Saturday, December 2, 2017

Star Wars Saturday: The Galaxy on Television

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, the Star Wars stories aren't limited to movies. Lately, children (and adults) have been able to watch fun, galaxy-filled stories on their own television and computer screens.

Today I am going to highlight two of those shows that were shown on Disney XD over the past few years.

Star Wars Rebels

This show premiered in 2014 and takes place between the events of Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. Much of the story centers around the planet of Lothal and an orphan who lives there named Ezra Bridger. He runs across the path of a ship crew who is doing their best to upend the Empire. Members of the Ghost include Hera Syndulla (a Twi'lek who is the owner and pilot of the ship), Kanan Jarrus (a former Jedi who is still discovering the Force on his own), Sabine Wren (a Mandalorian artist who used to attend the Imperial Academy), Zeb Orrelios (a Lasat who believes he is the last of his kind, and Chopper (a droid owned by Hera who is super sassy).

Through the seasons Ezra discovers that he has a strong connection to the Force, and Kanan takes it upon himself to train him. Sabine confronts her Mandalorian roots and helps to lead the Mandalorian rebellion against the Empire. Hera recruits the Ghost crew to the ever-growing Rebellion cause, eventually becoming a general.

The show is in the middle of its last season, which ends up finishing near the events of Rogue One. Since the productions were happening at the same time, there is crossover between both properties. In Rogue One Chopper appears in the background, and Hera is also mentioned over the intercom system on Yavin IV. In Rebels Saw Gerrera and Mon Mothma both appear and are voiced by the actors that played them in Rogue One (Forest Whitaker and Genevieve O'Reilly, respectively).

Since much of the Rebels crew carried over from the Star Wars: The Clone Wars television show, there are characters who cross over as well. Ahsoka Tano appears, who meets an uncertain demise, as well as Darth Maul (whose demise is more definitive) and Captain Rex (he's still alive at the end). Many more Clone Wars characters also go through the show occasionally.

I hope once Rebels ends someone compiles a list of essential episodes to watch, because there are some gems hidden in amongst some pretty big fluff. That fluff kind of turned me off to Rebels, but there are those that absolutely love the show and love all the fluff that goes with it.


Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures

The partnership between LEGO and Lucasfilm started in 1999, and what started out as simple playsets turned into a multi-platform juggernaut. Video games and movie shorts started in 2005, and eventually television series like The Yoda Chronicles and Droid Tales aired on Disney XD.

The closest we got to canon-level television from the LEGO folks was The Freemaker Adventures, which aired from 2016-2017. Unlike Rebels, The Freemaker Adventures took place between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. The main characters are a trio of siblings who are scavengers, picking up junk after space battles and making new things out of them. (The show utilizes the whole "master builder"-style, which is very popular in LEGO.) Through their adventures they're recruited into the Rebel Alliance.

The main plots of the two seasons - a kyber saber and an Imperial assassin droid - are pretty weak, but I ended up watching The Freemaker Adventures for the subplots and the OT throwbacks. Plus, that period between Episodes V and VI are pretty underdeveloped (considering it's only about a year gap), and they were able to include main characters like Luke and Leia, carry over Rebels characters like Hera, and have some really fun new characters (Durpin and Plumestriker! Graballa the Hutt! Lieutenant Valeria!).

I love the three Freemakers as well. They are unique personalities who are funny. (These scripts are hilarious.) Zander loves piloting spacecraft and creating them, too. Kordi not only is business-savvy, but is great at organizing and becomes a valuable asset to the Rebels. Rowan is the youngest and discovers he has Force powers.

This isn't a canonical story, and I believe the proper term is "canon-adjacent."


These two shows are a fun way to fill in some blanks of the Star Wars story while waiting for more movies to be released. If you're looking for something that will fill your nostalgia buttons, then Rebels is your show. If you'd rather just goof off and enjoy some pretty on-the-spot comedy, then catch The Freemaker Adventures. There's something for everyone!


My name is Claire Nat! You can follow me on Twitter @CeePipes, or follow me on Facebook at facebook.com/blurbmusings. Check out my blog for other articles!


Other Star Wars Saturday Articles:
The State of Star Wars Fandom
Loss in Episode IV

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