|Children of the revolution! The young cast of STAR WARS: REBELS. All images: LUCASFILM/DISNEY/DORLING KINDERSLEY.|
STAR WARS REBELS: THE VISUAL GUIDE
Written by Adam Bray
With a Foreword by Dave Filoni
Published by DORLING KINDERSLEY
Available in the UK from August 1st, 2014. Price: £12.99
Reviewed by Scott Weller
Ezra Bridger, Kanan Jarrus, Hera Syndulla, Sabine Wren, Chopper, Zeb Orelios…
Names that may seem unfamiliar now but ones that will soon become feared and hated by their enemies in the tyrannical Galactic Empire. Names whose spark will light an expansive, consuming touch paper to an eventual rebellion against evil, corruption and injustice in the dark times that have since enslaved a universe. The heroes, and villains, of the freshly minted STAR WARS REBELS animated series arrive this October on the worldwide Disney XD channel, of which enthused author Adam Bray, Lucas Books and the dedicated custodians of the STAR WARS visual history flame based at DORLING KINDERSLEY now bring soon-to-be enraptured younger readers an evocative and exciting Visual Guide to the hotly anticipated next phase of the STAR WARS legend on television.
Specially designed to capture the adventurous spirit and galaxy traversing tone of that Original Trilogy which first exploded on to cinematic screens in 1977, set in the STAR WARS universe timeline five years before former farmboy Luke Skywalker changed the galaxy forever in destroying the behemoth Death Star space station, REBELS gives us a new young warrior to root for- Ezra Bridger. Almost the ultimate definition of a street urchin with a cocky but also vulnerable side to his nature, the isolated Ezra has survived on his wits, instincts and unusual latent abilities since he was very small on the far-off frontier world of Lothal. Talents for survival against an often harsh backdrop of oppression and violence that will lead him to uniquely joining a new “family” recognizing and helping him awaken his potential as a Jedi Knight-one of a rare breed seemingly exterminated from the universe for the most part by the evil Sith Lord duo of Emperor Palpatine and his ruthless servant, Darth Vader.
Ezra’s destiny, within this time frame of oppression dominated by dark-deeded spies, legions of same-faced Imperial Stormtroopers and their overall technological superiority in the suppression of peoples and worlds, soon emerges as a shining beacon to raw heroism, changed for the better alongside his new compatriots, who themselves change for the better in his company. A group of hardened, capable, quirky and very diverse resistance fighters from all corners of the universe, and of all shapes and sizes- a veritable STAR WARS version of Robin Hood and his Merry Men- led by pony-tailed Kanan Jarrus, soon out of hiding to reveal his own powerful status as a Jedi, now that he has witnessed Ezra’s future potential in the Force. Together, will they be powerful enough to defeat the Sith reign?
Its tone established right from the hour-long opener, from then on its fast-paced action, humour and STAR WARS history-making/ icon celebrating all the way, as author Bray enlightens readers with this new/old universe, giving us the full lowdown on our rebel cadre- their backstories, capabilities and idiosyncrasies, alongside their intriguing weapons and technology, travelling the distant realms together from Lothal to Kessel in their unique Corellian-made, blockade running, armament-packed, TIE fighter battling ship, Ghost. Charting the journey so far, the book details some of the new and familiar faces on hand, plus some of the shady, other side of the coin partners Kanan and co. will have no choice but to ally themselves with in order to survive and fight on.
And then there’s the Empire, of whom Ezra and co. soon make an impact against, especially once Kanan’s Jedi skills are finally revealed after years of being deliberately hidden or subdued, soon putting them firmly in the targeting sights of the most sinister and dangerously effective forces in dedicated service to the Sith: notably the Utapau-born Inquisitor- intelligent, unpredictably cunning and, though not quite a Jedi, a truly demonic warrior certainly bearing the necessary lightsaber skills to take out anyone who stands in his way. Backed up by the dedicated human Agent Kallus, commanding his Stormtroopers with an in-the-thick-of-it fighting style, fearsome might and ambitious, unparalleled ruthlessness, evil has never been more prescient or generated more fear. One thing’s for sure, our heroes, and the viewing audience, are in for a thrill-packed, eventful ride from their building conflicts, of which this book is an exemplary primer- showing us the wonder and excitement that only the STAR WARS franchise can deliver. As REBELS boldly fuses the visuals and universes of EPISODEs III and IV together in all their rich detail, Bray opens the door to the pilot episode and then goes beyond it, examining several further future key episodes that look just as intriguing, his info-revealing text clear, concise and appealing, indicating a series that will likely grow ever-more depthful as it goes on. The colourful book’s designers, their love affair with STAR WARS happily contagious, additionally enhance the enterprise with beautiful spreads promoting standout key action and character moments that will surely become indelible over time within the overall franchise's modern canon status. In that galaxy far, far away, the wind to shake the stars is gathering momentum anew…
AFICIONADO RATING. The first phase of DISNEY’s inheritance of the STAR WARS franchise begins.Backed up with a worthy, part-nostalgic foreword to the series by co-creator Dave Filoni, who also previously help mastermind THE CLONE WARS to animated acclaim, this Visual Guide to the all-new STAR WARS REBELS, particularly designed for a more youthful reading style and viewing base, will surely be the first of many volumes! 3.5 out of 5
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Catch the new seven-minute preview for STAR WARS: REBELS here: ▶ First Look at Star Wars Rebels - YouTube