It’s time once again for another Rebel Transmission! And this one’s (hopefully) going to be a lot of fun as we delve into the Empire and meet some pretty awesome kids in the episode known as Breaking Ranks! Better get your ‘trooper helmet ’cause it’s going to be one wild ride!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode I, TCW Episodes Clone Cadets, The Box, and The Big Bang (Storyreel), and Rebels episodes Spark Of Rebellion and Breaking Ranks.
I can’t begin to express how much I love the way they played this episode out. The fact that it opens without any backstory or explanation, and we have to learn all of that later! It’s awesome! What goes without explanation is simple… we have found Ezra hanging out with a bunch of Imperial Stormtrooper cadets! Why? How? What? OK most likely you, like me, made the assumption that it’s an inside job. But why? What is required of this inside job? And how the hey did Ezra take off that helmet and have his hair come out perfect? (OK well that’s also because he’s animated but having a lot of hair myself I notice these things)
So yes, I’m not sure what could feel weirder than waking up one morning wearing white, walking in formation, and taking orders from our friends from the first episode, Jerk Imperial #1 and Jerk Imperial #2. Oh, I guess there’s one thing… going by a completely different name, that being Dev Morgan (though admittedly, that’s a pretty cool name). Ezra seems to have forgotten that for a second when a fellow cadet, Jai Kell, calls him by “name”. But all the palling around between these fast friends doesn’t last long on Imperial turf. Gentlemen and gentlemen, welcome to The Well, Imperial training ground-doohickey. It looks a whole lot like a familiar doohickey from back in the Clone Wars, The Box, except I guess it’s less lethal. Heh… crazy how such a simple name can already be so cool just as it is! Basically, they’re all these floaty boxes and these kids need to jump from one to another to get up and get out of das Well. Winners gets to be Imperial Aides of the day! Losers… well, they weren’t terribly specific but it sounds like they’ll be scrubbing the bathrooms with a toothbrush. This one cadet does the totally boyish thing of pretty quickly making it clear he’s gonna cream the others, and Ezra answers him with all the calm, cool collectedness of a certain Jedi disguised as a bounty hunter in a similiar scenario over a decade ago. “YOU’RE GOING DOWN, MORGAN!” “Actually, we’re going up.” Of course then a bit of a scuffle started, but still, nicely done Ezra. But yeah as soon as the game starts, young Bridger starts putting the others to shame. #JediBenefits. He and Jai make it to the top pretty quickly, and not even the addition of zapping electricity on the boxes and Jerk Cadet from before trying to bump ’em off can hinder these top-of-the-class kids. Oh, and this third kid did pretty awesomely too, but he’ll be more important later on. Jerk Imperials #1 and #2 are impressed, but in ‘trooper training there are no reward stickers or friendly words of encouragement, only a reminder that their next challenge will be way way harder. Real nice, man… even the stinkin’ bounty hunters who trained the clone troopers were nicer than these clowns! And *coughclonetrooperswerebettersoldiersthanstormtroopersanywayprobablybecausetheyweremoresupportivecough* Buuuut at least they trio’s on their good side and becoming aides for the day so I guess it’s not all that bad. As the three follow JI #1 through the halls, Ezra silently acknowledges a famliar face… a little black C1-1OP who just happens to be Chopper in disguise. And the third cadet sorta takes notice. But once Chopper’s out of sight, he’s able to signal another two familiar faces watching and waiting from afar — Sabine and Zeb. And as Sabine confirms to Hera that Ezra’s in, the plan we didn’t fully get at first starts falling into place. It appears that Ezra’s in on this to fetch a handy decoder that could help them on their next plan. And though it was his idea… Kanan’s no longer liking the plan too much. Though he won’t admit it, he comes off a bit worried for his padawan’s safety. It’s fun watching how smoothly Hera handles his frustration; she just rolls with it and does what she can to both chill him out and irritate him a bit. Like she do 🙂
So yes, as Ezra casually sauntered away from the group, the cadet from before definitely had his curiosity/suspicion peaked. Particularly as “Dev” makes a dash for Agent Kallus’s office after having done his unpaid-intern duties. Ezra thought he’d nabbed that decoder from Kallus’s computer-thing without a hitch, and thennnnn he opened the door to Cadet #3’s smiling helmet. For a long awkward moment, Ezra’s not quite sure whether he’s in trouble or if he’s in even more trouble. But Cadet #3 happens to mention that there might’ve been an alarm on the doorway that might’ve gone off had Ezra tried to walk out with the decoder. Turns out this kid might be on his side. Andddd we can all breathe now. But maybe not so much for the Ghost crew, who don’t know exactly what went down. And now they only have one more day as their ultimate plan is revealed; the Empire’s getting itself a shipment of kyber crystals which of course could be really bad, and that little decoder can help our heroes get rid of it before the baddies decide to arm everyone and their brother with lightsabers.
Later that evening, Ezra got to talk with his potential new ally, who goes by Zare. I would’ve figured there would be more pro-Empire kids in this mix than this, but clearly not everyone. Zare’s really only here because his sister went here… and disappeared. Oooh yes his story is one I definitely want to hear more of! But anyway, it looks like Ezra’s got a friend to help him figure out his way around the Imperials and nab that decoder. And Zare has no arguments against doing so.
