New Star Wars animated show "Rebels" coming fall 2014

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by flavaflav, May 20, 2013.

  1. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    So, one thing about the Prequel Trilogy is that the enemy armies were droids. There is no evident moral dilemma in blowing up droids, at least no dilemma that carries over into the real world, because machines aren't people. That's obviously not the case when fighting armies of conscripts or volunteers.

    One of the things I notice right off the bat here is that helmeted troopers are getting mowed down, but the uniformed officers, who are arguably more evil but whose faces we can see, aren't. That doesn't bode well with respect to my moral compass, as if this trend continues the effective implication is that it's OK (if not fun) to kill enemy troops provided you can't see their faces. I'd at least feel better about it, if the show made a point to remind us out loud that there are people behind the masks.

    Now, a couple of criticisms on plausibility issues.

    Where are the officers' sidearms (or other weapons)? If a cliché is in operation here, it would be that the officers are presented as the equivalent of noncombatants, in order for the narrative to account for why the rebels don't need to shoot at them too (the problem being that we can see their faces). That reinforces unrealistically skewed expectations of how such things operate in the real world.

    Second, and more serious, I don't believe for a microsecond that that poor street vendor who was getting taken away on a trumped-up charge of treason was savable. The officer would have ordered at least one trooper to continue taking him in. Treason is a capital offense, and you'd have more than sufficient cause not to drop bringing in someone branded a traitor, of all things. I also have to wonder whether letting a traitor go is also treason. The imminent loss of an innocent would have given better moral context for the actions that followed. In contrast, the way it was actually handled contributes to the false impression that arrest on serious charges is easily resolvable, which bothers me in the context of a show aimed at children.

    I won't jump to final judgment based on only seven minutes, but I have problems and concerns here that the tone is not striking the most appropriate balance between subject matter and audience, in how to present war to young people.
     
  2. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    It does look like fun and I think there's potential with the characters. However, in terms of animation and tone I think Clone Wars has it licked. I am curious to see how entertaining it will be as Clone Wars had some times I found it a bit tedious/ponderous/and other -ous words.
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The Clone Wars itself didn't live up to The Clone Wars at the start. That is, the early episodes weren't nearly as good as what followed. This show may have a similar learning curve.


    It was nothing we didn't see plenty of in TCW, but in the context of the more playful tone here (io9's review likened it to Disney's Aladdin), it was kind of jarring. Oh, look, it's a charming, funny teenage street thief playing fun pranks on the Empire and the Rebels alike, and he isn't bothered a bit when dozens of people are horribly killed right in front of him! And I was okay with the idea of the Mandalorian rebel's "explosives as performance art" schtick when I figured it was just vandalism, but it's actually terroristic murder, and trying to present that as "art" is very creepy.

    Anyway, I was struck by how Cyberman-like those bike troopers' faceplates were. Is that another leftover McQuarrie concept?
     
  4. AvBaur

    AvBaur Captain Captain

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    I really don't like the design of the main character and the overall art style, which seems more bland and "disney-fied" than TCW, but the action in that clip was pretty cool! Looks fun.
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^As I've said before, I don't understand where this "Disney-fied" meme comes from. If you look at Disney's animated TV shows over the past 20 years, there is absolutely no uniformity of character design style. So what is "Disney-fied" supposed to mean? What examples are you comparing it to?
     
  6. AvBaur

    AvBaur Captain Captain

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    ^ When I (and, I think, most other people) say that, I'm not necessarily thinking about Disney's recent tv shows - which have indeed been quite varied - but a certain "friendly blandness" that many of the human characters in Disney's animated movies (especially the ones from the 90s, but also recent examples like Frozen and Tangled) have in common.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2014
  7. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't remember people getting that worked up over the Stormtroopers deaths in the original movies. And in any case, they've already made their pact with the Empire and are clearly complicit in the oppression and enslavement of millions of people across hundreds of worlds, so I'm having trouble feeling all that sorry for them.

    And unless you somehow think the Empire is in the right here, or their actions can be justified in some way, I'm not sure how you can call the rebels true "terrorists". Maybe from the Empire's point of view, but I'm not sure how any truly objective observer would come to that conclusion.

    And holy god, am I ever getting tired of the Aladdin comparisons.
     
  8. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    If you're aiming this at me, sorry but I wasn't getting worked up. However, note that the Star Wars films are all rated PG or PG-13, including The Clone Wars film. With an Aladdin-esque main character here in Rebels, they are undoubtedly aiming for a young audience. The issues of how homicidal violence is portrayed to children, and whether the program takes an appropriate approach to the subject of war, matters to some people.
     
  9. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The original movies had a pretty young audience as well, and I don't think any of them were all that traumatized by what went on in them. And just like those movies didn't take the "war" deadly seriously, neither does Rebels, which I think allows for having a bit more fun with the idea.
     
  10. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Thanks, I saw the film in 1977.
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Hmm, I guess I can see a certain Glen Keane influence in the character designs. But it's not that similar, and there's nothing about it that's unique to Disney as opposed to other animation studios.


