Star Wars Rebels

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Star Wars Rebels TV Poster Image
Exciting series is violent but has positive messages, too.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 17 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Educational Value

Strong messages about fighting for a good cause and the value of teamwork, but the show's main intent is to entertain. 

Positive Messages

This is a classic good-vs.-evil tale in which most characters' allegiance is clear-cut, but there's still a lot of deception that sometimes complicates things. For the most part, the heroes are a decent bunch who value freedom enough to risk their lives for it. Women are prominent in the character pool. There's some infighting among the main characters that threatens their effectiveness as a team. The heroes often break rules on their quest for justice. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Kanan works hard to be a good mentor to Ezra, even as he battles demons from his past and other insecurities. Some character traits -- such as hot-headedness and carrying grudges -- work against the team mentality and cause some strife, but, when they work together, they're a powerful force for good. Villains often use tricks to lure the rebels into dangerous situations. 

Violence & Scariness

Battles can be pretty tense, whether they're personal exchanges or they take place between aircraft. Hand-to-hand fights show people shot by blasters, struck down by lightsabers, and knocked out by brute force. Although there's no gore, it's implied that many players die. Some alien creatures look menacing. Jedis use the Force to move or throw people and can manipulate their actions by putting thoughts in their heads with it. Also some threatening language, such as, "Ready to die?"

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

The show follows a TV movie and is related to the Star Wars franchise. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Star Wars Rebels is an animated series that follows Star Wars Rebels: Spark of Rebellion. It continues the story of a team of renegade rebels on missions against an evil Empire and delves more deeply into the mentor/student relationship between Jedi master Kanan and his new apprentice, Ezra. Positive messages emerge in the Rebels' selfless efforts to undermine the Empire and in how Kanan and Ezra must compromise for both to be effective in their roles. Not surprisingly, there's a lot of peril and violence in this story, as characters on both sides use weapons (blasters, a laser slingshot, explosives, and lightsabers) and hand-to-hand skills against each other. There are deaths, although the show doesn't draw attention to them. This fun series has broad appeal for kids and adults, particularly those familiar with the Star Wars story laid out in the live-action movies. 

User Reviews

Adult Written byrebma97 March 28, 2015

OK series

It's a good series, though it's not my favorite. The characters are interesting and so are the storylines, but I'm not as attached to them as the... Continue reading
Adult Written byLollizah April 20, 2015

Females in this series are not typical Disney girls.

It is action-packed, easy to follow plot. I like that girls in this show actually contribute to the goal, have roles of authority, and have deep conversations.... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written bymike-numbers October 24, 2014

Best star wars so far.

Star wars fans will love it.
Kid, 10 years old July 16, 2015

What's the story?

STAR WARS REBELS follows the adventures of a team of freedom fighters who travel the galaxy battling the tyrannical Empirical forces. Led by Kanan (voiced by Freddie Prinze Jr.), one of a few Jedi survivors of a double-cross that nearly exterminated the entire race, the team represents the beginning of the eventual Rebellion chronicled in A New Hope and its sequels. Kanan's new Padawan is Ezra (Taylor Gray), a crafty orphan who's learning the ways of the Force as he joins his new friends on missions. Kindly Hera (Vanessa Marshall) and weapons whiz Sabine (Tiya Sircar) round out the crew along with brutish Zeb (Steven Blum), for whom the jury is still out on Ezra's place with them. As the Rebels set out on rescue and aid missions, they must stay off the radar of the Inquisitor (Jason Isaacs) and his right-hand man, Agent Kallus (David Oyelowo), who are under orders from Darth Vader (James Earl Jones) to flush out and destroy all remaining Jedi. 

Is it any good?

This series continues the tale first told in Spark of Rebellion and features the movie's same careful attention to detail that adds modern touches to the Star Wars story as a whole while paying homage to the beloved original movies. Not only do familiar characters such as Darth Vader and Lando Calrissian appear, helping bridge the gap between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, but even the voice cast is consistent with the involvement of Jones and Billy Dee Williams. Even better, Star Wars Rebels is so well-written and the characters so intriguing that adults may enjoy this new addition to the saga as much as kids will.

If your kids are familiar with Star Wars-style violence from any of the live-action movies or animated series related to them, then what they see here won't come as a surprise. There's a lot of fighting, a variety of weapons, and the implication that many people die, even if it isn't actually spelled out. But there's also a positive message in the cause of the Rebels, who battle the odds against a powerful adversary bent on greed and a quest for power. They're a fun group to root for, made all the more intriguing as their individual backstories emerge slowly as the show plays out. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence on TV. Were the battle sequences in Star Wars Rebels at all disturbing to your kids? Was the heroes' safety ever in question? Does violence such as this change how you view altercations that happen in the real world? 

  • Are the heroes in this show always heroic? Does their behavior ever make you think less of them? Do they always make good decisions? How are TV role models different from your kids' real-life heroes?

  • Kids: What impact do your viewing habits have on your buying ones? Does liking a particular show or character encourage you to want products that bear those same images? 

TV details

Themes & Topics

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