I’m rarely on the cutting edge of TV, and I love it. When I finally discover a new show to watch there are usually a couple of seasons just waiting to be enjoyed.
So after getting my first real fix of Star Wars in years with last month’s The Force Awakens, I was frantically searching for more galactic adventures and Star Wars: Rebels scratched that itch.
Say what you want about Disney as an evil mega-corporation that owns too much and wields too great and terrible a power…but you can’t say they’ve ruined that galaxy far, far, away. I have so many thought on The Force Awakens, and I’ll write them down eventually, but today is about the ragtag crew of the Ghost on Star Wars: Rebels. The series takes place five years before the events of A New Hope and is official cannon within Disney’s retooled universe.
You might be wondering: “But wait, isn’t this a series for kids?” Yes, it is, and all that means is it’s a series for everyone.
Sometimes I forget how true that is, at least, how true it is for good children’s stories. I agree with C.S. Lewis on this point:
“A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.”
I forgot this while I was watching the pilot episode and took my critique stick to the show. I thought the main character, a young scoundrel named Ezra, was annoying. Not in a naive Luke Skywalker way, but because of what I saw as a misplaced self-assuredness — it grated on me.
Then it grew on me. Not the self-assuredness itself but the purpose of Ezra’s feigned self-confidence. Ezra Bridger is an orphan; a bit like Aladdin actually, but without Abu for company. He is caught up from isolation into the budding drama of the Galactic Civil War where the ragtag crew of the Ghost adopts him.
I expect the series will take the time to explore the backstories of each rebel crew member and that the web of relationships will make for good drama and better adventures.
Rebels is a kid’s show and is probably better for it. Children’s stories are often free of the pretence that bogs down a lot of grown-up media and, if we can raise ourselves to their level, they can tell a truer, more honest story.
Do yourself a favour and watch this.