What did you think of the Plot?
Oky: After a one and a half months long winter break, Rebels is back with new episodes. The last one they left off on was quite good and showed promise for episodes to come. Did the first episode of the second half of this season meet our expectations? Well, sort of. This episode was just the same old story about a padawan facing his inner demons to determine if he is worthy to become a Jedi or not, just like we have seen Luke, Anakin, and so many other Jedi do before. There wasn’t really much of a plot, but that’s okay since it was a very character-centric episode.
BEAVeR: I expected this episode to be quite a step down from the quality of the mid-season finale. But while this wasn’t the best episode, it was really interesting at several points. Yes, we’ve seen this rite of passage a couple of times before, but it gives us something familiar. So we got familiarity instead of creativity for the main plot. There were some strong points however. I loved how Ezra meeting the Inquisitor very much reminded of Luke facing Vader in the cave, but took a very different turn from there, with Ezra being utterly incompetent to defeat him. It says a lot about Ezra’s more hesitant nature towards the Force. The scene in the Ghost started out pretty meh, but was set up well enough for us to begin to doubt the crew just that little bit. And again, the Inquisitor’s ‘interference’, echoing the destruction of Lars’ homestead, made us feel that we still care about the characters, no matter our doubts. And when Ezra finally accepts his fears, the Inquisitor can’t harm him anymore. This gave some very interesting insights into what happened when Obi-Wan was slain by Vader. So overall, this episode is most about drawing parallels to tell a new story. And while it isn’t something entirely new, it definitely is quite interesting.
What are your thoughts on the Characters?
Oky: This episode nicely continues Ezra’s arc from the previous two of facing his fears. He sees not one, but three different visions with a common theme. They are a bit more blatant in their message than, say, Luke’s, but they are also much darker as Ezra sees everyone of his new family die before him. I wouldn’t have expected a Disney show to go this far. It shows us that Ezra’s greatest fear is being alone again. Then he gets contacted by Yoda through the Force in a similar way that Qui-Gon talked to Yoda in the final episodes of TCW. It was nice that he had the more raspy voice that he had in ESB and RotJ. It’s one of the more subtle things in this show that make it feel more connected to the OT than anything else. We also get some hints about Kanan’s past and we see him admit his uncertainty about his abilities as a teacher to Yoda. The only thing that bothers me about this is that if Yoda knew about Kanan and Ezra when he said that Luke and Leia are their only hope, that means that Kanan and Ezra must have died by the events of the OT.
BEAVeR: I quite like how the show is going slowly but thoroughly on the character development. This is already the third episode talking just about Ezra’s fear. At this rate, we’ll learn a lot about the Jedi ways! I do hope things will get more personal though, because sometimes Ezra just seems like the vessels for these philosophical thoughts about the Force. So it would be great if the show showed us more of Ezra as a character, with all these ideas in mind. I enjoyed how this episode was about Kanan as well. I kind of liked what they did with those deceased masters there, as it is self-criticizing. The Force is about letting go, and that is what these masters couldn’t. There are a lot of interpretations to this thought-provoking image, only helped by Kanan beginning to question Ezra and himself. So it’s great to have Yoda talking to him and Ezra at the same time. They’re both still learning. I have mixed feelings about Yoda’s interference though. He says some nice things, but his presence seems somewhat unnatural. It doesn’t seem to fit with his self imposed ‘banishment’, and it lowers the fact that Luke ultimately also redeems Master Yoda himself a bit by making him care again. It was great to hear Frank Oz voicing Yoda again though.
What is your opinion of the vehicles and locations?
Oky: I had a few issues with the setting. At the beginning of the episode, Kanan tells Ezra to let the Force guide him to a Jedi temple, and the temple it leads him to is – where else – on Lothal. I suppose it’s nice that they wanted to do something different by not having Kanan take him to Dagobah, but I don’t get why everything has to happen on this one planet, especially since Ezra talks to Yoda at the end. The temple itself wasn’t that interesting either since it was just a bunch of corridors underneath a huge rock. It makes sense for a secret Jedi temple to be hidden like this since only force users can lift the rock and enter it, but I guess they’re lucky that apparently no imperials were around for miles as I’m pretty sure they would have noticed a mountain moving. Also, there are corpses of Jedi who apparently died waiting for their padawans. What the heck? I thought Kanan was joking when he said that, but apparently he was serious. This baffles me.
We didn’t see any new vehicles, but they did introduce a new
cool thing to make into a toy piece of technology, Ezra’s weird staple gun lightsaber. My reaction to it was similar to Kanan’s; it’s very unconventional, but not the worst lightsaber I’ve seen.
BEAVeR: It was great to see yet another side of Lothal, as in the Star Wars universe it always seems that planets are so homogenous. It definitely felt like Lothal, but the ice and the aurora borealis gave it a more mystical look. Still, there might have been better locations for a temple. The flying rock is over the top though. It isn’t just highly impractical or totally not covert, but lifting such a big rock seems so easy for two rather inexperienced Force users compared to the trouble Luke had to go through just to move his X-wing a bit. I would have liked something more sublte, perhaps the wall crumbling and closing again, much like the ice in the Clone Wars episode. It’s good they tried something new though. Same goes for Ezra’s lightsaber. Highly impractical (how are you supposed to handle it firmly with two hands?), but it has character without going over the top.
Oky’s Rating: 4/5 – This was a decent episode with a serious and dark tone which continues to develop Ezra’s (and to a smaller extent Kanan’s) character. It’s a basic story which we have seen before, but it was executed fairly well. I am curious to see where they will take the story next.
BEAVeR’s Rating: 4/5 – The episode had two things: well executed, but not very original elements, and quite original, but poorly executed elements. It gave some refreshing insights in what we’ve seen in the Star Wars universe so far, but it didn’t really add something interesting. It’s definitely a good TV-show, but not an excellent Star Wars story yet. I guess it’s waiting for the next masterpiece in one of the following episodes…