THE BIG DEBATE BURSTS BACK - WITH REDI TLHABI

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Star Wars: Rebels starting 11 October on Disney XD on DStv rich in scope; multi-layered new story well worth following in that galaxy far, far away.


"In time, a new hope will emerge."

Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi says these words - complete with a built-in reference to Star Wars arcana for the faithful - in the first episode of Star Wars: Rebels starting on Disney XD (DStv 304) on Saturday, 11 October at 09:20.

And too say too much more, if anything, about this brand-new Star Wars TV series following in the footsteps of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, would be giving too much away to viewers who should discover the little holocrons it contain for themselves.

But having watched the first hour long double episode of Star Wars: Rebels entitled "Spark of Rebellion" (part I and II) its clear that those not familiar with George Lucas' sprawling galaxy far, far away, will definitely like watching this finely crafted show. Those familiar with it, will love it.

Beneath the surface Star Wars: Rebels is an incredibly rich show in terms of storytelling.

To say why the motley crew is going to be pursued across the galaxy, to explain the establishment of the relationships between the various characters, who outs himself as what and why, and how it all fits together, would be to spoil something that true Star Wars fans need to discover to their own delight for themselves when the new animation series starts on Disney XD.

Star Wars: Rebels is every bit as intricate, finely-crafted, intriguing and multi-layered as what Star Wars: The Clone Wars was in its latter seasons - a joy to watch for the way it yield small clues and tantalising glimpses to fill in the bigger Star Wars universe, with an incredibly mature and richly textured story.


Star Wars: Rebels works for kids, but although not sold and marketed as such, its an even more rewarding experience for adults, and for adults and young people who've watched the Star Wars films and series like Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

When a character spray-paints a random symbol, you recognise it as the very first beginning of what it will become later if you've seen the movies.

There's the excited start of a master-apprentice relationship (already spoiling too much), steeped in tradition and a fast receding past - with a link to history and the future - and it's all these things, meshed together in a well-crafted story, that makes Star Wars: Rebels great television.

The one "bad" thing in Star Wars: Rebels is the characters' hair.

From Ezra to the multiple Wookies the animation looks tragically unrefined compared to the hyper realistic shadows, explosions, planetscapes and ship interiors, something the producers probably sacrificed because of time and the daunting task of the multiple episodes that will have to be produced.

All the rest though more than makes up for a few bits of animation - it's the story of Star Wars: Rebels you should tune in for which will start to grab you at around the 15 minute mark of the first half hour and positively keep you glued during the entire second episode where major character revelations and developments start to occur.


Another huge plus point is that Disney is working globally to bring Star Wars: Rebels very quickly to viewers around the world and also South Africa.

Disney XD is literally going to show episodes on the heels of it being shown in America, unlike Turner Broadcasting System which showed very little love to Star Wars: The Clone Wars on the Cartoon Network and took longer than a year to show every season.

Will Ezra become the new Asokha (sorry, uninitiated readers)? What is Kanan's history as a, well, something?

Star Wars: Rebels has zero pandering in its story telling, the tone is mature with themes of loss and loyalty, courage, individuality and belonging, standing up for what is right and trying to make a difference.

If you like Star Wars, you will like Star Wars: Rebels. If you watch it on Disney XD from Saturday on DStv, its completely guaranteed that you will grow with it as the story in that amazing galaxy keeps expanding.