I am so happy that I can finally talk about the amazing start for Star Wars Rebels season 2 that I saw at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim back in April! I am still thankful to Disney and Lucasfilm for offering me the opportunity to watch the premiere as a member of the media.
Below are some of the highlights from this amazing Star Wars Rebels episode:
Beware spoilers ahead…
The Siege of Lothal opens with a big dog fight by The Ghost crew and a Rebel Fleet to acquire some crates that the Imperials are transporting. It is very good to see the crew of The Ghost, especially Hera, work with this Rebel fleet. However, Kanan is not too sure about being part of a military organization again. Especially, based on what happened during The Clone Wars.
The conversations between Hera and Kanan about his concerns during this episode remind me of Han and Leia. [Many of us think that this proves that they are ‘space married’.]
Minister Tua is a tragic figure in this episode. With the arrival of Darth Vader, she realizes that in order to preserve her life, Tua must leave her post and get passage off Lothal. In order to do this, she asks the crew of The Ghost for help.
What I think is the most overlooked part of this story is what Tua uses to barter her way off of Lothal. She agrees to give the Rebels a list of sympathizes that are being watched by the Imperials. In addition, Tua offers the reason WHY Lothal is so important and not just for the mining of fuel. [My husband and I agree on the theory is that it has something to do with the Death Star, but nothing has been confirmed within the story line yet.] This is the reason that Kanan and Ahsoka agree with Ezra that it is important to help her.
Unfortunately, Darth Vader uses her desire to leave as a trap for the crew of The Ghost, which Sabine suspected. However, this trap did not play out the way my husband and I thought it would. Vader used Tua’s attempt to leave as a way to turn the entire planet of Lothal against this crew of Rebels by accusing them of killing her. Darth Vader shows that with this he is not only good at using brute force, but is also adapt at using strategy in dealing with these ‘traitors’ to the Empire.
The confrontation of Kanan, Ezra and Darth Vader is shown in the season 2 trailer. When my husband and I saw that trailer, we did not realize that this confrontation would happen so quickly. Therefore, this is a very happy surprise to all those who watched this episode.
We knew that when this happened that Kanan and Ezra, no matter how powerful either is, could not stand for long against Darth Vader. With the help of Sabine and Zeb, who threw bombs to topple over two walkers, they thought they defeated this new foe. However, as shown in one of the previews of this episode, Darth Vader is much more than either of them can handle.
Of course the climax of the episode is when Darth Vader pursues these Rebels, using a homing device, to the fleet. Darth Vader still proves that even though he is now a Dark Lord of the Sith, he has the flying skills of Anakin Skywalker. Hera is the only pilot that was able to stay out of Darth Vader’s range during this engagement.
The pivotal moment in this episode happened during this confrontation with Darth Vader.
Ahsoka and Kanan use their Jedi abilities to identify the pilot of the fighter that is destroying the squadron. In addition, Ezra was trying to let Ahsoka know that based on his feelings that it has to be the new foe that Kanan and him encountered on Lothal. Just as Ezra said this, Ahsoka finally made contact with the pilot of the fighter through the force. However, whatever she discovered during this contact overwhelmed her.
Unfortunately, Darth Vader is able to use this to identify just who is making contact through the force.
The remains of the Rebel fleet and the crew of The Ghost were able to make their escape. Kanan and Ezra decide to contiue the fight against The Sith and The Empire with the support of Hera, Sabine, Zeb and Chopper.
They are going to need each other in order to deal with another Inquistor that Vader is dispatching to continue the hunt for ‘Skywalker’s Apprentice’ and any other lost Jedi, like Obi-Wan Kenobi.
My husband and I believe that season 2 will continue to have consequences for everyone involved, on both sides of this conflict. Either way it will be a wild ride that we and many other Star Wars Rebels fans cannot wait to take.
So, have you seen this episode?
What do you think about these highlights?
