The second half of the first-ever two-parter of Star Wars Rebels is "Gathering Forces," which is to story what a Snickers bar is to a balanced dinner. It was an exciting episode from effects, space combat, and drama perspectives - but it suffers from another common thread of the two-parter. This is that there's really no reason to split a story across two installments beyond amortizing things like sets and costumes, and in the case of this episode I think I've only spotted a couple of new things. However, we also get some really amazing effects sequences that are both totally new and also manage to feel like they were spawned out of the 1980s school of special effects. The creators deserve massive credit for pulling that off.
Since last week's was so good, you'll want to see how it ends up and what happens to Tseebo. But this episode is more about "how" than "what." Read on for more!
This is a good one. Star Wars Rebels finds its voice with "Empire Day." There are cameos, there's a lot of action, and best of all it's a fun ride. You get to see some fun new things, and the episode not only shows you someone else with Lobot's cybernetic implant, but we actually get a decent hint as to what the future for this show may hold!
This is the episode you'll show your friends who have their arms crossed and refuse to give it a chance - it's just that good. Standard spoilers apply, plus a warning/guarantee of another Kenner cameo. Read on for more!
Now that the figures are hitting shelves, Star Wars Rebels ups its game with the exciting "Out of Darkness." Being trapped on an alien world with dangerous local life forms is nothing new (see: "Rookies") but this episode shifts the focus from a group of trained military men to Hera and Sabine. Star Wars has historically given women little to do, especially in groups - seeing two of our heroes take on some sort of cat roach menace during a supply run where they really have a reason to be afraid of the dark made for a good showing.
Gorgeous space scenery and space babysitting await you. Read on for more!
The pace of Star Wars Rebels continues to ramp up with "Breaking Ranks," an entertaining but still unfortunately small-scale tale of the Vader Youth. We get a couple of stock Imperial officers (plus a couple of returning faces), a group of kids, and a relatively familiar plot that (I hope) sets up an arc for the future.
You get a few seconds of the Inquisitor, a few new faces, and the first indication of a solid missed opportunity in the action figure line. Read on for more!
Now this is a bit better. In "Rise of the Old Masters," Star Wars Rebels gives us no rising and only one master. It also ties in perfectly with the bonus scene featuring Darth Vader, and aligns nicely with this week's Halloween holiday. You get some cool cameos, but still a very sparse episode - it is, however, more fun to watch and a little ghoulish to dwell upon.
Spoilers await you after the break, but let me tell you this: you get to se a new villain in action, a possible new recurring character voiced by a Star Trek alumnus, and the Phantom in action. Read on for more!
Star Wars Rebels goes back to square one, and gives us a shopping trip in Fighter Flight. In case you forgot you were watching a kid's show that isn't exactly being given a ton of thought, well, here we are. The good guys go grocery shopping and come home with a new toy. And you'll see some old toys off in the distance.
Bringing things back to the Star Trek spin-offs, Rebels is somewhat consistent. The first seasons of those shows had some pretty bumpy times as we watched Tom Paris and Harry Kim hang out. Zeb and Ezra are this show's bickering buddies, and their rivalry continues with a trip to go do the shopping.
Star Wars Rebels returns to a normal, shorter format with Droids in Distress. Is fan service enough?
If you know your sci-fi history, it's not uncommon to trot out guest stars early on a spin-off. Star Trek: The Next Generation's first regular episode was basically a remake of the original series' second episode - crazy drunk sickness crew, swapping the super-cool Sulu fencing for the super-creepy Data nailing Tasha Yar. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine had guest stars Lursa and B'Etor on its first regular installment, and The Clone Wars' first real installment? Yoda reenacts (preenacts?) Luke's Jedi training from The Empire Strikes Back. What Rebels does is bring back R2-D2 and C-3PO! The snappier exposition dump has more interesting battles than the pilot movie, and manages to do some more worldbuilding while having a bit more fun. Read on for more - and download the episode for free on iTunes until Apple changes their mind!
Star Wars Rebels kicks off with Spark of Rebellion. (You can already buy it on DVD.) The show's look is gorgeous, but narratively speaking it feels just like the pilot for Marvel's Agents of SHIELD and numerous other team-oriented genre shows where an existing group picks up a new member they don't quite trust. Heck, even Beast Wars does a lot of this. You know the beats, there's not a lot of surprise to be had, but this has one special thing going for it: it's Star Wars. The story is about par for what you might expect for a show aimed at kids on a Disney action show channel. The voice acting will not make you cringe - well, maybe the minor Imperials will. Minor spoilers apply - nothing of great consequence happens as it's mostly exposition - so even if you missed it, read on!
The Clone Wars gets it second end with Sacrifice. Yoda's story continues as he journeys to the Sith world Moraband (nee Korriban) as spirits of evil tempt and attempt to frighten the Jedi master. Mark Hamill does a voice, the Priestesses are back, and if nothing else it's an impressive new installment of Star Wars lore. Read on!
Riddles, mystery, and abstract characterizations are your Destiny this time. Having quickly dispatched the trials of Qui-Gon Jinn on Dagobah, Yoda leaves the world of 21st century science fiction and enters a series of prog rock album covers while dabbling in themes that aren't standard kid show fare. Five priestesses guide the Jedi master through the journey, effectively acting as the sequel to the storyline featuring the Son a few years ago. Read on!
Yoda gets to be the center of attention as he starts hearing Voices. A little bit of dialogue from Revenge of the Sith gets extrapolated and moved around a bit, with Yoda encountering suspicion from the Jedi council and Anakin's proclivity toward dumping on authority start off what may well be one of the more important - or at least interesting - stories of this entire series. Read on!
New story time! The Clone Wars gets consequential with The Lost One. A lost Jedi ship is found. There are new suits for the Clones. Dooku shows up. This episode feels like an entire season's worth of goodies packed into about 23 minutes. Read on!
Let's end an arc! The Clone Wars gets an actual "part 2" with The Disappeared, Part II. In six seasons, nothing has ever been designated a part 1 or a part 2 - but that's actually not the biggest surprise, as a dangling thread returns to potentially dangle some more. Read on!
It's time for the team-up everybody wanted but nobody asked for! In The Clone Wars we kick off another story with The Disappeared, Part I. Jar Jar Binks has a girlfriend! Mace Windu is here! There's a lot of doom in a temple! You're in for a treat, folks. Read on!
Another arc of The Clone Wars comes to an end with Crisis at the Heart. Let's pretend that there are real stakes in the Skywalker marriage - will Clovis split Padme from Anakin? No, of course not. But will it play out in an interesting way? Sort of - the real action is in Palpatine's head. Read on!