Rebels Reviews: Homecoming

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What did you think of the Plot?
BEAVeR: Just like the previous episode, this one suffers from a lack of surprise and strange development of characters. It was pretty clear from the beginning Cham couldn’t be trusted, but you could already feel he had to turn around in the end, and nothing in the episode tried to contradict that. Combine that with actions and events that don’t quite seem to make sense, and you have an episode that feels lazy, leaving some opportunities for a potentially better story behind. Things like why no one thought of bringing down the cruiser as a nice compromise until the end, why Cham really needed the Rebellion for his plan to work, why Imperial backup didn’t really arrive, and how the controls of an advanced spaceship somehow still need force exercised on them to work kind of bothered me. Some of those issues were eventually resolved, but only sparked a “finally” from me. And I have to admit some things look better when considered in hindsight, but a good episode can make this clear in the twenty minutes it has. Again, there’s nothing that really made me cringe, but there still were too much what?! moments for me to leave a very good impression.
Oky: I found the title of this episode to be quite fitting. The last few episodes felt less and less like Star Wars to me as they dealt more with Mandalorians, mystical quests, and space whales rather than the rebellion’s fight against the empire, so seeing an episode where they’re infiltrating an Imperial ship again indeed felt like a homecoming. The episode starts out strong as we are thrust into the middle of a mission where the rebellion once again suffers some losses which initiates the plot of stealing an Imperial carrier. Seeing the rebels join forces with the Twi’leks was interesting, although their betrayal was quite predictable from the first moment we met them. I like that our heroes found a way to keep the carrier and still make Cham happy as well in the end.

What are your thoughts on the Characters?
Posted ImageBEAVeR: The what?! moments actually had to do with the characters, mostly, and especially with Cham Syndulla. I get that he is a war hero and has suffered a lot by being in war for most of his life and loosing his wife, but neglecting his only reminder to her? He didn’t even convince me he would be coming back for his daughter after setting the explosives… It just seems to be going a bit too far, which makes it hard for me to accept the character, the eventual turn he makes and basically the entire plot of this episode. Just a little bit of nuance, context and feeling on him would have benefited the episode greatly. He didn’t really distrust the Rebellion, but just used them, for example, missing the opportunity to make his point started in The Clone Wars much clearer here.
All in all Hera did pretty good, but she didn’t have much to do emotionally, to be honest. As usual, she was right from the very beginning with the only arc that she reunited with her father, but only because he changed his mind and without any step from her side except for a not-so-special speech that suddenly seemed to open up everyone’s eyes. And I did like the idea of her falling into her native accent in an emotional moment, although the execution didn’t really convince me and actually having a different language would’ve looked better. One little thing I really appreciated, was the single bit about Chopper, and the affection that suddenly seemed to exist between Hera and him, something I hope continues in another episode…
Oky: Anyone who watched The Clone Wars knew who Hera had to be related to as soon as we knew her last name, so the reveal that Cham Syndula is her father was no surprise to me and I was expecting an episode like this to happen eventually. It’s good to finally see this relationship being addressed and it was also neat to see Cham again, although I was surprised that he was so estranged from his daughter, considering they are both rebels. The way he had a change of heart and reconnected with his daughter throughout the episode was very formulaic, so there were no surprises there, but the action was good enough to keep me interested. Hera however didn’t have any arc unfortunately as she was the same by the end as she was before. I did like how her native accent came out when she had an emotional conversation with her father though. Ezra and Kanan seem to be growing in their abilities to use the force and work together in battle. I totally geeked out when they performed a Jedi version of the Fastball Special not just once, but twice in a row! And it seems that Ezra can now do the Jedi mind trick, even though that scene was a bit silly. The Empire started out as a threat in this episode, but unfortunately got less and less competent as it went on, resulting in them losing two capital ships, which was disappointing. It seemed quite foolish of them not to shoot the obviously suspicious TIE Bomber that was drifting towards them, but this isn’t the first time they underestimated the rebels.

What is your opinion of the vehicles and locations?
BEAVeR: The carrier ship was interesting, refreshing and not awkward: a decent addition to the Imperial fleet that makes sense, and that I hope to see again in the future. On the other hand, the show has introduced quite a lot of new Imperial ships on this point, many of which don’t really look like they’ll evolve into something else, slowly creating a problem of “why didn’t we see this before?”. The TIE Bombers, on the other hand, didn’t suffer from that problem and looked better and more menacing in this episode than ever before. The shot of the one drifting through space was almost beautiful enough to make me forget how stupid the Empire was being not shooting it.
Oky: Cham was not the only familiar face here. We also get to see Ryloth – albeit from afar – and they reintroduced the Quasar Fire-Class Cruiser-Carrier into canon. I hadn’t heard of this ship before, but while I am not a fan of its simple triangle design, I do think they improved its appearance from the EU a bit. Some familiar things from the original trilogy also made their debut in this show such as the mouse droid and the TIE Bomber. The Bombers were especially cool to see in action again! Oh, and it was good to see those Hammerhead cruisers that the rebels stole a few episodes back finally being utilized in missions.

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BEAVeR’s rating: 3/5 – Initially, the episode was pretty enjoyable apart from the what?! moments, but there were quite a lot of unresolved points in the end that lessened the joy. Thinking a bit more about them and doing some more research put a lot of them (especially on the characters) in a better perspective, but also revealed a lot of missed opportunities. If you go looking for it, there are some points of interest in this episode, but that’s not really the point of an episode, is it?
Oky’s Rating: 3.5/5 – This episode had its flaws, but I enjoyed it quite a bit, more so than the last episode. Perhaps my opinion is influenced by the nostalgia from seeing familiar things from the Clone Wars and original trilogy, but even though the plot was a bit predictable and the Empire got inexplicably dumber throughout it, it had enough action and character development to keep me satisfied.

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