The start of a rebellion
You can never have too much Star Wars. Fans of the fight against the Empire will be all over Star Wars Rebels, the new CGI animated show that's headed to Disney XD this October. Made by the experts at Lucasfilm that produced the excellent Star Wars: The Clone Wars series, the clips I saw at San Diego Comic-Con lead me to believe that this one's gonna be a winner.
Whereas The Clone Wars takes place between Episodes 2 and 3, Rebels bridges the gap between the new and old trilogies, as it's set five years before the events of Episode 4: A New Hope. And unlike Clone Wars, which bounces between characters and multiple ends of the universe between episode arcs, Rebels revolves a core group of six do-gooders fighting back against the Empire from their starship Ghost.
Leading the group is Kanan (Freddie Prinze, Jr.), a roguish Jedi who survived Order 66. He's taken young Ezra (Taylor Gray) under his wing, trying to teach the teenage thief some discipline. They're joined by Hera (Vanessa Marshall), a blaster-toting Twi'lek with maternal instincts for the group, and Sabine (Tiya Sircar), a spunky Mandalorian (like Boba Fett) who loves to literally leave her mark by tagging Empire property with spraypaint. Rounding out the crew of the Ghost is Zeb (Steve Blum, who you probably recognize from roughly one million games), a husky Lasat alien who's like the crazy uncle of this makeshift family, and Chopper, an astromech droid who really only helps out when he feels like it. "If R2-D2 is like a dog, then Chopper is like a cat," laughed Rebels' executive producer Dave Filoni. Opposing these upstart rebels is the Galactic Empire at large, as well as a Sith known as The Inquisitor, who wields a double-bladed lightsaber that spins like a glowing red helicopter rotor (a concept that was originally considered for The Force Unleashed games).
Rebels sounds like it'll hit many of the same high points that Clone Wars does: exciting all-ages entertainment, with the same carefully crafted mix of action, suspense, comic relief, and dark plots that defines the original Star Wars trilogy. I don't typically watch Disney XD, but it looks like I'm about to start.
Check out the following images for additional info!
Kanan's no stranger to wielding a Lightsaber, but he has to carefully choose when to use it, since brandishing one makes you an instant target in a post-Order 66 universe.
The voice actors all agree that Vanessa Marshall, who plays Hera, is the most hardcore Star Wars fan among them, with Prinze, Jr. being a close second.
Zeb is kinda like a hybrid of Chewbacca and Han Solo, and Blum's gravelly voice is great fit for the character. One clip showed Zeb rescuing Ezra in a hijacked TIE fighter.
After so many years staring at Clone Troopers, it's awesome to see the classic Storm Trooper helmet and armor designs.
Sabine is easily the most badass member of the group, whether she's in her full suit of Mandalorian armor or not.