TV Club: Star Wars Rebels finally embraces its complexity through a Zeb/Kallus pairing

Here’s the thing: Star Wars has to be careful how it plays its Empire vs. Rebels conflict. The franchise is, at its core, pulp action-science-fiction, by way of a spaghetti Western. It can’t really explore its central conflict too much. Or rather, it can, but it would have to seriously go through the narrative work to explore the nature of war, the costs and sense of destruction, the grey, moral complexity of its various tactics and characters, and the role that its various factions and players–including Force wielding monks–have in all of this. (The Clone Wars bounced around these ideas liberally but inconsistently: episodes would question the tactics of stealth bombing as terrorism in one arc, but comfortably do that exact thing in another). Star Wars is pulpy action/science-fiction, where its heroes and villains are clearly defined; grey areas are usually off-limits.

I don’t …

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