Star Wars Rebels kicks off the season with a fun and exciting mission developed and lead by Ezra to save Hondo, who is in possession of valuable information that could help the rebels to recover a fleet of Y-wings.
Enter Thrawn! Well, sort of…
Star Wars Rebels kicks off the season with a fun and exciting mission developed and lead by Ezra to save Hondo, who is in possession of valuable information that could help the rebels to recover a fleet of Y-wings. We’re welcomed back into the Star Wars universe quickly as we’re reminded that Stormtroopers still can’t hit anything and it feels great! Right off the bat we are shown just how strong Ezra has grown since we last saw him as he ruthlessly cuts down several Stormtroopers and sends an AT-DP plummeting to its demise. It’s clear he’s chosen the quick and easy path and there’s most certainly going to be consequences for him and the team.
Kanin is off meditating, being summoned by an unknown voice later to be revealed as the Bendu. It is a real treat when Kanin meets the Bendu face to face. The scene was fantastically written and extremely well performed. Most definitely one of the best scenes in the series to date. The only thing negative I’ll say about this encounter is that it seems a bit convenient that the Bendu happens to be on the same planet as the current rebel base but the force works in mysterious ways, right?
As someone who doesn’t have a strong attachment to Grand Admiral Thrawn, I have to admit I was underwhelmed by his introduction. The scenes he was in were absolutely chilling. This calm and calculated genius could very well be the demise of our beloved rebels. My issue was that I wanted more of him. Maybe it was the marketing that made me think he was going to be featured front and center this episode rather than looming from the shadows, mostly…
The opening and closing action sequences were some of the best action sequences I have ever seen in animation, however. The best thing about this episode was that it featured some great character development for Ezra and Kanin. I found it surprising, T.V. shows don’t normally pack this much character development into a season premiere. Obviously, Ezra has grown a lot in the last few months but he still has a long way to go and he definitely got an idea for just how much on the mission to recover the Y-wings. Kanin reached an incredible turning point with his lesson from the Bendu. Healing from his loss and moving forward. I am so excited to continue on his journey with him! Freddie Prinze Jr. does a truly incredible job conveying the doubt a great warrior would feel after the loss of their sight.
The Duffer Brothers have managed to blend 80’s nostalgia into an exciting and heartfelt supernatural thriller. The series doesn’t just echo the classic films of the 80’s, it’s DNA is made up of them.
The Duffer Brothers have managed to blend 80’s nostalgia into an exciting and heartfelt supernatural thriller. The series doesn’t just echo the classic films of the 80’s, it’s DNA is made up of them. What is most impressive might be how it all blends together into something unique and refreshing.
The series opens with the vanishing of Will Byers and the launching of the investigation into his disappearance. Stranger Things earns its title as things quickly get strange and we discover there is a larger conspiracy at play in this small town after a young girl escapes from an experimental government facility. A young girl who recognizes Will when she sees a picture of him.
Stranger Things biggest strength is its characters. Hats off to the casting director for putting together a group of kids whose chemistry rivals that of The Goonies. Winona Ryder and David Harbour lead the series with fantastic performances but the series’ core is the friendship between the group of children, most notably the connection between Mike and Eleven. A relationship that mirrors E.T. and Elliot without becoming a rehash.
Millie Bobby Brown is a superstar. She delivers an extraordinary performance that steals the show and your heart. Millie packs a powerful and emotional punch into every word she speaks. She is able to express more emotion through her eyes than even most adult actors are capable of.
Stranger Things is so fantastic that its weaknesses feel more like nitpicks than actual weaknesses. There are a few scenes involving visual effects that could have benefited from a larger budget and/or more time, but they are easily forgivable. The series proves if you have great characters and a great story complemented by nearly masterful directing you can easily get away with less than stellar visual effects. The only real negative is the thin layer of cheese that comes with Nancy’s storyline. The teen drama could have been dialed back a bit but like the visual effects the series does not suffer from it. There’s just a few beats between Nancy and her Mother that don’t land right. You could argue there are plot holes in the overall explanation of what exactly is happening with the upside down but science isn’t always clear and Matthew Modine even admits they do not understand the monster they are dealing with.
In a time when we have an abundance of formulaic television series its refreshing to have a show that doesn’t waste any time with filler. The story is thoroughly engaging and constantly pushing forward building momentum to its satisfying finale. Stranger Things could easily have suffered from a lack of originality and seemed like a rip off of almost every classic 80’s film there is. But the production comes together forming something exciting and unique. From the directing to the music to the production design, StrangerThings captivates the mind and the heart taking you back to the simpler times of the 80’s when movies were hopeful and full of adventure.