This morning I got to go to a special screening of the first two episodes of the new Star Wars cartoon show, Star Wars: Rebels. The show itself doesn't premier for a few weeks, so this was a cool little sneak peek for Star Wars fans.
I will start off by saying this was a far better beginning than what we got with the last SW cartoon, Star Wars: The Clone Wars.We've been given a much more interesting group of main characters fighting the good fight.
It seems to me that one of the reasons Rebels works so much better than Clone Wars is because with Rebels we have all new characters, on new planets, using aged equipment and actually being a small band of average people (With the one Jedi exception) fighting for what they believe is right. So much of it feels like classic trilogy style. It gives us hope that the new series will actually stay true to what made the original movies so good.
I won't go into the plot here, as some might feel there are spoilers to be found there. I will say it is a fairly basic story to begin with, which makes sense, as we need to focus more on the characters and their relationships to start with before we let the story get complicated. So we get what we need here to draw us into this new area of the Star Wars universe.
One of the more noticeable aspects for fans like me is the use of the earlier concept art by Ralph McQuarrie. His conceptual design for Chewbacca has become the character Zeb Orrelios. The speeder bikes and some of the new category of Stormtrooper are the concept art. The show's main astormech droid 'Chopper' has some of the concept for R2-D2 to his design. In the preview for the rest of the season we see a concept C-3PO. My guess is we are in for surprises as the season progresses with various nods to all manner of unused ideas from over the years.
I never like saying this earlier on what I think of a new series. There is no way to tell in just the first few episodes how good the full series will be. I will say Star Wars: Rebels is off to a good start and if they can keep the story going at this level it should be a truly enjoyable ride.