Tag Archives: Stormtroopers

Why Star Wars Rebels Will Be Better than The Clone Wars

Star Wars: The Clone Wars was an Emmy Award winning series which premiered in theaters on August 15, 2008 and subsequently on television on October 8, 2008. The series’ television run ended on March 2, 2013 with the conclusion to Season Five, before seeing a brief, 13 episode revival on Netflix on March 7, 2014.

The early story of The Clone Wars is one of highs and lows. Debuting in third place in its opening weekend, The Clone Wars brought in $14.6 million on its way to a domestic total of $35.2 million in its theatrical run. I remember walking out of the theater with my then roommate, and despite some high points we were rather disappointed in this new Star Wars movie. On the small screen The Clone Wars fared better premiering with 3.96 million viewers, a record for a series premiere on Cartoon Network at the time.

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At the beginning, with the very stylized animation design used in the series, the rather obnoxious banter between Anakin and Ahsoka, and the relative lack of music of John Williams, The Clone Wars’ early days were filled with hits and misses. As the show evolved over the seasons it continued to improve each year, with animation, sound, story and acting all deepening as the show grew.

The interesting thing about The Clone Wars is that it was really a massive R & D project for Lucasfilm as well as a labor of love for George Lucas.  Through The Clone Wars, Lucasfilm was able to develop a new branch of the company: Lucasfilm Animation. So without The Clone Wars a show like what we are to get in Star Wars Rebels wouldn’t be possible.

Having seen the premiere of Star Wars Rebels, I am confident in saying that we will get a show that is better than The Clone Wars in Star Wars Rebels.  Here are nine reasons why.

1. The Empire is back

Love or hate the Prequel films, the truth is that the Empire has a much more compelling set of villains than the Separatists. The return of various types of Stormtroopers, TIE fighters, AT walkers, speeder bikes, Star Destroyers, and arrogant and capricious Imperial officers has me incredibly excited, more so than seeing legions of clankers.

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This hearkening back to the Original Trilogy should also appeal to older fans like myself and help younger fans transition from The Clone Wars to the Original Trilogy, and then to Episode VII in 2015.

2. Chronological Order: “216, 116, T, 301, 303, 101…”

The Clone Wars was a show that was released in one order, but that order is not the same as the in-universe chronological order of the events in the show. For example, chronologically the series begins with Season 2 Episode 16, then Season 1 Episode 16, the film, Season 3 Episode 1, Season 3 Episode 3, and then Season 1 Episode 1.

Star Wars Rebels is beginning with the 1-hour premiere “Spark of Rebellion” and then continuing in order after that. This will make it much easier to follow the show, the character developments, and events in the world of Star Wars Rebels.

3. Everyman versus the Ruling Class

Much of the Prequels and The Clone Wars contained stories about the ruling elites of the galaxy far, far away. Sure, there were some episodes on remote planets and in the under levels on Coruscant, but for the most part we were dealing with the power players in the universe.

In Rebels we are focusing on a small group of outcasts in Hera, Kanan, Chopper, Zeb, Sabine, and Ezra. These are street level characters not dealing with the fate of the entire galaxy, but with the fates of their friends and neighbors. I can’t wait to see where they take the story of the population of Lothal as individuals oppose and support the Empire.

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4. Opening Misfire

As I mentioned in the opening, The Clone Wars theatrical premiere was hardly the strongest set of episodes in the series, and was a rather unimpressive debut overall. On the other hand, the premiere of Star Wars Rebels while not perfect is an immeasurably better beginning to a show. If this is the quality of the show at the beginning, I cannot wait to see where it goes as the creators develop these characters further.

5. Animation

The Clone Wars matured into a very beautiful animation style, but it took a long while to get there. It is visually difficult to watch some of those early episodes after being spoiled with the later seasons. Star Wars Rebels has some interesting influences from Ralph McQuarrie and Disney’s Tangled. While there are budgetary realities that will mean there are likely fewer resources available to the team creating Rebels than was available for The Clone Wars, the experience working on the previous show and the advances in technology give the current creative team some real advantages. The animation style for Rebels is more accessible and palatable for casual viewers.

