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‘Rebellion’ Offers Star Wars Fans A Spark

Although I know it wasn’t the first movie I ever went to, the first one I can remember seeing in a movie theater was “Return of the Jedi.”

I was likely already addicted to the action figures, playsets, etc. by the time it came out, but the action, the sounds, those furry little Ewoks … it was enough to secure the series a place in my heart forever.

So over the past 31 years (31 years, can you believe that?) I have been protective of the original trilogy and guarded against anything that I feel could tarnish it. I wasn’t a huge fan of the new trilogy; didn’t watch the “Clone Wars” animated series; and cringed when I heard that Disney had purchased the rights to go forward and expand the Star Wars Universe.

Sabine Wren, Kanan Jarrus, Ezra Bridger, Zeb Orrelios and Hera Syndulla are among the primary characters introduced in “Star Wars Rebels: Spark of Rebellion.” The animated series debuts Friday, Oct. 3, on Disney XD. (Photo courtesy of the Disney Channel)

Still, I saw previews of the latest “Star Wars” venture – the animated “Star Wars Rebels” – and decided to give it a chance by attending an advanced screening of “Star Wars Rebels: Spark of Rebellion,” which debuts tonight (Friday, Oct. 3) on Disney XD.

Picking up 14 years after “Revenge of the Sith” and 5 years before “A New Hope” (or as most of us know it: “Star Wars”), “Spark of Rebellion” focuses on 14-year-old street thief Ezra Bridger and a Robin Hood-like band of rebels, including Kanan Jarrus, Zeb Orrelios, Sabine Wren and Hera Syndulla.

As is the case with many of the “good guys” in the “Star Wars” universe, this group has serious issues with the Empire and will go out of their way to curtail its endeavors and help others that have been negatively impacted by it.

Without giving away too much: in this film, which is essentially the first two episodes of the of the series, the group intercepts an Empire cargo shipment and redistributes the goods to those that can make better use of it and takes on a job to rescue some furry friends that will play a major role in the future of the Rebel Alliance.

While it’s only two episodes (the series picks back up in its normal Monday night timeslot on Oct. 13), “Rebels” shows a lot of potential. It seems as though it will tie itself in nicely with the original story, will incorporate some familiar names and/or faces from those stories and will introduce others that could play larger roles in the future of the franchise.

More importantly, it feels like something that will be able to bridge the gap between past, present and future “Star Wars” fans – regardless of age. It’s definitely geared for the younger crowd, but it’s smart enough and incorporates enough of the series’ traditions to have a wide appeal with older fans.

I’m now cautiously optimistic for the future of the franchise as “Rebels” has offered me a spark (yes, I went with that pun) that previous endeavors haven’t (I’m looking directly at you “Phantom Menace”). I might even go so far as to say it has offered this lifelong fan “A New Hope” … (and, yes, I also went with that pun).

★★★ 1/2 of ★★★★★

© 2020 by Man Versus Movie

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