So here we are… all these months later, finally digging into the start of Rebels Season 2! I can’t begin to tell you how awesome this feels… the fact I am sitting here writing about this amazing episode… the fact that we have reunited with the Ghost family… just how much we’ve been through in this past episode… it’s all kinds of WOW. So wish me luck this is gonna be a long blog and I’m so much fangirling right now it’ll be a miracle if this post makes any sense XP
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode III, Episode V, Episode VI, TCW episode The Wrong Jedi, Rebels episodes Spark Of Rebellion, Call To Action, Fire Across The Galaxy and The Siege Of Lothal.
So it was an ordinary sort of day for our Rebels as we catch them in the middle of a scuffle with the Empire, but there is something new in this familiar (but wonderfully so) scenario — they’ve brought some new friends, the Phoenix squad. The Phoenix dudes know a thing or two about knockin’ down TIE fighters and flyin’ A-wings (if I am wrong forgive me), and Hera’s glad to have some helping hands around. Kanan voices some disagreement on that matter hidden in the form of banter, but that conversation didn’t last for long because well, TIEs. Ezra’s doing awesome manning the turret, though Zeb’s not doing quite as good at holding his balance when Hera makes a few sharp turns XD Sabine’s at the Phantom‘s controls and getting those Imperial crates loose with flying colors (I don’t think there’s a phrase that suits her better 🙂 ). Chopper is also a victim of Hera’s sharp turns as flails about in the Ghost‘s cockpit. Ah I tell ya this is the best way they could’ve opened this episode… getting us right on in with the Ghost crew doing their thang! You get this thrilling battle, Ezra’s enthusiasm, Sabine’s natural flair, Hera and Kanan’s adorableness, Zeb and Chopper bringing a couple of laughs, and all of that awesomeness in the first couple minutes! Oh but just as Hera was about to grab those crates, two Star Destroyers crash the party! Ezra appropriately drops the “k-word” to that. Sabine helps one of the Phoenixes with getting a TIE of his tail. The command ship’s under fire and Commander Sato’s not lovin’ the turn this battle just took. The Ghost manages to grab those crates at the last second and just like that the mini-Alliance is headin’ home into hyperspace. A win for today!
Now, it’s safe to say that a certain Prime Minister wasn’t having any wins today. All eyes look to Lothal’s Imperial gal-in-charge to get those Rebels under control. Tarkin’s mad after he lost that ship of his to the rebel scum, Kallus is seemingly enjoying throwing all this pressure on her, and oh yeah DARTH VADER has some choice words. Ohh yes the Darth don’t play. He knows what he wants and he knows how to get what he wants. Tua’s not sure what exactly she’s supposed to do about all of this. But Vader’s all “you can tell that to General Tarkin when you visit him.” BOOM DROP THE MIC. She tries to use her standings to get her out of this but Kallus leaves her with a rather chilling “don’t worry, we’ll manage in your absence.”. *Shudders* Much yikes. Poor poor Minister Tua! She may’ve been one persnickety Imperial in the past, but I can’t help but feel bad for her in this mess. On another note, it’s kinda funny that Kallus seems to be placing himself on the same level as Vader… somehow I get the feeling that Lord Vader’ll be the end of the agent ultimately. Y’know Kallus if you’re thinking of retiring it might be a good time to do so… because as we see, quitting is kinda… impossible in this business…
Meanwhile, the Ghost crew was at a mini-Alliance meeting with Sato and Tano (sorry I’m just gonna keep calling them the “mini-Alliance” right now XD ), discussing the end results of the mission, which apparently wasn’t a total win ’cause there weren’t any shield generators in those crates, something the Phoenix guys could most certainly use. Ahsoka throws in some of her trademark optimism with a hopeful “maybe next time”. And then in runs Chopper with a transmission. Sato don’t like the interruption, but Kanan, all-too bored with the meeting, is more than glad for the distraction. Hera shoots him a death glare, Kanan gives her this face that says “yeah and whatchu gon’ do bout it?” XD Hera consents to at least a one-way transmission. Old Jho comes on with a… friend… that friend being Maketh Tua. Kanan isn’t interested in what she’s got to say, but Hera’s willing to hear her out. Tua really really wants to get off Lothal ASAP and she’s willing to trade secret Imperial intel for such. She is completely and utterly done with the Empire, and Ezra can sense her fear and knows she’s not lying. If that’s not enough, she knows why exactly the Empire came to Lothal, and it’s Emperor-ordered kinda stuff. Oooooh intrigue! Whilst the Rebels discuss among themselves what the best move is, Ezra is the first to step up and agree to help her. And with that, the Ghost crew and the Phoenixes follow. Help is on the way! But oh ho ho Hera is not done with her copilot. Ahsoka’s expression as Hera storms off after Kanan