Rebels Review: Iron Squadron

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What did you think of the Plot?
BEAVeR: I’ve never been a big fan of stories that are all action with just a little bit of meat. The plot of the action in this episode was pretty good with a nice escalation of the conflict and interesting tactics. But the story… If you just pay attention to the things that are actually said in this episode, you won’t have a lot of work to do. Things just happen without there hardly being any motivation. At the same time, when you think about it, quite a few of the decisions made in this episode seem like they should be important. Like Commander Sato ordering a mission more based on his feelings, or the Iron Squadron leaving the home of which they swore they would never ever leave it. There are a couple of glimmers, like Ezra’s short talk to Mart, reminding us of how far he has come, and your regular Imperials finally showing some competence. The problem is that it doesn’t go anywhere. Mart and Ezra hardly seem to develop and the Rebels escaped again, this time without any casualties whatsoever. It lacked depth and warmth. A story should tantalize you, but this one just happened.
Oky: When I heard that this episode was going to revolve around a group of rebellious teenagers (i.e. a bunch of Ezras as Zeb puts it) I thought it was going to be insufferable. Luckily it wasn’t as bad as I expected, although I wasn’t exactly impressed either. This is another episode where the rebels talk some other characters into joining them, except this time those characters are already on the rebels’ side and are just too confident in themselves and too attached to their home world to join the greater rebellion, but of course the rebels succeed in convincing them in the end. It made sense that the rebels sent in Ezra and Sabine first since they are the youngest members of the Ghost crew and were able to relate to Iron Squadron better. I also like that Thrawn is trying to teach his subordinates to be smarter about catching the rebels instead of relying on the size of their fleet by forcing Admiral Konstantine to handle the situation with only a single cruiser at his disposal, and Konstantine’s plan almost worked, but of course the rebels win again in the end. I’m really beginning to doubt this Thrawn’s competence considering he has let the rebels get away every time now, without any casualties this time even.

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What are your thoughts on the Characters?
BEAVeR: This is usually the longest section I write, but that won’t be true this time. There was just so little character development. The protagonists were a group of children who think they have it all under control. I like how they cared for one another, and how it seems that the other members of the Iron Squadron so warmly embracing Mart in the end gives him extra reason to regret his selfish acts, but those moments only lasted for a couple of seconds. None of the members of the Ghost crew showed character development, but as mentioned it was nice to be reminded of who the real Ezra is again. Then there’s Commander Sato, whose conflict really should have been elaborated on, but at least we got some hints as to his past with Thrawn. Speaking of Thrawn, it was nice how it showed he’s annoyed by the Imperial system by giving Constantine a mission of his own. I just hope the end of the season will justify him letting the Rebels escape yet again, because he’s really losing his credit with me.
Oky: While the titular Iron Squadron wasn’t as annoying as I feared, they definitely acted very cocky at the beginning and didn’t seem to have much of a personality beyond that, with the exception of Mart who was a bit more stubborn and egotistical than the others, but they became more likable by the end of the episode when they admit that they are not as in control of the situation as they thought they were. They also displayed a nice bond between each other. I like that they tried to make Commander Sato less of an uptight, one-dimensional character by having him show concern for his nephew. Plus him and Thrawn seem to have a bit of a rivalry going on. However, Sato barely has any lines or screen time, so the attempts at fleshing his character out fell kind of flat, and none of the other rebels had much development either. Chopper’s friendly rivalry with R3 was kinda cute though.

What is your opinion of the vehicles and locations?
572?cb=20161121205420BEAVeR: Surprisingly, this might be the most interesting department for this episode. I loved seeing the YT freighter, Mart’s Hammer, but really the Outrider. It looked really nice and was perfectly fit for such a group of rebels. I hope we see it again, and I have my hopes up for this appearing as a LEGO set one day! Mykapo looked nice but that’s about all there is to say about it. And finally, it was fun to see the Imperial ships coming all in order, with Thrawn’s Star Destroyer as the cherry on top of the cake. It’s a bit hard to see, but I love the dragon pattern that decorates the bottom of his command ship and think it’s a really nice personal but not over the top touch.
Oky: Probably the most exciting thing in this episode was the YT-2400 light freighter’s return to canon in the form of the Sato’s Hammer which hopefully means we will see it as a Lego set soon. We didn’t get to see the planet Mykapo up close, so there’s not much to say about it other than it looked very, uhm, greenish.

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BEAVeR’s rating: 2/5 – There was some nice action and some interesting ships in this episodes. But you can’t tell a story without good characters, and that’s what I missed in this episode. It wasn’t something thought provoking or something you could really connect with. It was just like the beginning of the first season with Ezra, but with less stakes. It was a small, inconsequential adventure with only a couple of hints to interesting stuff. I hope the show regains its momentum soon and gives us episodes we’ll remember for more than just the fact a certain ship was introduced in it.
Oky’s Rating: 2/5 – While this wasn’t a bad episode, it failed to leave much of an impact which is arguably one of the worst kinds of episodes. The plot was very basic and there wasn’t much character development other than the Iron Squadron learning a lesson about being overly self-confident and joining the rebels like so many other characters before them. The Empire, despite their best efforts, were once again incompetent, and aside from one or two generic space battles, there wasn’t much action either. I hope Thrawn will soon prove his worth and break this string of formulaic “recruitment” episodes.

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