    Again, it's a matter of context and presentation. In something aimed at kids and played for fun and laughs, it's kind of jarring. The Clone Wars had lots of death, but played it very seriously, as it should have.



    But objectively, "terrorist" is not a value judgment. Pundits and politicians use it that way, twisting it into a slur, but in its formal, objective definition, terrorism is merely a tool, a tactic of asymmetrical warfare. When one side in a conflict, or an occupied population, lacks the power and resources to defeat its foe through overwhelming force, it resorts to tactics of random violence designed to strike fear into the enemy population and undermine their will to continue the war or occupation, until they decide for themselves to give it up. Sure, it's a brutal tactic, but so is dropping expensive bombs on populated areas from state-of-the-art jets. And both are tactics that can be used by any side in support of any cause. Yes, sometimes it's used by fanatical or oppressive groups in order to attack or overthrow democratic governments, but sometimes it's used by oppressed and victimized populations against brutal oppressors, because it's the only option they have for fighting back.

    See Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the Bajoran Resistance against the Cardassian occupation. Kira Nerys made no bones about the fact that she had been a terrorist, that she had used tactics of random violence as part of the ultimately successful campaign to make the Cardassians give up their occupation and oppression of Bajor as more trouble than it was worth. In real life, see Nelson Mandela, who engaged in terrorism against the apartheid government of South Africa but is now considered a great hero because he fought on the side of equality and justice. Terrorism is not a belief system, but a means to an end, a tool for taking on a more powerful enemy that can't be overcome by conventional means. And that's exactly what we have here with the Empire and the Rebellion.
     
  12. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah I understand the technical definition, but I was referring it more in the way people generally perceive the term.

    And if you were to treat this rebellion or resistance in a truly realistic and serious way, it would be impossible to have any fun with the concept. And personally I really like my SW to be fun.
     
  13. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    I'm not trying to be a funsuck. There's room in Star Wars for both fun and serious moments. This is from the Wookieepedia page on the Clone Wars film:

    "It's unusual for an animated film, because it's not really like say Beowulf and it's not a Pixar movie, so it kind of falls in between in this funny world where Star Wars is, which is kind of hard-edged but not really, sort of on the verge of PG-13, flips over once in a while, but sort of the high end of PG."
    ―George Lucas​
     
  14. Keeper

    Keeper Commodore Commodore

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    Speaking of not trying to be a funsuck, those are some very overbuilt 'roads', for hover vehicles. But okay, so maybe not everyone uses a HV. Pity the first fool to come along in a wheeled vehicle to encounter an exploded hover-tug in the middle of the road. Oh wait, only other traffic on the road was going in the opposite direction. Well, at least they'll be able to hitch hike back to the city, or something. Perhaps the tie fighter pilot will give them a lift since his primary targets seemed to be the speeders.[/nit-picking]

    On a brighter note, whatever is going on in that city (looks like a space station landed) might be interesting. Is it a secret Empire staging outpost? That's the vibe it gave me.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2014
  15. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Huh. Apparently there's a lot of fans who really do not like Sabine's pink Mandalorian armor. I happen to think her costume looks really cool myself. But to listen to others you'd think there were a whole bunch of hearts and flowers painted over the thing as well. Lol.
     
  16. cooleddie74

    cooleddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I don't mind her armor. It's a tad bright, but if you remember some of the Mandalorian armor colors and detailing seen during The Clone Wars the only significant difference is that Sabine's has a lot of pink. The Mandalorian warriors depicted in the previous series weren't exactly visually nondescript and bland characters.
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    But that's not how I was using it, and it was my usage you were questioning. I'm entitled to clarify my own intentions, aren't I?
     
  18. kirk55555

    kirk55555 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm fine with colorful mandalorian armor, I'm even fine with it being pink. Its the fact that she seems to be a streetwise graffiti artist that annoys me. Then again, after what TCW did to mandalorians, so I'm just glad to see someone with mandalorian armor who isn't one of that idiotic pacifist group. I'm actually watching TCW right now (half way through season 2) and I'm really enjoying it (seriously, its only the middle of season 2 and I'm really liking it, I'm even a fan of Ahsoka) but I did skip the episodes with the idiot mandalorians. It would have just made me angry.

    Sabine can wear what armor she wants in whatever colors she wants. It looks like she'll be around and actually fighting, so she's automatically less useless and irritating than TCW's mandalorians. I'm not super excited for Rebels (although I'm going to give it a try and see how it goes), but if she does turn out to be an actual mandalorian (as opposed to someone who just found some armor), then she'll still be a big improvement over what TCW did to the group.
     
  19. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    I enjoyed the clip. It wasn't anything amazing, but this is just the first almost eight minutes of the pilot, and I'm willing to give the show time. A lot of shows take a while to get really good, so it could always get better.
     
  20. Kestrel

    Kestrel Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I loved what TCW did with the Mandalorians, even if the execution was kind of flawed. I am curious what they're going to do with Sabine though - making her an actual Mandalorian is certainly a valid choice, maybe give her backstory some sort of closure on just what became of the Mandalorians after Satine was killed and war broke out... again.