seems to say “psh good luck bro” XP As soon as the Captain catches up to him in the hallway, she starts laying down some choice words (and another Rebel sorta weaves around them with a “I am so not getting involved in whatever this is” expression on his face XD ). Kanan rather has a problem with being part of a militant group; he liked it better doing his own thing when it comes to fighting the Empire. Hera literally has him backed up against the wall to try and get it through his head why this is a good thing, I mean these guys did kinda save his life (and ultimately all of theirs). But he’s just not comfortable with the idea of getting mixed up with another war after what conspired during the Clone Wars. Hera softens her approach a bit after this. It’s easy to see both sides of this, to get Hera’s logic, but also hurt for all the hurt Kanan’s been through. And at the same time I can’t help but devour their honesty with each other and the bond they have. My heart melts the way she puts her hand on his arm… :3 Well that sure took a rabbit trail, didn’t it now? I’m sorry, but that’s how my mind works… I observe something squee-worthy, I talk about said squee-worthy something! I can’t deny that part of me! OK so anyway Ezra witnessed a bit of their conversation, and I have to wonder what he’s thinking, as Ezra seems really into this not-fighting-alone thing. It’ll be interesting if we see his loyalties challenged later on in the series, if Ezra ever finds himself potentially choosing between Master Jarrus and the rest of the Rebels. Food for thought indeed. But elsewhere, things are heading in a southerly direction… as in the quiet of the Lothal Imperial Complex as Tua casually walks out of her office, she doesn’t see Kallus sending off his good friend an Imperial Probe Droid in her direction. Hoo boyyy.
So now the Rebs are off, this time in a shuttle with Chopper driving (which as you can imagine everyone questions). Hehe Chopper totally takes his piloting job seriously. “HEY AS LONG AS I’M DRIVIN’ I AIN’T TAKIN’ ANY OF YOUR BACKTALK KIDS! Now, please remain seated, we are about to depart.” XD Well, this is the kinda thing you’ve gotta do when the Empire knows who you are. So Ezra’s got the plan down as to when and where they’re picking up Minister Tua. Zeb and Sabine voice again their uncertainties over all of this and why they’re even bothering to help someone who gave them so much crud in the past. Ezra’s answer is incredibly tear-jerking awesome: “Because that’s what we do, we help people”. Regardless of who they are and what they’ve done, Ezra doesn’t change his mission, he will help those who need help. Hera gives him a “proud parent” smile, and I basically start sobbing because that is so so amazing. It’s only been a handful of episodes and look how the boy’s grown already! I am digging on this somewhat newfound optimism; I guess it’s only natural after facing impossible odds and even the possibility of your own demise and finding out you’re part of something greater. He came out of it with a scar, but at the same time, he came out of it with a new attitude! OK enough feely rambling… it’s about to get real as they come back to the home planet. As they begin their descent, Ezra is hit by an unfamiliar feeling… one that leaves him… cold. Sgain *shudders*. And on top of that, Ezra can’t help but notice the sudden spike in the number of Star Destroyers in the docking bay. Clearly their last stunt got them even more attention than they thought. Yeah this has “I’ve got a bad feeling about this” written allllll over it (Anyone notice that I don’t think one character has spoken those words since the show began? Seems odd, doesn’t it?). But the show must go on. As they’re sneaking through the alleys, they’ve got a few white-armored problems standing in their way. Kanan’s solution? FRIENDSHIP! OK not exactly. He took a second to get chummy with an old Stormtrooper “buddy” and then pulled out the fists. As far as Kanan’s concerned, being a Rebel doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun once in a while! And just like that, Master Jarrus is now donning the buckethead’s duds. Classic move, my brotha! Ezra punctuates the moment in the best way… “I’m kinda jealous all I’ve got is the helmet!” XD XD
So while Kanan scoped around down below, Hera, Ezra, and Sabine took to the upper levels. And it seems they’ve got a new problem… it seems Kallus didn’t just send a probe droid along, but he also managed to give the Minister an escort. Looks like that was the most uncomfortable drive ever. Yeesh if Kallus wasn’t an absolute jerk before he’s become even more so as of late… I betcha he knew all of what Vader was planning beforehand, hence all of those ominous, foreboding statements and creepy smiles. Though he has no clue that there’s one buckethead out there who’s not like the rest… and then Sabine makes the first move and starts sending out some laserfire! Once she starts, everyone gets in on it, Rebels and ‘troopers and jerk ISBN agents alike! In the midst of the chaos, our heroes send the Minister off to their getaway shuttle. And they