From the Star Wars Celebration Anaheim App
Ralph McQuarrie: Star Wars Art
Lucasfilm executive editor J.W. Rinzler, Abrams senior editor Eric Klopfer and authors Brandon Alinger, David Mandel and Wade Lageose discuss the seminal Star Wars artist and the upcoming book on his work. The new Abrams publication, set for release in Spring 2016, will be the most comprehensive volume of Ralph McQuarrie’s extensive Star Wars work ever assembled. McQuarrie’s long history with Lucasfilm will be covered in the discussion, from his early days working directly with George Lucas through the publications he worked on in the mid-90s. The team will talk about the process of creating the coffee-table book and show many highlight artworks in this exclusive preview. Track: Art, Classic Trilogy
Overall, it was a very good presentation. It gave me a further appreciation of Ralph McQuarrie and his work on the Star Wars films and related projects. It also gave me a deeper understanding of what Ralph went through during the making of these films and just how much work really went into making these beautiful pieces.
I am not going to give you a detailed account of what was discussed during this panel because this has already been done by Adam Kautzer. Instead I am going to give you a few of the pieces shown during the panel and my impressions of what was revealed or what I learned from these pieces.
Cover Reveal for the Ralph McQuarrie: Art of Star Wars
Some may think that the cover art is not appropriate because it is from one of the ‘Legends’ books instead of from the films. However, I really like the cover choice for this book. For me, this cover evokes both Star Wars and the art of Ralph McQuarrie without reusing artwork that has been used on the cover of other reference books.
When searching through the LucasFilm archives, it was discovered that Ralph had two versions of this famous piece, each with different ‘facial’ features for C3PO. This was an interesting fact to me because I never realized that small details like facial feature could change the whole feel of a character. I wonder if this was a result of feedback from George Lucas or if one day he felt the character would be better with the other facial features?
LucasFilm is moving card
This was an interesting item for me to learn about because I did not realize that Ralph created this piece. In addition, based on what was shown in the panel, this was sketched out first and notes made on the sketch with changes. This tells me that even for small projects, like this one, Ralph put a lot of thought and care into what he was going to do before he put paint on the canvas.
The Emperor’s Throne Room in an underground cavern
Ralph created this with so much detail, especially the teeth and claws of the Rancor. I just find this piece fascinating because it feels like this dangerous creature will just burst out from the canvas and tear everyone and everything apart.
I am looking forward to all of the other artwork, stories and anything else that will be revealed when this book comes out in 2016.
Star Wars Celebration Anaheim included the season 2 premiere of Star Wars Rebels.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I received a special media pass to the Star Wars Rebels Panel, Season 2 Press Conference, which can be heard via Skywalking Through Neverland, and of course the premiere episodes. Unfortunately, I was not able to make the Red Carpet Event to interview the creators and stars of the show. However, Fangirl’s Going Rogue does have some great interviews from this event.
Fortunately, I was able to make the ‘Bonus’ Star Wars Rebels: Past, Present and Future Panel on Sunday Morning hosted by David W Collins with Dave Filoni, Carrie Beck and Henry Gilroy. StarWars.com has a great recap of this panel and includes the concept art shown during the panel.
Here are my hopefully spoiler free thoughts on what I learned between all these panels and the Season 2 premiere:
1) Star Wars Rebels is going to continue to include humor, adventure, action and danger with a whole lot of character growth. This combination works for me and what I have seen so far confirms this.
2) Darth Vader is defiantly going to be a force to be reckoned with as seen in the Season 2 trailer.
No further comments on my part are necessary.
3) There are not only some awesome female characters, Hera, Sabine and now Ahsoka, in the show, but there are some awesome women behind the scenes as well. StarWars.com did an awesome interview with Athena Portello and Liz Marshall.
4) I am very happy to see the return of some of my favorite Star Wars The Clone Wars characters including Ahsoka, Rex, Wolffe and of course my husband’s favorite, Hondo!
5) The artwork for the Star Wars Rebels may appear to be more cartoonish than Star Wars The Clone Wars to many people. However, in my opinion, the artistic influence of Ralph McQuarrie and Miazaki, gives the show just what it needs to be a unique. For instance, the vehicle shown below does not feel ‘cartoonish’ to me.
So are you looking forward to Star Wars Rebels season 2?
Meet the muscle of the Ghost team. Garazeb “Zeb” Orrelios was a cunning Lasat honor guard who adopted the cause of rebellion against the Empire. Despite his hulking frame, Zeb was actually highly-educated and articulate. Still, he loved beating up stormtroopers, who he nicknamed “bucket heads.”
