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A Quart of Oil With Joe2-D2: A Fan’s Own “Rebels” Reaction

A Quart of Oil With Joe2-D2: A Fan’s Own “Rebels” Reaction

R2DECAF by Tom Carlton

R2DECAF by Tom Carlton

 

Unless you’ve been living on the moon or under a rock, you’ve probably heard of the newSWRebels_Heroes copy cartoon series, Star Wars Rebels.  At the time that this is being written, there have been 4 regular episodes along with the 1-hour premier episode.  With the absence of concrete plot details for Episode VII, Rebels is fulfilling the average Star Wars fan’s appetite for new Star Wars content.  In the past year, Lucasfilm has made a big push to get the fans prepped for Rebels.  Rebels was the primary focus of the Star Wars Weekends at Disney World over the summer.  But is Rebels worth all the hype?  Is it really THAT good?  Does this particular fan enjoy the show.  Let’s find out.

WARNING:  There are possible spoilers ahead, so read on at your own risk.

As mentioned, Lucasfilm has put forth a large campaign to get fans excited.  They’ve given us introductions to the 6-person crew of the Ghost and the two main antagonists.  They’ve released teasers, trailers, clips and previews.  They’ve even let us see the first 7 minutes of the premier episode, Spark of Rebellion.  Just on the Coffee With Kenobi website there have been over 50 articles that were Rebels related, and that’s not including the articles where Rebels is only briefly mentioned.  But I think they released too much.  Lucasfilm spoiled two major reveals in the clips leading up to the premier, Kanan being a Jedi, and the Inquisitor’s lightsaber skills.  I feel that showing these two clips early lessened the impact of the reveals when viewing the actual episodes.  Fortunately, these are the only major reveals that have been spoiled for me.  Since I stopped watching clips, I have no foreknowledge of what’s coming.

Another thing that I didn’t like was having Vader’s scene with the Inquisitor put in Spark of Rebellion.  It made the Inquisitor’s intro at the end a little redundant.  I think they should have put the scene in another episode, possibly at the end of Droids in Distress or the beginning of Rise of the Old Masters.  I did, however, like the scene.  It gave us proof that the Inquisitor was doing a job that was assigned to him by the Emperor.  It also proved that there were Jedi that had survived Order 66, besides Obi-Wan and Yoda.

But enough negativity about the handling of the series by Lucasfilm.  Let’s talk about my thoughts on the actual series.  First of all, I thoroughly enjoy the series.  The characters are well-written and well-voiced.  In just the 5 episodes that have aired, you have had a good mix of action sequences and serious moments, as well as some comedic elements, especially between Chopper, Ezra and Zeb.  I especially like all the nods to the Original Trilogy that occur during an episode.  From the scream of a TIE Fighter flying by to the sounds a blaster rifle makes when fired.  All these sound effects help give the series a Star Wars type feel.  Plus, Kevin Kiner, the composer for the soundtrack, brilliantly mixes his own work, which has the Star Wars feel, with specific pieces from John Williams’ original score.

The show has successfully been able to link itself to both the Original Trilogy, and the Prequel Trilogy.  One particular episode, Droids in Distress, does exactly that.  That episode featured our favorite droid duo, C-3PO and R2-D2, in another adventure.  The episode ended with a scene with Senator Bail Organa which kinda gave the impression that we will be seeing him in a later episode, but that is just a little speculation.

You are probably wondering what I think of the cast and who my favorite characters are.  Well, ask and you shall receive.  Being a fan of R2 specifically, and astro mechs in general, I really enjoy Chopper and his gruff personality.  Since it’s a different personality type than R2, it makes you wonder if that is something that is programmed into the droids’ memory or if that is developed over time.  I also like the way Chopper antagonized Ezra and Zeb, usually causing them to argue with each other.  Another of my favorites is Zeb.  He’s the muscle of the group who “enjoys the feel of stormtrooper helmets on his fists.”  He also has a soft side when it comes to Ezra, even though they act like brothers.  Zeb cares for Ezra, but doesn’t always show it outwardly.  Zeb may not be totally fearless, but he is still willing to risk his life to get the job done and save a member of the crew, if needed.  As far as the rest of the crew, here’s how they rank in my head.  1. Chopper, 2. Zeb, 3. Sabine, 4. Hera, 5. Kanan, 6. Ezra.  I prefer the Inquisitor over Agent Kallus because of his mysteriousness and ruthlessness.  He seems like he’ll do almost anything to catch the remaining Jedi.

Do I think Rebels is a perfect show?  No.  There are things that I would like to see happen.  I would love to see more character-driven episodes that focus on other members of the crew, besides Kanan and Ezra, especially Sabine and Hera.  I know next Monday’s episode will feature both of the female characters and we’ll get to know a little more about Sabine’s history, but I would like to know more.  I would also like to find out more about Agent Kallus and how he got to the rank that he is.  I’m fine with not knowing too much about the Inquisitor.  That just adds to his mystique.  Also, will we see more characters from the Original Trilogy, such as Luke or Leia or Han?  I would like to see how Ezra’s training progresses and if anything will develop between Ezra and Sabine.  Luckily, we are only 4 episodes in so there is plenty of time to get things developed.

So what is my final opinion of the show?  The overall grade for the show so far would be a B+.  There are some good things that have already happened and the building blocks for some other events.  As stated above, if some of the other characters are fleshed out and the story comes along, then that grade will definitely go up.  Check back with me at the end of Season 1.  I’m excited for this series and how it builds towards Episode IV.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.  I would love to hear your opinions on the show.  Please feel free to leave a comment below.  If you would like to get in touch with me personally, there are a number of ways.  You can send an e-mail to joe2@coffeewithkenobi.com, or you can reach me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/joe2d2.  You can also find me on Twitter @joe2d2_joe, although I’m not on Twitter that much.

Once again, thanks for taking the time to read my post.

Remember, The Force Will Be With You, Always.

This IS the podcast you’re looking for.

 

R2DECAF Used with permission.  Check out Tom’s other artwork at www.tomcarltonart.com.

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2 Comments

  1. Melinda Wolf
    November 18, 2014 at 10:30 Reply

    I really like “Rebels”, Joe. 🙂 One facet of the series that I enjoy is that we learn bits and pieces about the various characters — just a little at a time. Let’s face it, there isn’t a great deal that can be revealed in a 30-minute show — and the actual show doesn’t incorporate the full 30 minutes!

    I may not agree with you about getting too much information prior to the show’s debut, but I certainly see your point. I am eager to find out what happens to the rebels! Dan Filoni and team are doing a great job! 🙂

    My favorite character? (not that you asked, but I’ll share with you anyway 😉 ) Hera. That’s not to take anything away from the rest of the cast. She just ranks in there at # 1 with me. 🙂

    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on the show. I, for one, am ecstatic that the series already has been picked up for a second season! More to look forward to!!! 😉

  2. Becca Benjamin
    November 23, 2014 at 13:40 Reply

    REBELS Rule! 🙂
    Great entry, Joe. It’s always interesting to hear another’s POV to shed light on different points or perspectives. Making us think “out side the box” is what makes this fandom so funtastic 🙂

    Loving REBELS so far and my favorite characters are: Hera and Kanan. I’m sure you already know why lol! Being a Huge fan of the romantics and the love story; these two fill that role for me and they do it well.

    Happy Thanksgiving Joe!

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