Rebels Review: Through Imperial Eyes

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What did you think of the Plot?
BEAVeR: When watching this episode, it only takes a second or so to realize this episode is different from all of the others. It’s the very first episode that belongs more in the series of Star Wars Imperials rather than Star Wars Rebels. And it’s a welcome change of scene: the best way to have an insightful look at the Empire is from inside. We discover a lot of new things: what Imperial plumbing looks like, what those “pens” in the breast pockets actually do… The episode does a good job of showing a lot of the daily life of a highly-ranked Imperial. That helps to feel what Imperial life really feels like, it makes everything more real: the fact that you never take off the uniform, even in bed; the fact that everybody is suspicious of each other: the feeling of never being on your own but always being alone… All of that made that you saw the episode truly through Imperial eyes, so that you were very invested in all of the clever decisions and feared the not so clever decisions and  hoped for the best when the characters did the same. I was pleased to see an episode with a relatively clever yet self aware plot and a tense atmosphere elevated because of the personal significance to Kallus.
Oky: As the title suggests, this episode aimed to give us a new perspective on the story by telling it from Agent Kallus’ point of view and it starts fittingly with a first person view of him waking up in his quarters during an alarm. I thought this was a very unique way to start an episode, and originally it was being considered to have this episode be told entirely in this view which would have been very interesting and different, but sadly the production schedule would not allow it, so the rest of this episode was told the same way as any other. That is disappointing as you really get a good feeling about what Kallus’ everyday life is like in just those first few minutes which was lacking in the rest of the episode in my opinion. It’s a shame, especially since the plot was pretty good too. The rebels’ plan for extracting Kallus and the way they stole the codes, changed Thrawn’s map, and framed Lyste was all very clever. Thrawn using his deduction skills once again to identify the mole in the end was just the icing on the cake.

What are your thoughts on the Characters?
BEAVeR: Kallus was absolutely great in this episode. I loved how only tiny bits of emotion came through the still very Imperial personality. The worried look when he looks in the mirror, the slightly desperate look when switching out the planets (“Chances are high that Thrawn discovers this and is led straight to the base, but what other option do we have?”) and the look of hope when he manages to frame Lyste. He was not ultra clever (except for him reprogramming the droids, that was a bit over the top for me) but had a lot of common sense (leaving the Kalikori in order not to make the situation suspicious to Thrawn, for instance), and never let an opportunity go to waste to criticize Ezra’s way of work, all of which made him very real and relatable. He kept his emotions to himself most of the time, but his decision to stay says more than enough. It will be all the more tragic when he finds out he helped Thrawn more than hinder him in the end… This episode was indeed a very effective setup for such a tragedy, by giving us some more time to bond with Kallus.
It’s the first time we saw Thrawn be truly physical, and it was great. He didn’t have to be a great fighter for me, but I loved how his way of fighting speaks of his intelligent and cool way of dealing with things. It was to be expected he’d see through Kallus’ plan, and his exploiting this fact to his advantage was perfectly in line with this. Still nothing revolutionary though, so I’m still waiting for some really clever moments. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t to be feared yet!
Oky: This episode centered around Agent Kallus and his double life as Fulcrum, and while we do get a rough idea of what that life is like, I don’t think we learned all that much new about him. Most of the time he doesn’t show any emotion and keeps a straight face as usual, although there are brief moments where his true emotions shine through. You can tell that this life is very stressful on him by his weary look in the mirror and by his angry outburst at Ezra for jeopardizing his cover by coming on board. We also learn that he used to train under Wullf Yularen, who makes his Rebels debut, and that he is very skilled in programming droids which comes as a surprise (even to Thrawn) as he doesn’t seem like the type of person that would have this sort of technical know-how and has never displayed any until now. He also showed a lot of bravery when he decided to stay behind in the end, which will make it all the more tragic when he inevitably leads Thrawn right to the rebels. Ezra was mostly just being Ezra and executed his mission quite competently. It was kind of touching that he wanted to retrieve Hera’s Kalikori for her before Kallus advised him otherwise. AP-5 also did his job well without too many sarcastic comments this time. Thrawn was great as he not only used his skills of deduction once again to expose the true Fulcrum, but also showed some combat skills as well, making him seem even more dangerous. I really feel bad for Lt. Lyste, though, as he’s just a naive guy who is trying to do his job and always ends up getting tricked by the rebels.

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What is your opinion of the vehicles and locations?
BEAVeR: We saw quite a bit of new Imperial interior, but of course that didn’t look radically different from what was to be expected. Still, it’s a nice bit of world building.
Oky: There haven’t been many new vehicles or locations on this show for a while and since this episode takes place entirely on board a Star Destroyer, this one is no different. The only thing that was new was Thrawn’s training room and it was just a boring, empty room. Of course all Imperial rooms are like that, but I was hoping it would have the same kind of character that Thrawn’s office has with all the exotic art on display.

BEAVeR’s rating: 4.5/5 – This season is on a streak of late! This episode was again one with rather interesting and subtle emotions in it, and it had a tense plot on top of it. It wasn’t exceedingly clever, but clever enough, and that was what made it human and relatable. Kallus definitely is one of my favorite characters now, and I hope he will become the Ghost crew’s favorite one too. It will make what is to come all the more interesting…

Oky’s Rating: 4/5 – There was potential for a really great episode here, but I don’t think they executed it as well as they could have. The plot was very good and foreshadowed some upcoming trouble for our rebels. I really liked the opening scene that was shown from Kallus’ POV as it was more unique and revealing about Kallus’ life than anything that followed and if they would have found a way to make the rest of the episode as interesting as those first few minutes, it could have been something truly special, but instead most of the episode plays out like any other episode where the rebels infiltrate an Imperial facility. Still, all the characters acted very competently and we do get a bit of info about Kallus’ background, plus there were a lot of scenes without background music which added to the suspense, so this was still a pretty good episode.

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