I thought it time to write a review of Star Wars Rebels, the new Star Wars animated series that replaces The Clone Wars. After the pilot and the subsequent 7 episodes I have come to like this show. The 22 minute duration makes it snappy if a bit short. The humor is top-notch but the series is not afraid to show a darker side either. It’s not like it got much of a choice after previous series. I think Rebels has the wonderful opportunity to broaden the coming story line that will be revealed with Episode 7 from J.J. Abrams.
Star Wars Rebels Gathering Forces Review…..
‘Gathering Forces’ starts where the previous episode ‘Empire Day’ left off. The Ghost is being pursued by the imperial Jedi hunter Inquisitor as it leaves orbit. Onboard besides our gang is also the Rodian Tseebo who has uploaded a vast trove of imperial secrets into his mind. As the Ghost is being shot up Ezra (Taylor Gray) questions Tseebo about the day his parents were arrested. Tseebo admits he was to afraid to help them. This leaves Ezra with his first taste of true hatred since he became a Padawan. Once the Ghost escapes into hyperspace Tseebo says a tracking device has been hidden on their ship. Hera is willing to give him the benefit of the doubt but Ezra is unwilling to make an attempt at forgiving him. Kanan (Freddie Prinze, Jr.) plans to lure the Inquisitor away from the Ghost with Ezra by using the star fighter as the tracking device is located there.
The two set out for the secret base seen in ‘Out of Darkness’ that is invested with Fyrnocks. They lure the Inquisitor there. What follows is a light saber duel in which Kanan is badly wounded. In a moment of pure hatred Ezra summons the dark side of the force to lure the chief Fyrnocks onto the Inquisitor. This allows Kanan and Ezra to escape. Kanan confronts him about using the force in such a way. Ezra admits he was guided by fear and hatred about losing Kanan. He finally dares to admit that because Tseebo acknowledges his parents were arrested he doesn’t actually know what happened to them. He hates not knowing and that makes him vulnerable. Kanan asks Ezra forgiveness for not preparing him for this moment. Back on the Ghost Ezra separates himself from the others until Sabine snaps him out of his seclusion. She gives him the data disk she found in his home. She has cleaned it and on it found a picture of Ezra’s parents.
The episode ends with the Ghost docking with a rebel cruiser belonging to Fulcrum. Tseebo is transferred to give the rebels all the secrets he ahs downloaded and to seek medical help.
The strength of Star Wars Rebels is character development. Unlike other animated/cartoon shows in which both protagonist and antagonist stay the same for their duration. We have seen only 8 episodes of Rebels so far and the relationship between Kanan and Ezra changed from a duo reluctantly dealing with the force to that of a true Jedi Master and Padawan bond. This episode, Gathering Forces, is effective as a mid-season finale because it lays the foundation of the future in more change. Ezra has had his first exposure to the dark side of the force when he dealt with the Inquisitor. His desire to not lose Kanan after he uncovered how his parents were hunted by the Empire gives him some desperately needed narrative.
You can say that all the characters need such change. I have no doubt their backgrounds will be further explored, but the shows focus is on Kanan and Ezra and they needed this exploration the most. Star Wars Rebels dares to tread were Tron: Uprising was more cautious. I think the show will make for a handsome prelude until Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens is released on December 18th 2015. Star Wars Rebels will be back for more episode starting January 5th with ‘Path of the Jedi’. This was Star Wars Rebels Gathering Forces Review.
Score; 8.8. A handsome episode of Rebels that leaves me waiting for January 5th. It’s just a shame episode last only 22 minutes instead of 3o to give stories more depth.