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I dunno why I tinted that panel red, I just thought it looked cool. Makes it more OMINOUS. EDIT: It’s not red anymore, I didn’t like the red. Now no one will know what I’m referring to!

SO LET’S TALK ABOUT STAR WARS REBELS AGAIN! Now you all know I like Star Wars (and by ‘like’ I mean my knowledge of the Star Wars universe spans thousands of fictional years). As a fan of the franchise,  I’m happy to say that a solid continuity has never really been a major concern of mine. My number one priority has been a desire to experience storytelling that I can connect with emotionally. Do I like the characters? Does their dialog not make me cringe? Do they ACT LIKE PEOPLE? Thankfully, in Star Wars Rebels, they do!

I watched every episode of The CG Clone Wars cartoon (not to be confused with Genndy Tartakovsky’s phenomenally good 2D animated Clone Wars cartoon) and there’s something about it that always felt off. Basically, the show is a series of inevitable failures. We already know how the Prequels’ story ends in episode 3, and since the show rigidly stuck to established canon, we already knew the ultimate fate of all the major characters, making a vast majority of the story arcs superfluous and frustrating. Examples: One of the characters is about to figure out Palpatine’s a Sith Lord? No, they failed to do so. One of the characters is about to discover the clone troopers have a kill switch programmed into their brains? Nope, failed again. The Republic army figures out how to ambush Grievous and take him out? Oh, he got away, what a shock. About the only interesting part of the show was Ahsoka, and although I found her mostly an annoying enigma in the first couple of seasons (why didn’t Yoda get Shaak Ti, a female Togruta Jedi knight with no padawan, to train Ahsoka, also a female Togruta??) she developed into a well rounded character with an enormously satisfying final arc. The stakes and interest were high because we didn’t know what was going to happen to her! Her story was untold and ripe with possibilities. And you know what? That’s EVERY CHARACTER in Star Wars Rebels!

Nearly everything I love about the original trilogy is in Rebels. Maybe I should be annoyed that it so closely apes the style and feel of the OT, but that’s pretty much what I’ve been wanting for years now, so it actually fills me with unequivocal joy. The soundtrack is taken right from the OT, and I just smile like an idiot hearing all those great orchestral John Williams themes emoting to new original characters. The cinematography is constantly evoking similar imagery from the classic films, and the pacing is pitch perfect Star Wars. What I mean is that scenes have time to breath. When Ezra, the force sensitive street rat, starts to discover mysterious Jedi artifacts, the music fades out, and we linger on his expression as he internally contemplates what his discoveries mean. When the Force theme begins to slowly play, it feels momentous, the Force feels mystical and carries narrative weight. No Star Wars show or movie has made the Force feel this cool since Tartatovsky’s 2D Clone Wars cartoon.

I also have to mention that seeing the classic Star Wars ships back on the screen feels real good! I loves me some Star Destroyers and Tie Fighters, and Hera’s ship, The Ghost, is such a great Millennium Falcon surrogate, its Lego form is certainly destined for my shelf. Rebels also gives us back the kind of Jedi we can relate to in Kanan. He’s a man with relationships, and not a creepy celibate monk who recruits preschoolers into a monastic order before they’re old enough to make informed decisions. He’s clearly designed to be the Jedi version of Han Solo that we’ve always contemplated. Thankfully Rebels also steers clear of overt Prequel references, so you don’t have to worry about Midichlorians ruining your mystical energy fields or  ‘robots vs clones’ removing the consequence of battle. That’s right, stormtroopers are just people and in Star Wars Rebels, there is a lot of wanton murder by blaster, just how we like it! Kanan and Co. are not afraid to shoot first, GOOD.

