Monday, July 29, 2013

Five Things I'd Love To See In 'Star Wars: Rebels'

When I started this blog, it was a music blog aimed at mostly hip-hop. Hip-hop, admittedly however, is a genre that is on the wane. I don't think it will have the same influence in coming years as it did when it started.  (However, I think the hip-hop we will see in coming years will be better and more artistically, instead of profit, driven.) We have had several successful articles about authors and individuals working outside of the music world - reviews of films like Fruitvale Station and spotlights on books like Tanya Taimanglo's Secret Shopper. I hope that explains the presence of an article like this one, which may seem like an abrupt departure from what we usually do here. Remember - the title "Blood Is One" doesn't mean anything violent - it means that all us, in the blood that drives our bodies, are one and the same. There is no segregation between people - so there shouldn't be in entertainment either.

I've written here before about how much I love Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Despite alot of cool characters, great music and some great moments, the Star Wars prequels as a whole disappointed in their ability to hold an audience emotionally in the way that the original trilogy did. Despite alot of success, the series now seems to be over - brought on by the sale of Star Wars to Disney.

Alot of important characters were created for the world of The Clone Wars, however - most important being young Jedi Ahsoka Tano. Ahsoka has probably gained the emotional appeal of fans in a way that no Star Wars character has in nearly twenty years. The Clone Wars was brilliant in pulling in even unpopular characters like Jar-Jar Binks and making them work in a very entertaining way (one of my favorite scenes is Jar-Jar enraging General Greivous by impersonating Gungan leader Boss Lioni).

It isn't all coming to an end, do not worry! A new series called Star Wars: Rebels is coming out soon. And with the new series are characters I would personally like to see:

5) DARTH VADER: The animation style that was in the Clone Wars show seems to be gone - all word is that the creators plan to actually base the animation on the original storyboards that Ralph McQuarrie drew up for the original Star Wars all the way back in the 1970s. That means a Vader that will look like this:

Vader will obviously be a staple in the new series, which is why I put him at the beginning of this list. He is guaranteed to be in the series. Anakin is the main character in the whole galaxy wide mess that is Star Wars. He is in every single movie and every single TV show to some degree. The storyline is driven by him and his personal choices - arguably more so than any other character. A leaner, less stiff Darth Vader will look alot more like the Anakin of the prequels and the animated series. It would be wise, if it's possible, for the Dave Fiolini and the team behind Rebels to try to temper down the computer animation at least as the main characters are concerned - imagine Star Wars as a template in which drawn characters are juxtaposed with a computer animated background.

4) EWOKS - I know this one might seem weird - especially as Ewoks are sort of ridiculous characters and probably some of the most unbelievable the series has provided. However, one of the strengths of the Clone Wars series, in my view, was stories such as the one that drove the beginning of Season Four - where the Gungans (Jar-Jar's species) and the Mon Kalimari (Admiral Ackbar's species - Yeah, I know - Star Wars species names can be ridiculous at times) team up to defeat General Greivous and Count Dooku. It's a great expansion of these species and makes the galaxy seem more real and engaging. It would have to be in a way that works, though, and that would take some creativity.

3) THE IMPERIAL ACADEMY - This one is a deep cut for hardcore Star Wars fans. Back in A New Hope, Luke Skywalker is heard talking about how much he wants to join up in the "Imperial Academy," seeing it as an excuse to leave Tattoine. In the amazing radio adaptation that National Public radio did for Star Wars, Luke is heard fantasizing out loud while listening to advertisements for enlistment in the Imperial Academy.

The Academies were obviously never seen in the prequel trilogy because there was no Empire until the very end. However, whatever the Imperial Academies look like should be explored in the new "Rebels" series.

My own suggestion - have the Imperial Academy be a replacement for the Jedi Temple. Have it located in Coruscant in the very building that the Jedi Temple once was in. Have it be started by Palpatine purposefully to find Force aware younglings and train them to love the Empire and the Sith so that the Jedi will never be reborn. Have Vader lecturing young Academy cadets personally as to why the Empire is better than what was before. Even have many of the new Rebels be dropouts in the Academy - people who realized how sinister the Empire is.

2) ROGUE JEDI - The Clone Wars muddled the Star Wars universe by having Force sensitive characters who didn't actually fit directly in to the Sith and Jedi order at all - Savage Oppress, Asajj Ventress, etc. In the original movie A New Hope, every character seemed aware of the Force and Jedis but seemed to disregard them as "simple tricks and nonsense" (Han Solo) and "old wizards" (Lars Owen). Obi-Wan only ever told Luke that Vader helped destroy the Jedi Knights, who were all agents of the Jedi Order. With Ahsoka Tano still alive after the end of Clone Wars," there is no reason why Star Wars shouldn't see characters with knowledge of the force who use it for their own ends.

1) ALDERAAN - In the original Star Wars movie, A New Hope, we only see Alderaan briefly - right before it is destroyed by the Death Star. In the last two Star Wars movies, Alderaan senator Bail Organa (played by Jimmy Smits) is a driving character - there were several deleted scenes for Revenge of the Sith where he is seen collaborating with Padme (played by Natalie Portman) in forming the early Rebel Alliance.

We only ever see Alderaan once in the prequels - at the end of Revenge of the Sith, when Bail Organa and his wife are holding baby Leia. It wasn't explored in the Clone Wars show at all - which is really strange, seeing as the show is powered by Star Wars fanboys. If "Rebels" is going to be about, well, "Rebels," I think it would be ideal to have much of the show actually take place on Alderaan. Have the Rebel Alliance based out of Alderaan, the way the Jedi Council was based on Coruscant. The shot I found in research of Alderaan above looks the most like our own world of any of the planets created for Star Wars - the potential for character development with this world is very strong. This would not only enhance the movies by demystifying Princess Leia's home planet - it would also give a backstory and motivation to why the Empire decided to destroy Alderaan in A New Hope.

The article "Five Characters We Want To See In Star Wars: Rebels" by Eric Diaz is a great sojourn in to how The Clone Wars should continue - better suited than what I've provided above, I imagine. I'm a hardcore Star Wars nerd so I'll watch no matter what!

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