Star Wars Rebels from Lucasfilm Animation (currently showing on Disney XD), is a pretty enjoyable animated Star Wars romp that serves as the follow up to the excellent Star Wars: The Clone Wars, telling the story of a group of rebels as they take on the Galactic Empire – and then find themselves being chased by some pretty scary adversaries!
The show is a 3D CGI animated television series, and although I’ve never truly been a fan of the look (having always preferred the flatter style associated with more classic animation), the visuals that are pulled off work pretty well for what in the end is a pretty action-packed, story-driven kids show.
However, it’s the score, sound effects and voice acting which really, really hits the high notes.
Lucasfilm Animation have pulled in some excellent heavy hitters in the world of American animation voice overs, roping in Steven Blum (Digimon, Naruto, Transformers: Prime, Ben 10, The Legend of Korra, and Wolverine and the X-Men) as Zeb, Vanessa Marshall (Avengers Assemble, Ben 10, Sym-Bionic Titan, The Spectacular Spider-Man, W.I.T.C.H., Young Justice, and Guardians of the Galaxy) as Hera, Kath Soucie (Futurama, The Powerpuff Girls, Samurai Jack, Totally Spies!, Kim Possible, W.I.T.C.H. and Ben 10) as Minister Maketh Tua, and Stephen Stanton (Archer, King of the Hill, Wolverine and the X-Men, MAD, Hero Factory, and Breadwinners) as Grand Moff Tarkin, to name but a few.
And mind you, they certainly don’t limit themselves just to actors known for voice over roles either!
For example, Jason Isaacs (best known as Malfoy from Harry Potter) voices the intimidating Grand Inquisitor. Brent Spiner (best know as Star Trek’s Lieutenant Commander Data) brings to life Senator Gall Trayvis. Samuel Witwer (from Being Human) is Emperor Palpatine. Tiya Sircar (Vampire Diaries and 17 Again) voices Sabine Wren.
Perhaps the most surprising of all though, is film actor Freddie Prinze, Jr. picking up the role and rebel cell leader, Kanan Jarrus – a human Jedi survivor of Order 66, trained under master Depa Billaba, and the de facto leader of the Ghost crew, armed with a two-piece dual-phase lightsaber and DL-18 blaster. It has to be said, Freddie does a fantastic job of bringing this rough-edged Jedi to life!
Maybe that’s why Lucasfilm Animation then went ahead and roped his equally famous wife in to cut him down to size in season 2, unveiling Sarah Michelle Gellar as the deadly force-sensitive, steel masked Seventh Sister Imperial Inquisitor.
Definitely a fun way to pit husband against wife!
(Not that either of them steal the show mind you – that honour belongs – as always – to the impeccable James Earl Jones, the only man alive that can bring the intimidating Darth Vader to life!)