Mise-en-Wren: Garel and Takobo City
Updated: Feb 26, 2021
Mise-en-scène (French: [miz. ɑ̃. sɛn]; "placing on stage") is the stage design and arrangement of actors in scenes for a theatre or film production, both in visual arts through storyboarding, visual theme, and cinematography, and in narrative storytelling through direction.
This week, we’ll be looking at two more locations of Star Wars Rebels- Garel, which is primarily featured in several episodes across seasons 1 and 2, and Takobo from season 2’s episode “The Future of the Force.” Much of the time we spend on both planets is primarily in their cities, so that’s where we’ll be focusing on this week.
One of the things I love about Garel that made it so memorable as a location to me was the color. Garel tends to have a purple-tinted sky when we see it, and the lights of the buildings contrast that with orange. It’s something I think is so beautiful, especially since purple and orange are two of my favorite colors. I think these colors also tend to create really beautiful backdrops for our vibrantly colored cast of main characters.
Another thing I enjoy about Garel is the round architecture. It’s fairly well-known that harsh, angular shapes tend to be seen as more threatening, so Garel being a safer place for the Rebels, it makes sense that the architecture is more rounded with softer lines. We can especially see this contrast when Star Destroyers descend over the city, unfortunately destroying much of it.
Garel still is a beautiful planet that is the setting for many great episodes, and the shape of the city and color of the sky have always made it a memorable planet for me.
Takobo City is the setting of “The Future of the Force,” where Kanan, Ezra, Zeb and Ahsoka are trying to protect some force sensitive babies from being kidnapped by the Fifth Brother and Seventh Sister. When we first see this skyline of Takobo City- I think it’s absolutely gorgeous. It’s evocative to Russian architecture for me, personally- though I can’t say I know enough about Russian history to argue whether or not there’s a significance to that.
But once we get within the city, we can get a much better understanding of the feel of Takobo City.
It’s a little later in the image above, so the sky is darker, and we’re able to see many large lanterns hanging between the buildings to illuminate the streets. Something I liked about Takobo City in this episode was how down-to-earth it felt. It still definitely has elements that makes it look very “sci-fi,” but it also seems familiar, like I could realistically find myself in a city like it. And that’s something I really like- as much fun as cool, exotic locations can be in Star Wars, there’s something really charming about locations that we can relate more to our own lives, even in a more roundabout way.
Next week, we’ll be moving to another season 2 location- Concord Dawn.