Star Wars Rebels and Space Battles Done Poorly?

I was listening to a streamer in the background of some other work, and he started talking about the season 2 finale of Star Wars Rebels, and remarked how good the space battle was. Curious, I looked at some clips of the show's space battles. Am I missing something? These look awful. I looked at this video that has space battles from seasons 1-4 of Rebels. I barely see more than 4 Tie Fighters on screen. I guess it's just the situation and context that make it good?
I then looked at the Clone Wars show's space battles. As weird as the characters look, instantly I find this clip and am amazed at how exhilarating it is. There's tons of laser fire, ships, formations, everything you could want.

I can only assume Rebels makes up for this in other places, but I always felt the space battles of Star Wars were some of the most exciting and excellently done parts. And somehow the animation and detail in Rebel's space battles look so cheap, barren and empty. Anyone else feel the same? Is Rebels THAT good regardless of its space battles, or am I missing something by not having seen the show?

I haven't seen either of the shows- but from those clips I'd say it's a bit of a stretch to call them 'Space Battles' in Rebels- it just looks like it's going through the same motions the falcon did in Empire Strikes Back.

I still reckon the pilot chatter from A New Hope hasn't been topped, and the strategy in RotJ still makes that the best space battle overall. Scarif 'looked' nice, but the no-plan-whatsoever reasons behind the battle, the cast of forgettable nobodies above the planet, and Disney's obsession with solving all space problems by smashing one ship into another really drag it down when compared to the other battles.

Elvis Starburst:
I was listening to a streamer in the background of some other work, and he started talking about the season 2 finale of Star Wars Rebels, and remarked how good the space battle was. Curious, I looked at some clips of the show's space battles. Am I missing something? These look awful. I looked at this video that has space battles from seasons 1-4 of Rebels. I barely see more than 4 Tie Fighters on screen. I guess it's just the situation and context that make it good?
I then looked at the Clone Wars show's space battles. As weird as the characters look, instantly I find this clip and am amazed at how exhilarating it is. There's tons of laser fire, ships, formations, everything you could want.

I can only assume Rebels makes up for this in other places, but I always felt the space battles of Star Wars were some of the most exciting and excellently done parts. And somehow the animation and detail in Rebel's space battles look so cheap, barren and empty. Anyone else feel the same? Is Rebels THAT good regardless of its space battles, or am I missing something by not having seen the show?

Wait, the Season 2 finale was the fight at the Sith Temple at Malachor. No real space battle there, its more Season 3 finale and the mid-series finale to 4 that have space battles. Though Thrawn tends to kick everyone's arse pretty quickly in those.

It kind of depends what you want from a space battle; since Rebels is focused more on a small group of people who are constantly short on resources it tends to go for more of the "Fighter Ace" type battles where its one or two pilots showing how good they are against each. Its more about, say, Hera Syndulla and Vult Skerris trying to outwit and outmatch each other with things like swarms of TIE fighters only really showing up to demonstrate how shit has gone sideways. Clone Wars on the other hand is all about the massive throwdowns between two forces with the funds and resources to build themselves armadas (though even then I note that three cruisers tends to be the norm for anything they do)

Personally I kind of prefer the Rebels approach if only because having fewer ships around makes me wonder "Why is everyone so damn close?" less

Palindromemordnilap:
Personally I kind of prefer the Rebels approach if only because having fewer ships around makes me wonder "Why is everyone so damn close?" less

Part of the reason I'm *meh* about most representations of space battles in general. Like Ep III RotS opening scene is a brilliant spectacle, but good grief no (plausible) ship's commander would want to go anywhere near such a clusterf***.

And unfortunately, they are yet to adapt David Weber's Honorverse into anything except a rather shitty graphic novel (poor Nimitz, the hell did they do to you?!).

Palindromemordnilap:
Wait, the Season 2 finale was the fight at the Sith Temple at Malachor. No real space battle there, its more Season 3 finale and the mid-series finale to 4 that have space battles.

It's possible I mis-heard!

It kind of depends what you want from a space battle; since Rebels is focused more on a small group of people who are constantly short on resources it tends to go for more of the "Fighter Ace" type battles where its one or two pilots showing how good they are against each. Its more about, say, Hera Syndulla and Vult Skerris trying to outwit and outmatch each other with things like swarms of TIE fighters only really showing up to demonstrate how shit has gone sideways.

Hmm, makes sense. Didn't really think of it that way. It doesn't change my opinion about how blandly animated the space fights are in Rebels, but there's at least this perspective to go with it now. I guess I prefer the more flashy and intense stuff from the movies or the Clone Wars show. But that comes down to personal preference!

