short time. This makes her bounty hunter skills and imperial knowledge great for creating plans. Zeb is a Lasat, one of the last of his kind. Similar to a Wookee, he has incredible strength and has excellent combat and weapons skills. Chopper, the sissy sarcastic Droid who usually has a bad temper, he helps out his family when he can.
All of the members of the ghost are very different. With different backgrounds, varying weapons and force training, and ages, they all have very different personalities but are one very strong family that will not stop at nothing to weaken the empire anyway they can. I think these characters are a lot better than most of the big-screen ones!
With Rebels taking place between Episodes III and IV, these rebels are fighting against the empire as they are controlling more and more systems. It also keys in with the original trilogy and the upcoming Rogue One, as these rebels are the earliest people who eventually form the rebel alliance, so the show reflects the small nature of these people.
Reason 2: The Force is not strong with these people… who is it really strong?
One of the strongest parts of the pre-quels and the Clone Wars was the Jedi and the use of the force and lightsabers. Who doesn't like a good lightsaber fight? Thankfully the show has a Jedi and an appreciate on board the ghost… well sort of.
For me personally, one of the big highlights of Star Wars Rebels is the relationship between Kanan and Ezra. Kanan is actually a rogue like Jedi. After his master was killed by order 66, he abandoned his training for sometime, before meeting up with Hera. This is a Jedi that is not fully sure of the extend of his powers and never had the advantage of years of extra training from other Jedi.
By the time Ezra showed up years later, Kanan invited him to be trained to become a Jedi, because of his natural ability to use the force. Ezra is an interesting character too, as he is being trained by a Jedi who isn't a Jedi master – will that have consequences down the line? We can only guess.
Reason 3: Has the best of both worlds of Star Wars
We can all agree that the pre-quels and the original trilogy are very different in tone, style and characters. While The Clone Wars had a very pre-quel felling to the show as a whole, with characters, locations and even dialogue from that era of the films, Rebels feels different. It feels like the original trilogy - but with the animation style of the Clone Wars.
I would actually go one step further, I would say it's a cross between the Clone Wars and the original trilogy, with the best of both worlds. You have great fights, with both blaster battles (like the original trilogy) and fast paced lightsaber duels (like the pre-quels). You also have lots of great new characters that are introduced in Rebels, but also has returning fan-favourite characters that fans will love that are making a comeback.
Since the show is set in a part of the timeline that is largely that spoken of in the films, its great to fill the gap with some great stories. While the show does have some great fan service, it is to fill the show with more back story to characters and locations we already love. This is never at the expense of the new characters and locations we visit, which is one of this shows greatest strengths – mixing new and old flawlessly.
When I initially heard of Star Wars Rebels (and feeling a little bitter of Disney ending the Clone Wars early) it only took a few episodes for me to really like the series. It's really solid so far (with two seasons under its belt at the time of writing) but the big question is still unanswered: how will the series end? I look forward to finding out the answer to that question.
My One Big Highlight
While the appearance of Darth Vader was fantastic to see (although you knew the outcome of his duels), it was the re-appearance of Ahsoka Tano that I was really excited by. My all-time favourite Star Wars character, I was really pleased to see her on the show again, and see what she has been doing since the Clone Wars.
Elephant In the Room
My initial fear of few Jedi fights and lightsaber use was put to rest on the first episode, that Kanan relieved himself to be a Jedi. I thought this was a little rushed, it would of worked a lot better if this had been played for a few episodes, so to give the audience and Ezra a surprise.