Star Wars Rebels: Complete Season One (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)
September 7, 2015 by Dennis Amith
“Star Wars Rebels” is fantastic! The adventures, the action, the characters and great writing make the entire series, so worth watching! If you have been curious about “Star Wars Rebels”, I highly recommend checking out “Star Wars Rebels: Complete Season One”!
TITLE: Star Wars Rebels: Complete Season One
FILM RELEASE: 2015
DURATION: (Episodes 1-13) 331 Minutes
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (1:78:1 aspect ratio), English, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish
RATED: TV Y7 FV
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Directed by Steward Lee, Dave Filoni, Steven G. Lee, Justin Ridge
Written by Simon Kinberg, Carrie Beck, Dave Filoni, George Lucas, Greg Weisman, Kevin Hopps, Henry Gilroy, Katie Lucas
Producer: Kiri Hart, Athena Yvette Portillo
Executive Producer: Davi Filoni, Simon Kinberg, Greg Weisman
Associate Producer: Carrie Beck
Music by Kevin Kiner
Edited by Alex McDonnell, Joe E. Elwood
Casting by Aaron Drown
Art Direction by Kilian Plunkett
Vanessa Marshall as Hera Syndulla
Freddie Prinze Jr. as Kanan Jarrus
Steve Blum as Zeb Orrelios
Taylor Gray as Ezra Bridger
Tiya Sircar as Sabine Wren
David Oyelowo as Agent Kallus
Jason Isaacs as The Inquisitor
Kath Soucie as Maketh Tua
Dee Bradley Baker as Admiral Kassius Konstantine
Ashley Eckstein as Fulcrum
David Shaughnessy as Taskmaster Grint
Brent Spiner as Gall Trayvis
Liam O’Brien as Yogar Lyste
Jonny Rees as Baron Valen Rudor
Keith Szarabajka as Cikatro Vizago
Stephen Stanton as Grand Moff Tarkin
A spark of rebellion ignites in Star Wars Rebels: Complete Season One! Star Wars Rebels continues the epic tradition of the legendary Star Wars saga with exciting action-packed episodes. It is a dark time in the galaxy as the evil Galactic Empire rules with an iron fist. Imperial forces have occupied a remote planet, ruining the lives of its people. A ragtag band of rebels — Ezra, Hera, Kanan, Sabine, Zeb and Chopper — have taken a brave stand against the ruthless oppression of the Empire in a fight to restore peace and freedom to the galaxy.
With the completion of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” comes a new American 3D CGI animated television series from Lucasfilm and Lucasfilm Animation titled “Star Wars Rebels”.
Set 14 years after “Revenge of the Sith” and five years before “New Hope”, “Star Wars Rebels” takes place during a time when nearly all jedi’s have been hunted and killed and the Galactic Empire rules the galaxy.
With a total of 13-episodes, the series features a visual style that is inspired by the original “Star Wars” trilogy concept art by Ralph McQuarrie.
“Star Wars Rebels” will now be released on Blu-ray and DVD courtesy of Disney.
“Star Wars Rebels” begins with an introduction to a young teenage thief named Ezra Bridger (voiced by Taylor Gray) who lives in the Empire-controlled planet, Lothal.
One day, Ezra tries to steal a shipment from the Empire, but also after the shipment is the crew of The Ghost.
The crew consists of Ghost crew leader and jedi survivor Kanan Jarrus (voiced by Freddie Prinze, Jr.); pilot and owner of the Ghost, the Twi’lek named Hera Syndulla (voiced by Vanessa Marshall); weapons and explosives expert and Mandalorian graffiti artist Sabine Wren (voiced by Tiya Sircar); the tough Lasat honor guard Zeb Orrelios (voiced by Stephen Blum) and Hera’s droid C1-10P a.ka. “Chopper”.
After saving Ezra from doom, because of his skills of survival, the crew of the Ghost invite Ezra to join their crew. And because Ezra is able to sense things with the Force, Kanan accepts Ezra as his padawan and to help him control his newfound power.
As any word of rebels rebelling against the Empire can create the potential of insurgencies, Darth Vader sends their high-ranking agent of the Imperial Security Bureau named Agent Kallus (voiced by David Oyelwo) and an Inquisitor (an agency of the Dark Jedi in the Galactic Empire) to go after the crew of the Ghost.
Here is a spoiler-free synopsis of each episode in season 1:
- Episode 1 – Droids in Distress – Ezra and the crew of the Ghost try to steal a shipment of disruptor weapons.
- Episode 2 – Fighter Flight – Because they got off on a bad start, Hera sends Ezra and Zeb on a supply run together.
- Episode 3 – Rise of the Old Masters – The rebels discover an underground transmission that Jedi Master Luminara Undul has survived Order 66 and is being held in a high-security Imperial prison on Stygeon rime. The crew wants to free the Jedi Master.
- Episode 4 – Breaking Ranks – Ezra goes undercover as an Imperial Academy cadet and befriends two cadets.
- Episode 5 – Out of Darkness – Hera and Sabine go to an abandoned Republic asteroid base to retrieve supplies.
