Rebels Review: Stealth Strike

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What did you think of the Plot?
BEAVeR: Yes! Are we finally arriving at the great episodes? Because this one was pretty good. There was nothing really Darth-y or even Inquisitor-y going on, but it definitely had some stakes with that Interdictor ship with its gravity wells. While the pitch of the episode may seem just as simple as the previous ones, you immediately knew it was important because the future of the Rebellion was at stake, and this episode instantly meant more than the last couple combined. The rescue mission totally made sense as well, with a very small group of the right persons (and yes, that includes Chopper) infiltrating the ship. Obviously this episode is about the relationship between Rex and Kanan, but their coming together didn’t feel forced at all, which is already a great beginning. The way it develops from there is excellent, with some splendid action, not-so-shabby humor, some interesting dilemma’s and a conclusion with a boom. It was a great episode that flowed naturally, put things into the right perspective and didn’t try to do too much at the same time. It’s not really course-changing, but it definitely was a great episode.
Oky: I gotta give it to this show, it knows how to make a comeback after a lackluster episode. This episode was a blast! It started out strong and ended with a bang, literally. Beginning the episode by revealing that the Empire has a powerful new weapon that poses a serious threat to all of the rebels’ operations immediately raised the stakes and it just kept getting better from there. It also helped that the episode seemed to take a lot of inspiration from A New Hope with the escape from an imperial prison, the interrogator droid scene, the use of the Jedi mind trick on stormtroopers, and the destruction of the Empire’s big weapon at the end. The only thing that bugged me is that we never find out what happened to the rebel patrol that went missing other than that they got captured. It was Ezra and Sato’s mission to find and rescue them, but that plot was forgotten about as soon as the Interdictor showed up a minute later. It’s possible that the patrol was among the rebels that Kanan and Rex rescued from the prison, but they never specified this. However, that’s just a nitpick and the excellent action made up for that. Seeing a bunch of Star Destroyers crash into each other and blow up was a glorious sight to behold. This story didn’t really connect to anything, but it worked well enough on its own.

What are your thoughts on the Characters?
BEAVeR: The conflict between Rex and Kanan has been a long standing issue in the past episodes. I feared they would solve it in a single episode, with them being complete buddies in the end for some obscure reason, but luckily that didn’t happen. The way both protagonists reacted to the circumstances and each other’s actions was always both natural and meaningful. You know Rex doesn’t almost sacrifice himself because he’s suddenly taken to Kanan, but because the mission is what’s really important to him. And you know Kanan doesn’t go through all of that heroic trouble to save Rex because he particularly likes him, but because his convictions urge him to leave no one behind. So you see how both opposing views of the mission versus the people actually work towards each other in this episode to a nice symbolic synthesis. It means that in the end Rex and Kanan still have issues with each other, but at least they respect each other’s views now, and they understand each other. So a lot has been accomplished and a lot can still be done. I couldn’t have imagined a better chapter in the two’s story.
Ezra shone as well, showcasing his ever growing and more impressing abilities and a surprising sense of responsibility in this episode. As long as he has big problems to face, he’s a good kid. This episode also had a tiny arc for Commander Sato in it, with him going from being skeptical towards Ezra’s powers to him appreciating him. I felt his reactions were a little over the top and broke with his calculating demeanor, but it’s not bad that once every while, we see again that seeing a Jedi in action isn’t something ordinary. Admiral Brom Titus wasn’t really that different from anyone we’ve seen before in similar ranks, but still it didn’t make him look silly, again it just puts into perspective how extraordinary Jedi are. And finally, I’d like to point out Hera’s great hidden character point in this episode. Her putting Rex and Kanan on the same mission was a really smart and caring move expressing more than just her tactical insight.
Posted ImageOky: I was very happy to see that Ezra went from being an awkward, useless goof in the previous episode to being a likable hero again and proved his worth to Commander Sato. I like that Hera chose him to accompany Sato on this mission since his Jedi powers would have been useful for locating the missing patrol. I also liked that Ezra seemed to be following the Jedi code by using his wits and setting his blaster to stun to neutralize the stormtroopers without harming them. Remotely turning on his lightsaber to distract the stormtroopers was pretty clever. And instead of being painfully awkward, he was genuinely funny in this episode. The scene where he pretends not to have stunned Rex and Kanan just to have his lie revealed by Chopper a moment later was hilarious. As for Chopper himself, I’m not even surprised when he does something awesome anymore at this point. We have to thank him for that beautiful explosion at the end. Admiral Brom Titus, the villain of the week, was an okay antagonist for this episode. He had the usual arrogance of a Star Wars villain to underestimate the rebels, but at least he seemed like he did his research.
But the main focus seemed to be on Rex and Kanan who finally learn to be friends. I didn’t expect it to take this long for Kanan to trust Rex, considering all the useful information Rex has provided for the rebels and that he sacrificed his life for Kanan twice now, but I’m glad they’re finally getting along. Also, for someone who is trying so hard to be a good Jedi, Kanan didn’t act very Jedi-like in this episode since, unlike Ezra, he seemed to have no reservations killing stormtroopers once their cover was blown and even used his force powers to pull them into Rex’s line of fire. This creates an interesting contrast between him and his pupil and I hope it will get addressed at some point. Rex on the other hand was great as usual and it was cool seeing him in action again and hearing more of his opinion on stormtroopers and the Empire.

What is your opinion of the vehicles and locations?
BEAVeR: I don’t think anyone disagrees with me on the fact that that Interdictor ship is epic. It’s great how they pulled it from Legends, gave it some incredible updates and put it to good use in this show. They transformed it from a strange looking ISD to a completely new and menacing behemoth that I’d love to see recreated in bricks (anyone?). I found it a bit strange that someone like Sabine, a mere student on the Academy would have been aware of such a top-secret project though…
Oky: The Imperial Interdictor was a pretty cool ship. We may not get the movie adaptation of the Thrawn Trilogy that everyone wanted, but at least we get to see this bad boy on-screen. The design is basically a Star Destroyer with four giant balls sticking out of its hull, but it doesn’t look as silly as you’d think and the gravity well projectors make it a force to be reckoned with.

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BEAVeR’s Rating: 4/5 – I can best compare this episode to Rise of the Old Masters, an episode with a decent yet not overcomplicated plots, high stakes that yet don’t define the rest of the season, nice action, good fun and an overall feeling of accomplishment in the end. And this one brought us some more excellent, believable character development. It still stands disconnected from the main plot however, and it doesn’t seem it will have a direct consequence in future episodes. So I’m holding my breath for the episodes to come.
Oky’s Rating: 4.5/5 – This episode was a lot of fun. It had high stakes, an epic new weapon for the Empire, great action, good characters, and a spectacular explosion at the end, with several nice nods to scenes from ANH. It was still very self-contained and I do have my nitpicks about it, but it was a whole lot better than the last episode.

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