Rebels Review: The Future of the Force

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What did you think of the Plot?
BEAVeR: … and the Inquisitors are back! Finally we get an episode that ties in more with the rest of the season. But not quite. Yes, we get the Inquisitors back, but they’re off doing something else now. While their current mission is just as threatening as their last one, I found it a bit strange how the Rebels were the main target a few episodes ago but a mere obstacle now… Nonetheless, it didn’t take long for me to get invested in this episode. The opening scene was already very dark and threatening, and you immediately know very bad things are going on. However, there was no real mystery to the episode for me because it was quite obvious what they were after. What surprised me most was how long it took for our protagonists to figure it out, which actually took me out of the episode for a moment. So the plot could have used some more intrigue or sophistication. So there wasn’t a lot to think about, but it still was a great episode with a story that is again quite disconnected from the overall arc but feels compelling anyway and features some sweet, sweet action…
Oky: Here we go again. As Ahsoka pointed out herself, we have seen this type of story before in the Clone Wars episode “Children of the Force”: The bad guys are hunting force-sensitive babies to raise them to serve the Dark Side and the Jedi have to try to save the children. Even the Clone Wars movie told a story about Ahsoka and Anakin trying to protect a baby and did a terrible job at that. Fortunately, they executed the story about kidnapping force-sensitive babies a bit better this time, but it still had its problems. It seemed odd that the Inquisitors suddenly shifted their focus from hunting the rebels to stealing babies and that capturing the Jedi is only a bonus to their new mission now. There also seemed to be no good reason why they left the grandmother of the first baby alive other than for our heroes to have somebody to return the baby to. It does make sense though that Palpatine would want to turn all newly born force-sensitive children into Inquisitors rather than just killing them and I do like the notion at the end that since Ahsoka, Kanan, and Ezra are all that remains of the Jedi Order (as far as they know), the responsibilities of the Jedi Order fall upon them now.

What are your thoughts on the Characters?
BEAVeR: The Inquisitors haven’t made a lot of appearances yet, but every time they do, they do a good job. I was really surprised and affected by their sheer brutality in the beginning of the episode, slamming that door shut time after time and throwing that lightsaber at a crowd of people. Every time they were shown, it was clear they were not to be messed with, like how they once again threw the detonators back (and we’ll let them missing the obvious noises of the Rebels running pass). However, they weren’t very consistent… there’s the mentioned throwing of the lightsaber, but then the grandmother is left alive. There’s them wanting to capture the infants alive, but then they start blindly shoving their blades through ceilings, which could potentially irreversibly damage their prize… And while I like them trying to capture the Rebels before trying to kill them, I’m still wondering if Zeb would be of any use to them alive. So they look cool and do cool things, but it would be nice if they could make up their minds.
So there were a lot of cool moments in this episode, but actual development in characters seemed lacking. Kanan was dashing as always, again prepared to sacrifice himself. Zeb was predictably complaining, but got the chance to actually mean something, and it was revealed how much he trusts Kanan when they jump through the window together. It was unsettling though to realize he almost blew up a baby. Ezra learnt a small Jedi lesson, and I liked how he connected to Pypey. And I loved how sweet Chopper was to the babies.
Finally, Ashoka. This was her first chance to shine in this series, and man did she shine! First off, there were the visual paralells to Yoda showing up to battle Dooku, which instantly sets some expectations she effortlessly shatters. She was both a very skilled fighter and surprised with her more meditative abilities. However, a great character moment was missed when we didn’t get to see her contemplating whether to kill the Inquisitors or not. That would have given this episode something with a bit more meaning.
Posted ImageOky: It was good seeing the Inquisitors again, but I don’t think they were handled very well in this episode. Not only have their priorities shifted, but they didn’t have the symbolic significance that they had in their previous appearance and they went about hunting the baby rather recklessly. However, they were still as menacing as ever, especially in the dark opening scene. Zeb’s apparently natural ability to find stolen babies was an odd talent to add to his skill set, but at least he was of some use in this episode aside from his usual snarky remarks. I don’t know if Chopper actually suggested blowing up the Inquisitors’s ships with the baby inside or if that was just Zeb misinterpreting what Chopper said, but it was pretty funny nonetheless. Chopper himself took a backseat in this episode, but it was nice seeing him play with the children at the end. Kanan and Ezra were alright, although they got beaten by the Inquisitors a bit too quickly towards the end, but the Jedi who truly shined here was Ahsoka! The way she made her big entrance, fought off both Inquisitors, and defeated the Seventh Sister without even using her lightsabers was pretty awesome. It really showed how much more skilled as a Jedi she has become since the Clone Wars. It was great seeing her in action again and her new white lightsabers looked very cool as well.

What is your opinion of the vehicles and locations?
BEAVeR: On this point, this episode was one of the best in the series. The opening shot alone was classic but breathtaking with the shuttle approaching Chandel. Takobo didn’t look like much from space, but proved to be a great environment on the surface. The city overview was awesome to begin with, but the closeup shots were truly refreshing. I was excited to see a city environment that more closely resembles ours, bringing the action closer to us, yet is exotic enough to keep it interesting. With all of the moody atmospheric lighting, it was the ideal backdrop for this episode. The only thing missing were the people though: it seemed like there only lived one person in that apartment block… But now we’re really nitpicking. Sorry.
Oky: Takobo was a very interesting new location. It had a similar city feel as Coruscant, but with building designs that took some inspiration from middle eastern structures which made for a unique exotic look. The apartment building that a big chunk of the episode took place in did seem oddly deserted though. How interesting would it have been if our heroes would not only have to protect the baby, but also the people living in those apartments? Maybe it would have made the situation too complicated though. Oh, and remember how I keep saying how odd it is that the Empire hasn’t found out that the rebels are hiding on Garel yet? Well, now they know, but not because they finally figured it out, but because Ezra was stupid enough to mention the location of their secret base right in the spot where he knew there was a probe droid! Ugh. This moment struck me as really bad writing.

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BEAVeR’s rating: 3.5/5 – Lots of cool things to look at and a compelling story line, but in the end, not a lot has changed with the characters all ending back where they started and with no real thoughts to take home. So it was a great watch, but a bit lacking in hindsight. I do hope they continue the children plot, maybe echoing The Clone Wars. And it’s already a certainty the Inquisitor’s are paying a visit to Garel next. And I’m sure that will leave its mark.
Oky’s Rating: 3/5 – This episode was better than Children of the Force, but it still had its flaws. The story wasn’t new and there wasn’t much character development, but at least the Inquisitors are back (even though they seem to be confused about what their primary objective is) and there were some cool moments like the opening scene or the lightsaber duel at the end. This episode could have easily turned out silly with lots of baby shenanigans, but thankfully they kept a pretty serious tone throughout which made it enjoyable. So it’s not the best episode, but the best out of the baby kidnapping episodes.


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