This week’s episode of Star Wars Rebels fulfilled a lot of fan wishes while marking the end of the first half of the fourth and last season of the show. It seems odd that we’re already at the mid-season hiatus when the show has only been back for four weeks and seven episodes total. While it’s nice to have episodes air back to back, it feels like this season is barreling to a close and I’m not sure how exactly everything is going to be able to tie up by the end of the season. Regardless of those concerns, this episode of Rebels did a lot of things well and only missed the mark for me a few times. It’s without a doubt my favorite episode of the season so far, and one of my top favorites overall. More spoilery thoughts after the cut!
I own it. The Force mysticism threads that run through Rebels just don’t work for me.
When this series began, I was hopeful we’d be seeing more of the Rebel cells and grassroots resistance of the to the Empire. To be certain we’ve got that in chunks here and there, but so often this show just gets bogged down by asking questions about the Force that likely will never get answers. That’s certainly fine, but it worked better in The Clone Wars than it does in Rebels. At the very least, it worked better in the first couple seasons of Rebels than it works now. We came into season four with a setup that it’s finally time to see the Rebellion mustering. Every now and then we start getting glimpses that we’re going to finally see more of the early Rebel Alliance.
But then we get derailed to go on another trail to Mortis-up the Force again. What does any of this mean? Who knows, but here are some nifty visuals.
The past two episodes of Star Wars Rebels marked a departure from the previous two episodes. First, unlike “Heroes of Mandalore” and “In the Name of the Rebellion,” we saw a return to the half-hour episode format. Second, the Ghost crew returns to Lothal for the first time since last season’s “An Inside Man.” Much has changed on Lothal during the Imperial occupation, and Mon Mothma has finally granted Ezra the mission he craves: to save his homeworld.
In its final season, Star Wars Rebels is clearly not messing around and follows up its double sized premiere with another hour-long episode. This week, the crew of the Ghost encounters Saw Gerrera again and his very not-Mothma-approved rebellious ways. They’re sent on a mission to repurpose a communications satellite that goes sideways very quickly and takes Ezra and Sabine on an adventure they definitely didn’t expect. Continue reading
Breathe… just breathe. It’s the premiere of Heroes of Mandalore, the first episode of the final season of Star Wars Rebels. We’re not ready to say goodbye to this show but we sure are excited to start watching this season. In typical Rebels fashion… boy were there feelings.
Spoilers after the jump.
What happens when three Tosche Station staffers get together virtually to watch the Season 3 finale of Rebels? We do a live (written commentary), of course! Did we like it? Did we throw anything at the screen? Did we finally get another Space Married moment? Hit the break to find out!
THIS IS YOUR FIRST AND ONLY SPOILER WARNING.
“Twin Suns” featured the long-awaited rematch between Obi-Wan Kenobi, now a hermit on Tatooine, and Maul, once a Sith, now a wanderer bent on getting his revenge. Ezra is also along for (most of) the ride, because this is Rebels so of course he is. Whether or not this episode lived up to the hype will depend on your certain point of view. As for me? Well, I was…whelmed.
A Chopper and AP-5 buddy cop caper featuring bonus Josh Gad certainly doesn’t sound like it has the makings of a classic Rebels episode on the surface, but goodness me, was this a delight. To the jump!
Mon Mothma seems to be everywhere these days: Empire’s End, Rogue One, and now an episode of Rebels. She is the heart of the Rebellion, and her appearance in “Secret Cargo” marks a huge step forward for the burgeoning Rebellion we’ve watched flourish these past seasons.
Rebels seems to finally be getting serious about bringing the story together since Sabine gained the darksaber, and “Secret Cargo” doesn’t stray from the trend. Not only does this episode advance the story of the Rebellion, it also displays the strong bonds between Ezra and Hera, and how much Hera has taught Ezra over the course of the show.
Thrawn, as always, makes a daunting villain. His theme is one of the strongest parts of the score, and it builds an entirely ominous atmosphere around the Admiral as he goes head-to-head with Hera’s smarts. Without such a strong character in Thrawn’s place, this episode—and others—wouldn’t have half as much of the good tension they have. He is almost always one step ahead of the Ghost crew. Even when they win, it never really feels like Thrawn has lost.
Mon Mothma is very Mon Mothma, as she always is. It’s easy to see the woman in this episode become the woman in Rogue One in the not-too-distant future. Her interactions with Hera are an interesting look into both their characters as they’re contrasted against each other. The pilot and the politician, both with the same ideals, but having taken very different paths in life. It’s nice to see two woman have a conversation which says so much about each of them, and about the Rebellion they’ve both had a hand in creating.
There are some gorgeous shot compositions in this episode, and it’s refreshing to be reminded that the art direction in Rebels can end up with such nice looking episodes. I feel that lately there’s been a lack of good looking scenes in Rebels, but “Secret Cargo” more than makes up for it. This episode is good a reminder that Star Wars can be beautiful, since so many of the other episodes seem to be obsessed with showing us how grey and dull the universe is.
All up, “Secret Cargo” is a good, solid episode that tells the story it wants to tell. It’s quick, filled with spaceship-on-spaceship action and broken up with brief moments of strong characterization. I just wish the side pilots didn’t always feel so disposable.
When I saw the teaser for “Through Imperial Eyes,” featuring the POV shot of Agent Kallus waking up, I was momentarily thrilled. Was Rebels going to do an entire episode from Kallus’ point of view? Would they be so bold?
Then I remembered that (a) this is a kid’s show, and (b) TV shows of any stripe tend not to get experimental until their 6th or 7th seasons and they’re hurting for ideas (see: the one-shot experiment in The X-Files’ 6th season episode “Triangle,” or the live episode in The West Wing’s 7th season). And indeed, the shot in the teaser was the only POV shot in the entire episode.