were almost home free when that very shuttle — with Minister Tua on it — goes up in smoke. Even with all the trouble she’s helped cause, I admittedly was saddened by her loss. She was probably the least jerky Imperial we’ve seen the entire series, and the fact she ultimately chose the right path — even if it was a little too late — is pretty noble. I applaud you, Maketh Tua, for being a pretty awesome Imperial. She will be missed. Yeah just like with Aresko and Grint, you kinda can’t help but feel bad for them, I think because we see just how cruel the Empire works. You’re always at the mercy of someone greater, someone crueler, someone with no mercy, and that “someone” will end your life if they see fit to do so, and when you’ve got Sith and Sith-y sorts involved, it’s inevitable. It’s understandable as to why our heroes can’t help but look on in shock and dismay. And as the Rebels work to avoid Kallus and the rest of the ‘troopers, they don’t see the terrifying, dark presence watching from above… and as they make their getaway, the return of Kallus’ chilling smile. And their getaway doesn’t last for long as a walker takes aim at their shuttle. I’d say that today was not a win for them. Especially since the crew’s now on the lam more than ever with the death of the Prime Minister apparently on their hands. All as Lord Vader predicted…
The Ghost crew finds shelter for the moment in the Bridgers’ place. Hera believes their best move now is to leave Lothal behind for good. Ezra, however, wants to find some way to show Lothal the truth, about them and about the Empire. But that looks like it won’t be happening anytime soon because in come a slew of Stormtroopers knockin’ the door down! Chopper fights back the best he can, zapping one buckethead and sealing the door shut, but there’s not much he can do against thermal detonators. I think it’s safe to say Ezra’s old home is no longer 😦 Without many options, our Rebels decide their best bet is to break for the Imperial Complex and grab a ship there. Oh the way Ezra looked back at his house… I can’t even 😥 “Guess there is no going home.”
Mission “Get Off Of Lothal Alive” is a go. Kanan, still in his ‘trooper suit, and Ezra, back in his old cadet uniform, are making their way in. A suspicious buckethead causes some problems, but nothing a good ol’ fashioned Jedi mind trick won’t help, at least when done by a “professional” like Kanan. You know if mind tricks only work on the weak-minded, then the Empire really should consider hiring some smarter people. You’d think of all people Vader would know this, but I suppose he doesn’t screen all their employees. Nevertheless, it’s a good thing they don’t hire strong-minded folks ’cause Kanan and Ezra had some important cargo to get in — the rest of their crew. Zeb took it like a man NOT 😛 I was thinking at first “It’s nice to know claustrophobic people like me exist in the SW Universe!” and then he drops one of his best lines ever “What? I need to breathe! Have you smelled me?!” XD 😆 But he’s back in his element once he can squish a couple of ‘troopers again. Looks like this plan’s gone quite well. Perhaps today could at least be a little bit of a win for them. On top of that, they find a whole bunch of military-grade shield generators just lying around waiting to be used by the mini-Alliance! Ka-win! They were this close to their ride off this rock… and then Kanan and Ezra stopped dead in their tracks. That cold presence again. It’s Darth Vader. Our heroes don’t know this guy as well as we do, but with a red lightsaber and his helmet putting off a dark, soulless, deadly vibe, they just know they’re in trouble. Man oh man I remember seeing the season 2 trailer for the first time and just how much this terrified me. I’m all “aw dang someone’s gonna die this season”. I mean, a couple of padawans are completely NBD to Vader. Kanan and Ezra put up quite a fight, but throwing them around is as easy as (or perhaps in his case, easier than) breathing for the dark lord. I’m not sure I’ve ever feared for a character’s life more than when Vader pinned Ezra against the walker and slowly used the Force to aim his own lightsaber at his throat. OK that’s probably not the only time (do we even need to discuss the events of the TCW season 5 finale?), but you get what I mean! If you say you were completely not worried about Ezra you are a liar. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again IT IS A SHEER MIRACLE ANYONE SURVIVED THIS. Kanan was lucky to only have his shoulder grazed. Sabine was lucky to only have her armor damaged. The Vader of Star Wars Rebels is the stuff of nightmares. He’s in his prime here, no son to make him question himself yet, just a whole lot of angry in there. HE LITERALLY SURVIVES GETTING HIT BY A COLLAPSED WALKER. And nothing comes off more terrifying than something you (seemingly) can’t defeat. You can definitely see the difference between what a guy with a red lightsaber can do as versus what an actual Sith can do. And even though the Rebels manage to get away with their lives… Darth has complete confidence he’s still got this.
