Rebels Review: The Honorable Ones

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BEAVeR: What has this show done to suddenly get me excited every time Zeb prominently appears in an episode? It’s not like the episode’s plot was wildly novel. It starts off as just your average mission to check on intel, which turns out to be your average trap. Things get interesting though, when things start to look really bad for some of our characters. And then you get the situation in which two enemies are forced to work together to survive, and part ways in the end, friendlier with each other more than ever before. I was enthusiastic they were doing this kind of episode, but afraid as well, as these kinds of episodes tend to be very cliche and don’t live up to their expectations in the end, the characters just going on being themselves. But not in this episode. Sure, the plot points are all pretty straightforward, but they all were really natural to the course of events. The talks the characters had were good ones, and I loved how the characters actually gradually involved over the course of this episode, even taking into account what has passed in previous episodes. And the conclusion was surprisingly touching. At the same time, the episode managed to have symbolic elements and even raise some very interesting questions about the overarching story. I love it in every way. It’s strange how the episodes with the interesting beginnings tend not to fulfill the expectations, but episodes that start out fairly standard end up surprising everyone.What did you think of the Plot?
Oky: This was a simple survival episode that focused more on the bonding between two characters in a precarious situation rather than the plot in a similar vein to episodes like Out of Darkness, except this time it’s two enemies who are forced to work together to survive – a classic scenario. I really liked how it started out, though, with the allusions to the construction of the Death Star and the discovery of the sterilization of Geonosis. It’s pretty dark to know that the Empire is willing to commit genocide in order to keep their secrets hidden. It’s not the first time that they have done this on this show either since they did the same thing on Lasan which makes it so fitting that this Zeb and Kallus centered episode started with such a theme. The rest of the plot was pretty basic as the two just tried to get along and survive until they get picked up by their respective parties and I felt it was a bit too convenient that they found a random meteorite which provided them with the light and warmth they needed to survive. However, I loved the juxtaposition at the end where it showed how harshly Kallus was greeted after his return as opposed to how lovingly Zeb was welcomed back by his crew. It further showed how cold and inhuman the Empire is.

What are your thoughts on the Characters?
BEAVeR: This episode had the nerve of only showing us two characters for most of the episode, and it paid out beautifully. The story was probably focused more on Agent Kallus than on Zeb, but I really liked what they did with him. He didn’t really undergo a huge change of character in this episode, going from not killing Agent Kallus because he respects him enough not to kill him without honor, to not killing Agent Kallus simply because he respects him. The best bit though, was how they referenced what happened a couple of episodes ago not just in what Zeb said, but in his actions as well, which cements the meaning of that episode very well and convinces us Zeb is a new Lasat. In all of that, he didn’t loose his playful self as well, making him a really fun and interesting character at the same time, one of my favorites in the show.
Agent Kallus was the real star though, undergoing a major change in character which feels perfectly natural, which didn’t need any fancy events taking place, which seems to be permanent, and which starts to make you think. I love how this episode wasn’t just about Agent Kallus personally, but about the idea of the Empire in general. His backstory convinced me of him not just being a one dimensional character, just one with flaws that I could perfectly understand. Him being wounded in this episode was incredible as well: to see your enemy lying there in pain really helps to remind you of your own humanity. That coupled with his emotional outings makes you see his weaknesses, makes you see his personality beyond that of “the bad guy”. And when he shows off his skills as a good leader and resourceful person, you have to respect him. And if you see him in the end, coming “home” to his cold quarters without anyone to talk to, when you realize what he just said to Zeb might be the first time he could talk about that, and when you see him having that existential crisis, you can almost feel the tears coming. Simple as this plot may be, the episode succeeded in pulling the complicated job off of making me almost cry about the villain, without the need of Snape-like backstories. That’s an achievement worthy of its own movie.
Oky: I must say I am impressed. Agent Kallus has been nothing but a one-dimensional villain with a seemingly unshakable loyalty to the Empire until now, but over the course of one episode, they have made him relatable and even made me actually feel bad for him. It seems that he is not the tough bad guy that he appears to be, but simply a misguided individual who is being deceived by the Empire’s lies and is too afraid to question them. This adds a whole new side to the character which I was not expecting and it even makes me wonder if he might switch sides at some point. Zeb also got some nice development here as he learned to forgive Kallus for what he had done to his people since he didn’t intend it to be a massacre and was just following orders. Listening to the two share their viewpoints on the Empire and working together was quite interesting. Oh, and Choppers little duel with the Imperial astromech was pretty fun too.

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What is your opinion of the vehicles and locations?
BEAVeR: I just want to keep talking about the characters, but actually there were some more marvelous features of this episode. The shipyard above Geonosis looked pretty cool, and I especially liked how familiar those structures were to Capital City on Lothal, shedding more light on what’s happening there. Bahryn was a rather featureless moon, but man was that cave pretty with its smooth pillars and beautiful facets in the ice, perfect for an episode that’s all about showing new facets of the characters. The lonely light sources of first the heater and later the rock made for a great image and great symbolism, especially when transported to Kallus’ quarters. And finally the Bonzami looked right in place in the neighborhood of Geonosis, and did their job of representing inner demons and putting some great action into this episode admirably.
Oky: The Imperial construction module was pretty neat as it was based on McQuarrie’s design of the second Death Star and resembled a structure Lothal’s Capital City. The Geonosis moon Bahryn was a very basic ice planet, so there’s not much to say about it. The bonzami beasts that live on it had a pretty interesting design and looked fairly menacing.

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BEAVeR’s rating: 4.5/5 – So yeah, the plot was a bit standard and hadn’t really much to do with the main story line, but that simplicity made for an unexpectedly focused episode which totally invests you in the characters. Everything the characters did and say was perfect to illustrate the transition they both went and are going through. It had good action, but didn’t need it to keep me interested. And not many endings have moved me as much as the ending of this episode, just seeing this man in despair. I can’t wait to see where this goes! So the story of this episode was pretty similar to that of other movies and shows, but this episode just became the example of how such a story can be executed perfectly.
Oky’s Rating: 4.5/5 – Ever since the first episode of the show, I was hoping we would see a proper confrontation between Zeb and Agent Kallus someday and this episode didn’t disappoint. Not only did they get to sit down and talk about what happened on Lasan, but also discuss their different views on the Empire and even form a bond by the end. The plot was pretty basic, but there was enough action and character development to keep me interested throughout and the ending really makes you sympathize with Kallus. This episode did an excellent job of showing how cold and inhuman the Empire is, both on a planet-wide level as well as on a personal level. I’m curious where Kallus’ character development will go from here and the references to the Death Star made me excited at the thought that this series could potentially tie into the plot of Rogue One.

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One thought on “Rebels Review: The Honorable Ones

  1. Pingback: Rebels Review: The Antilles Extraction | Eurobricks Star Wars Forum Blog

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