Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Star Wars Rebels has turned in a pretty good first season making me ask if it is really possible for a Star Wars story NOT to succeed?

Sheena Kay Graham asked me if I could do a Star Wars Rebels post, so here it is :).

The fact that Star Wars Rebels got renewed for a second season is more a testament to how intriguing the universe of Star Wars really is (and by extension, how much of a genius move it was for Walt Disney to scoop up the rights from George Lucas) than it is to solid animation, lightsaber mechanics, or any characters that we actually care about.

Don't get me wrong. I'm a fan of Star Wars Rebels, but it's not because I think Ezra or Kanan are particularly awesome. It's not because I think Hera is the most badass pilot ever to fly the skies, nor am I particularly enamored by the Mandalorian Sabine. It's because I just like the universe, and the writers of the show obviously know this about its audience because the strongest episodes in the debut season all incorporate cameos from the best characters that have already appeared in everything outside of Star Wars Rebels.
The latest face to grace Star Wars Rebels is Grand Moff Tarkin, and I got to admit, he looks a lot like the character once played by Peter Cushing. And he remains someone that you really don't want to mess with (there's a reason that he actually outranked Vader--the only Imperial "non-force using" officer I know of with that kind of power). But knowing this, it begs the question: who else have we seen this season?

Obi-Wan Kenobi made a disembodied appearance in the pilot episode. And of course who can forget Lando Calrissian? I always liked that space rogue, and it's fun to think we might see how the character came to possess the Millennium Falcon. And Darth Vader's breathing over the season finale's trailer means that we're probably going to see the most famous Dark Lord of the Sith fairly soon. I won't go into questions on whether it will be through a hologram or through an actual encounter. But I'd think they'd stay away from an actual encounter simply because Vader is too powerful for this group to even be able to remotely handle. If they run into him, it'd be ridiculous if people didn't die. And finally we've heard Yoda's voice through the actual Frank Oz. That was a fun episode that resulted in Ezra getting a crystal from a hidden Jedi Temple that he could use to make into a lightsaber/pistol combo. It's actually kind of a brilliant design no doubt motivated by the fact that Ezra knows he sucks with a lightsaber and would like a gun until he gets better.
Who is Fulcrum?
However, the thing that's got me intrigued the most is Hera's contact, Fulcrum. In this week's episode, Fulcrum (who strikes me as a woman) tells Hera point blank that they need to abandon Kanan who is now in the hands of the Empire. I'm beginning to think that Fulcrum is Ahsoka Tano from smash hit The Clone Wars. If this is true, then she's probably the best Jedi outside of Yoda and Obi-Wan that's still alive. Remember, Ahsoka was Anakin's padawan and was officially awarded the title of Jedi Knight but refused it.  So technically, when Yoda tells Luke in Return of the Jedi, "When gone am I, the last of the Jedi will you be" remains true. Additionally, the exchange between Yoda and the spirit of Obi-Wan where it's indicated "there is another" if Luke fails is probably a direct reference to Ahsoka Tano and not Leia (as many have speculated without evidence).

Suffice it to say that I'm glad the series has been renewed. I hope that the big reveal of who Fulcrum really is happens soon. But now that I tabulate all of the things that I love about Star Wars Rebels and realize that they are all connected to the overall canon, it makes me wonder if it is really possible for a Star Wars story NOT to succeed? 

17 comments:

  1. Well, the last three movies weren't good, so it is possible for them not to succeed. However, I think the next three installments will redeem that fact.
    Glad you enjoy Rebels and that they renewed it.

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    1. I liked the last three movies (the prequels). And they made a lot of money which makes them a commercial success.

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  2. I enjoy the show when I get a chance to watch it. It would be neat if they worked Ahsoka into it as she just kind of disappeared from Clone Wars.

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    1. Wouldn't you disappear given what happened to those who stayed? She musta had some vision of the future and knew to get the hell out of Dodge.

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  3. I know I will check this out eventually, but I'm still peeved that Clone Wars had to be canceled. Totally left us hanging with the fate of Ahsoka. :/

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    1. I agree, and I also think that the Clone Wars was a better series (especially toward the end). However, if things go as I suspect that they will, we'll be seeing her soon :)

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  4. I've only seen the first episode, because Target sold a special DVD of it. I can't wait to be able to buy the season and sit down and watch it.

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    1. I think you'll like it, but it's a different flavor from The Clone Wars. I tend to think that The Clone Wars was a much better series (and funner).

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  5. It does seem as if nothing Star Wars related can fail.

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    1. Star Wars Holiday Special says hello

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    2. I never saw it. Was it as terrible as some people claim?

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  6. My grandson is the third generation who loves Obi Wan.

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  7. As long as those who hold the rights continue to care for that universe, it should continue to do well.

    On another note, for some reason this reminded me of a couple students I met. One named Calrissian (I kid you not) and one named Anakin.

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  8. Disney is smart enough to hire the best writers, and the best writers know you don't mess up a franchise like this. But as Alex said, the movies weren't so good, but maybe that falls back on Lucas? Don't know.

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    1. I think people had unrealistic expectations for the prequels. If it had been a different director on his first go out, people might have embraced the work as "genius."

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  9. Thank you for following up on my request Michael. Star Wars Rebels is one of the best animated series I have seen in years and I just love not only how the story flows but the characters right down to the details of their facial expression. My fave episode this season is Call to Action and I loved how from big to small things told you something no words had to. Like when Kanan broke the lift when The Inquisitor showed up or a quick second of worry on Grand Motiff Tarkin's face when he heard the communication tower was hacked only to go back to formal. Plus we both know what he ended up doing so it was clear that he is a man who is ready to make the tough calls.

    Also the fact that The Inquisitor listens to him despite clearly not being exactly his best friend (does The Inquisitor even want friends? Probably not.) says plenty. I enjoyed when Tarkin made the sarcastic remark about not having anyone to deal with the rebels, especially the Jedi, right in front of his face. No clearer way to tell someone that they are sucking at their job.Sabine's skills on the field say more than any flashback could, she decided to be a rebel despite having the talent to be a top soldier for the empire. That takes not just guts but some serious soul searching due to the consequences if she is captured and punished. There is so much more I could say but I will leave it here. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and giving me some extra insight. The prequel movies are what got me into Star Wars (saw the last one at the movies) and I'm glad it did. Before I thought it would be too hard to try and follow the franchise.

    Monday will be the season finale and with Sleepy Hollow season two finished I can watch it at night instead of early the next morning. Yay! I might just live tweet on it. Enjoy your weekend Michael.

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