The whole debacle still has the Rebels reeling. I mean, fighting a Sith Lord is not what you would call an everyday occurrence, and Kanan knows just how fortunate their escape was. And the cold hard fact is they still have really no way offworld as long as Vader and the rest of the Empire’s on their tail. But Hera hatches a brilliant idea, perhaps a certain smuggler can help. A certain smuggler who, at the suggestion, gets a big fat “NO” from the boys 🙂 Yeah you know who that would be!
Back in the Imperial Complex, Vader too has a “brilliant idea” (at least from his point of view). Whether or not it would ultimately lead them to the Rebels, he wants Tarkintown burned. GASP! He’s gonna hurt innocent lives just so he can mess with the compassion-driven help-anyone-who-needs-help Ghost family! Because I’ve seen so much of the good Anakin has done as of late and because I know he redeems himself ultimately, I admit sometimes I don’t consider Vader so much as a straight-up villain as a misguided hero-turned-villain. But man… this really reminds me that he really can be a straight-up, cruel, merciless villain. At this juncture, it doesn’t matter what he’s done or who he will be, right now he’s pretty much all bad. BOO VADER! WHY YOU GOTTA DO THAT?!
On a much, much lighter note, yep, the Rebels called up Lando Calrissian! The bro seems pleased to have gotten a transmission from the captain. Kanan’s the first to point out this a business call XD It takes a little convincing to get Lando to give them a hand (and a promise of three of those shield generators), but he agrees and puts them in the capable hands of his droid back at his place. And yes I happen to love that his droid rocks a Texas drawl… I think that’s a first for SW! 😀 But while they’re there, Ezra sees smoke rising from a distance. He doesn’t hesitate for a minute to grab a speederbike and follow it. And at the other end lies smoldering rubble where Tarkintown once lied. The very town where Ezra started to question what it meant to help others. Everyone is gone. They’re Imperial prisoners, but considering how the Empire works, I don’t think that’s much better than if they had just killed them. TEARS. SO MANY TEARS. But even in all of this, Ezra still holds out for hope that they can still fight this. Kanan has his doubts in the midst of such a difficult situation, but Ezra isn’t afraid to do the right thing. Again, WOW, Ezra you are amazing in this episode. I mean, he’s always amazing, but seeing him taking this stance, seeing hope in the midst of destruction… that’s not easy for anyone to do, and yet he does it. Oh, how he’s grown up! I’m sorry let’s get on to the next scene before I start crying again– whoops, too late. So anyway, plan B for Mission “Get Off Lothal Alive” involves some old transponders Sabine wired to give off the same signals as their shuttle, to confuse the Imperials as they try to get offworld (“Sounds like a lousy Lando plan” “It’s my plan, just his gear” “Sounds like a lousy Sabine plan” “Better than Lando’s!” XD ). It does work for a bit, but the Imperials are cleverer than they look and they send out some TIEs to take care of the extra signals. But as soon as they figure out which signal’s the real one, our heroes dash off down hyperspace lane! They’re home free! Though Kanan’s still unsure about being a member of the mini-Alliance, he’s outvoted on this one. The Ghost crew’s next move is back with the Phoenixes.
Admiral Konstantine was probably terrified to make that call to Vader to tell him the Rebels escaped. I half-expected Darth would do his thing and give him a good Force-choking, but he’s chill and struts off to his ship. As we find out from Kallus, that particular shuttle’s got a tracking device on it. This sinks in as the scene comes to an end. Minimal dialogue, no score, 100% chilling.
