Star Wars: Rebels - Complete Season One

Disney's enjoyable new Star Wars cartoon welcomes fans to the dawn of the Rebellion

One of the biggest disappointments of Disney's buy-out of Lucasfilm came with the cancellation of the excellent Clone Wars cartoon. Thankfully, rather than wave goodbye to exec producer Dave Filoni and the animation team he put together, Disney enlisted them to create a new animated series designed to mine the extended gap between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope.

Following the rag-tag crew of the Ghost as they take on the forces of the Galactic Empire operating around the backwater planet Lothal, Star Wars: Rebels delivers plenty of fun for franchise fans of all ages. It also looks and feels like a genuine piece of Star Wars thanks to the decision to go back to Ralph McQuarrie's original concept art for inspiration and utilise genuine sound effects from the original trilogy.

It does stumble a couple of times over the course of these first 15 episodes, but Star Wars: Rebels has got off to a strong start and events towards the end point towards even greater things from future runs. If you're a Star Wars fan then you really need to give it a spin.

Picture: It's not particularly shocking to discover that this CG-animated show looks lovely in 1080p. Presented in their original 1.78:1 framing, the Blu-ray encodes are bursting with richly saturated colours, deep black levels, strong contrast and crisply defined digital details. Apart from a handful of instances of banding, on the whole they are also extremely technically proficient, with no significant anomalies such as artefacting or edge halos.
Picture rating: 4.5/5

Audio: For some reason known only to itself, Disney has opted to limit the audio on this first season of Star Wars: Rebels to lossy Dolby Digital 5.1. It's not a deal-breaker, as the mix does a good enough job on its own terms (clear dialogue, rich musicality and plenty of use of the rears), but it's still rather annoying not to get a lossless mix. Fingers-crossed that future seasons will rectify this.
Audio rating: 3.5/5

Extras: Each Star Wars: Rebels episode comes with its own five-to-six-minute Rebel Recon behind-the-scenes featurette originally created for the website Also included are a four-minute highlight reel from this year's Star Wars Celebration event; four rather wonderful animated shorts (The Machine in the Ghost, Art Attack, Entanglement and Property of Ezra Miller); a rather redundant 22-minute recap of the entire season; and a seven-minute look ahead to what Season Two has in store.
Extras rating: 2.5/5

We say: The Force is strong in this new Star Wars cartoon – despite the Blu-ray’s ‘lossy’ soundtracks

Star Wars: Rebels – Complete Season One, Walt Disney, All-region BD, £28 Approx