Tag Archives: Star Wars: Rebels

Review: “Star Wars–Rebels: The Fake Jedi” by Martin Fisher & Bob Molesworth

Title: The Fake Jedi
Writer: Martin Fisher
Artist: Bob Molesworth
Series: Star Wars: Rebels
Rating: *****
Publisher/Copyright: Egmont UK Ltd, 2015

Here’s another Star Wars: Rebels short! This one was first published in Germany (sensing the trend?), translated and published in the UK in Star Wars Rebels Magazine #3, and should be published stateside eventually. Until then, happy Googling!

This one is a solo adventure for Kanan as he is forced down by the Empire on a strange planet. Taken in by the locals, he is taken to their lightsaber-wielding leader who, despite his weapon, is no Jedi. Of course, this is when the Inquisitor decides to show up looking for Kanan….

This one wasn’t bad. The story was predictable, but that’s par for the course on these I’m thinking. As with previous stories illustrated by Molesworth, I think his art is perfectly serviceable and possibly better than these comics could reasonably hope for. Is this one essential reading? Not really, but it was fun nevertheless.

CONTENT: Mild violence. No profanity. Scantily-clad alien women, not played for titillation.

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Review: “Star Wars–Rebels: Kallus’ Hunt” by Martin Fisher & Bob Molesworth

Title: Kallus’ Hunt
Writer: Martin Fisher
Artist: Bob Molesworth
Series: Star Wars: Rebels
Rating: ****
Publisher/Copyright: Egmont UK Ltd., 2015

Once again, here’s a short comic from the Star Wars Rebels magazine! This time we focus on Imperial Security Bureau agent Kallus. As with previous comics, this was originally published in Germany before being translated and published in the UK in Star Wars Rebels Magazine #4. I believe it’s slated for stateside publication, but I’ve no confirmation of that yet.

It’s not often we get to root for Agent Kallus, but this story offers you that opportunity and allows a deeper insight into his character. He’s still a cruel and prejudiced officer, still the man that oversaw the extermination of the Lasat, but here we see he’s also a true believer in the Empire as a force for order in a chaotic galaxy. There are Imperial officers who are corrupt and out for their own personal gain, but Kallus will do whatever is necessary to bring such men to Imperial justice.

I liked this one. It’s always a pleasure to see the Galaxy Far, Far Away become more nuanced, to get to root for the villains against even worse baddies on occasion. There’s not necessarily a lot here, but what there is suggests a rich history for all characters involved–one I hope we get to explore some other time. As usual, Fisher writes the characters spot-on so that you can almost hear their voices in your head, and Molesworth’s art is better than could realistically be expected from such a publication.

CONTENT: Mild violence. No profanity. No sexual content.

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Review: “Star Wars–Rebels: Ring Race” by Martin Fisher & Bob Molesworth

Title: Ring Race
Writer: Martin Fisher
Artist: Bob Molesworth
Series: Star Wars: Rebels
Rating: *****
Publisher/Copyright: Egmont UK Ltd, 2015

Here’s another Star Wars: Rebels short comic! Why? Because I can, that’s why. This particular story first appeared in Germany, was translated and published in the UK in Star Wars Rebels Magazine #1, then reprinted stateside in the US version of the same magazine.

After a particularly nasty encounter with Imperial forces the Ghost is in need of repairs, forcing the crew to visit Osisis Station to acquire parts from Galus Vez, the owner of the station. Unfortunately, Vez is tired of dodging Imperial interest in our protagonists, and offers them an ultimatum: beat him on his private course through the asteroid belt, or he’ll take their ship and hand them over to the Empire. Not ideal, but since Vez has no intention of playing fair our protagonists don’t feel the need to either….

This one was fun. The ending is never really in doubt, but you can’t expect too high of stakes in a twelve-page tie-in to a series. They’re hardly going to do something drastic like kill a character or destroy their ship offscreen. The writing is spot-on, and all the characters are true to their on-screen personas. The art was decent, simple and clean without doing anything spectacular. Nothing special compared to comics from the larger publishers, but compared to other shorts like this, it shines. It matches the look of the show well enough, and that’s really all you can ask of it.

CONTENT: Mild violence. No profanity. No sexual content.

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Review: “Star Wars–Rebels: Learning Patience” by Martin Fisher & Ingo Romling

Title: Learning Patience
Writer: Martin Fisher
Artist: Ingo Romling
Series: Star Wars: Rebels
Rating: ***
Publisher/Copyright: Egmont UK Ltd, 2015

In honor of the fact that I finally got my Star Wars: Rebels DVD, here’s a story from the UK magazine! This particular story appeared first in Germany, then in English in the UK Star Wars Rebels Magazine #2. I believe it’s set to appear in the US in November’s issue of the stateside Star Wars Rebels Magazine, but I could be mistaken about that.

