Sunday, October 5, 2014

Rebels Premiere Shows Promise for Future of Star Wars

The First Episode of "Star Wars: Rebels" aired Friday night on Disney channel.

The pilot episode entitled "Spark of Rebellion" introduced us to the main characters and showed us the galaxy where they live.

It is definitely a "dark time" for those who live under the thumb of the empire.

Ezra, a street rat who easily reminds me of a star wars version of Aladdin, does his best to survive.

During a visit to a town on his home planet of Lothal in the outer rim, he senses something he's not felt before today.

When he looks on the street he sees Kanan who also senses the presence of Ezra.

The introduction of the force is wonderfully done with the use of John Williams music letting us know something mystical is happening.

Eventually, Ezra is told of the force, and what it means to be a Jedi.

First off, I am excited when Kanan explains to Ezra how the force is strong in him without having to check his midi-chlorian levels.

We are shown the first days of the rebellion a full five years before Luke Skywalker leaves Tatooine with Ben Kenobi.

Speaking of Kenobi, he makes an appearance in a Jedi holocron warning fellow Jedi away from Coruscant following Order 66 in Revenge of the Sith.

This is the first chance for Disney to showcase its new version of Star Wars.

The animated series holds great promise for the future of the franchise.

The characters are unique, and we are given just enough to see their potential for growth in this galaxy under oppressive rule.

The addition of John Williams music adds that special tone to remind us we are no longer in the prequel era, but back to where it all began with the original trilogy.

Finally, it's an animated series made for children and adults.

This is what Star Wars is all about.

"Rebels" promises to be a show I can share with my children, just as my father shared the original Star Wars with me when I was young.

So did you see the premiere? What did you think? Let me know in the comments...

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Why I'm So Excited for Season Three of "Arrow"

I admit I didn't start watching "Arrow" when it first aired on the CW a couple of years back.

At the time, I had just finished watching the ten year run of "Smallville" which had it's own version of Oliver Queen/Green Arrow.

So, I figured this was an unnecessary reboot, especially when there are so many other great DC characters.

Then, the news of a "Flash" series hit.

I was very excited to see "Flash", but realized it was a spin off of "Arrow".

So, I figured I should get caught up on the last two seasons.

When my Arrow-A-Thon began I was excited to see Geoff Johns as part of the show.

He's been an amazing addition to some of the most iconic characters in DC especially his work on Green Lantern from 2004 to 2013.

I also enjoyed the immediate Easter Eggs available to comic book fans, like the introduction of Slade Wilson (Deathstroke) and Floyd Lawton (Deadshot).

The only problem I had was in the first season, Ollie killed a lot of people and didn't seem to have any remorse about it.

I have always taken issue with super heroes who take lives so easily.

In the comics, Superheroes don't kill.

That's what makes them "Super".

Then something happened between seasons one and two: the Arrow grew a conscience.

Oliver spent the entire season grappling with the decision not to kill, and it was an amazing story arc.

I also enjoyed new characters like  Black Canary, Roy Harper (Speedy/Arsenal) and the Suicide Squad.

There was even a wonderful tease of Harley Quinn being held in an A.R.G.U.S. cell.

A.R.G.U.S., by the way, was first created in the comics by Geoff Johns.

The only criticism I still have of "Arrow" is its fear of showing anything unnatural.

In season 2, when we are finally introduced to someone with Superpowers, Black Canary, she didn't use her ultra sonic scream.

Instead she used some sort of device that produced the deafening sound.

Sometimes the need to push uber realism and avoid the fantastical elements of comic books can get annoying.

"Smallville" and "The Dark Knight Trilogy" were especially guilty of this.

Comics books have people that fly, morph into various animals and breathe under water.

There's no reason not to do the same in television shows or movies based on comic books.

Just as "Flash" appears to be exploring more of the super humans on earth, I would love to see the same with "Arrow".

So, do you watch "Arrow"? Why or why not? Let me know in the comments...