So what I’m saying is that if you love classic Star Wars and found the prequel era a mess of poor story telling, WATCH STAR WARS REBELS. Depending on your ‘jaded fan’ level, it’ll be anywhere from pretty good to fantastic. And knowing that Greg Weisman, the mind behing Disney’s Gargoyles and DC’s Young Justice cartoon, is the show’s head writer, we can rest assured that Rebels’ characters will continue to grow in complexity and the stakes will continue to be raised! HOLY CRAP it feels good to be a Star Wars fan again!

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  • IDPounder

    Pssst! Guys! I think his way might involve stabbing someone!

    • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

      With a sword, even!

    • KungFuKlobber

      Don’t forget that swords can also be used for slashing! Unless they are fencing swords.

      • IDPounder

        And KADOOOSH-ing too! If they’re really, really big that is.

      • Mike

        Whoever said he was going to use his swords? Have we ever actually seen Genchu kill someone (and animals don’t count for this) with his swords?

  • Hfar

    Hey, if I could live through the New Jedi Order books butt f*cking my childhood and not come out *totally* jaded about anything Star Wars, I’m most certainly willing to give Rebels a try. Especially as one who was actually fond of the Clone Wars series as well as Greg Weisman’s works.

    • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

      My initial response to the NJO books was that they were a frustrating convoluted mess. I actually stopped reading expanded universe novels for years after Chewie died, not because his death upset me so much (although it did because it was dumb) but because the story felt like an overwhelmingly convoluted mess. I did eventually catch up on the expanded universe in its entirety, or at least the main timeline stuff, and I grew to appreciate how the NJO and beyond pulled from all over the canon in a sort of unifying way.It made the newer books feel more like cataclysmic events more than the older books ever did. But the new books were also relentless in their desperate conflict and always held back letting the next generation of characters step up to the foreground despite the main cast being in their 70’s and the new generation being in their 20’s and 30’s! And, man, Luke never really achieved that ‘wise Jedi’ state that we all figured he would, despite becoming the Jedi Grand Master.

      • Hfar

        Indeed. For me my main problems with the NJO basically boiled down to two issues.

        The first is that while the idea of an extragalactic threat is fascinating and could have brought an interesting element to the SW galaxy, the way the Yuuzhan Vong War was written felt like it was going more for shock for the sake of shock value.
        “Look, Coruscant’s been blasted into ruin! See how high our stakes are!”
        “Look, we’ve destroyed an entire planet (again!) See how high our stakes are!”
        “Look, we killed a beloved character from the original trilogy! SEE HOW HIGH OUR STAKES ARE!”
        I suppose to me no matter how could the NJO could’ve been (and it did have potential), the rather naked need of the NJO writers to “make their mark” on the Star Wars universe by destroying/killing off what other authors had created simply left a bad taste in my mouth and gave me the impression of a story/concept that took away more than it gave.

        My second beef is related to what you said about how the new books have the habit of holding back the new generation of characters. Before going any further I’ll fully admit that I loved the Young Jedi Knight series growing up. The idea of a younger generation of Jedi coming into their own as the new guardians of peace and justice while being mentored by characters from the original films was just too cool for words. And perhaps as doe eyed as this may sound, one of the things that made them good was that all of the main characters were good people. Sure they made mistakes and had their quirks, but they were all about helping to make the galaxy a better place. And for a series aimed at adolescents, that’s a pretty good thing in my opinion.

        Then came along the NJO which basically said “Naw! We’re going to make these characters about revenge and twisted ideals and becoming nihilistic space warlords and shit. Or we’ll put them on a space buss to some minor part of the galaxy and barely speak of them again.” The NJO really was a killer of character arcs.

        • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

          OH the young jedi knights books were great, I loved them to death! Yeah, I 100% agree that NJO and beyond cussed up all those characters, and that was a big reason (if not the biggest reason) that I gave up my investment in the EU. I just wanted Jacen and Tenel Ka to be together, Hfar! Was that too much to ask? But the EU did get nihilistic, absolutely. And that’s in large part due to the path that the Prequels carved, because they were movies built on the foundation of revenge and downfall, That’s the path Star Wars has followed since, it’s all been very morally gray, no more ‘good versus evil’. The Dark Side is not a sympathetic point of view, it is the bad place you end up at for maybe sympathetic reasons. When Disney said “EU ain’t canon no more,” I was like “dat’s coo,” despite having invested who knows how many hundreds of hours into the books, comics, and games.

