The Blockade Runner

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Rebels Screenshot Spotlight – The Call

The Purgill featured in “The Call” are creatively bold, both in how they live in outer space and due to the implications surrounding them and hyperspace travel. Most of the discussion surrounding “The Call” centers (and rightly so) on the Purgill, but I like to find less-noticed moments to focus on for these Rebels Screenshot Spotlight posts. The image below (from the starwars.com episode guide for “The Call”) is an example of a shot that speaks volumes about the design of Rebels even if it may have gone largely unnoticed.

the-call_24_4477ca64My favorite aspect of this shot is the way it is able to capture the look of A New Hope while simultaneously adapting that aesthetic to Rebels‘s own style. The appearance of the yellow Mining Guild TIE is an immediate call-back to the original trilogy era that also pushes the classic design into a new direction. This shot also demonstrates the show’s ability to capture a cinematic look while remaining distinctly cartoony. The lighting, as always, is stellar and the contrast between the brightly-lit portions of The Ghost and those cast in shadow provide the weight and realism that help the image dance the line between realism and stylized animation.

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Rebels Screenshot Spotlight – “Always Two There Are”

It occurred to me while watching the most recent episode of Rebels, “Always Two There Are,” that I’d like to do something here on The Blockade Runner blog to show appreciation for the incredible art/design/look of the show. To be honest, I wasn’t sure about the show’s style when the characters were revealed (there had been a bit of talk re: the McQuarrie influence and I think was expecting something different), but from the moment I was able to see it in motion, I’ve been incredibly impressed. Seeing Joel Aaron’s presentation at Celebration Anaheim only increased my appreciation for the show’s look and dedication to authenticity, and the initial shot of The Ghost approaching the abandoned Republic medical station moved me to action.

Abandoned Republic Medical Station

I was initially taken aback by the presentation of the medical station itself; the elegance of the station and the cylindrical or almost funnel-like shape of it seemed distinctly McQuarrie. I think it may have reminded me of some of his Cloud City designs, and upon doing some digging I found a piece of Coruscant concept work that shares some similarities with this design. I’m not sure if this specific station was directly influenced by McQuarrie concepts or not, but it shares qualities with his designs that I think are very beautiful and very Star Wars.

I was also struck by the enormity of the medical station in relationship to The Ghost. It becomes clear as the episode unfolds that Ezra and the rest of the crew are pitted against a powerful enemy that outmatches them in most ways, and the composition of this shot emphasizes that the deck is very much stacked against them and that they’ll have to overcome a major challenge to successfully complete their mission.

I’m no design expert, so I hope it’s clear here that I’m commenting on this shot from Always Two There Are” out of appreciation for the incredible work of the Rebels crew. Watching Rebels has delighted me more than I expected in numerous ways, and its so gratifying and exciting to be presented with such beautiful imagery each week, so I’m looking forward to finding more breathtaking shots to feature from upcoming episodes.