SYNOPSIS: A Long Time Ago In A Galaxy Far, Far Away…. Against the might of the Galactic Empire, an unlikely band of heroes emerges to renew the fight for freedom. Witness the epic debut of the riveting animated series Star Wars Rebels, in this full-length, must-own movie – now on DVD for the first time ever! Five years before the events of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, the reigning evil Empire continues to tighten its grip of power and fear throughout the cosmos. But even amidst the tyranny and oppression of these dark days, a glimmer of light emerges. Meet the ragtag crew of the starship Ghost : Twi’lek pilot Hera, street-smart pickpocket Ezra, team leader Kanan, alien enforcer Zeb, explosives expert Sabine, and Chopper, the cantankerous Droid. Together, they embark on action-packed adventures, battle ruthless villains, and ignite the very first Spark Of Rebellion against a surging tide of Storm troopers, TIE fighters and the mysterious Inquisitor.
So much has happened after Disney bought out Lucasfilm. A new Star Wars movie is in production, several spin-offs are in the pipeline and there are rumors of a bigger Star Wars presence in Disney theme parks.
With the sudden cancellation of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Disney needs something new to fill in for Disney XD channel and what better choice than to fall back into the Star Wars timeline for more adventures in outer space.
Star Wars Rebels: Spark of Rebellion marks the pilot episode of the series. Taking place fourteen years after the events of Star Wars Episode III, viewers are taken on a whirlwind ride onboard The Ghost. Manned by pilot Hera (Vanessa Marshall) and led by Team Leader Kanan (Freddie Prinze Jr) with Alien Zeb (Steve Blum) and explosives expert Sabine (Tiya Sircar), the foursome are on missions to fight against the Imperial troops.
As Obi-Wan Kenobi said in a hologram message, “… a new hope will emerge.” As always, there will be a Master and an apprentice. This time round, the master is Kanan, an ex-Jedi and survivor of Order 66 and the apprentice happened to be a young con artist and orphan by the name of Ezra Bridger.
For the mere 45 minutes, one can feel the original spirit of Star Wars is much alive and it’s obvious the filmmakers took effort in surprising audience with fresh elements while still persevering the old. If the prequels have memorable villains such as Darth Maul and General Grievous, look out for the much-touted latest bad guy of the far away galaxy, The Inquisitor (voiced by Harry Potter actor Jason Isaacs) making his first appearance.
Wildly entertaining and deeply engaging, Star Wars Rebels: Spark of Rebellion might be the appropriate title to kick-start your love for a franchise that is more than three decades old. The animation details on the other hand can be way slicker but that’s just me being nitpicking.
The Machine in the Ghost, Art Attack, Entanglement, Property of Ezra Bridger are short clips that introduce viewers to the various leading characters: Kanan, Hera, Sabine, Zeb and Ezra.
Producer Dave Filoni and Writer Simon Kinberg gave a short introduction before giving viewers an extended trailer in Star Wars Rebels Season 1: Look Ahead.
The DVD is backed by a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track with a dynamic soundfield which frequently features rumbling explosions. Visual presentation is serviceable, save for a couple of instances where there are obvious minor flaws.
DVD RATING :
Review by Linus Tee