In the new era of Star Wars content, some of the best stories have come from the animated television series. Star Wars Rebels debuted in 2014 and largely kicked off a new age of Star Wars, airing a season and half worth of episodes before The Force Awakens hit theaters. Rebels ended up resonating well with most fans, culminating in a thrilling and satisfying fourth season.
After Rebels ended, Lucasfilm wasted no time rolling out a new animated television series, this time in the form of Star Wars Resistance. Set six months before The Force Awakens, Resistance explores a different time period than Rebels with an entirely different cast of characters. Despite this, audiences inevitably compare Resistance and Rebels on a frequent basis. While it's not a completely fair comparison as Rebels is over and featured four complete seasons whereas Resistance is just nearing the end of its very first season, there are some worthwhile comparisons to make between the two series at this point. Here are 5 Reasons Star Wars Resistance Is Already Better Than Rebels (And 5 Why It Never Will Be).
10 Already Better: Consistent Inclusion Of Movie Characters
Rebels featured a number of prominent characters from the films, including the likes of Darth Vader and Princess Leia. The downside was that these characters were never able to stick around on Rebels for too long, often for the sake of continuity. This makes it all the more refreshing in Resistance to see characters from the films like BB-8 and Poe Dameron appear consistently.
In fact, BB-8 was a major character in every episode until recently when Resistance caught up to the timeline of The Force Awakens. The connectivity to the movies feels all the richer when these popular and important characters are consistently on the show, and even more so when they're voiced by their live-action actors, just as Oscar Isaac voices Poe Dameron on the show.
9 Never Will Be: The Villains
Early on in its first season, Rebels introduced a new and formidable antagonist in the form of the Grand Inquisitor. Less formidable but still a legitimate threat, the show also introduced the relentless Agent Kallus, who served as an effective enemy until he switched sides. This meant that even before established Star Wars villains like Darth Vader or Grand Moff Tarkin made guest appearances, Rebels already featured strong villains created specifically for the purpose of the show.
Season one of Resistance is drawing to a close, and they still don't have any formidable villains created exclusively for the show as Commander Pyre, Major Vonreg, and Kragan's pirate crew just don't feel that threatening.
8 Already Better: Characters' Unpredictable Loyalties
In Rebels, most of the characters were firmly on the side of the Rebel Alliance or the Galactic Empire. It's a different story on Resistance, partly because much of the galaxy doesn't yet recognize what a huge threat the First Order is, and also because the Colossus is so far removed from the rest of the galaxy.
Many of the characters aren't just pro-First order or pro-Resistance, which makes characters' loyalties and thus their actions more unpredictable. It's harder to know who to trust on Resistance, which often adds further intrigue to the story.
7 Never Will Be: The Core Characters
Rebels had a really strong group of core characters. The Ghost crew comprised of Hera, Kanan, Sabine, Ezra, Zeb, and Chopper had wonderful chemistry together, were likable, and developed beautifully over time.
Resistance has some cool characters, but there isn't that same kind of core group with an electric dynamic, a group that audiences can truly love. Yeager's team of Kaz, Tam, Neeku, Bucket, and formerly BB-8--now CB-23--seems to be Resistance's attempt at this, yet they simply don't possess the magic of the Ghost crew.
6 Already Better: Influencing The Skywalker Saga
Long before Rebels began, the original trilogy films were already set in stone, as were the prequel trilogy films. Taking place between the two trilogies, Rebels was heavily restricted in the ways it could influence the Skywalker saga, especially since characters like Kanan and Ezra are never mentioned in the original trilogy. With Resistance airing before Episode IX is released and much of the backstory for the sequel trilogy still untold, Resistance is able to influence the Skywalker saga more than Rebels ever could.
Thanks to Resistance, audiences now know what characters like BB-8, Poe Dameron, Captain Phasma, and even Leia were up to shortly before The Force Awakens began. With the timeline now caught up to The Force Awakens and a second season confirmed, Resistance has the potential to set up Episode IX in major ways, something Rebels inherently could never do with the original trilogy films.
5 Never Will Be: Continuing The Clone Wars
One of the most exciting things about Rebels was that it was able to continue and in some ways complete unresolved stories from The Clone Wars television series. Rebels incorporated popular characters like Ahsoka Tano, Captain Rex, Hondo Ohnaka, and many more in a way that was thrilling, satisfying, and made sense within Star Wars continuity.
The timeline of Resistance and premise of the show isn't conducive to continuing those Clone Wars stories, and there's not exactly a desire for it now that The Clone Wars is returning for a seventh season. What Rebels did was unique and worked well, and it's something that Resistance can't replicate.
4 Already Better: A More Unique Animation Style
When Resistance was first announced, one of the first things fans learned was that the animation would be anime-inspired. The animation has not disappointed as it's vibrant and visually appetizing to behold.
The animation in Rebels was fine, but it was fairly similar to the animation used in Dave Filoni's Clone Wars series. The animation of Resistance feels more unique and like it's pushing the boundaries of what Lucasfilm can do when it comes to telling animated stories.
3 Never Will Be: Little Connection To The Force
The Force has always been an integral piece of Star Wars. Rebels did a wonderful job expanding the mythology of the Force and certain characters' connections to it. Not every single Star Wars story needs to heavily rely on the Force, but considering the Force's importance, it can feel disappointing when a story barely connects to it all.
That has been the case with Resistance, where the Force hasn't played much of a role at all, other than minor hints that the child Eila from Tehar might be Force-sensitive.
2 Already Better: The Stormtroopers
Stormtroopers have been a significant piece of Rebels and Resistance as both the Empire and First Order relied on them. In Rebels the Stormtroopers mostly remained faceless and were easily defeated time and time again by the Ghost crew. Resistance has done a somewhat better job with the Stormtroopers.
This was partly achieved in "The New Trooper" episode where a Stormtrooper was held captive by Kaz and company, and the episode actually did a pretty good job of humanizing the individual and helping the audience sympathize with him and his plight. By taking control of the Colossus and taking the lives of members of Kragan's pirate crew, Resistance's Stormtroopers have already proven to be better at their jobs than most of the Stormtroopers on Rebels were.
1 Never Will Be: The Primary Setting
Just as the planet Lothal served as the primary setting for Rebels in season one, the Colossus station on Castilon has served as the primary setting for the first season of Resistance. Both settings have their merits, but at times the Colossus can feel restricting as a setting.
Between the city, more rural parts, and the hidden Jedi Temple and entrance to the World Between Worlds, Lothal felt like a much richer and diverse location than the Colossus. Different parts of Lothal had a different feel to it and there was often a sense of mystery, whereas the different parts of the Colossus often have the same feel and less sense of mystery and potential to them.
What do you think Resistance has already done better than Rebels? In what ways will it never be better than Rebels? Share your thoughts in the comments!