          • Mike

            I am side the KoTR I and II games are no longer cannon though, they had excellent story line (for the most part).

          • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

            Geez do I love the KotOR games!! Although they may no longer be canon, that doesn’t really matter since they’re still great. Canonical accuracy does not a good Star Wars story make! the Prequels are prime continuity, after all… (even though they contradict the original trilogy in a hundred little ways).

          • Mike

            Also, the 3D animated clone wars did have one thing going for them: they made me care about the characters a lot more then I did before. Anakin’s fall is way more tragic when you see it happen step by step instead all in one clean chunk.

          • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

            I do think that the 3D Clone Wars cartoon was significantly better story telling than the actual Prequel flims. Anakin is often likable in the show. I really dislike the episode in the final season on Netflix where Padme breaks up with him. Well, I LOVE that she breaks up with him, seeing as how she should, since he acts like a deranged psychopath around her, but then he kind of saves her at the end of the episode and we just have to assume their relationship went back to the status quo. But overall, Anakin does come off as a troubled character who wants to do the right thing but is continuously more frustrated by his inability to take more decisive action. It’s another reason that The Clone Wars was frustrating, because it could’ve told the story of Episode 3 more competently than the film did!

          • Hfar

            I know! Jacen and Tenel Ka were such an adorable duo and went through so much together! They deserved to raise their daughter together damnit!

            And yeah, I lost a lot of interest in the EU after NJO and when Disney announced the EU wasn’t canon by the new films I wasn’t exactly heartbroken. It’s certainly not going to stop me from enjoying the books and games that really are good. These days I kind of think of them as being in their own continuity.

        • Mike

          On a side note: MMMmmm, steaks.

          • Hfar

            Yep! But very high steaks. Too many herbs during prep.

  • Jake Pizorno

    The thing about the “midichlorians” isn’t that they are the Force- no, the are merely the Babel Fish of the Force. Midichlorians allow people to use the force, rather than being the Force themselves. The Force remains the mystical energy it always was, and now we know how people can use it.

    • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

      *NERD RAGE RANT* No, midichlorians quantify the Force, making it like DBZ power levels. “My midichlorian count is higher than yours, making me the chosen one!” It also makes no sense since midichlorians live your blood and can be detected by non-mystical means. So you can get a blood test to determine your Jedi potential. This makes Vader’s predicament even weirder because he’s supposedly more machine than man by the time of the OT. If all his limbs and who knows how many internal organs are inorganic, that’d significantly reduce his midichlorian count. Also, what if a really big alien, like a Wampa, got Force potential? Would it not have super Force powers? The whole point of Yoda’s spiel in Empire was that size matters not, the Force is about making calm, positive, rational decisions and being at peace with yourself. But in the prequels the Force is just a quantifiable magic power, and even then it’s wildly inconsistent.*END NERD RAGE RANT*

      • White Rice

        Thought on the subject of midichlorians: they’re a result of someone’s force affinity.

        Now, I haven’t read a ton of the EU books, and none that included magical force mitochondria, but from watching everything, reading stuff online, and other things one picks up (like Greivus getting new midichlorian packed blood to try & give him force sensitivity [didnt work]) So, my thought is that something about being force sensitive creates the midichlorians in ones body/blood, and while one who is more potent in the force may produce more if them, they don’t give that ability to use the force.

        On the note of big animals & force powers (midichlorians!) there was an old tales of the Jedi comic from Back in the Day ™ where there was a Jedi master who was a large, beastly creature (like, 4 legged, can’t go upright, no grasping hands, looks like an armored…thing beastly) He was pretty strong force-wise, but (as is always the case) paled compared to his reluctant student/her child (student was Naomi Sunrider, that I do recall)

        But yeah, sciencing up space fantasy is a silly thing to do.

        • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

          I’m fairly certain that midichlorians only exist because George Lucas wanted to have Obiwan and Quigon figure out that baby Anakin had super strong Force potential, and he just thought “oh, they’ll take a blood sample. So there’s gotta be something in blood that shows you can use the Force. Eh, midichlorians, we’ll go with that”. He just needed his bad script to be done so he could start shooting the film and marketing the toys. His priorities were not to emulate the same sense of wonder and discovery that the original trilogy gave us.

          Ooh, those Knights of the Old Republic comics had a lot of bad storytelling with a lot of cool ideas. I do remember that big dog Jedi mentor!

          • White Rice

            True, but I keep myself from my own nerd-rage by having headcanon which lends a bit of plausibility to the madness.

            Getting the first 5 of those comics for $7 was one of my best purchases from my local comic shop (back in the day) those stories were so far reaching & nuts (what with hyper capable ships just becoming available to the highest of the higher-ups)

            Plus, they even covered how losing a limb or two wouldn’t impede ones connection to the force (if anything, it’d strengthen it) if only ever so briefly.

          • IDPounder

            Nerds. NERRRRDS!

          • White Rice

            NERDS!

          • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

            FOOTBAAAALLLLLL!!!!

          • Nameless Marauder

            I am a nerd and proud of it
            – Ignore the Lambda Lambda Lambda reference –

            Replacing lost limbs or adding cybernetic parts to the body as shown in several medias and supplements tend not to stop your force power nor increment it (unless implemented with force crystals and things of that type). if anything replacing body part with machinery only tend to help you maintain the rest of the body (as stated continuous use of the dark side tend to decay and destroy the body as it can’t cope with the power overflow).

            I understand that the main point about Midichlorians is that it’s a physical organism, but that statement is only half correct, the normal assumption is that it’s both a physical and ethereal it can freely shift between both as a living organism capable of exist in the matter in any desired form, it can be perceived with machinery but it cannot be manipulated by such. Proof of that is that droids can’t use the force, there is a Sith in the Old Republic (don’t recall his name) that attempted experiments by transplanting live force users brains and certain vital organs into droids, Surprisingly he made it force resistant but that was the best of what he could achieve.

            Also Force affinity can be manipulated to be increased or not (Valley of the Souls for example)

          • John Smith

            ARE YOU READY FOR SOME (NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS) FOOTBALL???

          • Jake Pizorno

            Spoken by the closeted nerd.

          • IDPounder

            An all-time classic!

          • Neska

            For the original movies, Lucas had help on the story from Prof. Campbell. Campbell spent his career studying mythology and figuring out what the stories mean and why they are compelling. He’s the reason the original movies were epic: Campbell treated script writing/editing as mythbuilding. He died before they started work on the prequel trilogy, so he couldn’t stop them from messing up the myth he built. Hence suckage and poorly thought-out things like midichlorians.

      • John Smith

        Midichlorians *are* awfully small, so Yoda still rules! ‘Nuff said!

  • Sunwu

    *To the tune of Jimi hendrix’s “hey joe”*
    Hey Genchu! Where you going with that sword in your hand?
    Hey Genchu! I said where you going with that sword in your hand?
    “I’m going cut down my old friend Ricky, I caught him selling guns to the Wataro clan!”

    • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

      After careful observation, I’ve determined your musical tastes are very eclectic!

      • Sunwu

        I’m the kind of hot-blooded American who will play the swedish game Minecraft while listening to Chinese opera and eating Mexican food I bought the night before.

  • Have a rock

    I know right! It’s so obvious; he’s a musician!

    • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

      Wrong, he’s a janitor. He’s gotta clean up other people’s messes.

      • White Rice

        Obviously that’s a mop he’s carrying around on his shoulder.

