After this past weekend, we now officially live in a world with brand new Star Wars, as Disney and Lucasfilm premiered the animated series Star Wars Rebels. The first new addition to the canon after the buyout, the show premiered with the extended special “Spark of Rebellion,” and now, if you’ve got an insatiable hankering for more, but just can’t wait until the next episode debuts on Monday, October 13, on Disney XD, we’ve got good news for you, you’ll be able to watch the second chapter, “Droids in Distress,” online early, and for free. What a deal.
Subscribers to WatchDisneyXD.com are now able to watch “Droids in Distress,” as it was made available over the weekend. Though if you don’t have an account there, never fear, there is another way. You can also download the half-hour episode for free on iTunes if you’re so inclined.
Rebels is set in the Star Wars universe in the years between the events of Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, and shows a galaxy where the Galactic Empire is tightening its grip. In this oppressive state, pockets of resistance appear, and you see the beginnings of what will become the Rebel Alliance in the original trilogy. With the Empire seizing control of the small outer rim planet of Lothal, a brash young orphan and con artist named Ezra Bridger joins up with a crew of rebels that includes the Jedi Kanan, pilot Hera, tough guy Zeb, Mandalorian graffiti artist Sabine, and spunky astromech droid Chopper, and the series follows their adventures and attempts to combat the growing evil.
“Spark of Rebellion” serves to set up the world and the characters, while “Droids in Peril” is the first attempt to expand on this situation. The official synopsis reads, “The rebels intercept a shipment of weapons intended for the Empire and accidentally end up hosting a pair of droids.” That’s short and to the point, and, given that we’ve seen them featured prominently in much of the promotion and build up to Rebels, you have to assume that the “pair of droids” are none other than R2-D2 and C-3PO. At this point that’s just a guess, but it’s an educated one.
While definitely aimed at a younger audience, “Spark of Rebellion” is still a ton of fun, and according to Disney, it gathered 6.5 million viewers over the weekend. It’s unclear if that includes those who saw advanced screenings or watched it early, also via WatchDisneyXD membership, or not, but it’s not bad.
In fact, before the series made its official debut on October 3, they already announced that it was renewed for a season 2. That’s not terribly surprising, people love them some Star Wars, and as we’ve already heard a lot of talk about how Rebels will connect with the cinematic side of things, such as the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII, we all figured there would be much more to come.