As it was being released on television, I managed to review each and every episode of Season 2. You can read those individual reviews by clicking here.
Taken as a whole on this Blu-ray set, though, it's hard to look at the individual episodes and come away with a sense of the season. This season feels like it builds to one towering crescendo of perfection with the finale, and it's hard to separate the overall effect from all the moving parts that put it together. That's why I think this new Blu-ray set is a must for any fan of "Star Wars."
The Blu-ray quality is how this show should be watched. You don't have the commercials, you don't have the lower-thirds interupting the experience, you don't have bad cable jostling bits and bytes ruining your experience. It's a shame that "Star Wars Rebels" has to premiere on television because it's every bit as good as the movie offerings.
In fact, taken as a whole work of art, I would say that "Star Wars Rebels" Season 2 is better than "The Force Awakens." It's a bold statement, but the storytelling of a long format show, winding up stories that have been eight seasons in the making provide a much richer, emotionally deep place to go. That's not to say I didn't like "The Force Awakens." I just think this is more emotionally painful and satisfying. And maybe I'm more attached to Ahsoka than Han Solo.
Or maybe I'm crazy.
The thing I love most about this is that it adds significantly to the "Star Wars" mythology, while at the same time advancing the stories of characters that haven't made the leap to the big screen. Ahsoka, a character we thought we'd seen the last of in "Clone Wars" crosses over in this season and provides some of the most interesting stories with the character. Darth Vader's character is further deepened by these interactions with Anakin Skywalker's former padawan, and the crew of the Ghost who headline the show are forever changed in their encounters.
It's a beautiful flourish of "Star Wars" storytelling, start to finish.
As far as bonus features on this disc, there's not much more here than you can get online, which makes me sad. I love diving into deleted scenes and bonus content, but I've already watched every episode of "Rebels Recon" as the show was released. But you're not buying this set for the features. You're buying it for the vast improvement of the content. Even if you're recording the HD feed of Rebels on your DVR off of television, you're still struggling with commercials and bumpers and that's not how "Star Wars" should be consumed.
The animation is perfect for Blu-ray, and looking at the season as a whole, it's amazing how far "Rebels" has come since its start. It already started strong out of the gate, based on the crew's strengths on "Star Wars: The Clones," but this season, particularly the finale, upped their game to the point where this is "must watch" "Star Wars."
This is a must buy.