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.
Where as Heroes of Mandalore felt like one cohesive story throughout the entire hour, In the Name of the Rebellion’s two halves feel like distinct, complimentary stories. Together? They’re rather excellent although the second half felt stronger than the first half. It’s also incredibly impressive how much this episode does to make the universe feel so cohesive. Most of the elements had been introduced in the show before but there’s something about watching Mon Mothma lead a war council on Yavin 4 and then argue with Saw Gerrera about the right way to win that war that makes you start and go ‘Scarif is coming.’ (And if you didn’t feel a little thrill as they flew into Yavin 4 for the first time, you might be slightly dead inside.)
The argument between Saw and Mon is, without a doubt, one of the highlights of the episode. I didn’t go back and listen to the dialogue again but it feels like a call back to their storylines within Rogue One. (Or would the correct term be call forward…?) Throughout their verbal sparring match, I kept hearing Saw’s line from the trailer in my mind: “if you continue to fight, what will you become?” I may not be a fan of Saw but I love what he brings to the story almost as much as I love this Mon Mothma Renaissance we’re in.
Perhaps the coolest thing about the episode was something relatively small but also something that Rebels should have done ages ago. The Deathtrooper featured in the second half of the episode, aka Commander DT-F16, was a woman and voiced by Star Wars veteran Jennifer Hale. This was not only a very pleasant surprise but an incredibly welcome one especially since Rebels hasn’t had a great track record with female diversity in the Empire. It’s something that I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing more of in the future.
A few assorted thoughts:
- Seeing the Ghost family all together feels like a bit of a tease
- The prisoners brought a great note of levity to the episode
- It’s very rich of Kallus to take the moral high ground with Saw
- Does Mon Mothma know about how Draven runs his Intelligence agents?
- Hera is the best Squadron Mom
In the Name of the Rebellion is one of those solidly enjoyable episodes that reminds us that it’s one big story but doesn’t sacrifice its characters along the way. It may be an episode that spotlights Saw but it’s still an excellent one for both Ezra and Sabine.