I was lucky enough to get my hands on a Zeb based Star Wars Rebels book. This book is intended for the younger crowd and may not necessarily be the average adult Star Wars fan’s cup of tea. Star Wars Rebels: Zeb to the Rescue is from the “World of Reading Level 1” series of books from Disney publishing. The book is designed for early readers and is paced for the early reader. For those of you dying to know what happens in the earlier parts of the first season of Star Wars Rebels, Zeb to the Rescue has a lot to offer you.
The cool thing about Zeb to the Rescue is it isn’t based on the first two episode we will be seeing on the Disney Channel, but rather an episode taking place after the Simon Kinberg episodes of Star Wars Rebels. The book is adapted by Michael Siglain but is based on the episode “Entanglement” by Henry Gilroy and Simon Kinberg.
The story takes place on Lothal, as much of Star Wars Rebels does. Zeb is on a mission and is supposed to be picked up by the starship Ghost. He takes a wrong turn and ends up in an alley where he sees some Stormtroopers bullying the locals and stealing from them. If there is one thing Zeb loves doing, it is beating up Stormtroopers. The little Ugnaught and his R2 unit are temporarily saved but more Stormtroopers keep arriving and of course, Zeb keeps dispatching them with his brute strength. He uses his fist and his bo-rifle to take on trooper after trooper. Meanwhile Kanan is trying to pick up Zeb at the rendezvous point agreed upon, it isn’t until a TIE-fighter explodes Kanan knows right where Zeb is. By the end of the story the Ugnaught attempts to pay Zeb, but he takes a piece of fruit instead.
The book has a nice little arc. It is full of violence, but the fighting is about fighting for what is right. Zeb doesn’t take money, he takes a piece of fruit, because he doesn’t want to insult the Ugnaught and he doesn’t need a reward to do what is right. He stands up to bullies and saves the day as a hero. It is a great mico-tale for a child that is both enthralling and morally driven at the same time.
For older fans, the cool thing is the pictures. There are about 23 photos of character models from the show or actual screenshots from the episode itself. We’ve seen the Ugnaught in the trailers, but I have to say, seeing Ralph McQuarrie’s design for a Wookiee used for Zeb, saving an Ugnaught with an R2 unit hits the right buttons for me as a Star Wars fan. Most importantly, the simplistic book manages to capture Zeb’s character really well and maintains the spirit of the character’s humor.
For the parents out there, if you have a child learning to read this is a good book that will entertain the Star Wars fan in you while helping you further your child’s education. The book is much more entertaining than a “see spot run” type of book most pre-K to first grade children read. I read the book to my very young child and he enjoyed the pictures and I enjoyed the story.