Star Wars Rebels: Spark of Rebellion

Movie review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Star Wars Rebels: Spark of Rebellion Movie Poster Image
Exciting movie boasts strong characters, positive messages.
  • NR
  • 2014
  • 43 minutes

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 4 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Strong messages about teamwork, loyalty, trust, and serving a higher purpose. Mostly, though, this action-packed movie is meant to entertain. 

Positive Messages

All the protagonists are motivated by a solid sense of right and wrong, and their selflessness directly contradicts the oppressive control of the Empire's lackeys. Even so, they do break rules, but their intentions are good. Teamwork and a sense of trust are key to this group's success. Women have prominent roles that showcase their physical and mental strength. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Ezra must learn to put his faith in his new friends, which is difficult for this longtime loner to do. Even though he can't explain why, he's driven by a force that urges him to help others, even when it puts him in dangerous situations. All the characters act heroically at some point or another, and some have to overcome initial prejudices to work as an effective team. Kanan evolves into a mentor for Ezra's sake.

Violence & Scariness

Warriors on both sides use blasters, which kill when they hit their mark. Some scenes show bodies (mostly those of the enemy Storm Troopers) on the ground after a battle. Aircraft explode when they're hit, and some crashes are fiery. Other weapons include an electric shock stick, a lightsaber, and Ezra's slingshot, which hurls an object that also electrifies victims. Every mission has the potential to be deadly. In one scene, some people are sucked into space through a hole in the spacecraft. 

Sexy Stuff

The story hints at attraction between Ezra and Sabine, but it doesn't go further. 

Language

No cursing, but some threatening language such as "I'm gonna end him." Also mild crudity: "Blow it out your exhaust vent." 

Consumerism

The show is associated with the extensive Star Wars franchise and leads into a Disney TV series of the same name, so kids who like the movie will want to tune in for the continuing story. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Star Wars Rebels: Spark of Rebellion is an action-packed movie that precedes the animated series Star Wars Rebels. The plot fits between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope in the grand Star Wars time line, but because all the central characters are new, your enjoyment of the story isn't contingent upon having seen the live-action movies. True to form, there's a fair amount of fighting here (mostly with blasters and various weapons that transmit electricity; to a lesser degree, a lightsaber), and some people involved are killed. The heroes are in constant peril, but they never let that keep them from doing what's right and helping others in need. When they break rules, it's for good reason, and they're motivated by selflessness and a strong sense of justice. This quality offering from Disney and Lucasfilm will be a hit with many kids' sense of adventure, but it's also well-designed to entice viewers to return for the follow-up TV series. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 9 year old Written bymoidem October 10, 2014

Better than expected!

I'm not a fan of many of the newer Star Wars ventures, but was pleasantly surprised watching this with my 9 year old son. The story falls between episode t... Continue reading
Adult Written byGregory Nelson January 29, 2016

The "movie" that started the replacement of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, with Star Wars Rebels

The movie was very mediocre, and not as good as any part of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. In fact, Star Wars: The Clone Wars was the best Star Wars TV series to a... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old December 22, 2014

Not The Best, Clone Wars Was Better

I had high expectations from the Clone Wars and I was, err, disappointed a little bit. It did not have the same feeling as Clone Wars and I personally think it... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old October 6, 2014

STUPID

THERE IS KILLING IN IT. WHAT THE HECK?!?!?!? THIS SHOULD STOP. THEY ARE MAKING A MOVIE OUT OF THIS. EZRA OR WHATEVER HIS NAME IS HE IS ONLY OUT TO FIND HIS PARE... Continue reading

What's the story?

STAR WARS REBELS: SPARK OF REBELLION is set between live-action movies Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope and centers on Ezra Bridger (voiced by Taylor Gray), a solitary orphan who lives on the streets of the Empire-controlled Capital City, sticky-fingering his way to a meager existence. All that changes when he intercepts a robbery already in progress and makes off with part of an empirical shipment that marks him as a target for Storm Troopers and a mysterious ragtag group of freedom fighters, who eventually take him in. But fitting in with Hera (Vanessa Marshall), Sabine (Tiya Sircar), and Zeb (Steve Blum) is no easy task, even for this smooth talker. As he joins them on rebel missions across the galaxy, Ezra learns about the Empire's recent purging of the Jedi that nearly cost the rebels' leader, Kanan (Freddie Prinze Jr.), his life, and begins to feel a strong connection to the Force himself.

Is it any good?

This action-packed movie serves as a pilot for the Disney series Star Wars Rebels and introduces an entirely new team of self-deprecating heroes to appreciative fans. Those who know the live-action movies' progression will appreciate the careful touches of imagery and sound that fit neatly between episodes 3 and 4, no doubt thanks to Lucasfilm's involvement in the project. The story sets just enough context -- including a cameo by Obi-Wan Kenobi (James Arnold Taylor) -- to satisfy the purists before launching into its own uniquely enticing plot.

Although the graphics' tendency to create slightly odd body forms and features leaves a little to be desired, Spark of Rebellion rarely falls short in any other regard. The story moves quickly enough to pack a lot of plot into its 43-minute block, and there's plenty of action to satisfy young adventurers in the audience. There's also a surprising depth to many of the characters, particularly Ezra and Kanan, and the fact that their personal stories are merely hinted at in the movie bodes well for interest in the follow-up series. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about right and wrong. Kids: Who gets to decide the difference between right and wrong? Do laws always make that distinction clear? Is it ever OK to break the law? If so, what sort of circumstances might make that OK? 

  • Are Ezra and Kanan positive role models? In what ways? How does each use the challenges of his past to inspire what he does now?  

  • Why is the Star Wars franchise so popular among fans? Is its story of good vs. evil any different from others you see on TV shows and in movies? If you've seen other offerings in this franchise, how does this one compare? 

Movie details

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