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When Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012, the question on almost everyone’s mind was, “Does this mean they are going to ‘Disney-fy’ Star Wars?” Star Wars Rebels, premiering with “The Spark of Rebellion” on October 3 on the Disney Channel before moving to Disney XD as an ongoing series, gives us our first idea of what that would look like. (You could count the phenomenal Phineas and Ferb Star Wars as the first Disney/Star Wars collaboration if you’re feeling nitpicky.) If Star Wars Rebels is any indication, the galaxy far, far away is now in good hands.
“The Spark of Rebellion” doesn’t waste time with much backstory or exposition; with a setting five years before A New Hope, it assumes (quite correctly) that we already know what life is like under the Emperor’s control: Not good.
Rather than spending much time telling us about the protagonist Ezra and his life on Lothal, the action starts almost immediately, and we are taken for a ride into the Rebels universe along with him.
As the loner teenager finds himself caught up in an unexpected adventure, he’s brought on board the Ghost and learns about what the Rebels are fighting for. Each member of the crew is practically begging to have their story told. Kanan is the unofficial leader of the crew and a Jedi in hiding, and I’m already dying to know more about him. Sabine, the Mandalorian, and Hera, the pilot, are just as fascinating.
Zeb is the bruiser of the crew. His character design, like much of the environment and character art of Star Wars Rebels, is based on the original Star Wars concept art by Ralph McQuarrie. Before Chewbacca was a walking carpet, he looked very similar to the towering, slightly bug-eyed Zeb.
Not only does the art harken back to the beginning of Star Wars and A New Hope, “The Spark of the Rebellion” has snippets of John Williams’ original score. I admit, I’m a sucker for the Star Wars soundtrack. As soon as I heard the familiar strains of “The Tales of a Jedi Knight,” I was sold on Rebels—this is Star Wars.
“The Spark of the Rebellion,” the movie that kicks off Star Wars Rebels, is a promising start to the show. The Clone Wars never caught me, but the lighter tone of Rebels (it’s definitely aimed at a younger crowd) has my interest. Tune in to the Disney Channel on October 3 to see if it has yours.
Star Wars Rebels airs on Disney XD beginning on October 13, 2014.
GeekMom attended a promotional screening event to preview the series.