Rebels Review: A Princess on Lothal

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What did you think of the Plot?
BEAVeR: Bam, we begin in the middle of things, right were the previous episode ended, like it was just seconds ago we saw it. That way, you got sucked in right away, you could reconnect with the characters instantly. I loved the fact that they let the effects of the past episode ripple through, as it makes the emotional journey for the characters and for us that much more rich. And what better way to ponder Ezra’s emotions than to see how different he acts in new situations? I loved the new situation they picked, a meaningful mission that felt grounded in the universe, especially because of the way it ties in with episode IV. The princess helping the Rebellion but going to great lengths in order to keep it a secret was perfectly natural and relevant. In the beginning, I seriously thought officer Lyste was suspicious of her, adding to the tension, but I was disappointed that soon, nobody doubted the princess. A “this is getting too dangerous this time” feeling would have been nice, darkening the mood some more, but further on we only got some attempts that were pretty goofy and questionable at best to conceal the fact the princess was in fact a Rebel. But still we had a nice episode with a streamlined plot, great looking action and some very welcome emotional moments.
Oky: The series returns after leaving us on a beautiful mid-season finale and brings with it a familiar face. I like that it picked up right where it left off and showed us the aftermath of the events from the previous episode while also moving the plot forward. Getting more ships to make up for the losses they suffered in the previous episode seemed like a logical next step and the fact that it was Leia who brought them those ships made it even better. It was good to see that the Empire has heightened the security on Lothal and the way Leia helped the rebels come up with a new plan was great. I do feel that they pulled it off a bit too easily considering the heightened security, but it made for a pretty good action scene, so I wont complain.

What are your thoughts on the Characters?
BEAVeR: The Princess was the main character of the story, but unlike previous episodes that seemed to revolve just around the guest star, she really supported the other characters here. She begins as the sassy and competent leader we all know and love, but also shows great confidence in the Rebels’ capabilities. I loved the way she improvised a new plan together when faced with new circumstances, and the passionate way she spoke of helping people, with still that hint of fear of what would happen if it all went wrong. I liked the moment she had with Ezra in the cockpit, and while I would’ve loved to see some more of what connected them prior to that conversation, I loved the intimate atmosphere, strong emotions and realness of the scene. It was this scene especially, and the one in the end, that made the episode above average. However, as soon as these moments were over, it was just plot and action, and we got no real echo of the emotions in the way Ezra or the princess act, which seems like a missed opportunity for story telling as a person’s acts should speak for themselves.
I actually liked everyone’s relation to Ezra in this episode. The moment were the crew comforts him was really tender, and was great to show the princess and us at the same time what the group of Rebels is worth. I wasn’t too convinced by their moment of crisis though, when they couldn’t find a solution to the ship problem, while it was pretty obvious and they went through similar situations before. It’s great that they’re shown as imperfect, but it just wasn’t consistent with what we’ve seen before…
The Empire finally began strong, with an appropriate menace and a “we mean business” attitude, but it was downhill from there. The initial resistance to the princess made way for an absolute terror for her. And somehow nobody notices the a ship taking off under their nozes… and there must be plenty of witnesses that saw the princess take arms against the Empire. And while the fight at the end was good, it would have been a nice twist to have the Rebels only successfully escape with two ships or so. But o well, plot I guess.
Oky: Leia was the star of the episode of course and she was pretty good. Julie Dolan did a fairly good job voicing the titular princess, although I don’t think she had quite as much of the sassiness that she had in the movies. Leia showed a lot of leader potential here as she inspired the rebels and did a good job helping them come up with a new plan. I also liked her connection with Ezra, who was still dealing with the news of his parents passing, and how she helped him move on. The Empire felt fairly formidable in this episode, even though they still lost miserably in the end. I’m actually starting to feel bad for Lieutenant Yogar Lyste. He always seems to loose to the rebels in the most embarrassing way. His interactions with Leia were hilarious. Ryder Azadi also went through a bit of an arc as he decided to join the rebels after all and I’m glad that he is here to stay. You don’t just get Clancy Brown just to have him voice a one-off character.

What is your opinion of the vehicles and locations?
BEAVeR: We were quite spoiled in this episode. The hammerhead corvettes were a nice surprise, and it’s great to have them canonized. Their design is not entirely new, but it’s great and what’s even better is that we get three of them. They immediately get a sweet accessory with those gravity locks as well, a clever play on those cars miserable enough to park in the wrong place. Having these ships flanked by a couple of AT-AT’s makes for a great setting, and the fight in the end is so much better because of it. There were so many great moments, like the walker being shot down (and me going: “weren’t they supposed to be though?”), only to ominously rise from the smoke: brilliant. Kanan taking down one single handedly made Luke look like a wimp. And those engines learning the last one a lesson literally made me cheer. It felt like way more action than you’d expect in just those few minutes. Finally a little note on the music: it’s getting better and better! The way princess Leia’s theme was used in this episode was just magical. The mere logo and the accompanying music put me under its spell.
Oky: The locations were the same Lothal locations as in the previous episode, but we did get to see a new ship, the Hammerhead corvette, which is obviously inspired by the Hammerhead-class cruiser from the Knights of the Old Republic game. It’s an interesting design and it’s always neat to see things from the EU creep their way back into canon in some form. The gravity locks were an interesting new piece of tech and it was great to finally see how AT-ATs are deployed onto a planet, although you’d think the ship carrying them would safely put them onto the surface before releasing them instead of dropping them from about a hundred feet in the air. I also felt that the AT-ATs were taken down too easily. An entire fleet of snowspeeders was hardly able to put a scratch on them in the movies and here we have the Ghost bringing one to its knees with only two shots and Kanan cutting off two of the legs of another one as if they were made of paper? Granted, the Ghost probably has more firepower than a snowspeeder and Kanan is more trained than Luke was at the time, but it still made the rebels in Empire Strikes Back look pretty weak.

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BEAVeR’s rating: 4/5 – A relevant plot, awesome action and genuine emotions. Sure, they could all have been fleshed out some more, but it was a decent and enjoyable episode altogether. What I missed most was a greater sense of danger in the mission, with the princess not getting away with it so easily, and the fact that character development should have gone further than the moments especially designed for it. So we have reason enough to hope that princess Leia makes a welcome return to the series. I’ll be humming her theme until then.
Oky’s Rating: 4/5 – This was a solid followup to the mid-season finale. I do have some nitpicks with it, but it had a good plot, nice character development, and entertaining action. I hope Leia will play a bigger role in this series in the future.

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