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6. John Williams

On the musical front, Kevin Kiner who was responsible for the music in The Clone Wars returns, but his use and innovation based off of John Williams’ Star Wars scores is much more present in Rebels than it was in The Clone Wars. This tonal shift is important because it adds to the sense that Rebels feels more like Star Wars than The Clone Wars.

7. An Experienced Crew With Some Great Additions

A good portion of the crew that is working on Star Wars Rebels are, as Dave Filoni says, “veterans of The Clone Wars.” The experience of telling Star Wars stories from The Clone Wars seems to have given Filoni and his crew a greater mastery of not only the mythology of Star Wars, but also a better sense of what feels like Star Wars. Of course, the additions of Greg Weisman and Simon Kinberg as well as the work of folks from the Lucasfilm Story Group provides great quality storytelling experience.

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8. Fewer Limits

The Clone Wars was set in a narrower period of time than Star Wars Rebels. Taking place between Episodes II and III, The Clone Wars dealt with some major and minor film characters from the Prequel Trilogy, a number of whom had fates that were fixed by those movies. While characters like Captain Rex, Ahsoka, Asajj, Cad Bane, and the resurrected Darth Maul evolved into major characters in the show with unanswered fates , we know the fate of many more of the characters seeing frequent screen time. There are also limitations on how characters can interact, for example Anakin and General Grievous based on dialogue from Episode III.

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As Rebels begins we are dealing with an almost entirely new cast of characters. There are some first season cameos that were revealed in a trailer for the show, but the characters we are following around are all new, and we do not have any sense of what their fates will be before the events of Episode IV. I am very excited by what creative freedom this is providing for the writers of Star Wars Rebels .

9. A Core Group of Characters

One of the beauties of The Clone Wars was that we got to see a lot of different characters take the spotlight. If a certain character was not your favorite in a few episodes you wouldn’t be seeing them again. This allowed us to meet and get to know a number of really interesting characters, and I particularly enjoyed spending time with the Clones, Asajj, and Ahsoka. Of course this does make it harder for casual fans to jump on board to the show midstream, or to follow a particular characters story.

In Rebels we will be on the Ghost with Hera, Kanan, Chopper, Zeb, Sabine and Ezra and these will be the characters that we get to know and follow around. This will allow us to get to know these characters more deeply and quickly than we were able to do with many on The Clone Wars.

What are you looking forward to in Star Wars Rebels?

~ Peter Morrison writes at his blog Lightsaber Rattling, as well as here on the Star Wars Report. He also co-hosts a podcast about Star Wars Rebels called Rebels Report.

The Clone Wars Weekly Roundup 12/1

This week in TCW news we have a look ahead to the second part of the Slaves of the Republic arc, TCW scheduling news and links to some great Clone Wars content.

In this week’s episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Anakin and Ahsoka trade in their roles of Master and Apprentice for the roles of Master and Slave.  Ahsoka also trades her action outfit for a Slave burka and a flashy slave girl outfit.

Official Site Description:

“Those who enslave others inevitably become slaves themselves.”

To locate the missing colonists, Anakin, Obi-Wan and Ahsoka go undercover to infiltrate the slavers on Zygerria. Anakin struggles with his emotions as a wily Zygerrian queen forces him to take questionable actions in order to carry out his mission.

MTV Geek has a pair of preview clips from this week’s episode, the latter clip is almost directly lifted from the comic book story.  It is only missing the Ewok slave from the comic and substitutes a Twi’lek instead of a human boy as the slave who Ahsoka stands up for.

 

 

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I am really interested to see this episode, as it should be Anakin heavy as he wrestles with his past and his strong emotions regarding slavery.  Anakin and Ahsoka are going undercover, and Anakin has to pretend to be that which he hates so much.  The Zygerrian Queen presents Anakin with some dark choices to make, as his flaw of attachment to his friends leads to him taking some very difficult decisions.

