Here’s the final part in our look at the characters of Star Wars Rebels. If you missed it, here are some handy links to part 1 and part 2. This time it’s a look at the antagonist of the series, then some final thoughts about all the characters as a whole.
The Inquisitor – ‘The Jedi hunter’
The Inquisitor is evil, surprise! Sporting perhaps the most evil appearance since Darth Vader himself, the Inquisitor has a very stereotypically Sith appearance. Is there anything more evil in Star Wars than black armour and pale skin?
Details on his actual character are pretty slim, one thing we do know is that he’s been tasked by the dark lord himself to hunt down the remaining Jedi Knights. Since Kanan is a Jedi that seems to be the most blatantly obvious way to introduce him to the characters. Once he finds out Ezra has Force powers too then he’ll probably be gunning for the kid as well. It makes me wonder if his hatred of the Jedi is anything personal. Since he presumably has Force powers perhaps the Jedi actually sought him out as a child. Maybe he was deemed unsuitable for training and was booted out of the academy? Or perhaps the Emperor found him instead and kept him hidden away. There are some interesting possibilities and I hope we see them explored down the line.
I expect that the Inquisitor and Kanan will be played up as intense enemies across the series. Whether they’ll meet for the first time on screen, or they’ve met before is unknown. It’d be interesting if Kanan has never come across him but perhaps knows him by reputation, which could be the case if Kanan has indeed been hiding his Jedi heritage. It might be nothing, but the double blade perhaps hints that he might be fighting two opponents at once, Ezra and Kanan maybe?
Star Wars in general has a history of redemption, but one look at the Inquisitor makes that seem pretty laughable. I don’t think he’s going to shift from his role as villain, but it would be interesting to see them experiment with his character in the long run. I suppose it’s not outside the realm of possibility that he could evolve beyond his role though, Ventress became a deeper character later in the Clone Wars, while still remaining a villain. Specifically I’m curious as to his relationship with Darth Vader, is he his direct apprentice? Or did the Emperor train him? We’ll have to wait and see.
So it looks like overall this is the story of Ezra, a smart but lonely kid who finds himself a new family. Whether he breaks out of the expected role he’s in right now or not, we’ll have to wait and see. Right now I feel a little guilty about this but I have to say I find the idea of him a bit boring! Kanan and Sabine, her especially, sounds like far more interesting characters to revolve the show around and I’d rather we follow their journeys, but it’s fairly ludicrous of me to be making nit picky suggestions before episode one has even hit! For now it is a little concern of mine, but it may be completely blown away by the time the credits roll on episode one. They key is just to make Ezra a likeable character. I’d say that Anakin as a young child in Phantom Menace was not very likeable, so there’s a key example of having a child character coming across as dull, and potentially even irritating, next to his adult counterparts.
It’s too early to tell for sure, but so far the tone of the show looks pretty good. It’s hard to really say whether we’ll see a lighter version of Clone Wars or if it won’t shy away from the grim stuff just like it’s predecessor. But with the villain being a full on Sith, there’s certainly potential to hit those darker beats. Furthermore when you consider the timeline, with countless planets under the tyrannical grip of the Empire, it’s not exactly a cheery backdrop.
The Clone Wars seemed to be considered better the more it went on, as it embraced longer storylines. So how the show handles storyarcs will be interesting. With their home base as a ship, there’s an opportunity to drop Rebels’ cast into a different story every week. It’d certainly make it more marketable and easier to get into, but I’d love to see some longer stories set in a single place. Which leads me to thnk about how Rebels is a fascinating place. In a sense it’s a sequel to The Clone Wars, it’s got a lot of the key staff working on it after all. But with Disney now at the reigns the rules have changed, but we don’t know how much. I remember hearing that it was said early on that if Clone Wars struggled in ratings they’d keep making it anyway, because hey Lucasfilm were loaded and they had a story to tell. But Disney are going to be looking for a profit considering how much money they plopped down to acquire them, which is entirely understandable of course. So if Rebels struggles early on it might be at risk.
Seeing how the show handles the group of characters will be interesting. I hope people like Hera still have plenty of time to shine and aren’t pushed into the background too much. I think it’d be great if the show played up the family dynamic instead with everyone getting a chance in the spotlight, again I’m a little concerned we’ll see too much Ezra. By association we may end up seeing the characters that are close to Ezra, like Zeb and Kanan, more than we see the others. Again though, this is just wild speculation.
There are a lot of fighters on the ship, which isn’t too surprising. Kanan, Sabine and Zeb all seem to be trained in some form of combat so we can look forward to plenty of action scenes. Furthermore we’ve seen glimpses of TIE Fighters in promo shots, so I expect Hera will be piloting the Ghost through plenty of space chases. With the title of the show, and the main villian working directly for the Empire, the show will probably revolve around that conflict between the two. However it’d be nice to see other flavours of villians pop up. The Clone Wars was focused on Republic vs. Separatists, but we also saw pirates, bounty hunters and other underworld elements crop up. Since the heroes are now resistance fighters though and not the authority, I wonder if the smugglers and seedy parts of the galaxy will actually be the friendly locales for a change.
Overall it sounds like it’s got the makings of a great show and I’m really looking forward to it hitting the air towards the end of this year.