You may have seen the announcement about Jon Favreau’s live action Star Wars show, The Mandalorian. Set after the events of Return of the Jedi but before The Force Awakens, The Mandalorian will follow a gunfighter in a familiar armor as he travels the Outer Rim of the galaxy. You might look at the first image released and mutter, “What a bullshit attempt to capitalize on the popularity of Boba Fett,” and I get where you’re coming from. You’re coming from the POV of someone who hasn’t watched Clone Wars or Rebels.
The most interesting expansion of the Star Wars universe is happening on TV, on the cartoon Rebels. And I say that as someone who absolutely loved The Last Jedi (I’ve published a whole ton of Last Jedi-related stuff on this site, like my review, my look at the Taoism of the Jedi, a piece on Rose Tico’s wisdom, and an admiration of Admiral Holdo). The new movies have brought an exciting life into the franchise on a mainstream level, but Dave Filoni and his team have been steadfastly keeping Star Wars humming – and exploring its nooks and crannies – for years on TV.
The latest two-parter of Rebels is a bad place to jump on; the show is hurtling towards its finale, and this two-parter is not just wrapping up story elements from the last four seasons but is also touching on stuff that was introduced in the old Clone Wars cartoon. Still, this is a good opportunity to talk about how deeply exciting this sort of tie-in show can be when handled by someone with a true vision, and how an expanded universe can work in absolutely stunning and involving ways.