What did you think of the Plot?
Oky: Much like The Clone Wars, Rebels started out with a rather childish tone, but has got better later on. Especially the last two episodes were very strong, so I was hoping this show finally got out of that phase, and since this episode starred a beloved character from the OT, what could go wrong? A lot apparently. The episode started out okay with Zeb loosing a game of sabacc against Lando, forcing the crew to help the “entrepreneur” with a smuggling job, but things go downhill from there as our “heroes” stumble from one mess to another, most of which they cause themselves. Seriously, they were more a threat to themselves than the Empire was, who was so incompetent that they only sent a handful of TIE Fighters to apprehend the rebels after they gave away their identity.
BEAVeR: I’m beginning to see some parallels between the second and the first part of this season. Path of the Jedi was quite good, comparable to Spark of Rebellion. And this episode – sadly – reminds a lot of Droids in distress. Just like that episode, everything was about the guest star from the Original Trilogy. Through some unlikely circumstance, the crew has to pull up with said character on an absurd mission, full of poor humor, some deeper elements that totally drown in a lot of nonsense surrounding it, and no new insights in the character whatsoever. The story never feels real because of how stupid everyone seems to be. Yes, I didn’t really like this episode. Luckily the ending was not too bad and Hera finally got some development. I wonder how it would have turned out if the entire episode wasn’t at the service of Lando though…
What are your thoughts on the Characters?
Oky: It was nice to see Billy Dee Williams reprise his role. Lando was just being Lando in this episode. He was more of a scoundrel than he was in RotJ or even in ESB, but that makes sense considering the time period this is set in, and he was still charming enough that you couldn’t get mad at him. Zeb on the other hand is really starting to annoy me. His and Ezra’s shenanigans are getting more and more idiotic, making him the titular idiot of the episode. I was literally facepalming several times throughout the episode at his actions. And since when does he have a gambling problem? That came out of nowhere and just seemed like an excuse to make the rebels help Lando. I did quite like Chopper in this episode though. He was the only one who showed some common sense and competence. I was glad when it turned out that he hung around Lando the whole time not just to spite Zeb, but to steal the fuel from him which proved that he is a worthwhile member of the team. Azmorigan was also a neat new character. You could tell that he was based on McQuarrie’s concept art for Jabba as he was the same type of repulsive crime lord. Hera had a strong moment, too, when she outsmarted him and his crew.
BEAVeR: I have mixed feelings towards what they did to Lando. I don’t really like how he wasn’t as smooth, and quite openly a ‘villain’. But I loved the way he didn’t come over as thinking about others. It makes his becoming a general in Return of the Jedi so much more meaningful. So I quite like how they implied Lando’s arc. But still, when viewing this episode apart from the rest of the universe, he doesn’t really shine, apart from his nice moment at the end. Hera was in fact the crew member that got the most (much needed) development this time. It’s interesting to see how see is, contrary to Lando, responsible, but still thinks like him. However, she is one of those characters without any major flaws. It makes here quite generic and uninteresting. Hey look, she saves herself. And look how much she cares about her crew… and that’s about it. I really hope she gets a proper story in the future. The rest of the crew didn’t strike a good appearance. Sabine was okay, and it was nice that she seemed a bit naive. Kanan didn’t really do anything. Zeb is the worst gambler and doesn’t surprise or entertain anyone by scaring that creature. He makes a fatal duo with Ezra, just two kids… highly unrealistic. It would be interesting if one day Ezra would be more mature than Zeb though. Nonetheless, they were just in this episode in an attempt to lighten it up, which only drew away from the sparse important bits and blocked a possibly better story. Bad guy Azmorigan was another larger than life character, who, despite some nice efforts, couldn’t come over as threatening for once. He was a rehash of Jabba, but only funnier, thus less threatening. Not much to say about him. Finally we had Chopper, whose character was very much alike Artoo’s, with him playing some comedy to get the job done. I might start to like him after all.
What is your opinion of the vehicles and locations?
Oky: Most of the episode takes place once again mostly on Lothal and space, so there wasn’t much new in terms of setting. The only new thing we saw was Azmorigan’s ship, the Merchant One. It’s not a bad looking freighter and reminds me a bit of Lando’s luxury yacht from the EU, the Lady Luck, which may or may not be a coincidence. We also find out why Ezra’s lightsaber looks like a staple gun: it’s because it is a gun, except it shoots lasers instead of staples (as every staple gun should in my opinion). That’s actually pretty clever, combining two weapons into one.
BEAVeR: The Merchant One seems like a version of Jabba’s sail barge, but for space. For a Star Wars space ship, it has some nice shapes, and the containers are nice. The engines don’t quite fit in though. Besides that, we got an explanation for Ezra’s quirky lightsaber design. I like it, as it still symbolizes the quite childish stage Ezra’s in. I also noticed that in the 2015 LEGO set Ezra’s speeder bike, the lightsaber hilt is represented by a binoculars piece, which is very fitting.
Oky’s Rating: 2.5/5 – I really wanted to like this episode because of Lando, but I just couldn’t. Like with Fighter Flight, a painfully high amount of slapstick and a vastly incompetent Empire ruin what could have been a decent episode. The fact that such childish humor was mixed in with more adult themes like gambling and slavery made for a mixed tone which didn’t help. It’s not as bad as Fighter Flight since it did have some good moments in it, but it could have been a lot better.
BEAVeR’s rating: 2.5/5 – I haven’t said much good about this episode, but of course there were some good moments with Lando, Chopper and Hera. If only the show could get rid of the improper and distracting fooling around, wouldn’t be as eager to do cameos without having a good reason for it and would give us some more real threats and situations, it would be very good. The show has proven to be able to do that with a couple of episodes. But not with this one, the Droids in distress of this run. Let’s hope a rehash of Fighter Flight isn’t next.