DIRECTORS: Steve Lee & Steward Lee
May contain spoilers!
Opening with Darth Vader’s (James Earl Jones) head looming over The Inquisitor (Jason Issacs) sets the tone from the opening of this, Disney’s answer to The Clone Wars. Set between Episodes III and IV we finally get a series which delves into the “Dark times”, the rise of the Empire and the Rebellion, along with Star Destroyers, Tie Fighters, remnants of the Jedi and the characters and settings from the original trilogy.
The era of the Prequels dominating the franchise may well be over. Rebels finally returns us to the pitch that created the phenomena that is Star Wars in the first place. Good and evil, black and white, Rebels vs. The Empire.
This episode is good start but how the series will progress throughout the first season is yet to be seen, by me at least, but off the back off this, I am defiantly interested.
The first thing I noticed, besides the decent script and intriguing characters, was the production design. The design of the Tie Fighter for example is that of the Kenner toy rather than the live action version and though I am skipping to a later episode, the Imperial Troop Transport which was an original toy that never appeared in the films has made an appearance here. Clearly with an eye to reisuue old toys for a new series/generation.
This tactic is reminiscent of Droids (1985-1986), a series either created or perverted to sell the remains of the Kenner toy line in the late 80’s. They had versions of the toys which were made as toys only, such as the Mini-rigs, included in the show simply to market them for the toy aisles.
But the difference here is that so far the focus does seem to be the on story and the production values are high, with uses of John Williams themes and Ben Burtt’s Oscar winning sound designs.
Overall, I was impressed with what I have seen so far. Finally telling stories from the era of Darth Vader before Luke, Han and Leia come on to the scene is something to get exited about… right?