        A short, narrow, constantly concealed mop.

  • KungFuKlobber

    My biggest disappointment with Disney’s decision not to adapt the Thrawn trilogy into 7, 8, and 9 is that we won’t see Admiral Ackbar stumble into another trap. Is that weird?

    • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

      Luckily Ackbar’s perfectly capable of walking into traps devised by far less genius military tacticians!

      • Thiago Kurovski

        “His father is a high up in Mon Calamari, I heard!”
        “NO! A friend of a fried told me he sleeps with Mon Mothma!”
        “Seriously? No way!! One of my teachers from the academy told us he was quite the tactician before the drugs…”

        • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

          AckbarxMonMothma4LIFE!

      • John Smith

        It’s a TRAP-TRAP! (What, you never watched “Kim Possible”?)

    • Mike

      When I saw that line I was both giggling and somewhat annoyed that they used it again. That being said I did highly enjoy Timothy Zahn’s writing.

  • Xinef

    There might be only one way… the way of friendship!

    • Mike

      Of course! How else are you supposed to get close enough to stab him without him suspecting anything?

      • Xinef

        Umm… by sneaking? I dunno, it usually works.

  • Magus

    With regard to your assessment of the CG Clone Wars, I have to agree completely. While some individual stories in it were good, overall the whole “doomed to failure” thing ruined so many of them. So often, they wanted to have something “big” happen, but since the heroes couldn’t actually win in the end they would make inexplicably stupid decisions to preserve the status quo. Like the every time Grievous was in danger, there would for no apparent reason be an obsession with capturing him alive instead of just blowing his cybernetic head off. Really, Grievous should have rarely if ever been used, they should’ve invented some other Separatist military commander who didn’t have to still be alive by the time of Episode III.

    The deeply flawed nature of that cartoon made me less than enthusiastic about Rebels, so it’s nice to see these indications that it won’t be more of the same.

    • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

      Let’s not even bring up that in Episode 3, Anakin and Obiwan address Grievous as if it’s their first time ever coming face to face! The 2D Clone Wars cartoon introduced him as a scary new threat that they then completely nerf’d in the actual movie. The whole CG Clone Wars cartoon was basically shoehorned into a canon that the other BETTER Clone Wars cartoon had already filled in!

      But Rebels feels pitch perfect in tone to A New Hope. It’s much more jaunty and cavalier, and the characters are sticking it to the Empire. It just feels damn good to have clear good guys and bad guys again! The moral ambiguity of the Clone Wars era was so frustrating, and not because the concept of moral ambiguity in Star Wars is bad, but because that became what every story circled around. Are we doing the right thing? Are we the good guys? Should we really be fighting a war against a bunch of planets just because they don’t want to be part of the Republic anymore? I mean how does that even make us the good guys from any point of view?? It doesn’t!! We’re Jedi and we’re fighting an unjust war and we all know it so why don’t we just stop??? Because GEORGE LUCAS.

  • Lady Courage

    What are you talking about? Genchu is a MARVELOUS fisherman. He just fishes for bad guys. With his sword.

    Also I’m gonna guess panel 4 had the red in it.

    • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

      You guessed correctly, sir. It was late, I was tired! It looked ugly, so let’s never speak of it again.

    • Mike

      Makes catch and release a bit awkward, legally speaking. “What’s the matter officer, I threw him back!”

      • Lady Courage

        Good thing Genchu prefers catch and slash over catch and release.

  • Mike

    I just realized something… Rrrrrricardo is up there on the ship Jabber Jabbering, but by the expression on the ambassador’s face we are reminded of the fact that he doesn’t understand a word of what’s being said. It’s the little things.

  • Hfar

    Huh. Is the site a little funky for anyone else?

    • KungFuKlobber

      I don’t hear any music, funky or otherwise.

      • Hfar

        Oh hordy hor hor. In any case it seems to be fixed now.

    • John Smith

      We want the funk! Give us the funk!

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