Tag Archives: Disney XD

Mini-Review: “Star Wars–Rebels: Art Attack”

Episode Title: Art Attack
Episode Writer: Greg Weisman
Short Story Author: Michael Kogge
Series: Star Wars: Rebels
Rating: *****
Publisher/Copyright: Disney, 2014

And here we go for take two! Art Attack is the second of four three-minute shorts being released to help promote the upcoming Star Wars: Rebels TV series. I posted on the first short a couple days ago, and the final two will soon follow. Those same four prequels were also adapted by Michael Kogge into a series of short stories in the book Rise Of The Rebels. These prequels are meant to introduce you to the characters from the show in the context of an actual story as opposed to their earlier introductions that focused more on the production/character conception side of things. This time we meet Sabine Wren, a teenage Mandalorian artist-slash-explosives expert. Check out the short below:

Here we watch as Sabine creates a diversion to allow the Ghost to take off unnoticed, and her preferred method of creating diversions seems to involve graffiti and taunting stormtroopers, followed by explosions. I really did enjoy this one, and I think Sabine will probably end up being one of my favorite characters. She’s spunky and sarcastic, both of which are traits I fully enjoy seeing in my characters. Plus, Mandalorian! That said, I’m hoping that the actual show doesn’t veer as far to the kid-side as this one did–without spoilers, there should be a body count to this diversion. Plus, the stormtroopers are portrayed as being even stupider than usual. The short story adaptation here irked me as well with it’s portrayal of the troopers. You don’t have to work so hard to convince me that stormtroopers are bad! We know that. Having the POV trooper reflect on how he was recruited as a result of his school detention record for bullying was blunt. Having him think “Artists were almost as bad as rebels. They could draw, paint, and create things he couldn’t. And for that they deserved to be crushed.”? That’s about as subtle as a brick upside the head. I don’t have a problem with “black and white” characters, per se, but it stands in stark contrast to the more nuanced work of earlier writers, such as Timothy Zahn’s stormtrooper characters in Allegiance and Choices Of One, or Davin Felth, the character from Doug Beason’s short story When The Desert Wind Turns. On the other hand, the story did explore some of Sabine’s motivations as well, and lent an added effect to her paint bomb, so it wasn’t all bad. These shorts are being referred to as prequels to the series, so I’m assuming this is part of a minor mission set before the introductory TV movie coming in April.

CONTENT: No profanity, but some unkind name-calling. Mild violence, no body count. No sexual content whatsoever.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Films, Reviews, Star Wars

Mini-Review: “Star Wars–Rebels: The Machine In The Ghost”

Episode Title: The Machine In The Ghost
Episode Writer: Greg Weisman
Short Story Author: Michael Kogge
Series: Star Wars: Rebels
Rating: ****
Publisher/Copyright: Disney, 2014

And here we go! I think this is officially the first new story released for the rebooted Star Wars Expanded Universe. That honor was supposed to go to the upcoming novel A New Dawn, but the people over at Star Wars: Rebels jumped the gun a bit in promoting their new show. What we have here is a three-minute short, part one of a four-episode series of prequels to the actual show. Those same four prequels were also adapted by Michael Kogge into a series of short stories in the book Rise Of The Rebels. These prequels are meant to introduce you to the characters from the show in the context of an actual story as opposed to their earlier introductions that focused more on the production/character conception side of things. This time we meet Kanan Jarrus, Hera Syndulla, and C1-10p or “Chopper”. Kanan is a former Jedi Padawan who managed to survive Order 66 and has locked away his lightsaber, living on the run until he hooked up with rest of this crew. Hera is the pilot and owner of the Ghost, with her own unrevealed (so far) reasons for hating the Empire. Chopper may be the grumpiest astromech droid you’ll ever meet, but there’s no way he’s going to let the Ghost and her crew be blown to smithereens on his watch. There are links to the introduction videos above, and you can see the short below.

The actual video itself is so short that I can’t give much of a summary without spoilers. Basically, we find Kanan, Hera and Chopper alone in the Ghost being pursued by a quartet of TIE Fighters after being ambushed when they tried to raid an Imperial supply convoy. When the ship starts taking damage, Chopper has to balance conflicting orders from Kanan and Hera as to what to fix first before the TIEs blow them out of the sky.

Since I’m a huge Star Wars geek, I’m obviously excited about this upcoming show. A lot of the same people from the Clone Wars cartoon have been carried over, and as much as I gripe about that show it definitely did improve as things went along. Plus, you know, since they rebooted the timeline I can’t gripe about how much they screwed stuff up anymore–that other stuff no longer exists. I think the crew has learned a lot (they say they have) from that experience, and I look forward to seeing what they can do in this new time period. Regarding this particular installment, it was very fun. I really enjoyed the banter between Kanan and Hera, but Chopper was the real focus here, I suspect because Kanan and Hera will be getting much better introductions when A New Dawn hits shelves. We know that Kanan and Hera meet in that book, set in 11 BBY,* while the show is set in 5 BBY. This short could hypothetically be set anywhere in that interim period, especially since the rest of the crew is absent, but I’m placing it as close to the start of the show as possible given the characters’ unchanging appearance. Obviously, as more information emerges as to the status quo at the start of the series I can refine that further. Is the short story version worthwhile? It doesn’t really add much, aside from refining the context of why they’re being chased and pointing out that the guns Chopper fires are mounted on the Phantom, a smaller fighter docked to the back of the Ghost. You also get inside Chopper’s “head” a bit more to see what he’s actually thinking, but there’s really no need–he’s a very expressive droid, so it doesn’t add much to the experience. It’s not bad, I was just hoping it would be expanded a bit. Use the short as a jumping-off point or something, maybe even offer context as to whether this happens before the rest of the crew joins up or if they’re just off on another errand (I doubt this, since the Phantom is still present, but who knows).

CONTENT: Aside from TIE pilots being blown up, no violence. If you understand the binary language Chopper beeps in, I imagine his dialogue would be profanity-laden, but you can’t and so there is none. No sexual content.

*Star Wars dates are measured in years BBY or ABY, before or after the Battle of Yavin respectively. Effectively, BC/AD with Star Wars: A New Hope as the tipping point.

Leave a comment

Filed under Films, Reviews, Star Wars