Rebel Transmissions: The Antilles Extraction

Ah I adore all the Star Wars wonderful going ’round today! And I hope to continue that with this week’s Rebels commentary. Let’s head back a little before a few certain someones stole the Death Star plans and revisit the original “rogues” in The Antilles Extraction!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Rebels episodes Breaking Ranks, Out Of Darkness, The Honorable Ones, Twilight Of The Apprentice, and The Antilles Extraction.

Our story begins with an absolutely gutwrenching dogfight right outta the gate. It’s exciting yes, but no doubt it’s gutwrenching. The Imps take down an entire Rebel escort and every pilot they’ve got… all because they were providing aid to people in need. Ugh that is so so wrong. The TIE pilot’s snarky comment reminded me there’s a person behind that helmet. What did the Empire do to make that man lose his sense of humanity? What would drive a man to unapologetically fire at an unarmed vessel? The Empire is messed-up, you can see that in even this small moment. Somehow it’s not surprising a few someones want out of that career choice. Which is the dirt our new Fulcrum has dug up for the mini-Alliance. Sadly no it’s not Ahsoka (We totes getcha Ez), but I do like our new Fulcrum already. Because after about three seconds hearing his voice I exclaimed “SHUT UP. IT’S KALLUS!!!” Ahsoka’s voice had been a little more garbled, a little less obvious, and at the time, it didn’t even cross my mind it could be her. It took a few episodes for me to figure it out, and it still surprised me in the end. But Kallus… he’s been doing some thinking, I’ll wager. And his voice is lot more obvious. I was just happy as happy could be to know that, deep deep deep down, the commanding sideburns isn’t the jerk I’d been calling him since the pilot 😀 I was so excited to hear his voice I almost missed what he was talking about — three Imperial pilots who’re ready to jet on outta there. The Rebs get to help people and get a few new pilots to their steadily-declining fleet! Win-win! The mission’s already set up: Sabine will go undercover at the Imperial academy and help ’em escape. Ezra has some concerns about this, but while he’s played the part before, she was an academy student for reals. And you just can’t argue with “for reals”. All she needs are some fake credentials and some new hair dye and she’s good to go! Yeahhh ordinary hair colors just don’t work for her, do they? The bright highlights and most recently, her full-on purple ombre ‘do, are a part of who she is. I could see her working for the Resistance and still be rockin’ color in her hair! So yeah it was a little weird to get used to even for just this one episode. Anyway…
So how’s about that Skystrike Academy? I love that name bro. With a moniker like that I can see why it’d be easy to join up and fly for the Empire without reading the fine print. Good thing people like Sabine– er, “Rea”, are here to help. While the Academy’s got some cool stuff going for it, it’s still cursed with the uncoolness of its unsupportive Imps-in-charge and overall lack of humanity. We see that first-hand as “Rea” and her wingman Wedge take on a slew of Y-wings in a training simulation. They really did a great job with this scene ’cause while you assume that this is all training and no one’s killing anyone, the training tech is so impressive it demands us to believe otherwise. So when Sabine and Wedge came upon a disabled, helpless Rebel ship and are ordered to destroy it… man that’s not cool. Even Sabine knows this isn’t what the Imperial rules state, but bossman don’t care, he wants blasting done. And then oh look here comes the virtual Ghost and there go Sabine and Wedge’s TIEs. Wow the Rebs certainly made a name for themselves if they’ve worked their way into simulations. Sabine’s all “dude what the heck??” but that’s just the way these Academy teachers play the game… by making sure they always win. Anyone who doesn’t always win ain’t worth their time. Who needs humanity when you can be a winner? That might be what the Imps think, but clearly, Sabine and this Wedge guy share a different opinion. OK so I need to talk about Wedge obviously. Seeing him in SWR is super-special to me, because three years ago, when the series was first announced, I wrote this: “I’ve always myself wondered how the Rebellion came to be, and I’d hope to be introduced to some of these brave Rebels. I admit that I sadly overlook the Rebels sometimes as compared to the Jedi. As in, I know more about Kit Fisto than I do Wedge Antilles. That’s got to change, I know. Well, what better place to get to know them than this new show?” (From Clones To Rebels, 5/21/13) I had assumed the show might surround characters we already knew, but once I came to meet the wonderful Ghost crew, I couldn’t imagine anyone else in the lead. So it’s fantastic to see we’re actually getting to know more about Wedge Antilles, just like I’d hoped for way back when 🙂 Also I’m just glad I get to see him more and learn more about him and I love him to death now X3
Returning to the episode, it seems Governor Pryce and Agent Kallus dropped by, and that’s never good. Well, mostly it’s a problem when Pryce drops by, Kallus I’m cool with now. I couldn’t help but quite wonder what’s going through his head. He walks and talks with the same confidence he did a season ago, but he’s not the same guy he was a season ago. He’s a Fulcrum. Personally I’d be really paranoid and freaked out if I were in his shoes, but he’s keeping cool really really well. Though you can tell he got his feathers a little ruffled at Pryce’s snide remark about “teaching him something”. Brooo he should’ve just left the Empire on account of her crud alone.
