What did you think of the Plot?
Oky: There was a lot of hype for this finale. From the drastically improved quality of the past two episodes to the impressive looking trailer, everything seemed to suggest that this episode was going to be amazing, but having been disappointed by The Clone Wars so many times, I tried not to get my hopes up. And you know what? It wasn’t amazing… it was far better than that! This episode turned out to be better than anything I could have imagined! It had everything a great season finale should have: A good story that wraps up several story arcs of the season, great action, new revelations, and an ending that is not an annoying cliffhanger, yet provides lots of promising things that make you anticipate the next season! There is a reference to one of the pre-series shorts in the beginning when Sabine destroys some TIE Fighters on the same platform where she had previously destroyed some in “Art Attack”. Other things from previous episodes came into play in this plot, such as the TIE Fighter Zeb and Ezra stole in Fighter Flight. It’s good to know that that episode wasn’t as pointless as it seemed, although I still stick by my opinion that it was a bad episode and probably could have been left out. After the Lothal rebels rescue Kanan, they get invited to join the Rebel Alliance. This was hinted at in the first episode when they brought R2 and 3PO to Bail Organa, so it was good to finally see that happen! Now the series can really get rolling with the expansion of the rebellion across other systems!
BEAVeR: This first season of Rebels ended on the same level as the final season of The Clone Wars. It was big, had a nice story to it, featured interesting characters and some very original moments. But it was clearly the last part of the trilogy, so we didn’t get a whole lot of interesting story. And the action sequences weren’t incredibly innovative as well. But still that doesn’t make the episode less impressive. It felt like genuine Star Wars. The danger was real, the stakes high, and from time to time there was a comical moment – but right. Apart from the opening scene that reminded us of some of the bad things we’ve seen in this season, this episode seemed void of any weak points. The approaching of the Star Destroyer was intense, and its taking – although far too easy – was exciting. Overall, though, my fear was justified a bit: in the last couple of episode, the makers of the show portrayed the Empire as incredibly competent and cunning, but in this episode, suddenly, it seems they lost it. It’s through that it was very clever of Tarkin to have troops come over if they didn’t return a signal, but Kanan just got away too easily. But maybe it was a final display of the Inquisitor’s weakness, his overconfidence, and I’m happy to accept it, considering what it lead to. The lightsaber fight had a lot of emotional impact, as Kanan gives everything when he fears his padawan is lost (although we never bought that!), resulting in an incredibly dynamic fight. Similarly to the duel of the fates, we got to see a Jedi in full rage, dropping some hints of the Dark Side (especially so close to Mustafar), and we got to see the villain defeated. It gave the fight so much more meaning, and I think it will resonate through the coming season. And the apparition of the other Rebels opened up a lot of possibilities in just a few seconds. So while not without its flaws, this episode’s story had a lot to offer. And we saw it was good.
What are your thoughts on the Characters?
Oky: In addition to a great story, there were lots of great characters too. We finally get some insight into Kanan’s backstory and see him deal with his inner demons. The fact that he feels guilty for leaving his master and fleeing during Order 66 explains his insecurities as a Jedi master and why he is so protective of Ezra. His fight with the Inquisitor was great as it not only provided some excellent lightsaber action, but also showed that Kanan tends to stray from the path of the Jedi as well, letting his emotions get the better of him and letting the Inquisitor die. I didn’t expect to see the Inquisitor die so soon since it seemed like they were building him up as the big villain of the show, but I didn’t mind it since we now have much more competent villains. There was a great reveal towards the end that (spoilers!) Fulcrum is indeed Ahsoka Tano as some fans had theorized! It’s great to see Filoni and his team continue her story and she makes the transition from The Clone Wars to Rebels quite well. And just as the episode was wrapping up, I was thinking to myself that the only thing that would make this episode perfect would be an appearance of Darth Vader, and sure enough, I was literally cheering when the Dark Lord of the Sith followed Tarkin out of that shuttle at the end! He looks great with that pissed-off looking McQuarrie design and I can’t wait to see more of him! It would be great to see a confrontation between him and Ahsoka, or even between Ahsoka and Tarkin. There is so much potential there! I also hope we will get minifigures of these character designs, which I’m sure is only a matter of time.