If TV Guide is to be believed, we are going to be getting at least a week off between Slaves of the Republic (4.12) and Escape from Kadavo (4.13).  According to TV Guide we will be seeing a re-run of Darkness on Umbara on Friday December 9th.   Will we jump right back into Escape from Kadavo on Devember 16th?  Stay tuned to The Star Wars Report and we will let you know as soon as the future becomes more certain.

James over at Club Jade has a terrific and wide ranging interview with TCW actress Catherine Taber (Padme Amidala) where they touch on her work in the Star Wars universe, her personal fandom, and her charitable efforts.

James: While we know the future of Padmé in the movies, tell us more about her character progression on the show. Is the war changing her character? What are some things we should be looking for this season?

Catherine: The war is taking a toll on everyone. For Padmé, she has struggles and frustrations, but I don’t think her resolve is ever shaken. She experiences betrayals and disappointments in others, but I think both she and Obi-Wan, actually, are two characters who have a goodness and a strength to their cores that is unflappable.

Please visit Club Jade to read the rest of this very nice interview.

Also, kudos needs to go out to Stephen Stanton (TCW’s Captain Tarkin and Mas Amedda) and all the folks behind the charitable Clone Trooper helmet auction to benefit Princess Leah Esquenazi as Leah’s parents have announced that the Maker himself is stepping up to the plate and signing the helmets.  The two helmets are up for bid individually on ebay and the Republic Commando helmet is currently at $1,525 and the Clone Trooper helmet is currently at $1,425.  Great job to everyone who has contributed to getting these helmets signed.

Well, that is it for this edition of TCW Weekly Roundup, until next time remember:

Mishuk gotal’u meshuroke, pako kyore. – Pressure makes gems, ease makes decay. ~Mandalorian Proverb.

-Pete

 

Dragon* Con! Friday – SWR #10

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Our recap of Friday at Dragon* Con!

Friday morning started out, for us, with a William Shatner panel! There was a long, snaking line to get into his panel, and Riley and I were able to get into an overflow room where we saw Mr. Shatner live on a large projector screen. William Shatner is quite a good story teller, he had the audience quite entranced!

Next we went to Meet the Fan Groups panel. There we met the fans. Did I mention meeting people, fans specifically?? =P

It was fun, we met and talked to most of the Star Wars costuming groups out there including the 501st, The Dark Empire, The Rebel Legion and The Mandalorian Mercs.

Have we mentioned that there are a lot of people at Dragon* Con?

We also attended a panel called Intro to the Expanded Universe. (Which, much to our amusement, was introduced as the Extended Universe.) It was discussed where one should start if starting in the EU for the first time.

Then we went to the Meet Jango, Ahsoka and Chewbacca panel!

There were a number of great costumes as usual!

Then my camera died. *sigh*

- Bethany

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The Clone Wars Weekly Roundup

Greetings Troops, and welcome to this week’s TCW Weekly Roundup!

A good Sith Master imparts bits and pieces of Dark Side knowledge to his Apprentice.  This practice serves to make the Apprentice a more valuable tool for his Master’s will, and prevents the Apprentice from learning all his Master knows and quickly attempting to murder him.  At the same time it builds up the lust for more knowledge and power in the Apprentice as he seeks to learn what is being withheld.  In many ways we fans are like that Apprentice, we receive dribs and drabs of information regarding the Clone Wars, and sometimes what we see is just enough to get us really excited without revealing much substance.

This week the Sith Lords at Lucasfilm confirmed the premier date for Season Four of The Clone Wars and posted a new extended trailer that shows us some clips we have seen before but also reveals a brand new story arc based off of a comic book.

As we speculated in our July 27th Roundup based on the Canadian Premier of TCW, we learned earlier this week that Season 4 will premier in the United States on Cartoon Network on September 16th as well.  The premier will be a one-hour special showing the first two episodes of the season, which are the first two parts of the three-part Mon Calamari arc.

