The last episode of Rebels Season One is almost here so it's probably about time I did a post solely on the show. I have been watching it since its premiere, partly because I don't want to fall behind in the fandom, and partly because I don't want to miss anything in the show I might like (e.g. a cameo, reference, etc.). Here are a few of my thoughts on the show so far.
First, it's not near as good as The Clone Wars. TCW had a main solid cast that consisted of four characters: Anakin, Ahsoka, Obi-Wan, and Captain Rex. Two of these were original characters for the show, two were not. The main cast appeared in most but not all episodes, and were not always the central focus for the episodes. Some villains were original to the show (Savage Oppress, Pre Vizsla, Cad Bane, etc.) and some were not (Dooku, Sidious, Asajj, etc.). A lot of non-original characters who previously had little presence in the franchise were given a lot more development, such as Barriss, Boba, and Commander Cody. All this supported by a number of other side characters both original and non-original. And connections to both the Prequels and the Originals. And a lot of interesting takes on a multitude of issues, from the Jedi Order to the war to the criminal underworld and even Force-related spirituality.
Rebels has five characters in an all-original main cast, recurring villains only one of which is non-original, a few original side characters here and there who so far have received no development, and some brief cameos of non-originals
Yes, it's still only Season One, and I'm basing my comparison to five and a half seasons of Clone Wars plus the feature film. But even in Season One of TCW, there was a lot more going on and a lot more to love. It's hard to love Rebels after TCW for me.
For Rebels to improve in Season Two, I think a lot more characters will have to be given roles, both original and non-original. More Rebels out there than just the Ghost crew to focus on. More connections to the Prequels and Originals.
Not to say I don't like the show. I think it has potential, but it's been hard for me to enjoy this first season. I like most of the characters. Sabine and Zeb are my favorites, and I like Hera. Kanan is okay but Ezra is pretty annoying. I love the Inquisitor, though...all the other Imperials are so boring it's painful. The show needs more interesting bad guys! And I hope Season Two goes a lot more into the backstory of the Ghost crew and introduces more characters as well.
The art style also kind of bugs me. I loved the art style for The Clone Wars while Rebels looks very different, and I'm still far from used to it. I'm also hesitant to like the show because I don't like its fandom very much - everyone is hardcore shipping Kanan and Hera and I'm just over here thinking that Kanan and the Inquisitor (I call him "Quizzie" now) would make a great couple, with Kanan rescuing him from the Empire and them healing each other after all they've been through...yeah, I ship it. I probably invented the ship, and I've gotten some hate for it...whatever.
One more thought. It's confirmed canon that the Galactic Empire deemed all non-Humans substandard. Slavery is legalized, non-Humans have fewer rights and are openly mistreated just because of their species. And I think the non-Humans who are still attractive by conventional Human standards (like Twi'leks and Togrutans) are objectified by the Imperial media and culture a lot. And I know that's a tough issue to address because it's also a big reality in our world today, but I really hope that further into the show they will go into that. They touched on it a bit here and there, but not enough, I think. The kids watching Rebels need to see that so they can learn from it and see how it's also true in our world. The show has great potential for that and they shouldn't waste it. The Empire's speciesism was very brutal and I hope Rebels doesn't shy away from that even if it is a dark, touchy subject.
Now, of course, sooner or later I should come back to this topic. A couple months ago there was a rumor that Cad Bane might appear in "Rebels." Since then I've thought a lot about what I hope it would look like if he did. I really really hope that:
He's fighting the Empire, but he's doing it in his own scummy, brutal, independent way. Follows no rules, just screws with the Empire however he wants. Because honestly, even if Bane joined the "good guys," he would still be doing some pretty villainous things. And if he is fighting with the Rebels, he's more likely doing it because they are going to reward him for killing important Imperial people, or because he has a personal grudge against the Empire. And both of these possibilities make sense...he would totally be up for doing it for the money, and since the Empire has deemed all non-Humans as substandard Bane definitely loathes the Empire for that. Maybe he can go after Tarkin and beat him up (doesn't succeed in killing him but escapes in time), and Tarkin gets grossed out because "ewww, green blood, how revolting", because Tarkin would totally hate that. By the way, I really REALLY hate Tarkin.
There has got to be a scene where he and Sabine have some interaction and he sees the graffiti she made of him and Embo. I'm already convinced that Sabine is a big fan of Bane and Embo so seeing her "hero" would be the most exciting day of her life. (Then again, would the show even dare to portray a villainous character like Bane having a teenage girl admire him? Doubt it...it's still my headcanon though).
He's got to make a reference to Boba Fett and some remark of "back in my day" referring to his infamy and glory during the Clone Wars that he is nostalgic for.
Basically, if he's in "Rebels" I hope they portray him as a bounty hunter who is now past his prime but in denial of it, more beaten down and pushed around because of the Empire's speciesism, but still very tough and stubborn that he can make it on his own. I already want him to be smoking big cigars and wearing a ratty poncho and walking with a limp, and always having something to complain about. but maybe Sabine is a big fangirl of his and that cheers him up a bit because, for once, someone looks up to him and admires him.
If he isn't for the Rebels, he is being forced to work for the Empire under threat of severe penalty, because he is non-Human, and the Ghost crew or someone else helps him get out of there so he can fight with the Rebels instead.
This is all just my rambly speculation and thoughts on what if Bane got an episode or two in "Rebels" or anything else set during the Rebellion era.
The final episode for Rebels Season One will be released this Monday. I'm looking forward to seeing Fulcrum's true identity (no, I don't think it's Ahsoka!). But it should be interesting. After Season One I want to dedicate more thoughts and possibly fan art to the show so I can develop more of my headcanons, but that's up in the air for now.
Hopefully I'll have time to write a post about the finale episode after it comes out, but I'm not sure! (by the way, guys, I'm almost finished with college...the end is in sight, I'm so stressed with work but very excited!)