I haven't seen Star Wars Rebels. I didn't watch that entire clip either, but I was unimpressed with the bit I did watch. The battles in Clone Wars were certainly much much better with much more attention to detail. Speaking of detail, I was taken aback by the lack of detail on the Star Destroyers. I know it's probably fits in with the animation style, but it looks like an amateur 3D model rendering of a Star Destroyer.

Elvis Starburst:
And somehow the animation and detail in Rebel's space battles look so cheap, barren and empty.

The reason Rebels looks cheaper compared to Clone Wars is because the former most likely is cheaper.

Lucasfilm supposedly threw an average of $1 million per episode at Clone Wars just on animation. There's no official numbers for Rebels, but I doubt Disney is giving it that kind of budget.

Chimpzy:
The reason Rebels looks cheaper compared to Clone Wars is because the former most likely is cheaper.

Lucasfilm supposedly threw an average of $1 million per episode at Clone Wars just on animation. There's no official numbers for Rebels, but I doubt Disney is giving it that kind of budget.

Woah... Guess that makes sense! I kinda wish Rebels had that kind of budgets, but I guess its praises say it doesn't exactly need it. The writing is apparently really good at least

Elvis Starburst:

Chimpzy:
The reason Rebels looks cheaper compared to Clone Wars is because the former most likely is cheaper.

Lucasfilm supposedly threw an average of $1 million per episode at Clone Wars just on animation. There's no official numbers for Rebels, but I doubt Disney is giving it that kind of budget.

Woah... Guess that makes sense! I kinda wish Rebels had that kind of budgets, but I guess its praises say it doesn't exactly need it. The writing is apparently really good at least

I mean if you're looking for recommendations I'd rank Rebels over Clone Wars. Rebels is much more solid a series and its focus on fewer characters makes those characters stand out more. Clone Wars tend to be a bit hit and miss, with a few more misses than hits (in my opinion at least) as plots tend to rely on characters holding the idiot ball to make them move along, and while its use of guest stars from the EU is fun it does tend to make the focus a bit scattered sometimes. I would however recommend watching the clone-centric episodes as it fleshes them out more, turns them into more than just the dudes who die in the background so the Jedi don't have to. Plus a few of them pop up again in Rebels later on, so there's that

SckizoBoy:

Palindromemordnilap:
Personally I kind of prefer the Rebels approach if only because having fewer ships around makes me wonder "Why is everyone so damn close?" less

Part of the reason I'm *meh* about most representations of space battles in general. Like Ep III RotS opening scene is a brilliant spectacle, but good grief no (plausible) ship's commander would want to go anywhere near such a clusterf***.

And unfortunately, they are yet to adapt David Weber's Honorverse into anything except a rather shitty graphic novel (poor Nimitz, the hell did they do to you?!).

I'm glad I'm not the only one bothered by that stuff. There's been a couple points where a smaller ship will be close to a star destroyer or imperial crusier, but apparently can't be seen because it's "Powered down". Except for the fact the Star Destroyer is close enough to be looming very large throught the viewports. Seriously guys, if you can see the star destroyer that well, it can see you too, because you're practically on top of each other.

And one episode in particular had the characters in a ship hiding from an imperial patrol and one of them says "Be quiet", kinda forgetting it's a spaceship, NOT A SUBMARINE! Just because it's based on WW2 war movies doesn't mean it works the same way just because.

Well, TCW was going for more of a war epic drama thus the large-scale battles were justified. Rebels, it always seemed to me, was trying to go for more of an "original trilogy" feel where the biggest battles (Hoth and Endor) still came across as fairly small-scale, with focus on a few models in the foreground with little to nothing going on in the background. One of the biggest criticisms of the PT, don't forget, was overloading the background with (mostly CG) props, set pieces, and action, which left no room for negative space and therefore constantly distracted the audience from the focal points of each shot, while using wide-angle shots to showcase the background noise during character-centric and dialogue-driven shots. Take the Battle of Geonosis in AotC, for example, which was a complete cinematographic clusterfuck.

As far as the Battle of Coruscant at the beginning of RotS, the movie started at the end of that battle. If I remember my canon right, the Separatist fleet outnumbered the Republic defensive fleet and engaged as a distraction for the surgical strike to capture Palpatine. The Republic Navy realized that too late, and made a deliberate decision to go all-in and engage at knife-fight range to prevent the Invisible Hand from entering hyperspace, in order to buy time for Palpatine's rescue. The only other time you see or hear about capital ships knife fighting in the films, is during the Battle of Endor when Ackbar made the call to prevent the Death Star from using its superlaser.