Ezra is having trouble letting go of his tension and just focusing, letting his task be completed in its own time. Instead, he gets caught in a self-defeating spiral of pressure to perform and impatience. Of course, this means that a situation is going to arise where his survival will depend on that very skill….The story itself was decent, if a little too cliched, and the art was serviceable without being remarkable. The offscreen mission Kanan and Zeb are undertaking has yet to be documented, so far as I know, but that could change as they publish more of these short comics. On the whole, a mediocre tale, but worth checking out if you can find it.

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Review: “Star Wars–Kanan: The Last Padawan” by Greg Weisman & Pepe Larraz

Title: The Last Padawan
Writer: Greg Weisman
Artist: Pepe Larraz
Series: Star Wars: Kanan #1-6 (Official Canon)
Rating: *****
Publisher/Copyright: Marvel Comics, 2015

I’ve got to admit, I’m a bit behind on the Star Wars: Rebels front. Due to a marked lack of cable, I decided to wait til it hit DVD and catch up from the beginning. In the meantime, here’s the first arc of Marvel’s series filing in the backstory of Kanan Jarrus.

Before there was Kanan Jarrus, cocky and sarcastic renegade fighting the Empire at every turn, there was Caleb Dume, a young Jedi Padawan apprenticed to Jedi Councilwoman Depa Bilaba. Caleb and his master have just liberated the planet Kaller from the Separatists when Order 66 is given, triggering a pre-programmed command forcing Clone Troopers across the galaxy to turn on their Jedi leaders. Thank to his master’s sacrifice, Caleb escapes the initial slaughter only to find himself alone in a galaxy where being a Jedi is an instant death sentence…..

Even without more than a passing familiarity with the character of Kanan Jarrus, this was an incredible comic. The moment Order 66 is given Caleb’s world falls apart, and you can see the anguish and survivor’s guilt writ large across his whole existence. He is very much aware of the fact that Master Bilaba could have escaped, at least temporarily, but chose to sell her life so he could escape…and that he ran, leaving her to her fate. I very much look forward to getting to know this character better when my DVDs arrive in the mail…. It was also interesting to watch Styles & Grey come to terms with what they did during Order 66, seeing them react in different ways to the realization that they had slaughtered their beloved commander without a second thought. (Side effect: this puts paid to any Legends stories where Clones disobeyed the order, as their inhibitor chips would simply kick in the pre-loaded commands. Most Clones would never even think to question their actions after the fact.) The writing is top-notch, and the art is simply stellar. The last chapter is a Rebels-era adventure as Kanan returns to Kaller for the first time, haunted by the ghosts of the past.

CONTENT: Mild violence, including a bit of blood in a couple spots. No sexual content. No profanity that I recall; if there was any it was pretty mild.

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Mini-Review: “Star Wars–Rebels: Property Of Ezra Bridger”

Episode Title: Property Of Ezra Bridger (AKA Not What You Think in some sources)
Episode Writer: Simon Kinberg
Short Story Author: Michael Kogge
Series: Star Wars: Rebels
Rating: ***
Publisher/Copyright: Disney, 2014

Okay, last one. Property Of Ezra Bridger is the fourth and final three-minute short being released to help promote the upcoming Star Wars: Rebels TV series. I posted on the first, second and third shorts a while back, and I’ll probably post on the Spark Of Rebellion movie one of these days too. 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 Ezra Bridger, the young orphan that will presumably be joining the crew of the Ghost once the series gets started. Check out the short below:

Here we follow young Ezra as he walks home through the fields of Lothal, witnessing a brief battle between the Ghost and a lone TIE Fighter, which ends with the TIE a pile of smoking wreckage. Hopeful for a reward or some salvage, either way, Ezra heads for the downed fighter. The pilot is less than grateful for the “assistance,” and Ezra makes him pay for his ingratitude….On the whole, I did enjoy this one. I do have a couple quibbles though. Ezra is obviously inspired by Disney’s Aladdin, both in origin story and physical appearance, but I’m fine with that. He’s not nearly as annoying as Ahsoka was when first introduced, so that’s good. My main quibble has more to do with the way things work out here–Ezra climbs inside the cockpit of the fighter with the pilot and has room to maneuver, which should be clearly impossible. Every source, even the reference work for Rebels itself, emphasizes how cramped those cockpits are for just the pilot. Unless this particular one happened to incorporate TARDIS technology? Oh well. Thankfully, Michael Kogge alleviates this with his adaptation, which leaves Ezra on the roof leaning inside to do his thing. My only other concern is a reservation about how Ezra’s slingshot works. I don’t get it. If the balls are pure energy, he shouldn’t be able to arc them. If they aren’t, he should need to pull them from somewhere. I think on this one I might be unreasonable….requiring Star Wars to obey the laws of physics? I didn’t used to be this picky…..I’m going to go lie down and see if that helps.