BEAVeR: The main focus of the episode was the action and the big reveals, but the few character moments we got were good. They weren’t nearly as subtle as in previous episodes though, giving a bit the impression we aren’t trusted as competent viewers. But anyway, Kanan’s character was fleshed out spectacularly. We finally got to hear his back story, and that alone gave a new dimension to his ultimate fight. Because he had received such a sacrifice, such a protection from his master, he just couldn’t accept he couldn’t do that himself. It also made his previous actions more relatable, when he gave surrendered himself in Call to Action. I really liked his simple, but true story. It makes him much more a human, and opens up some interesting questions about his future as a Jedi. His counterpart, the Inquisitor got to shine as well. His over-confidence lead to his end. But he then showed a really sinister side. It was very un-dark-side-ish of him just to let go and die, and his final words really gave me the impression that either he knows far more about the Force than anyone could have imagined, or that he actually had quite a back story himself. They did a really good job in keeping him a character, rather then just someone who gets defeated so that we can have our victory. Same goes for Tarkin, whose expression when he had to leave the Star Destroyer was very striking, and almost made it look like his calm expression when he gets blown up with the Death Star holds much more emotion. Maybe I’m just seeing things, or maybe this shows makes me reconsider characters even from the Original Trilogy. Didn’t see that one coming.
As for the others, it was great to see Sabine being proud of and attached to ‘her’ TIE, and it still showed some of her inner child. Chopper was very competent in this episode, and it really makes me wonder why he cares so much about Kanan, and the crew in general. The next season promises to bring more background information on the characters, and now Chopper is pretty high on my list! And the big reveal of who Fulcrum was (that really was some reveal worthy of the Star Wars seal of approval!) had me genuinely surprised and excited. And what’s more, it doesn’t feel like some obligatory fan service, but seems to make a lot of sense. Disney really showed they can handle known characters and that they’re prepared to expand the universe drastically. I have no idea what will become of Ahsoka, but with such a back story and such an introduction, and such a world to play with, I can’t wait to see what she does in the next season!
What is your opinion of the vehicles and locations?
Oky: I was hoping we would get to see more of the planet of Mustafar since it would be interesting to see how it looks under Imperial rule, but the episode mostly took place on board of a Star Destroyer, which was fine as it made sense for the plot. There wasn’t much new in terms of vehicles either, although I agree with that one Stormtrooper on the Sovereign that the rebels’ TIE Fighter looked quite interesting thanks to Sabine’s artistic skills. If Lego decides to make a set out of this, it might be the first TIE Fighter I’d be interested to buy in a long time.
BEAVeR: Sabine’s TIE was a very original and welcome addition to the Star Wars universe. The color really stood out and symbolizes the new hope that’s rising. We also saw this in the beginning, with the beautiful closing shot of the opening scene. With the Gozanti flying away through the smoke, the turbulence it causes creates the phoenix symbol in the smoke. That was a damn beautiful image.
It was a bit of a pity we didn’t get to see Mustafar, but its ominous presence was already quite effective. We got to see some new interiors in the Star Destroyer instead. It kept the focus on what was happening.
Oky’s Rating: 5/5 – This season finale was absolutely fantastic. It had everything I wanted to see and wrapped up the season perfectly. Overall, this season was actually pretty good in hindsight. While we may have been dissatisfied with some of the episodes, I get what they were doing now. They intentionally made the Empire laughably incompetent so that it would be that much more amazing when things got real and an actually competent villain like Tarkin showed up. It makes sense because the Empire is probably stretched so thin during this time that they didn’t make much effort to stop the rebels on this backwater planet until they caught the attention of the higher-ups. However, this doesn’t excuse some of the childish humor, but I guess you have to expect that in a kids show like this. I hope they will keep up the more serious tone of the past three episodes, especially now that they have to deal with Vader. The season was also mercifully short, so we didn’t have to wait too long for the Lothal rebels to join the Rebel Alliance. If we’re lucky, the next season is going to be exactly what everyone was hoping this series to be like, with the rebels going to other planets, joining forces with other rebel cells across the galaxy, while Darth Vader tries to hunt them down! After this finale, I have a good feeling about this, so I’m looking forward to Season 2!
BEAVeR’s rating: 5/5 – It’s a bit hard to judge this episode on its own. Not only is it part of a trilogy, but it also Ties together with so many other episodes of the season (yes, that’s a pun), and looks like it will have a major impact on what is yet to come. What I really like about this series is that we get to see more of one big story instead of all the fragments that The Clone Wars often features. We get to see another epic saga, centered around some characters that are being fleshed out more and more. So I hope they keep telling a powerful story. With the new Rebels joining in and with new planets on the menu, it seems like stakes will only be growing, and I can’t imagine where this show will end. But with this episode fresh in memory, I am almost certain that great things are coming! *Mechanical breathing*