The next day, the Imperials have amped up their training in The Well, and this time they’ve given them all blasters! Well, thankfully they don’t seem to do much harm, so that’s at least a slightly smart decision on the Empire’s part. They have to shoot the targets to get the boxes out to climb out this time around. And it, you know, goes pretty well, for Ezra and Jai at least… Zare’s not quite there yet. Knowing that he needs to have Zare around to help him with his heist, Ezra makes a tough choice and pushes his buddy off the platform for Zare. The Imperials are just eating this supposed treachery up, but Jai’s far from thrilled to be getting the short end of that stick. Aww Ezra looks so sad walking away from his infuriated friend, not able to explain why he had to do what he did… 😦 But shortly thereafter, Ezra and Zare are off to the races to get that decoder. Ezra has crawled through the vents to Kallus’s office to where he intends to use the Force to nab the device, while Zare plays the distraction game with the Agent-In-Charge. Zare tells Kallus that he’s got to sign for some podracer parts, and Kallus is all “dude I didn’t order any podracer parts!”. Somehow I could see an Imperial buying one of those though… fast, dangerous, cool… of course, then again, Anakin was the only human who could drive one so maybe not. Hehe Zare should’ve tried convincing him to buy one to buy a little extra time; “Well if you didn’t order any parts, why not? You’d be the envy of the Empire! Imagine, policing the streets of Lothal with the wind blowing through your sideburns! Making the rebels eat your dust! I bet even Lord Vader himself would be all kinds of jelly!” XD But either way, his distraction worked, and Ezra was able to Force-grab that decoder without a hitch. Though as Ezra was crawling back through the vents, he happened to overhear a hologram conversation between JI #1 and (dun dun DUN) The Inquisitor. Evidently, “Morgan” and Kell are highly recommended to the ‘Quiz, and the dark dude is looking forward to seeing them in action… and… “taking them into custody”. Aw dang that can’t be good. It looks like Ezra’ll be hanging around a bit longer.
A short time later, Chopper delivers the decoder to Sabine and Zeb, as well as Ezra’s hastily-recorded message letting them know a little about his plan to help his friend, and also that he could use their help for a diversion tomorrow. Yup never a dull moment for these guys. So yeah Sabine didn’t have a lot of time to explain to Kanan why exactly Ezra wasn’t there before he and Hera headed off to take on the Imperial shipment. Don’t you hate when hyperspace cuts off your comlink?
Back to the Imperial Academy, Ezra’s managed to get a second to talk to Jai about what happened and what’s going to happen. But the kid ain’t havin’ it, he’s not sure who to trust, and he’s not even totally convinced that the ‘Quiz is real. But once Zare shares his side of the story, the fact that his missing sister is proof enough, and now Jai’s more so willing to listen to Ezra’s plan.
Meanwhiles, it’s off to the Imperial-ship-destroying races for Kanan and Hera, who only have one shot to get that kyber crystal out of commission. One has to wonder, with the resulting massive explosion and all, was this one crystal possibly like the one in the TCW Utapau Crystal Crisis storyreels? A gigantic thing? Because that would make a lot of sense then. But where would the Empire’ve found another one of those?? Hmmm one has to wonder!
The next day, the crazy’s back on as our three cadets are in a race to make it to that promised winners’ ride in an Imperial Walker, as that will be the first step to their escape plan. But what happens when only two of the three win (thank you no thank you Jerk Cadet)? Time to improvise. First have Chopper plant a couple detanators on another AT-ST as a distraction, then have Jai hit their AT-ST driver with a blaster set to stun, and all you need now is Ezra to get back in the mix! Oh, and shoot down anything in your way. Also stunning Jerk Cadet was a necessity; what is wrong with that guy? Yeahh but I digress who wouldn’t love to drive one of those puppies? Hehe I know I do! Of course no one called for the blast doors to come down and knock the walker over. But that’s what friends are for, and by friends I mean a sharpshooting Lasat, blaster-wielding Mando, and taser-crazy droid. And together, they’re able to save Ezra and his friends. Yus, for a bunch of guys who don’t value friendship too highly, they just got whupped by it 😀 Anyway, with the Imperials closely behind, Zare makes the decision to stay, to help Ezra and Jai make their escape, and to continue in his mission to find his sister. Brave man, that Cadet Leonis. And boy oh boy will he have to be brave as The Inquisitor decides to have a talk with him… and who that Jedi friend of his is. Be brave, Zare! Now I must go and read your book series right now!
But back onboard the Ghost, life continues as always, and it’s safe to say that Ezra’s glad to be back with his supportive family of Rebels. Life there may be crazy, but nothing beats being surrounded by real friends who you can always trust 🙂
So yay for teamwork! And friendship! And giant explosions! This episode was a lot of fun and quite the exciting adventure as we continue to get to know Ezra and the gang a little better each day. So same time next week, Cadets!
Keep The Peace,