Content: Some mild violence. No language, no sex.

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Review: “Star Wars: A New Dawn” by John Jackson Miller

Title: A New Dawn
Author: John Jackson Miller
Series: Star Wars (Canon)
Rating: *****
Publisher/Copyright: Del Rey, 2014

Much has been made of the fact that this is the first entry into the Star Wars Expanded Universe since Disney hit the reset button, despite the (apparently unnoticed) publication of several tie-ins to the series Star Wars: Rebels that preceded this. Even the title makes a reference to it. Maybe those don’t count because they’re not geared at adults. Anyway, all that hype is a little misleading. There is very little here that harkens the new era of Star Wars publishing. It was good, don’t get me wrong, but it had very little to do with the reboot. I’m pretty sure the book was mostly written already by the time that edict was handed down. That’s not its function. The place of this book in the ongoing Star Wars canon is to serve as a prelude to Star Wars: Rebels and introduce a couple of the main characters from that show. And it does that, superbly. Just don’t expect a grand departure from what came before, because almost everything therein was consistent with the Legends canon that existed before. There was no reason to foist major structural change on the book just to buck tradition and highlight the fact that there was a new sheriff in town.

The old order is dead. It died eight years ago, and when it fell it took everything Kanan Jarrus knew with it. He was just a Padawan at the time, only starting his journey to becoming a Jedi, but that didn’t matter to the Emperor when he issued Order 66. Kanan’s master sold her life to give him time to escape, and he’s been running ever since, floating from system to system, just avoiding the Empire’s notice, never in one place too long. He’s put his Jedi heritage behind him, and looks out primarily for number one even if he can’t resist sticking his neck out for a friend every once in a while. These days he makes ends meet flying transports loaded with high explosives between the mined-out planet Gorse and it’s still-rich moon Cynda as the companies scramble to meet Imperial quotas. Given how often they fall short, the Emperor has sent an envoy to see what he can do to speed up production. Cyborg businessman Baron Vidian made a fortune during the Clone Wars, and since has been working for the Emperor, smoothing logistical bumps in the rapid expansion of the Imperial Navy. The cost in sentient lives and suffering has been noticeable, and would-be rebel Hera Syndulla has followed him to Gorse in an attempt to learn all she can about Imperial security in general and Vidian in particular. When Vidian launches a coldhearted plan to speed up production at the expense of countless lives, Kanan and Hera will be thrown together in a desperate attempt to stop him. But can the massive might of the Empire really be resisted?

Like I said, I enjoyed this, and I’m if anything more excited for the launch of Rebels. The characters of Hera and Kanan were well-rounded and interesting, as were most of the assorted allies and acquaintances featured here. Unfortunately, the villain Denetrius Vidian was not nearly so nuanced as I’ve grown to expect from Miller’s work. He’s far from the only starkly-evil villain in the Galaxy Far, Far Away, but could have been given some more shades of gray. It didn’t detract from my enjoyment, but its still worth noting. The book was also notable for its inclusion of those incredibly rare creatures, female Imperials. There were several female stormtroopers thrown in (although not by name, and it didn’t make any difference to the story what gender they were), as well as the commander of Vidian’s Star Destroyer. I’m not sure if this is an attempt by the new Lucas Story Group to make the Empire more inclusive, or just Miller trying to even the playing field a bit. The only thing here that really conflicted with previous canon was the inclusion of Depa Billaba as Kanan’s former master when previous canon had established her as lying comatose at that point in the timeline. Obi-Wan makes a pointed comment in the prologue about the various “legends” contained in the Jedi archive, but that’s about the only nod they make to the reboot issue aside from the title. In case anyone’s interested, this is set eight years after Revenge Of The Sith, six years before Rebels and eleven before A New Hope.

CONTENT: Mild language. Some violence, not all that gory or gratuitous. No sexual content, but Kanan flirts with every female he meets–occasionally, as in the case of the Star Destroyer’s captain, just to annoy them and get them to leave him alone.

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