Dalisclock:
I'm glad I'm not the only one bothered by that stuff. There's been a couple points where a smaller ship will be close to a star destroyer or imperial crusier, but apparently can't be seen because it's "Powered down". Except for the fact the Star Destroyer is close enough to be looming very large throught the viewports. Seriously guys, if you can see the star destroyer that well, it can see you too, because you're practically on top of each other.

And one episode in particular had the characters in a ship hiding from an imperial patrol and one of them says "Be quiet", kinda forgetting it's a spaceship, NOT A SUBMARINE! Just because it's based on WW2 war movies doesn't mean it works the same way just because.

For the most part, I'm typically accepting of the fact that the producers of media have little to no real comprehension of interplanetary/interstellar transport/travel technology and the (theoretical/vaguely plausible) weaponry/weapons systems that it would entail, so I'm loathe to outright complain about them. They base what they make on what they (or what they perceive their audiences to) know, not on what the setting should actually be like, which is both good and bad for obvious reasons (chief among them being that they're there to entertain, not educate, but neither are they there to misinform). It's the reason why the entire fleet chase sequence in The Last Jedi really pisses me off. But hey, can't expect an entire audience to fully grasp the actual methods by which astronomers/astrophysicists identify objects. To cite your example, I'd bet that most cinema-goers won't get what benefit (and to what extent such benefit can be leveraged) a heat-sink would bring in this context, or why windows on interstellar-travel capable vehicles is perhaps one of the most pointless things to have on their exterior.

So when an author/filmmaker comes along and shows that they appreciate the sheer scale of space and relativistic physics, I understandably get a hard-on. Even Weber buggers things up and hand-waves a lot but he makes a damned fair fist of getting the physics (more) right (than most others).

SckizoBoy:

Dalisclock:
I'm glad I'm not the only one bothered by that stuff. There's been a couple points where a smaller ship will be close to a star destroyer or imperial crusier, but apparently can't be seen because it's "Powered down". Except for the fact the Star Destroyer is close enough to be looming very large throught the viewports. Seriously guys, if you can see the star destroyer that well, it can see you too, because you're practically on top of each other.

And one episode in particular had the characters in a ship hiding from an imperial patrol and one of them says "Be quiet", kinda forgetting it's a spaceship, NOT A SUBMARINE! Just because it's based on WW2 war movies doesn't mean it works the same way just because.

For the most part, I'm typically accepting of the fact that the producers of media have little to no real comprehension of interplanetary/interstellar transport/travel technology and the (theoretical/vaguely plausible) weaponry/weapons systems that it would entail, so I'm loathe to outright complain about them. They base what they make on what they (or what they perceive their audiences to) know, not on what the setting should actually be like, which is both good and bad for obvious reasons (chief among them being that they're there to entertain, not educate, but neither are they there to misinform). It's the reason why the entire fleet chase sequence in The Last Jedi really pisses me off. But hey, can't expect an entire audience to fully grasp the actual methods by which astronomers/astrophysicists identify objects. To cite your example, I'd bet that most cinema-goers won't get what benefit (and to what extent such benefit can be leveraged) a heat-sink would bring in this context, or why windows on interstellar-travel capable vehicles is perhaps one of the most pointless things to have on their exterior.

So when an author/filmmaker comes along and shows that they appreciate the sheer scale of space and relativistic physics, I understandably get a hard-on. Even Weber buggers things up and hand-waves a lot but he makes a damned fair fist of getting the physics (more) right (than most others).

There's also the shitty heavy bombers at the beginning of TLJ which apparently only drop bombs DOWN, fly slower then my dead grandmother and for some inexplicable reason, fly close enough that hitting one causes half of them to explode. Again for the sole reason that the filmmakers decided to crib from WW2 heavy bomber formations, resulting in a situation that makes NO sense in the context of space combat.

And yeah, I totally agree that it's nice when some sci-fi works actually try to represent space in a realistic manner.

Back on topic, Ironically, I watched TLJ and then went back to watching Rebels and couldn't help but think during some of the space combat scenes "This is what I wanted from the TFA and TLJ." They end up being much more fun to watch and at least tend to make more sense within the context of the universe.

Dalisclock:
There's also the shitty heavy bombers at the beginning of TLJ which apparently only drop bombs DOWN, fly slower then my dead grandmother and for some inexplicable reason, fly close enough that hitting one causes half of them to explode. Again for the sole reason that the filmmakers decided to crib from WW2 heavy bomber formations, resulting in a situation that makes NO sense in the context of space combat.

Oh dear lord, I'd forgotten about that bit...! When I saw that first thought was that they completely missed the atmospheric/vacuum barrier that they usually don't miss (though I notice they missed it in Rogue One when Leia manages to escape Vader (though you can sort of hand-wave it because of Vader's helmet). Second thought was likewise... dumb-bombs in space is... well, dumb.