If September 16th sounds familiar it should, it is the same day that the Star Wars Complete Saga Blu-ray set will be released.  It will be a busy day for Star Wars fans and in the interest of the Nation’s economic productivity, we should probably just make it a Federal holiday now because there will be lots of distracted geeks that day.

While the official StarWars.com Episode Guides for Season Four Episode One and Two are not yet posted, we did learn the episodes titles.  Episode 4.01 is “Water War” and Episode 4.02 is “Gungan Attack.”  I’m an intrigued as too what the Gungan’s from Naboo would be doing on the Mon Calamari home world.

Accompanying the announcement we also got an extended Season 4 Trailer.

There is a ton going on in this trailer and what looks to be a glimpse of multiple story arcs. The caveat is that it always seems like these trailers are coming from the entire season when usually they are cleverly cut from more like 4-5 episodes.  To my eye, it looks like we have around four story arcs taking place and I am not sure where all the scenes fit in yet.

My best guess at this point are; Arc  1: Mon Calamari arc, Arc 2: Umbara/General Krell arc, Arc 3: Death Watch/Lux arc, and Arc 4: Slaves of the Republic arc.

Finally it looks like we are getting a heavy dose of the Mandalorians that we expected in TCW.  I love the Japanese influenced architecture, it’s the Samurai Mandos., err Death Watch I mean.  I would assume this arc involves, the Lux, Ahsoka, and Starbuck-Mando clip that we have previously seen.  It also looks like Pre Vizsla got a new set of armor.

The Slaves of the Republic arc looks to be epic.  It includes the two best lines of the trailer, Darth Sidious appearing via hologram to Count Dooku aboard Dooku’s ship, discussing the history of Sith Empires being built upon slaves.  The other line is Obi-Wan cautioning Ahsoka to keep an eye on Anakin because of Anakin’s inability to let go of his past, i.e. slavery.  It also looks like we get a Clone Wars interpretation of the Zygerrian species, minus the red hair and wielding lightwhips in this arc.  Anakin and Ahsoka look ticked off at the Togrutans being enslaved.  It looks like I am going to have to get my hands on Dark Horse Comic’s Slaves of the Republic comic this fall to compare it to the show.    It also appears we get Anakin rescuing a Princess of some sort.

Where do Asajj Ventress and the Nightsisters fighting battledroids and Grievous fit in? Where does the Anakin versus Dooku battle take place?  What are Ahsoka, Anakin and R2 demolishing?  Where does the speeder bike chase fit in?   Aaron Goins has some great in-depth analysis and speculation that you can read here.

Later this week look for my break down on the best and worst from The Clone Wars Season One as we build up to the Season Four premier September 16th.

Until next time, keep your Buy’ce on and your blaster handy.

Pete

 

The Clone Wars Weekly Roundup

Greetings Troops, and welcome to this week’s TCW Weekly Roundup!

 

Will you be in Toronto, Canada from August 25th through the 28th?  If so you should stop by the Fan Expo Canada convention and you could get a chance to see the first episode of TCW Season Four on August 27th.  The screening will be hosted by TELETOON in conjunction with Fan Expo.  For attendees the screening will be held at 5pm in Room 718 of the convention center.

Unfortunately we won’t be in Canada during the convention but we will cover reactions to the screening and any interesting news that surfaces.

For adult Star Wars collectors or kids with really big allowances, artist Grant Gould is selling a limited number of his hand drawn Star Wars Topps sketch cards.  The cards which are normally sold for between $200-250 are being sold for $100 and include some Clone Wars favorites like Ahsoka, Asajj, and the bounty hunter trio of Rumi, Sugi, and Embo.

Soon we will find out episode titles for the premier trilogy and possibly information regarding other episodes in Season 4, but until then let’s take a look back at the first three seasons of TCW .  Screen  Junkies lists three of their favorite episodes of TCW; “Lair of Grievous,” “ARC Troopers,” and “Nightsisters.”

Next week, we will examine what I think are the best and worst episodes of TCW Season 1 along with any other Clone Wars news that breaks.

Until next week, keep  your Buy’ce on and your blaster handy.

- Pete