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!
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.
After last time’s flood of news, we get a little bit of a break in this Holonet Blast. Of course, there may be few items, but they are very relevant to our interests.
To start with, in response to a fan’s question, Rian Johnson declared The Last Jedi to be complete.
While we still have a few months to wait before seeing TLJ, we have less than a month before the premier Rebels‘ final season on October 16. The season 4 viewing schedule up until the holiday break is live and why must this show end????
Speaking of premiers, the new series ‘Science and Star Wars’ debuted this past Tuesday. The 10-episode series “will explore just how close we’ve come to realizing that technology, and take a look at the relationship between real-world science and Star Wars technology.” The first episode took on lightsabers and new episodes will air Tuesdays at 12:00 p.m. PT (3:00 p.m. ET). Star Wars is good. Science is good. Combining the two is good.
That’s it for this blast, except, of course, for me yelling about how by the time you read this a new Star Trek series will have aired its first episode holy Waru this is amazing! (Editor’s Note: We’ll allow the reference to that other Star Thing just this once.)
Ever so foolishly, we took last week off because it was Labor Day weekend and it was Force Friday II and what could possibly happen while we were all supposed to be busy reading our new books and playing with our new toys? Oh what sweet summer children we were… Things happened. Oh dear did things happen.
Colin Trevorrow is no longer directing Episode IX and honestly, not many people are wiping away tears of sorrow. Moral of the story: do not mess with Kathleen Kennedy.
Disney’s being the worst and putting their Marvel and Star Wars films on their exclusive streaming service which is fine and whatever because that’s why I own DVDs.
Paul Bettany is apparently in the Han Solo film though according to Ron Howard’s Twitter. I don’t have anything snarky here.
In ‘things you can get’ news, there will be a very pretty convention exclusive edition of From A Certain Point of View available at NYCC that will come presigned by some of the authors. The soundtrack for The Last Jedi will be out on December 15th and there will probably be a track titled “Luke’s Noble End” on it. (Sorry, Nanci. I’ll start running now.)
To round out the week on a high note, go watch the new Star Wars Rebels Season 4 trailer again and sob over the Space Married perfection with us. The new season kicks off on October 16th.
“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.
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.
This week it’s a return to Lothal, and yet another return to Ezra, kiddo, why are you like this? All up, An Inside Man is a pretty classic undercover episode with Kanan and Ezra infiltrating an imperial factory on Ezra’s home world with the assistance of Ryder Azadi. Fulcrum has told the Ghost crew there’s a new weapon being developed and it’s up to them to find out more. Unfortunately for Ezra and Kanan, the malfunctions caused by rebel sympathizers at the factory haven’t gone unnoticed, and Thrawn has come to find out why.
Gary Whitta is, without a doubt, living his best life. He not only wrote the forthcoming Rogue One but now he’s also responsible for two episodes of Star Wars Rebels this season. Add all of that to how his episodes have featured Wedge Antilles AND Hondo Ohnaka and…well… Four for you Gary Whitta! You go, Gary Whitta!
The Wynkahthu Job starts as most Hondo episodes do: he has a job for the crew of the Ghost. It’s a job with the potential to leave him rich and the Rebellion with a lot of bombs. The only catch is that they’re also going to have to work with Azmorigan. (Yeah you remember: the squat red alien who tried to buy Hera.) Needless to say, Hera’s not pleased by this turn of events (which Ezra was aware of) and, for some reason, doesn’t immediately go get another tray but instead puts Zeb in charge of the mission. It’s not surprising that Ezra’s not happy and that the mission goes far less smoother than expected. This is Star Wars after all. Continue reading
Fenn Rau returns, we learn a little more about what’s happened on Mandalore since the Empire took over, and Sabine finally gets a jetpack. “Imperial Supercommandos” serves not only as a sequel to season 2’s “The Protector of Concord Dawn,” but doles out a little more insight into Sabine’s backstory.