And yeah, I totally agree that it's nice when some sci-fi works actually try to represent space in a realistic manner.

Definitely. You got any recommendations (preferably books)? For about five months mid/late last year, I was all in on David Weber's Honorverse (mostly the main storyline, but also a couple of the contemporary spin-offs). Been looking for something new for a bit...

Back on topic, Ironically, I watched TLJ and then went back to watching Rebels and couldn't help but think during some of the space combat scenes "This is what I wanted from the TFA and TLJ." They end up being much more fun to watch and at least tend to make more sense within the context of the universe.

To be honest, I haven't watched Rebels, but have watched most of Clone Wars, and the space battles weren't too bad (better than in the Disney era movies, if my memory of them remains...(!)) but again, based on spectacle, rather than letting a strategic/operational/tactical puzzle resolve itself (characters' interaction with this), but the issue (again) is that virtually every (notable) battle in fictional settings, Star Wars being a somewhat large offender, is either stratagem based or brainless attrition based, not tactics based. However, here, too, I'm inclined to be lenient since producers of media =/= military theorists (or similar). Anyway, silly de-rail is silly... my bad... -_-

Having only watched a handful of episodes I can't speak as a defender of the show's overall quality, but consider the context for the space battles in the two series'.

Clone Wars' big space battles were massive because they could be, both in-universe and out. It's two enormous galactic governments, both of them with thousands of planets' worth of income to invest in a galactic military, and Clone Wars always had a higher budget.

The Rebels, conversely, are exactly that. It's a smaller scale. They're generally limited to a handful of ragtag ships, only engaging when they can win and running whenever the big Imperial destroyers show up. The battles are often centered entirely around the Ghost because that's where the majority of the protagonists are stationed, just like it would be in any series where the Millenium Falcon was present for a battle. Sort of like Star Trek in that it's more focused on the crew of a single ship during its missions, but when it's more than just Ghost versus TIE Fighters they usually give more detail and history to the ships and fighters involved, as opposed to the masses of copy-pasted models in CW.

Both approaches have merit and both fit their context. The problem I find is that no space battle will ever surpass the battle of Endor, and after the initial 'whoaaaa this is awesome' rush wears off there's not much to appreciate outside the pretty lights of lasers and explosions. Not really a good setting to develop characters unless a rookie pilot is learning the ropes and getting his or her first kill. Professional pilots don't bring their personalities across much in a battle. They get the job done. In that Clone Wars clip, the huge space battle is merely being used as a scene setter, to allow the Confederacy a way to infiltrate Kamino where the real episode's story begins.

Thinking on this more, I'd love to see a CGI depiction of the battle of Nar Shaddaa in the Han Solo trilogy of Legends. Every smuggler ship involved had its own hilariously weird names, junky models, color schemes and eccentric pilots who while being amazing aces on their own, are completely unused to working together as part of a larger fighting force. Their lack of coordination causes nearly all of them to die fighting against a small Imperial fleet.

The Thrawn parts of the movie were what made it good. I also loved the Tie Defenders.

WhiteFangofWhoa:
Thinking on this more, I'd love to see a CGI depiction of the battle of Nar Shaddaa in the Han Solo trilogy of Legends. Every smuggler ship involved had its own hilariously weird names, junky models, color schemes and eccentric pilots who while being amazing aces on their own, are completely unused to working together as part of a larger fighting force. Their lack of coordination causes nearly all of them to die fighting against a small Imperial fleet.

That sounds amazing, holy shit!

As for the rest, yeah, I acknowledge that it's probably a tonal difference. But even then, I dunno, the battles look so cheap and poorly made. It's like the animators don't know how to make anything look like they're doing more than a 5mph space drift at times, ya know?

It's kind of funny to hear Star Wars fans complain about the physics of space when literally nothing else about space in Star Wars obeys the same laws of physics. It's also funny to here how the new space battles are poorly done when the "best" Star Wars movies have the same shot of TIE fighters repeat over and over, and are sparsely populated at best. Looks like 6 fighters take down the Death Star and just as many TIE fighters defended it.

irishda:
It's kind of funny to hear Star Wars fans complain about the physics of space when literally nothing else about space in Star Wars obeys the same laws of physics. It's also funny to here how the new space battles are poorly done when the "best" Star Wars movies have the same shot of TIE fighters repeat over and over, and are sparsely populated at best. Looks like 6 fighters take down the Death Star and just as many TIE fighters defended it.

Back under your bridge mate, you'll find no scraps of food here.

 

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