Rebels Review: Hera’s Heroes

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What did you think of the Plot?
Oky: This was a very personal episode as it mostly revolved around Hera trying to retrieve a family heirloom that belonged to her late mother. That meant that the stakes weren’t as high as in other episodes, but the plot was also not as predictable thanks to the involvement of Grand Admiral Thrawn who always seemed to be one step ahead. The interrogation scene between him and Hera was fairly intense. It wasn’t quite clear how the rebels would get out of this situation with him analysing their every move which kept the story interesting.

BEAVeR: It’s always interesting when you have an episode you recall more for its characters than for its story or action. The story was fairly standard, the usual thing with diversions, undercover situations, capture and narrow escape. It are the characters that put a different twist on it this time. I loved it how the episode invites you to look and think as Thrawn does, so that you start to see way more than before. You learn that the fact that everything actually goes according to the usual template is actually one of the Rebels’ weaknesses and that Thrawn knows that now as well. You realize everything was carefully planned by Thrawn so that the Rebels would of all of the places in the galaxy be exactly where he wants them to be to study them. You smell something bigger is going on but that you can’t put all of the pieces together yet. It’s an episode in which you almost get to participate as the viewer, figuring things out about the characters, your ideas pumping like the spot during the interrogation scene. Sadly, that attentiveness also makes you aware of some issues, like the fact that Hera blowing up her home was more symbolic than it was effective, in it almost doing nothing to facilitate her escape. But still they don’t do away with the awesomeness of really watching this episode very, very closely.

What are your thoughts on the Characters?
Oky: This episode established a nice bond between the main characters. It was quite touching when the whole crew agreed to join Hera on a dangerous mission to retrieve her heirloom simply because it was important to her, and it was even more touching when she destroyed her beloved childhood home in order to save her new home and family, her crew. This gave Hera a good arc, something that she was lacking in the previous Ryloth episode. There were other nice moments between the rebels like when Zeb was so thoughtful to ask Ezra if he still needed a Scout Trooper helmet in his collection. This bond between the heroes was nicely contrasted by the lack thereof between Thrawn and Captain Slavin which was demonstrated when they nearly got into a fight over their disagreement over Thrawn’s appreciation of the very same object that brought the rebels closer together. That scene also showed how dangerous Thrawn can be. He is usually very calm and composed, but his reaction showed that he could snap at any moment. We also got to see his talent for deduction in action when he figured out Hera’s true identity. He was quite menacing in this episode, although I was a bit disappointed when he let the rebels get away again at the end. He claims to have learned something from this experience, so it remains to be seen what his masterplan is.

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BEAVeR: Finally we got some more insight into Hera’s character, even though she once again hasn’t grown much by the end of the episode, her just reciting the of course true but ever present message that they already are like family. That doesn’t take away we had some outstanding character moments. The way she immediately has something ready when the Imperials enter showed her competence. I loved Thrawn’s analysis of her, with a reminder that she grew up with war constantly going on, which made her the warrior she is today but also puts her motherly behavior in a new light. It perfectly went together with the remarks she is always serious, both at the beginning and the end of the episode and makes me very interested in what the long term consequences of such a mindset are. Talking of long term, we have Thrawns scheming. I loved how he made some extremely interesting points like how art is a weapon of some sorts, which at the same time made me worry about Sabine’s outings. At the same time, he really is a character with temperament, a moral code and feelings, which elevates him way above just being someone with a point. I love it how his uniqueness as a villain makes you look at things through whole new eyes, so I long to see and here more from him, especially when it comes with such nice music.

What is your opinion of the vehicles and locations?
534?cb=20161018225303Oky: We have seen Ryloth before, but this was the first time we’ve seen Hera’s home which looked like a nice underground mansion and looked even cooler with the crashed Y-Wing outside which Chopper originated from. It was also great to see Scout Troopers on speederbikes for the first time in this series, even though they didn’t have their 74-Zs from RotJ and instead simply reused the 614-AvA speederbikes from earlier episodes.

BEAVeR: It’s almost hilarious that every time the Rebels arrive or leave a planet, there is some kind of sunrise or sunset going on. It makes everything look pretty though, and Ryloth was no exception. I quite liked the simple architecture and mosaic like art in the palace. The crashed Y-wing with Chopper’s moment was a definite highlight as well. I like seeing things introduced without the need of an entire story, like the scout troopers, and the unexpected but logical fact their visors can swivel upwards.

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Oky’s Rating: 4/5 – The stakes were fairly low in this one, but Thrawn finally made for a good villain and there were a lot of nice moments between the characters. I loved how the rebels bonded more than ever before while the Imperials seemed to fall further apart, both over the same worthless object. It was also great to get more background on Hera and Chopper and see her old home. After this episode, I look forward to see more of Thrawn and what he has planned for the rebels.

BEAVeR’s rating: 4/5 – I like the sense something new is happening, with Thrawn really making you attentive. This character centric episode was perfect to fully consider, and I’m sure many insights will still come from this episode in the future. So definitely a successful character episode, with some issues like Hera not really evolving, us not knowing a thing more about Hera’s mother or the blowing up of the building not entirely making sense to me. Actually, my main concern was that it was a bit boring at times, but the excitement of discovery well made up for that.

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