Zeb is voiced by Steve Blum seen here during the Star Wars Rebels Season 2 Press Conference.
As season one progressed we learned more about this character. Many people referred to Zeb as the muscle and the comedy relief. I cannot argue because the scenes where he smashing “bucket heads”, his antics with Ezra and Chopper and his comments are down right hilarious. However, there are scenes that shows that Zeb has more depth to him than just the comedy relief. Overall, I believe that Zeb is a well rounded character and I look forward to learning more in season two.
So what do you think of the character Zeb?
From the Merriam Webster Dictionary
one that is young; especially : a young person or animal
At Star Wars Celebration there were quite a few Younglings wandering around the event including the following:
Youngling inside an R2 unit. Pic: R2 Builders Club Twitter Account
Youngling dressed as Padme that my husband took on the second day of Star Wars Celebration Anaheim
Twin Younglings cosplaying as Ahsoka Tano
Finally, my favorite Youngling, Darth Makenna sharing an Ice Cream Sundae with me just after the Event ended!
During Star Wars Celebration Anaheim, my husband, Michael, spent hours in the Dealer Room looking for vintage Star Wars merchandise. When most Star Wars fans are looking for vintage Star Wars merchandise, they are usually referring to the original carded vintage Kenner Star Wars figures. However, there were other types of merchandise and collectibles created in the late 70’s and early 80’s that are not just these figures. The vintage Star Wars merchandise Michael was seeking at Star Wars Celebration Anahein are among the other types of collectables. Below are some of these that my husband was successful in finding during his quest:
1980 Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back Yoda Bradley Quartz Digital Watch
1977 Star Wars R2-D2 Necklace and earrings
Star Wars Ewoks 2 Pack of Magnets with Wicket and Princess Kneesaa from the Star Wars Ewoks animated series
1980 Star Wars The Empire Strike Back Topps card with Darth Vader
Finally, my husband found and this Vintage pack of 4 diecast micro figures in a package for $25. However, we were not sure if these were authentic or bootleg figures based on the packaging.
Our first clue, is the outfit Luke is wearing. Based on that outfit, we could tell that these figures were from The Empire Strikes Back. After some investigation, we determined that these were part of The Empire Strikes Back Kenner Micro Collection as mentioned in this article from StarWars.com (see below).
So do you collect any vintage merchandise?
If so, what is the last piece of vintage merchandise did you acquire?
Smuggler’s Bounty is an original Star Wars Radio Drama by Kyle Newman and FJ DeSanto. This drama was performed in front of a live audience at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim. I was not able to attend this performance due to the Star Wars Rebels related events. However, my husband, Michael, was fortunate to attend this live performance. Below are some of his impressions of the performance and some great pictures as well:
Overall my husband indicated that “the performance was very good and done in the spirit of the Old Time Radio shows”. He was also impressed that length of the story was longer than Smuggler’s Gambit. My husband also indicated that effects were also improved. Especially, the increased variety of effects including the “fancy lighting effects used to simulate battle effects” and that the opening crawl was shown on the screen as well.
All of the voice cast did a great job, “..especially for since they were working in front of a live audience instead of in a booth with only the actor, engineer and director present.” This performance gave him a greater respect for all voice actors in general. It also gave a “new appreciation for live voice performance, especially those that did the original old time radio shows.”
However, it was David W Collins performance as Han Solo that impressed my husband the most. He spent most of Saturday evening telling me how awesome a job David did in giving a “clean and consise” Han Solo performance.
Overall, my husband indicated that this live performance was among one of his best memories from Star Wars Celebrstion Anaheim! He was happy to be able to experience this live and cannot wait to experienced this again, when it is released on audio, like Smuggler’s Gambit.
logo and art by Paul BatemanSmuggler’s Bounty
Rest was something that I did not do very much of during the past week due to all the goings on at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim. It was very hard for me to just rest. Therefore, now that the event is over, I believe it is time to for me to take a brief rest, right? This will give me the time I need in order to gather all my thoughts on my recent adventure. In the meantime, I wish you well and May The Force Be With You!