Set after the fall of the Republic, Star Wars Rebels shares the adventures of a nascent rebel cell at the beginning of the resistance. My daughter and I watched the entire season last weekend. We loved it.
As the story opens, little more than a decade has passed since the founding of the Empire. Young, force-sensitive Ezra Bridger struggles to survive on the planet Lothal, and attempts to steal from some bandits who are in turn stealing from the Imperials. One thing leads to another and he joins their Firefly-like crew and begins to learn the ways of the Force.
The characters are wonderful. My new favorite is Kannan Jarrus, voiced by Freddie Prinze Jr. He's a slightly broken-down Padawan trying to do the best he can. He's like an even less effective Obi-Wan Kenobi--the same charm with a slightly more Old West style. The rest of the crew is also spectacular. Other favorites include Sabine, a Mandalorian weapons and explosives expert, and Hera, the owner and captain of their ship, the Ghost. Garazeb "Zeb" Orrelios is one of the last surviving Lasat, exterminated by the Empire. He is basically a giant, blue, talking Wookie channeling the A-Team's B.A. Baracas.
The stories are great. How it all fits into the time-period of the Star Wars universe pleases me to no end. Things mentioned in passing in other parts of the Star Wars story get brought into the picture here, like the Spice Mines of Kessel.
My daughter really wanted to watch the series when she heard her favorite character, former Jedi Ahsoka Tano, makes an appearance in the finale. Apparently Ahsoka will be a recurring character in season 2. In addition to appreciating the tough, smart female characters for my daughter to bond with, I love seeing the build up to A New Hope.