Yeah just when we thought they’d be home free, Chopper happens to take notice of the transmitter. Not really the first thing you want to say to Sato and Tano when you run into the conference room. And guess who the first guest to show up to the party is? Darth Vader. The Phoenix crew thought one TIE alone was no big deal… emphasis on “thought”. Two fighters are down and Vader has no problem hitting the command ship where it hurts. Hera’s the first to get involved, and the rest of the Ghost team follows, with Ahsoka in tow. Ah it felt so so good seeing her smile as she asks “mind if I tag along?”! She’s grown up, but she has not lost that optimism of hers that is among many reasons she’s such an incredible character 🙂 And on top of that, seeing her interact with Ezra and all the Rebels is just so stinkin’ cool! It’s more than I could have ever asked to see in this awesome series! OK putting the fangirl button on pause now. We’ve got a battle to fight. Vader downs another two Phoenixes, and it’s go time for our heroes. I love it when Hera says “OK kids, make mom and dad proud” 😀 Aw nuts I hit the “play” button on my fangirl remote again! Sorry *hits pause*. The command ship is just about done for, and it’s all up to the Ghost now. Ahsoka can tell that whoever’s flying that ship is pretty strong with the Force. And I think it’s safe to say those of us in the audience held our breath as she reached out with the Force to uncover this guy’s identity. I mean, I had no clue we’d be seeing their worlds collide just yet. It’s one of those things you know is inevitable but you just don’t see coming when it does happen. Ezra recognizes the pilot as that Sith Lord they fought earlier. And Ahsoka… I think she just recognizes him period. And Vader recognizes her. We all know it was pretty horrifying for Luke to find out his dad’s a dark lord, but imagine how it must feel for Ahsoka! Luke found that out at the last minute, but Ahsoka spent years with him. She and Anakin were like brother and sister, they fought together, he taught her almost everything she knows, they laughed and cried together, and saved each other’s lives many times. In some ways, this reveal is more heartwrenching to experience than Luke’s. I know that’s a very controversial statement, but just put yourself in Ahsoka’s shoes, regardless of how she felt when she left the Jedi Order. Not to steal thunder from Episode V, of course, both reveals are different and terrifying in their own way. You know what? Perhaps it’s just safer to say they were equally terrifying and world-rocking reveals. Disregard the whole “more than” thing. Any way you spin it it’s a hard truth to swallow. Whether Ahsoka knows for absolute absolute certain who’s flying that TIE or not, knowing anything at all knocked her out like a light. At this point, it’s looking like the mini-Alliance’s best option is to make a run for it, especially when a few Star Destroyers join the party. And now Vader’s very very interested in finding out who’s aboard that ship. At least this gives the rest of the mini-Alliance a chance to abandon ship safely. Hera’s escape plan is absolute genius, though… she hits the hyperspace just as the Star Destroyers were zeroing in on them, and guess who’s in the Imperial Fleet’s path now? No one important just LORD VADER!! Konstantine’s shocked face is priceless XD They managed to turn off their targeting before they fry their boss, but yeah somebody’s getting a whole lotta Force chokin’ tonight… but forget the random Imperials our Rebels live to fight another day!
Later on, in the quiet of the Ghost, Ahsoka decides to talk a little with her fellow Jedi about whoever this Sith is. Ahsoka claims she doesn’t know who the guy is, though I suppose “from a certain point of view” she could mean she doesn’t know who he is as versus who he was, if that makes any sense. So in that case I wouldn’t say she’s lying. But regardless, both Ahsoka and Kanan know that this guy is something they haven’t tangled with since the Clone Wars, and it won’t be the last time they’ll tangle with him. Ezra’s still all gung-ho for fighting back, and then Kanan drops a lovely piece of Gandalfian wisdom: “We must find the strength to fight; the greater courage is knowing when not to fight”. EPIC. Hera and the rest of the crew walk in then, making it clear “we’ll be beside you either way” 🙂 AWW FEELZ! Ahsoka smiles, clearly glad to have such amazing cohorts. But while the Ghost team exchanges a happy moment, Ahsoka still has to come to grips with a very painful reality… that her teacher, her friend, her “big brother”… has gone to the dark side.
Elsewhere, Vader was having a similar conversation with the Emperor. Now that he knows his apprentice lives, Vader and Sidious see this as a new opportunity, as she could potentially lead them to more remaining Jedi. For now, they’ll leave the job of hunting down the Rebels to a new inquisitor. All I can say to that is “May the Force be with you, Rebs… always. SERIOUSLY. Especially now.”
And thus the second season of this amazing show has blown all our minds! So much so it took me two days to write all this! But YAYYY REBELS! Only a few months until the show is back officially! I’ll be watching all the reruns a million times until then! So thank you for joining me… this was fun! Until next post…
Keep The Peace,