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A Spark of Rebellion

Directed by: Steward Lee
Written by: Simon Kinberg

Star Wars Rebels, the latest chapter in the Star Wars saga, has finally arrived with the extended premiere episode “A Spark of Rebellion.”  After a year of teases and trailers we finally meet our new heroes.

Rebels begins in classic Star Wars fashion, no opening credits or introductions, just a logo and the adventure begins.  We’ve already seen the first 7 minutes of the show online, the only difference being a brief holographic introduction by Ezra before the title.

The primary focus of the episode is Ezra.  We follow him as he outwits Imperials and then stumbles into Kanan’s plan to steal supplies from the local garrison.  Ezra is street wise and seems to be good at thinking on his feet, adapting to new situations with ease.  Before he has had time to stop and think about it he’s on the run from the Empire, dodging speeder bikes, stormtroopers and TIE fighters.  His only hope of escape is aboard the Ghost with Kanan’s crew.

Kanan and his crew have been causing enough trouble for the local Imperials that Agent Kallus, a special agent from the Imperial Security Bureau is sent out to deal with them before they can provoke a full rebellion.  Kallus is a classic Imperial villain.  He is smart and not the mustache twirling type that we had so often on The Clone Wars.  It’s not until the final scene that we meet the other series villain, The Inquisitor, via hologram.

The story is fast moving and action packed.  The heroes always seem to be outmatched and out gunned.  The Ghost and her crew is capable of handling themselves in a fight.  They rely heavily on the advantage of surprise, hit the Empire fast and hard to slow them down while you grab what you can and run.  We see them take out just enough troopers or TIEs to clear a path so they can escape.  I highly doubt we will see the large scale style battles we got so accustomed to on The Clone Wars.

Comparisons to the The Clone Wars are inevitable.  It’s clear that Lucasfilm is not trying to replace The Clone Wars.  Rebels has a completely different feel, the story here is far more small scale and personal than anything from The Clone Wars.  Rebels is much more in the Saturday morning adventure style.  This is a mostly fun and lighthearted adventure story, and nearly all of the humour works.  Only a few times did I find myself grimacing at a joke that felt forced.

The episode wraps with the warning message that Obi-wan sent out after Order 66.  It’s a touching moment that reminds us all that everyone on board the Ghost is fighting for something that has been lost, taken from them by the Empire.

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