- Episode 6 – Empire Day – A parade celebrating the 15th anniversary of the Empire’s creation. Ezra finds out that his Rodian friend Tseebo is wanted by the Empire.
- Episode 7 – Gathering Forces – Ezra finds out distressing news from Tseebo in regards to his parents.
- Episode 8 – Path of the Jedi – Seeing Ezra’s anger during the fight against the Inquisitor, Kanan brings Ezra to a hidden Jedi Temple in Lothal for training.
- Episode 9 – Idiot’s Array – Zeb has lost a bet with smuggler Lando Calrissian, and now the crew must assist Lando.
- Episode 10 – Vision of Hope – Ezra has a vision of meeting Gall Trayvis, an exiled Imperial senator and rebel sympathizer.
- Episode 11 – Call to Action – The rebels debate to broadcast their message to nearby star systems about their cause.
- Episode 12 – Rebel Resolve – The crew of the Ghost try to find a way to rescue Kanan from the Empire.
- Episode 13 – Fire Across the Galaxy – The search and rescue of Kanan continues in the season finale.
“Star Wars Rebels: Complete Season One” is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:78:1 aspect ratio). “Star Wars Rebels” features its own unique visual style and for the most part, it’s pretty cool to see how much detail is put into the space vehicles and the planets. While closeups do show skin detail and the lips match the dialogue really well, the Stormtroopers have lights of the interior of the vehicles bouncing of their uniforms and for the most part, the series features really good lighting effects.
Granted, the CG animation is subjective to the viewer if one likes the visuals of the CG animated series, but for me, I felt the series was well-animated and there was great attention in creating the various worlds, vehicle usage and also overall effects were well-done.
I did not notice any artifacts or banding issues during my viewing of each episode.
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“Star Wars Rebels: Complete Season One” is presented in English, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital with subtitles in English SDH, French and Spanish.
I would say that I’m a bit surprised that the series on Blu-ray does not utilize a DTS-HD Master Audio track like the final three seasons of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” but in this case, they decided to go with a 5.1 Dolby Digital soundtrack.
While dialogue is crystal clear, especially the John Williams musical score and light saber sound effects and utilizing the surround channels for the action sequences, it would have been awesome to have a lossless soundtrack for the Blu-ray release.
“Star Wars Rebels: Complete Season One” comes with the following special features:
- Rebels Recon – (44:07) 14 featurettes from “Star Wars Rebels: Complete Season One” that were featured on StarWars.com
- Rebels Infiltrates Star Wars Celebration – (4:03) The Q&A for “Star Wars: Rebels” at Star Wars Celebration.
- Rebels: The Ultimate Guide – (22:05) A special first season recap narrated by Kanan.
- Season 2: A Look Ahead – (7:02) A featurette of things to look for in season 2 by Executive Producer Dave Filoni.
“Star Wars Rebels: Complete Season One” comes with a slipcover and a DisneyMovieRewards code.
As the world highly anticipate the new “Star Wars” films, for those who have enjoyed any of the “Star Wars” animated series can easily enjoy the storyline of “Star Wars Rebels”.
As there are rebel cells in the galaxy who fight the oppression of the Empire, “Star Wars Rebels” is fairly interesting as the Ghost Crew consists of a Jedi and a thief turned jedi-in-training plus a tough Lasat honor guard that young male audiences can enjoy, the show also takes a step in the right direction of including two strong female characters.
You have a Twi-lek owner and pilot of the Ghost and female teen graffiti artist in Mandalorian outfit and helmet and is a weapons expert. So, you have a good balance of characters that will no doubt entertaining both male and female audiences and it’s centered around the whole “Star Wars” universe, so you can definitely expect to see C-3PO and R2-D2, Lando Calrissian and yes, even baddies such as Darth Vader and Grand Moff Tarkin.
And for fans of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”, many will be happy to see the return of Jedi Ahsoka Tano (who was the Padawan apprentice of Anakin Skywalker in “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”), but this time as an adult.
While “Star Wars” fans also get to enjoy a few episodes written by George Lucas, the overall writing and voice acting for the series is fantastic. Each episode is adventurous and also full of peril and each episode features something with a character(s) that has an effect in the next or later episodes. So, unlike animated series which tend to have its own isolated episode with no connection to each other, “Star Wars Rebels” episodes have a connection which I enjoyed.
As for the Blu-ray release, I absolutely enjoy the visual look of “Star Wars: Rebels”. Great character and mechanical designs that feature detailed CG that look vibrant on Blu-ray. I did not notice any artifacts or banding issues. As for the soundtrack, unfortunately it’s not a lossless soundtrack, but it’s still a strong 5.1 Dolby Digital soundtrack featuring clear dialogue, music and special effects.
As for special features, the series comes with plenty of special features including 14 featurettes as featured on StarWars.com, a short Star Wars Celebration featurette (exclusive on Blu-ray), a recap episode and a look ahead of what to expect in season 2.
Overall, “Star Wars Rebels” is fantastic! The adventures, the action, the characters and great writing make the entire series, so worth watching!
If you have been curious about “Star Wars Rebels”, I highly recommend checking out “Star Wars Rebels: Complete Season One”!
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