Rebels Review: Rise of the Old Masters

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What did you think of the Plot?
Oky: This plot was definitely one of the better ones we’ve seen so far. While it didn’t have directly to do with the rebels’ fight against the Empire’s oppression, rescuing and having a Jedi master on their side surely would have been beneficial, and not just for Ezra’s training, so their actions actually seemed justified for once. The plot was kind of basic as it was just one big rescue mission, but at least there weren’t any plot holes as far as I could tell. There were also some nice bits of continuity again, like when they watched a biased news report about Zeb and Ezra’s actions from the previous episode, although I would have liked to see bigger consequences from all the foolish things they did.
BEAVeR: This was the first episode I really enjoyed on multiple levels. There’s the training of Ezra, that is both familiar and awkwardly new, there’s the new and interesting villain, there’s flashing action, good humor and a nice story line. Everything I could possibly wish for? Not quite. Because all in all, the story didn’t feel original. It was very familiar to the Clone Wars episode ‘the Citadel’, but only less intricate. The main plot seemed a bit like a simplified version of that episode. And the concept of setting a trap is of course very familiar in Star Wars… So overall the story isn’t really groundbreaking, but it’s very well executed, and that fills me with a lot of hope towards the following episodes. I daresay that the story of this episode packed some original Star Wars feeling with just the right kind of action.

What are your thoughts on the Characters?
Oky: I was a bit disappointed that we didn’t actually get to see Luminara in this episode, although in hindsight I should have seen that coming. This episode had the debut of the Inquisitor who I liked. He seems to be the calm and calculating type of villain with some formidable fighting skills. He seemed very self-confident, although he was about as incompetent as the rest of the empire, seeing as he was in control of an entire high-security prison full of stormtroopers and still managed to let all the rebels get away. There was also some nice character development for Kanan as he dealt with his worries of not being a good teacher. And honestly, he really isn’t since all he does is repeat stuff Yoda and Obi-Wan said and make Ezra do ridiculous things like training on top of a flying ship. Could this be because he never finished his Jedi training due to Order 66? Perhaps they will delve into this more in the future.
BEAVeR: I found the training of Ezra to be quite interesting. In the beginning, it definitely felt a bit forced, with that balancing on the ship and just asking for problems, but it’s very interesting when you see it in context. There really was a nice arc for Kanan here. How he is sticking a bit too much to the letter of the jedi of old, but learns to give it its own meaning. We also get to see how hard it is to train, and how awesome that makes master Yoda. It’s good to see some ‘every teacher is still an apprentice’ thought in this episode.
The Inquisitor quite surprised me, in a good way. He’s a formidable fighter, and luckily not a cartoonish villain like Grievous almost always was. His deep knowledge of the jedi ways gives him something really menacing. But then again, you see his faults, but it doesn’t make him less serious. I really enjoyed seeing how his over confidence is his biggest enemy. Things like calmly walking to a closing door, but having to run in the end to make it, or setting up a trap but relying too much on his own skill… they are subtle hints to the faults of the Dark Side and I hope we get to see more of it. This Inquisitor really is one of the best Star Wars villains in quite a long while.

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What is your opinion of the vehicles and locations?
Posted ImageOky: Is it just me or does all the tech in this show seem to be based on toys? The ITT and TIE Fighter in the last episode were inspired by Kenner toys, Ezra’s signature weapon is a slingshot, and now we have the Incquisitor’s lightsaber which is obviously based on those spinning Darth Maul/General Grievous roleplay lightsabers. And the Phantom, which makes its debut in this episode as well, seemed about as gimmicky as on the Lego model. Not sure I like this trend, but it will certainly make merchandizing for this show very easy.
The Spire was an interesting enough location, but again, for being such an allegedly high-security prison, it seemed far too easy how the rebels went in and out of it without a scratch.
Posted ImageBEAVeR: The weak point in this episode perhaps is the lack of new and interesting ships and scenery. We only got to see the Phantom, which is nice, but feels more like an upgraded background vehicle. The Spire was one of those unoriginal but reasonably executed elements in this episode, with pointless balconies and towers. At least we got to see some Tibidees, a nice addition to the world of Star Wars creatures. The best aspect of the ‘technology’ in this episode was how the lightsabers were handled. We really got back to the class of the fights from the original trilogy, complete with the thin, pointy and buzzing lightsabers. But is was combined with the very dynamic and energetic fury of the prequel trilogy, making for some amazing lightsaber action. My only complaint would be about the Inquisitor’s special lightsaber. It felt too gimmicky to me, and I would have much preferred to have him battle with a normal lightsaber: he doesn’t need any fancy gadgetry in my eyes.

Oky’s Rating: 4/5 – I can see why they chose to screen this episode to the critics rather than, say, Fighter Flight. It’s a solid episode with some good themes and an intimidating villain. The show is finally moving in the right direction, but it’s not quite there yet. I would still like the plot to be a bit more intricate and more relevant to the rebellion in the grand scheme of things. Lets hope they keep it up in the next episode.
BEAVeR’s Rating: 4/5 – This is without a doubt the best Star Wars: Rebels episode yet. It had a nice plot, good character development and some awesome action. But it never became more than ‘good’. It never felt like more than a well executed but unoriginal story. I hope we something new in the future, with the same qualities as this one. Then Rebels can become a really strong and enjoyable show, worthy of the Star Wars universe.

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