If you’re a Star Wars fan but haven’t had the opportunity to dive into any of the animated series, there are plenty of reasons for you and your kids to explore them now. Star Wars Rebels provides something completely new, where its predecessor, The Clone Wars, highlighted familiar characters to hold onto. Something that’s easy for kids to enjoy as they get older are things they see early in life and get to enjoy as they grow up. The Star Wars franchise has provided this for so many people. In recent years (since 2008), fans have had an opportunity to dive into classic characters, as well as enjoying brand new characters.
Something that widely changes Rebels from The Clone Wars is the primary focus on brand new characters, instead of previously well-known characters. Yes, The Clone Wars presented one of the best characters in all of its canon with the likes of Ahsoka Tano, but Star Wars Rebels gives fans of the franchise a band of six new characters to cling to for dear life. As a parent, it’s often a hope for kids to find fundamental messaging in storytelling, so these new characters in a vast galaxy far, far away present several reasons to absolutely love the first season of Star Wars Rebels.
SPOILER ALERT: If you want to avoid any knowledge of the first season of Star Wars Rebels prior to viewing, please watch before reading further.
Finding Hope in Dark Times
This amazing animated series focuses on a cast of characters who are doing their best to cause trouble for the Empire. Hera, Kanan, Zeb, Sabine, and a wily droid by the name of Chopper are causing chaos and improving the lives of others who are suffering at the hands of the Empire. During the span of time it takes to try and steal some merchandise, they happen to come across Ezra, a loner who has been on his own since his parents died when he was only a kid.
Not only is this kid, now teenager, a scrappy underdog who viewers can see is only trying to make ends meet to survive, it’s clear there is something special about him. Yes, parents have an opportunity to highlight wonderful writing and fantastic animation for creating such exciting scenes early on in the season; however, it’s important to recognize the independence Ezra has gained because he was put in a position to do whatever it took to survive. However scary it might be to imagine our child alone in the world, this fictional story provides hope in seeing a character handily do what he can in the face of horrible times to make ends meet.
Ezra is a charismatic and capable young man who takes chances to make those ends meet, even if it’s arguable that those ends are going against the “credible” shooting skills of stormtroopers. Either way you look at it, parents and their kids will be able to look at challenging situations and look to Ezra and the other Rebels for hope when times look quite bleak.
Building Trust When All Seems Lost
One of the most valid themes when discussing Star Wars is the ever-present desire to find hope in a galaxy filled with power-hungry individuals who want worlds to be ruled under their thumb. Star Wars Rebels not only gives us new hope in the face of new characters, it establishes the need to trust others when the very notion of trust seems to be such an impossible gesture.
“Star Wars Rebels, set five years before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope, tells the story of the Rebellion’s beginnings while the Empire spreads tyranny through the galaxy.”
The beginning of this series collides Ezra with this five-person group of rebels – and within such a short span of time, trust has to be formed to survive. One of the best features of Season One is the notion of trusting one’s feelings. That little feeling in your stomach, or in this case the Force, is an essential factor in finding ways to solve problems and help each other in times of need. This series dives into the Star Wars galaxy when all Jedi are presumed dead. In reality, there are two Jedis among the rebels who are very much alive. Trusting one’s feelings is an essential factor in staying alive this season.
Flawed and Flawless
One of the best things that a parent can ever tell their child is that being perfect is not the only thing that matters. Is perfection possible when achieving top scores in games or contests? Yes. Is it the only thing that matters? No. The pursuit of perfection is not a construct presented in the first season of Star Wars Rebels. The characters in this series have flaws, and they definitely do not always get along. There are arguments, internal conflicts, and a resounding feeling of wanting to belong. This series presents the notion of family in such a strong way that mistakes are closely felt, while redemption is matched with sincerity and understanding.
The first season of Star Wars Rebels presents a Jedi and an apprentice who are far from perfect. They both have internal conflicts, while also being unsure of their abilities. Kanan is a Jedi (possibly the last one) who is clearly capable in his abilities with a lightsaber and moving others with levitation, while his skills seem ill-equipped to handle the attacks from the dark side’s Inquisitor. Despite being somewhat overpowered by the Inquisitor, Kanan is able to find a way to overcome and find a way to stay alive in these face-to-face battles.
Ezra is potentially a Jedi and begins training with Kanan, but there is a lot of turmoil between both characters. There is a lot of self-doubt on both sides, while they also push each other to be better. This series does a fantastic job at questioning what it takes to push ourselves in the face of struggles, while also finding the courage to accept help when it’s offered.
If you are a fan of the Star Wars franchise, you will definitely enjoy Star Wars Rebels Season One. This is completely different from any other movie or animated series by exploring how the rebellion works by presenting a band of six people who believe in destroying the Empire by helping others in need. This primal message of helping those oppressed by a greater force is powerful and definitely worth cheering for – again, a powerful message serving as a constant reminder to why #StoriesMatter in our day-to-day lives and how relevant these stories can be for teaching our younglings.
How does the first season of Star Wars Rebels compare against other stories in the Star Wars franchise for you? Do you or your kids have a favorite character? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below, or let us know over on Facebook and Twitter. Also, if you like this content and want to see more of it, don’t forget to like this article and share it with all of your geeky friends.
Until next time, happy parenting and happy geeking.