I was mighty chuffed when Musings on the M49 was invited by The Walt Disney Company (SEA) to attend an exclusive premiere of the Star Wars Rebels special, the latest animated TV series by Lucasfilm and Lucasfilm Animation, which will kick off on the Disney Channel this Saturday on October 4. To add to the thrill was the fact that the premiere was held within the stunning Sandcrawler at Fusionpolis, which houses the Singapore offices of Lucasfilm and Disney! Schwing!
The event started not unlike a mini cosplay fest with members of the local chapter of the 501st Legion and the FightSaber Academy dressed in their finest SW movie costumes to entertain the invited guests who had a field day going round taking selfies / group shots with them. (Yours truly included!)
Stealing the show though was the duo dressed up as two of the main characters from the new series, teen hero Ezra (in orange outfit) and sassy warrior Sabine (looking not unlike a female Boba Fett). A newspaper scribe told me that they were specially flown in from Orlando for the launch. Naisee.
Before long, it was time to check out Star Wars Rebels: Spark of Rebellion, the one-hour special that kicks off the series. Albeit the excitement wasn’t as great as when we awaited with bated breath back in 1999 for the start of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace – 16 years after 1983’s Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, mind – there was the thrill of knowing that, woo-hoo, there’s another Star Wars cinematic adventure to embark on!
Star Wars Rebels is set between Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005) and Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977). The Empire is throwing their weight around the galaxy, harassing civilians and hunting down Jedi Knights, whilst the stirrings of a rebellion against the Empire is slowly but surely building momentum.
The series focus on a motley crew of rebels – the renegade Jedi Kanan; street-smart teenager Ezra (who may or may not have an Anakin-sque revelation); explosives expert Sabine; Zeb, the “muscle” man; and Hera, the wise-cracking Twi’lek who pilots the freighter starship, Ghost, on which they operate out of. Oh, and not forgetting Chopper, their cranky industrial droid.
And of cos, there has to be a major bad guy. That comes in the slick but slimy form of the Inquisitor (pictured below), who is tasked by Darth Vader to hunt down the remaining Jedi Knights. Reaching out to a new generation, Star Wars Rebels will feature mainly new characters but old favourites from the original trilogy such as Obi-Wan Kenobi, C-3PO and R2-D2 will also appear.
So, is it worth watching? If you are a Star Wars fan, needless to say, yes, as the spirit of the Star Wars Universe is intact. The new characters may take some time to get used to or to root for, but a few like Sabine, Hera and the Inquisitor will fascinate the die-hards. As it is the kick-off special, there is much background information in Spark of Rebellion to absorb but once the series is off and running, I’m sure the pace will pick up with enough action sequences – and references to the original Star Wars trilogy – to keep both fans and non-fans, adults and children alike, entertained. It’s hard not to compare Star War Rebels to Star Wars: The Clone Wars which I feel is hands-down one of the best animated action series to appear on TV for quite some time. But it’s still early days and I’m sure Star Wars Rebels will fly…
Star Wars Rebels: Spark of Rebellion will premiere in Singapore on Sat Oct 4, 2014 at 11am on Disney Channel and on Disney X D on Sun Oct 5 at 8am. The series will begin running on Sat Nov 29, 12pm on Disney Channel and Sun Nov 30, 8.30am on Disney X D.
May the Force be with you in the living room…