The Series (5/5)
It really is a good time to be a fan of Star Wars. Rebels for those who need a quick catch-up takes place just about 5 years before the events of the A New Hope, and 15 years after the events of Revenge of the Sith. The Jedi Order has been exterminated with only a handful left floating around the galaxy trying to avoid detection and execution. Meanwhile, the rebellion that would eventually take down the Empire has been slowly building up momentum. Rebels details the earlier days of the rebellion, before they are the fighting force we see in the original Star Wars trilogy.
The first series involved the discovery of Ezra Bridger, a force sensitive young man who escapes his planet with the rebels and begins Jedi training. In many ways the first series can be seen as a parallel with A New Hope, as a new force strong Jedi joins the ranks of the rebellion and begins to feel his own way around. The 2nd season of the show picks up where the last one left off, but goes down a more darker path (like Empire...).
The series finds the team aboard their ship the Ghost expanding their ranks with former Clone soldiers and other rebels. However, as their rebellion has strengthened the Emperor has sent his apprentice Darth Vader in to deal with them. This changes the landscape of things on a large level. Ahsoka, the former apprentice of Jedi Anakin Skywalker goes to investigate this new-to-them Sith Lord, and try to find anything she can about him. Meanwhile, the team tries to deal with other threats to the galaxy including new Inquistors.
The first series of Rebels was 16 episodes, and went by in a flash. With 22 episodes for this season it felt like a lot more world building was accomplished, and the creatives were able to set a more balanced tone for the series. Also, the Darth Vader of Rebels is not the one at the end of Jedi or the one screaming for his lost love at the end of Revenge of the Sith, but the Vader filled with darkness and rage that first appeared on screens in 1977. This is a character that from the moment he appears on screen inspires terror and fear in our characters, and it is obvious why.
Each episode at a short 22 minute seemed to fly by, and leave me ready for the next one, and by the end I was ready for Season 3 to start. I guess that is the highest compliment I can give any show.
Disney presents Star Wars: Rebels Season 2 in a stunning 1:78:1 1080p AVC encoded transfer preserving the broadcast ratio of the show. Colors are reproduced wonderfully here, detail is excellent, and blacks are inky and deep. I did not find anything to complain about on the visual side.
Audio is handled with a DTS-HD MA 5.1 track in English. The track is quite excellent as well with excellent separation of sound (especially in battle scenes). Dialogue and score come through crisp and clear.
We get some decent world building extras here. There is one that shows how Ahsoka goes from Anakin's apprentice to Vader's enemy. There are also 20 minutes of recons to catch viewers up to prior events.
Star Wars: Rebels is an excellent continuation of the Rebels TV series. It's darker, and brings Darth Vader back in a way that makes him the villain many of us knew him to be. The Blu-ray looks and sounds excellent, but the extras are very limited here. RECOMMENDED.