So yeah, Star Wars Rebels. I’ve not been living under a rock for the past couple of months, honestly. I’ve been intentionally trying to avoid news on this show for the simple fact that I’m just not all that interested. My reasons are myriad and complex, but I’ll try to explain a couple here for you.
First of all, let’s look at the character roster, shall we?
– Hera, the no-nonsense pilot of the crew
– Ezra, the street-smart hero
– Kanan, the cowboy Jedi
– Sabine, the feisty tomboy “explosives artist”
– Zeb, the well-educated alien
– Chopper, the grumpy astromech droid
Of course, all of this could be utterly amazing and whatnot, but it leaves me shaking my head in despair. It’s difficult to articulate why when there is so much vitriol in the way, but I really just hate (yes, hate) what is evidently meant to be a “kewl” collection of characters that we’re all meant to be thrilled about. I feel like they’re trying too hard to make us like the show, if that even makes sense.
I also think the thing about the “well-educated alien” is probably more racist than it should be, but still.
Watching the extended trailer, I see that we have a wonderfully derivative hero in the shape of Ezra, who I imagine will get into all sorts of scrapes and japes but will be simply awesome and claw his way out while we’re supposed to squee with delight. He seems to be strongly modelled on Luke, but without the everyman aspect. Clearly Hera is just a female (and Twi’lek) Han Solo, with Chopper a sort of cross between R2-D2 and the Falcon itself. Kanan will most likely be the “kewl” Qui-Gon-Jinn-esque character, a sort of younger version of original-trilogy Obi-Wan with consequently more awesome action that will make us want to be him when we grow up (no matter our age or gender). Sabine, I imagine, is destined to have a lot of “loner”-type action, meant to draw in any tomboy girls who don’t instantly equate with Hera, who herself seems to occupy something of a Leia position. And Zeb? Well, he’s just a Chewbacca who can speak for himself.
I like Star Wars because it doesn’t “insist upon itself”, to quote Peter Griffin. It knows who its audience is, and it tells a story that audience will equate to with minimal-to-no effort required. It seems, unfortunately, that recent releases have tried too hard to appeal to broader audiences and forced themselves into that general market that the original Star Wars movie never tried to occupy. The result, then, is this sort of junk – “kewl” (I keep using that affectation because it sums up the scorn I feel towards this type of project).
A lot of this could be driven entirely by the feeling that Disney has got rid of a lot of good stories from the accepted timeline in order to replace them with, well, this. Of course, there’s some absolute tosh in amongst those stories, but they aren’t all about Bucky O’Hare’s bounty-hunting cousin! There’s some really good stuff that has been done away with, and we’re left with…Rebels. Hm.