Mitchell Stein: Hey guys! Sorry for the delay in this week’s article. Things got really busy in my personal life, but now that those things are out of the way for the most part, I’m back reviewing last week’s episode, Breaking Ranks.
In this special episode we have an interview with the writer of Star Wars Rebels: The Visual Guide, Adam Bray.
- Adam talks to us about his first time viewing Star Wars at a drive-in theater, his personal fandom, and what Star Wars characters he enjoys the most. We also discuss how he got into writing and his approach to writing for a younger audience.
- A modern day Indiana Jones. Adam lets us know about some of his world travels including discovering ancient temples and visiting the Lord of the Rings sets in New Zealand.
- A sarlacc has arm bones? We ask Adam about the first Star Wars book he wrote, What Makes a Monster?
- Finally we talk about Star Wars Rebels: The Visual Guide and what readers can expect from it. We discuss how the book came together, references to the Legends universe, the Inquisitor, excitement for the show, and more!
There was SO much geeky news coming out of Comic Con that it was hard to follow! But, one of my favorite trailers I’ve seen coming out of all this news was the “Star Wars Rebels: A Look Ahead” trailer. This trailer was debuted especially for Comic Con at “The Heroes of Star Wars Rebels” panel.
The trailer starts with the Lucasfilm Ltd. image (I’ve always loved how that sparkles), and jumps straight into our heroes (Ezra, Sabine, Hera, Kanan, Zeb, and Chopper) of the show being chased by TIE fighters and a Star Destroyer in a manner that definitely reminds me of “Star Wars: A New Hope”.
In fact, as I watched the trailer the first time, I thought it reminded me quite a bit of “A New Hope” and “The Empire Strikes Back,” both in setting and in style. The cockpit setting of some of the scenes was reminiscent of “The Empire Strikes Back,” especially some of the cockpit banter, and seemingly constantly being chased by the Empire.
With all the sneaking around, being chased by the Empire, guerrilla warfare style of fighting, and the simple fact that the Empire is what’s in control in this series, the flavor of the fight will be quite different from some of “The Clone Wars” series I believe. It seems unlikely there will be any long battles between large forces in this series. The remnants of the Jedi are few and far between, the Rebellion likely hasn’t grown to be as strong as we see it in the original trilogy, and the Empire I assume is still aiming as some sort of pretense of benevolence (the board of governors should still be in existence at this time).
In-spite of all this original trilogy feel and influence that I felt strongly when I first saw the trailer, this trailer also reminds me how much of a “The Clone Wars” flavor the show has. The appearance of the characters, plus the good animation, both really give me a TCW feel.
The younger characters also give the show a younger feel, and will hopefully do as much for “Rebels” as Ahsoka did for TCW. Plus, some of the planets and locations featured in the trailer reminded me a lot of the different worlds we were able to explore in TCW.
Other characters reminded me of TCW as well. Jedi Master Luminara Unduli, Kanan, and Ezra all remind me of some of the Jedi in TCW, and having these characters tells me (hopefully) that “Rebels” will prominently feature Force-users. This thought was reinforced for me because of the trailer clips showing both Kanan and Ezra using the Force, and of Ezra learning from Kanan. Also, the Inquisitor showing up for a lightsaber duel with Kanan reminded me of the many lightsaber duels of TCW: non-fatal, and likely to be between the same opponents several times.
The Inquisitor reminds me a lot of Darth Maul (the TCW version), Savage Oppress, and the Secret Apprentice. This is also a connection to TCW for me. With a feel as powerful as those three, a double blade like both Maul and Oppress, and the glowing eyes of those two, the Inquisitor will definitely be a force to be reckoned with. His armor and manner of calm deadliness reminds me of the Secret Apprentice, who was voiced by Sam Witwer, who also voiced Darth Maul in TCW. The Inquisitor’s spinning lightsaber was even an unused design from “The Force Unleashed”. The episode also featured its fair share of droid humor, a la TCW.
When “The Clone Wars” series started, Ahsoka Tano was a young, snippy, and somewhat naive character. She could handle herself in battle, but seemed unfamiliar in that environment. The series became slowly darker in nature as Ahsoka aged, the characters saw more battle, and Anakin Skywalker flirted more with the Dark Side (and with the approach of Order 66). From this trailer and other clips, interviews, and discussions though, I think “Rebels” will start in a darker place. The galaxy is under the shadow of the Empire. Desperate, battle hardened rebels without a home fight back. While there are younger characters, there is little innocence or discomfort I see (currently) in them when they’re in battle, being shot at, chased, and fighting for their lives against overwhelming odds. This makes sense given the time period, but what will this do to characters that we, the fans, are already getting attached to? Will this series last long enough for the characters to develop a new hope within themselves? Or will we see them suffer more from personal losses (“I have no parents…”), the Jedi being nearly extinct, and the Empire having one? If we thought TCW was taking a dark path towards the fall of the Republic, what will Rebels look like after it has fallen? What happens to children who grow up as warriors on the seemingly losing side?
Let me know what you think of the new trailer!
~ Bethany Blanton
This episode is the second part of our one-year anniversary celebration! We invited the guys from the Rebels Report podcast (Pete Morrison and Andy Ury) to talk about the Rebels characters revealed so far and Star Wars Expanded Universe characters they remind us of.
Also don’t forget about our book giveaway!
- Finally an episode not about Ewoks!
- We talk in detail about all 6 Rebels and the Inquisitor
- Teresa kind of has a crush on Twi’leks
- Did Pete really compare Zeb to Jar Jar Binks and Thrawn?
- Find out what two characters Aaron is not as excited for. It may surprise you
- Andy has some great insight on Inquisitors in the Expanded Universe
No reviews this episode, just discussion. With all the rumblings around the Star Wars Expanded Universe fandom right now we wanted to take an episode and weigh in on the latest news.
- We welcome friends of the show Josh Stolte (TechnoRetro Dads, Tron Decoding the Grid) and Tricia Barr (Fangirls Going Rouge, Fangirl Blog) as our guests
- Marvel to begin publishing Star Wars comics in 2015. Good news or bad news?
- Some of our favorite Dark Horse comics memories
- A new The Clone Wars story is coming in comic form and it features Darth Maul!
- Tricia gives us a lesson on canon
- The Lucasfilm Story Group: Are people jumping to the wrong conclusions?
- We answer a listener’s question about the Inquisitors in the Expanded Universe
- Stick around after the credits to hear some bonus clips