Its been a while, but we’ve gradually moved further away from the delights of full time CBeebies watching to… well Animal Crossing mostly, but also plenty of love has been given to Disney Plus, particularly the animated Star Wars Rebels series.
For those who haven’t come across it yet, Star Wars Rebels is about a team of… well rebels. Set in the years before the original Star Wars movie. And it has been massively binge watched by the two of us over the last month or two. And yes, its easily forgotten amongst the movies (Not you Solo), The Clone Wars, and the newer live action shows on Disney Plus, there are a lot of themes just below the surface that give reasons to give Star Wars rebels your time. (You know reasons apart from lightsabers, Darth Vader, and some massive space battles)
Some spoilers are ahead, but I will avoid the big details!
Believe in People.
Starting with possibly one of the more child friendly themes… in a way… is the self belief and confidence the team have in their own, particularly when symbols of leadership, and complicated family relationships start to intertwine. Coming to a head in battle training, which is arguably more like a counselling session.
When a character dies, you feel it.
Star Wars Rebels isn’t above asking what forms grief can take, what are the Jedi teachings of the afterlife, and also questions if you could go back in the past and stop someone dying, would you?
The small one summed up a lot, when the characters on the screen were asking; “What do you mean gone?“, the small one burst out “Why doesn’t he say ‘he’s dead?“. The conversation this promoted isn’t one I predicted happening anytime soon.
Now. I am typing this without spoilers.
And I don’t think that I’m giving the game away by saying that a large part of Star Wars is about the light side, the dark side of the Force, and being tempted by the dark side as a result.
Star Wars Rebels does not shy away from the impact that the influence of both the dark side, and people related to the dark side, can have on our characters.
Don’t think this as straight forward as Star Wars can be. Some of the darker side of the force, or life in general, can be presented as “fair” right?
Besides,can the same be said for what we think about life? I’m guessing most of would see ourselves on the side of the rebels? The side of good? Where is the line between fighting for good, and being fundamentalist in that belief? How would that go?
Friendship over belief
On the note about belief.
What’s more likely to help someone change their belief? Is it winning the argument, or having the most weapons?
The result of this storyline would make for the Star Wars spin off, I fear we will never get.
All of the above, ends in a mildly open ended way.
There is an ending.
A big ending.
But oh my word. Its not a straight forward happy one.
If none of the above appeals… Star Wars Rebels will at least help you understand some of The Mandalorian a little better.