What did you think of the Plot?
Oky: I think I must apologize for calling the previous episode a filler. That episode is The Empire Strikes Back compared to this one. This plot was just silly. To quote one of the stormtroopers: “You did all this for fruit?!” The entire episode is dedicated to Zeb and Ezra hunting a fruit that they didn’t even need to get and being as reckless as possible in the process. Hera was clearly just messing with them and they had nothing to prove to her, so why did they risk their lives to get it? Sure, they ended up freeing some prisoners as well, but that just seemed like an unimportant side mission that they did in addition to retrieving the fruit. They never even explained why the Empire wanted that farm so badly. If the episode would have focused more on the farmers being forced off their land, this could have been a decent episode, but instead it was just silly and pointless. However, I did like how the episode picked up right where the last one left off, with the team having to buy the food that they got the money for in the previous episode. That type of continuity was sorely lacking in The Clone Wars.
BEAVeR: Still not the plot I’m looking for… Again, I found some greater purpose a bit lacking. But this time, the episode didn’t pretend there was one. It was clearly just meant to be a fun episode about Zeb and Ezra, and it’s just thatI have to admit I found certain action scenes quite amusing. But still, that isn’t what I look for in this show. I liked the idea of the relationship between Zeb and Ezra, but it could have been portrayed so much more subtle and powerful. Everything from their initial hatred to there becoming friends was just a caricature. The minor arc with the farmer gave this episode a little bit of weight (and had some nice visual parallels with A New Hope). But when we get to see the childlike use of the Force by Ezra, all that was built up gets lost. So I think the show should decide more for itself whether it wants to bring comedy or story in an episode, if they cannot succeed in making them work together.
Doc: The plot was meaningless. We’ve been given no reason to care about the characters and no context (within the show itself) to enable us to care about the galactic political situation, so we really need some episode plots that mean something in the grand scheme of things. There’s a line between “recognizing the fact that the galaxy is big and not everything is connected to the OT plot points” and “making the events so commonplace that they’re boring and irrelevant”. These guys went to steal luxury fruit. Not food to survive, not supplies for their ship, not weapons for the budding rebellion. Luxury fruit. From an Empire that’s supposed to be oppressive but can’t hit the broad side of a barn, and puts its prisoners on the outside of its transports, confined only by chest high doors that can be opened with a the push of an unsecured button, and has done nothing to be any more frightening than a kindergarten bully in any of these episodes.
What are your thoughts on the Characters?
Oky: All the rebels acted like little children in this episode. Ezra, Zeb, and Chopper’s bickering was cartoonish and childish, Sabine kept drawing on the walls, and Hera sending the two boys on a wild goose chase wasn’t exactly mature either. The only one who acted somewhat reasonable was Kanan since all he did was complain about how reckless the two were being, and rightfully so. I guess this episode was meant to give Ezra and Zeb some bonding time, but the episode never slows down for them to ever have a good moment together. One character I liked was the Imperial officer, Yogar Lyste. He was pretty much what you expect an Imperial officer to be like.
BEAVeR: There were certain aspects of the characters in the main story I enjoyed. The way Zeb is ashamed that Ezra saved his life really gives some cultural background to him. But again, that nice serious tone is lost when we see how he tries to get rid of his life debt. And Ezra comes over as an arrogant kid, with his constantly teasing Zeb with it. When we see that behavior, how are we supposed to care about him? How are we supposed to be dismayed with his abuse by Chopper? That droid is getting less and less content as the show continues, as we see no reason whatsoever why he still is on the ship. I actually liked the way Sabine reacted to Ezra, and it makes her a strong and good character. All cliches aside, I actually liked the conclusion of the friendship between Zeb and Ezra, with the ‘mystery’ of what they did with the TIE. The Imperials were only so-so in this episode. The troopers aren’t threatening, but the very business like way in which they clear the farm is rather chilling, and is perfectly in sync with episode IV’s tone. Now if only the normal troopers could get more competent, that would be great.
Doc: I guess the main thing I take away from the episode is that Rebels is trying to develop its characters with some conflict between the good guys. And they kind of have to do that now, since they introduced all the characters in one episode, not building up to any introductions nor leaving any time to flesh out any characters’ backstories. But this feud between Zeb and Ezra isn’t a meaningful conflict. It’s not a clash of ideologies; it’s just a childish grudge. Add in the way they’re dealing with Ezra’s attraction to Sabine, and Ezra’s ended up on about the same level of maturity and likability as Whiny Anakin after three episodes.
What is your opinion of the vehicles and locations?
Oky: The fact that the entire episode took place on Lothal was both boring and nonsensical. The rebels just escaped from there in the last episode, so wouldn’t it be dangerous to return there so soon? Couldn’t they have gotten their food and fuel anywhere else? The only thing that was new here was the Imperial Troop Transport which originated as a Kenner toy and will also be released as a Lego set next year. It’s not the most interesting vehicle and works better as a toy than an actual prisoner transport (seriously, those prisoners could have saved themselves by just reaching over those doors and pressing the button to open them themselves), but I didn’t mind it.
BEAVeR: The Imperial Troop Transport is a nice military vehicle, but I hoped they had changed the way it works. The troopers/prisoners being on the outside doesn’t make a lot of sense, making them very vulnerable when there’s a perfectly armored vehicle… So I hope that we keep seeing those nice vehicles, but that the designers don’t just copy-paste them. I’d really like to see some more thought put into the designs (and plot). It was great to see that TIE though. While I’m not a big fan of the smaller wings, it is a reference to the original concept art, and it might fit better in the time period. I also loved all the closeups of the interior of the cockpit, as we haven’t seen a lot of that yet, and I have to say I wasn’t disappointed. It’s good to see that not only the outside matters here.
Oky’s Rating: 2/5 – It was more watchable than some TCW episodes and I did like the B-plot about the farmers, so I can’t give it a lower rating, but this was definitely not what I want to see on this show. I guess it was supposed to be lighthearted and fun, but it just came across as absurd, childish, and pointless. It was just one ridiculous action scene after another. The next episode will feature Luminara and the Inquisitor, so hopefully they will bring a more serious tone to this show.
BEAVeR’s rating: 2/5 – Each episode has had some great elements, but the faults are numerous as well. Here, we had some occasionally strong character development, and some occasionally threatening Imperials. As I said, the show should stop to please everyone at once and make more consistent episodes, whether they’re serious or funny. I hope only these first few episodes lack direction and a greater story, but I have my hopes up for the next episode!
Doc’s Rating: 1/5 – It was just too childishly bad.