Here are my thoughts on Spark of Rebellion:
Man, animation sure has come a long way since Reboot.
My hubby and I just finished watching the first episode, and after seeing Guardians of the Galaxy finally last week (review coming soon) I have complete confidence that Disney is the best thing to happen to the Star Wars franchise. The only thing that would make it better would be if they obviously poked fun at how horrible Jar Jar was, but if not, it'll still be awesome.
The death of the Saturday morning cartoon hit those that still remember it hard, myself included, and the quality varies from the most awesome (Gravity Falls) to the most repugnant (Fanboy and Chum Chum). However, what Disney has done to bring in new fans along with the old is smart, heartwarming, and all around a great deal of fun.
The episode introduces us to our lead, Ezra, a "street rat" bearing a striking resemblance to another Disney character.
He encounters a group of rebels stealing weapons from the Empire's storm troopers and takes advantage of the situation in order to help himself to some of the loot.
A chase ensues ending with Ezra being caught by the rebels and fleeing in their ship.
It's here that we meet the crew of the Ghost.
Top to Bottom
"Zeb" - His original design was based on Ralph McQuarrie's concept for Chewbacca. A seasoned, intelligent, and always irritated Lasat enforcer, he serves as the muscle. He is voiced by Steven Blum.
"Hera" - A Twi'lek who owns and pilots the Ghost, she acts as mother figure to the crew. She is voiced by Vanessa Marshall.
"Kanan" - A sarcastic leader of the crew, he's a surviving Jedi in hiding while he and his team battle the Galactic Empire and support the Rebellion. I was very surprised when I saw that he is voiced by Freddie Prinze, Jr.
"Sabine" - A weapons expert with a flair for the arts, she always tags anti-Imperial propaganda after an attack.
And obviously, "Ezra."
On board the Ghost, Ezra makes a very interesting discovery: Kanan is in possession of a lightsaber, the weapon of a Jedi. He pockets a strange box that reminds me of something I just can't put my finger on...
The episode continues as Ezra is dragged along on a mission to save some Wookies from being transferred into slavery. This unfortunately turns out to be a trap and Ezra is captured.
And then the puzzle box opens and the cenobites are released and everyone dies.
While locked up, Ezra unknowingly activates the box and, who appears?
Obi Wan Kenobi!
He comes with a message for the Jedi to not give up fighting the Empire.
And with this to inspire him, Ezra escapes his cell and is all ready to go when the crew of the Ghost return to rescue him.
He tells them that not all is lost for the Wookies and that he knows where they've been taken.
The rebels are pinned down, TIE fighters are attacking the Ghost, there's no visible way out, until...
And the badassness ensues.
A young Wookie runs off and Ezra gives chase. While the others fend off the Empire's forces, Ezra performs a particularly awesome leap, as no normal person could do, wink wink, and saves the Wookie child.
The day is saved and our heroes head off into the sunset.
But not before an offer to join the crew is given to Ezra by Kanan.
The episode concludes with the rest of Kenobi's message including an appropriate message that a "New Hope" is coming...
...as well as a new threat.
So, what did I think?
Excellent. Plain and simple.
Can't wait for the next episode.
See y'all then :)