Disney XD's Star Wars: Rebels has been met with quite a bit of fanfare as of late. Target is already carrying the merchandise. There are already DVD's and Blu-Ray that are being released even as we speak. Disney is really cashing in on this after Geeorge Lucas decided that he did not want to deal with it anymore, and it shows! Like any other franchise that the studio has bought recently (see my article 'The Disney Conspiracy' for more info), this mega-hit is not giving all of the star treatment that it should towards this ultimate vision!
The problem with Disney as a whole is that they are a family entertainment company! They deal in cartoons mostly, with the occassional pre-teen shows like Lemonade Mouth, Lab Rats, Kickin' It, Austin and Allie, and so forth. But, WE ARE TALKING ABOUT STAR WARS HERE!
As it is, I was very pleased to hear that the new film had the entire original cast coming back, which can only make things better. But, what has been happening in the interim since then? I mean, [Star Wars Rebels](series:965946) is nothing more than a cheap low-budget leap into the universe that was created with such an old brush but launched from one of the most creative minds in Hollywood! Now, wer'e sitting back while they are making the movie and watching a group of misfits, which include an orphan who wants to be a Jedi, an emotional Jedi Knight who trains him (who has not kept his emotions in check and just lets himself go Not canon!), a Twi'lek pilot (whose race pretty much accepts the will of the Empire. Check Return of the Jedi and look at Bib Fortuna, Jabba the Hutt's prime advisor), a Losat mechanic, weapons expert, and hired muscle with a humungeous BAD ATTITUDE, a former Imperial cadet of the Mandalorian race (*Boba Fett's people, if any of you didn't know), and a wise-cracking and mischevious R2-D2 clone!
Like anything else, when a person who has made a successful franchise sells out, it gives a lot of creative liberties to the new company that owns the trademark. So far, Rebels has not been bad, but it has not been great, either. Compared to other successes that have come from the Star Wars universe (ie Star Wars Droids, Ewoks, The Ewok Adventure, Ewoks: The Battle for Endor, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, just to name a few), it almost appears that Disney did not even want to try to stick to the lore at least somewhat. Of the episodes that I have seen and experienced, almost all of it deals in smuggling runs, the main character, Ezra Bridger, trying to be a Jedi under his master, Kanan, and miles upon miles of snappy reparte from the other members of the crew. While the first six films did go into that somewaht, they were not the main focus. They had went into many other things, such as character subplots, great action, and storylines that always reconnected to each other in a way that made the story even more timeless.
Here, Rebels acts like the baby that just been born and does not know what to do with itself. Instead of trying to walk when it needs to, it merely falls on its butt, sucks its foot, and cries. The stories require a lot of spit and polish, and the CGI seems to be the only reason that this series is getting anywhere at all. You occassionally do see Darth Vader in all of his signature glory, but it is very rare. The main antagonist in this series is an unnamed Sith merely called 'The Inquisitor' that is always after our heroes wherever they go. Then you have Agent Kallus, an Imperial agent that serves under him......blah...blah....blah.
If Rebels is going to survive, they will need to do some major research into the lore in order to make it more believable. I understand that it is set fifteen years after Episode III: Revenge of the Sith , but that is not enough to actually create a core chapter in a universe such as this. While some of the others that I have mentioned above from Lucasfilm were animated as well, they at least gave more of a picturesque landscape than this. Here, what I am seeing is : 'Okay, let's get a bunch of random characters, put them on a ship, have them be rebels/smugglers/ thieves and send them off into the universe and see what happens.' Sorry, Disney, but there's a lot more to Star Wars than that.
If they had meant this to be one small chapter, say in the realms of the fictitiuos classic Star Wars novel, Splinter of the Mind's Eye by Alan Dean Foster (which took place between Episodes IV and V), then I could give this a fairer shake. It just doesn't present itself that way.
In the end if this is not corrected, there is a good chance that Star Wars may end up being a distant memory in the minds of those of us that are true fans and foillowers. Look at what happend when The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles came out so many years ago: it had almost killed Indy forever! Like any franchise that comes from Lucas or anyone else, if someone is going to take its helm simply because they don't want it anymore, they should at least have guidelines into what they can and can't do. Creative liberty is fine, but not to the point of absurdity!