Star Wars: Rebels is back with a second season release, and it's an essential purchase for even the most casual Star Wars fan.

The Star Wars universe has morphed into far more than the movies over the years, and it can be difficult to keep up with it all between the comics, novels, video games and more. One of the most essential and enjoyable expansions has been the animated series. Starting with the six season The Clone Wars, the animation team has been crafting excellent stories that fill in gaps in the narrative as well as introduce us to new characters, one of whom will even make his way to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story this December.

With the ending of The Clone Wars, a new animated series was launched called Star Wars Rebels which takes place approximately 10 years after Revenge of the Sith and before A New Hope. The series tells the stories of the crew of the Ghost and a fledgling Rebellion that is growing to fight back the Galactic Empire. Not only do we have a whole new cast of characters to come to enjoy, but we're also treated to appearances from Clone Wars characters such as Rex and fan-favorite Ahsoka Tano. The films are not ignored, however, as Vader makes his presence known from time to time, especially in the second season.

Star Wars Rebels season 2 was called The Empire Strikes Back of the series by Executive Producer Dave Filoni, and it's hard to argue with him. The crew of the Ghost is put through the ringer this season and it all culminates in the two-part finale, "Twilight of the Apprentice." We don't want to spoil it here if you haven't seen it yet, trust us that it is as good as any climatic moment you've seen in the films.

The series itself is fantastic fun and a great expansion to the world of Star Wars, but the bonus features of the season set leave a bit to be desired. Each episode has a "Rebel Recon" addition that will give you behind-the-scenes information on the corresponding episode, but these have been on YouTube since the corresponding episode released. There are only two new bonus features in the form of  "Connecting the Galaxy: Rebels Season Two" which shows you many of the easter eggs of the season, and a brief, but nice feature, that focuses on the history of Ahsoka.

Despite the lackluster bonus features, this is a must-buy for even casual Star Wars fans.  If you've seen the episodes, you could potentially skip it, but if you haven't seen them, then do not hesitate in picking it up and enjoying yet another chapter in the story from a galaxy far, far away.

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