Season 1 of Star Wars Rebels has come to a close in a spectacular fashion. The three-part arc paid off in a huge way, with the return of some fan favorite characters and setting up high hopes for Season 2. Because it’s the season finale, all three reviewers are getting on the recap fun this week. Our spoiler-filled thoughts under the cut!
Thoughts on the episode!
Bria: Filoni and friends knocked it out of the kriffing park with this one. I’m still shocked they managed to fit so much into a 22 minute episode. Everything about it was well played. I don’t think that the Mustafar reference was really necessary as it didn’t really seem to have any effect on the actual story but that’s so minor that it’s barely worth mentioning and totally counter balanced by the awesome Vader entrance at the end. What really made this episode great were all the bits of continuity throughout the season from the painted TIE Fighter to the arrival of Bail Organa.
Oh yeah. And Ahsoka Tano turning out to be Fulcrum and all grown up was pretty cool too.
Nanci: This episode made me so happy. So, so happy! Really my only complaint is that I was it’d been longer, like “Spark of Rebellion”. And it seemed a bit too convenient for them to take out power to an entire Star Destroyer, but it’s easier to hand-wave those sorts of things in a TV show or movie than in written form. Like Bria, I still don’t understand why they had to take Kanan to Mustafar, other than to tie into the prequels, but perhaps Filoni and Company will be using Mustafar later on in the series. They’ve certainly done a fabulous job with continuity so far, even calling back to Sabine’s character introduction, so I trust them. And I hope we learn why Mustafar is where Jedi go to die — perhaps in a future episode or in the Kanan comic. All in all, the episode was a fabulous end to Season 1 and provides a great jumping off point for Season 2.
Brian: Sweet jumping Force, what an episode! I’m going to overlook the whole not getting why they took Kanan to Mustafar when they never left the Star Destroyer as well. I assume that’ll be a plot point to come back to later. That said, such well choreographed action. Space combat! Hera being awesome! Sabine being awesome! Kanan levels up! AHSOKA RETURNING. This episode was the true bridge between story eras, and it pushed every one of my Star Wars related buttons. Just perfect. It’s been three days and I’m STILL grinning.
What did we love?
Bria: Ha ha ha oh sweet Force that hug between Kanan and Hera once they made it back to the ship just killed my #SpaceMarried loving-heart. HOW PERFECT ARE THEY? Aside from my shipping, the lightsaber duel was really well done. I think it was the perfect level of reminiscent of The Phantom Menace without being too much of a blow-by-blow. I also appreciated that Ezra wasn’t really much of a factor in the duel because he definitely doesn’t have the training yet. Everything about that sequence was just fantastic and it was a Crowning Moment of Awesome for Kanan.
Also Bail Organa and ALDERAAAAAAAAN.
Nanci: The lightsaber fight between Kanan, Ezra, and the Inquisitor could have been really hokey, but it wasn’t. It was great, and I absolutely loved Kanan’s moment of zen and the stupid lightsaber being The Inquisitor’s downfall. But OH MY GOD STOP FIGHTING ON CATWALKS YOU CAN FALL AND DIE. Speaking of dying, I will miss The Inquisitor. Jason Isaacs did such a great job with that role, and can we talk about his creepy last words? That gives me hope this show isn’t going to shy away from showing just how dark the Dark Times really got. I loved that the TIE from “Fighter Flight” actually had a purpose, and the paint job was inspired. The Alderaan cavalry coming to the rescue made me pump my fist in glee, especially with the Battle of Yavin music playing in the background. Seeing Bail Organa again gave me hope that they’ll keep the old formation of the Rebellion story somewhat intact. And Little ‘Soka, oh you’re not so little anymore, are you? I cheered and clapped so loudly when she showed up that I scared my dog.
Brian: Another vote for the lightsaber fight. Beautiful animation and movement. Great character development for Kanan. Ezra taking a bit of a back seat to let Kanan shine was a brilliant touch. And oh boy, the foreshadowing as the Inquisitor falls to his death. And like the others said, the space combat provided by the Alderaanian Cavalry had me bouncing with excitement. Also, did we mention Ahsoka? Because Ahsoka.
What didn’t we like so much?
Bria: This isn’t a quibble with the episode as much as it is with the marketing. I wish they hadn’t announced that we were getting Vader, Bail Organa, and the identity of Fulcrum. Can you imagine how much more impact those final five minutes would’ve had if we had no idea all three of those would show up at some point?
Nanci: Agreed with Bria, I don’t mind if they tease some things. I’m glad they told us we’d find out who Fulcrum was, but I wish they hadn’t mentioned Bail Organa and Vader showing up. It would have made the ending much more powerful. Still, even knowing all those things were about to happen, the execution was spectacular. I already mentioned this, but taking out the Star Destroyer seemed a bit too easy. And I wish it’d been longer, and the whole “where Jedi go to die” reference explained more.
Brian: ARGH KISS ALREADY. Shipper issues aside, I’m also in the less-than-thrilled-with-marketing camp. I wish I could have been blindsided and blown away by Bail showing up. Then Vader walking off the shuttle. It also felt a little rushed at spots, but that’s the peril of a 22-minute show.
What we’re looking forward to in Season 2!
Bria: I hate harping on the same thing but can we just make Space Married unquestionably canon? I’m not asking for a romance– just a functional and healthy relationship between two people in the Star Wars galaxy. I’m really looking forward to finally leaving Lothal and seeing where the Ghost ends up and hopefully more of the fledgling Rebellion. The A-Wings in the concept art looked rad and I’ve heard rumors that we’re getting Hondo soon! I’m also looking forward to seeing how the show ends up using Vader and Ahsoka.
Nanci: I’ll just say “ditto” on all the Space Married stuff and move on to Vader and Ahsoka. Oh, I’m so utterly excited for all the possibilities there. My pipe dream for Vader killing Ahsoka isn’t much of a secret, and I say this as someone who really, really likes Ahsoka. I just really want to see Vader hunting down and destroying the Jedi Knights, okay? The Inquisitor failed in that respect, but Vader’s still alive in the Original Trilogy so we know he doesn’t fail at what he does. Or at least we can assume he doesn’t. Anyway, it’s great to see Ahsoka alive and well and A LEADER OF THE PROTO-REBELLION. SUCK IT, HATERS! I’m super glad to see Bail involved, too, and hope we get to see other Rebel leaders like Mon Mothma and Admiral Ackbar — and my EU-loving heart will cling to the hope of seeing Garm bel Iblis until the final episode of Rebels airs. Another thing I’m hoping is to learn more about Hera, Sabine, and Zeb’s backstory. I won’t even bother talking about the pilots shown in the Season 2 concept art because I’m sure Brian will say everything I want to. To sum up, I cannot wait for Season 2. Rebels is now undeniably my favorite show on TV.
Brian: Thirding just making Space Married official because there’s power in showing a functional and healthy relationship in a universe that’s been sorely lacking that sort of thing. Apart from that, my hopes are high for starfighter pilot awesomeness. I’d love to see more space combat, especially space combat taking the form of starfighter dogfights. Getting off Lothal would be nice so we can see a bit more of the Outer Rim. Also agreed with Nanci, seeing some other big Rebellion figures show up would be cool. Apart from that, just keep on making the most compelling Star Wars content we’ve seen in almost a decade.