It seems Sabine’s mission is going well though, she spies Wedge, along with two others, and it looks like they’re all trying to figure out an escape. Methinks she’s found the mini-Alliance’s newest pilots. In striking up a conversation with her wingman, we find that indeed Wedge is good and ready to get out. When he went from cargo ships to TIEs he figured out quickly the Empire he was serving wasn’t worth serving. That’s when Sabine reveals her true identity and her true mission. Now if someone can come up with a plan, we can chalk it up a win for the mini-Alliance…
Safe to say Ezra’s not enjoying any of this. All he and Kanan and Chopper can do is wait, and he might be a little worried about her. Like a lot. Kanan advises his padawan to accept he can’t control what happens, and also to trust Sabine. Kinda funny seeing Kanan now an expert on the topic, as he himself was once in this situation when Ezra was undercover. For different reasons, yes, as this is more of an Anakin-and-Padme thing than a master-and-apprentice thing, but still, what a reminder… Master Jarrus has definitely done some growin’ up himself. Granted don’t know if Ez will take that advice 100% 100% to heart right now, but that doesn’t make Kanan’s advice-giving skills any less cool. Yes learning to let go is a tough lesson, but I’m hoping that maybe Ez will learn it better than Anakin did.
So Sabine’s newly-formed plan is in motion. They’re going out for a real-space simulated dogfight and all Sabine and Wedge and his crew have to do is casually fly on over to the Rebel freighter and lightspeed off. Easy breezy! But Pryce had other ideas. The instant those four test TIEs rebelled, she popped their sidepanels off, leaving them exposed, aimless little pods ready for the pickin’. Poor Rake… he seemed like a cool guy. I’m sorry we didn’t get to know him well. Also wow Kallus is so good at keeping his cool right now ’cause I know I wouldn’t look so chill. With TIEs on all sides, Ezra and Kanan have no choice but to head into hyperspace, a choice Ezra clearly hated to make. So now Sabine, Wedge, and Hobbie have no way to escape and are at the mercy of the merciless Empire. That’s not terrifying at all! /sarc/ The good Governor likes herself some info and knows how to get it out of peeps. All she ultimately gets is “Rea”‘s real name, but that’s all she needs. The good news is, Kallus is no longer a jerkface. Bad news is… Pryce is a much bigger one. Gov’nuh already knows much of the young Mando’s doings, which is why she shouldn’tve been surprised when Sabine utterly owned her in a fistfight. Well, considering how well Pryce held her own for a while, I don’t think she was too surprised. Just probably caught her off-guard when the fierce little Wren smacked her into that electric torture prod. Seriously this fight was AWESOME. it’s impressive that Pryce, as an orderly diplomatic graycoat, could throw punches like that. But finally getting to see Sabine’s supercommando Mando side in a weaponless face-off is the awesomest of all. Dude I wanna be Sabine Wren when I grow up! Yeah Wedge and Hobbie were trying to formulate a rescue but… well, she’s just that good. Now I think the boys both wanna be Sabine Wren when they grow up XD With a solid blaster at her side, Sabine paves through the all the ‘troopers in their way. And suddenly they’re stopped by Agent Kallus. Up until this point, I’ve firmly believed Kallus is Fulcrum and that he’s a good guy now, but as he stands between our heroes and their way out, I was hit by doubt. What if I was mistaken and he wasn’t Fulcrum? Or what if he was Fulcrum but he was actually leading them on? What if…? Then Kallus quietly gives them directions to their best possible escape route. “Tell Garazeb Orrelios we’re even”. AWW YAYYY I WAS RIGHT KALLUS IS A GOOD GUYYY!! X3 From there the trio grabs a TIE bomber, and with Wedge doing awesome in the pilot’s seat, they’re able to escape Skystrike, reunite with their Rebel freighter, and win the day! It’s this kind of awesomeness that’s impossible to put into words… but you’ve seen it, you know what I’m talking about. It’s awesome. After recent near-escapes and half-victories, it’s good to know that no matter what happens next, Sabine’s mission was a definite win, because it got two fantastic young pilots in its ranks 🙂
What a great one am I right?! So great getting a Sabine episode this early on, and like I said before, finally getting to meet Wedge Antilles! (and Hobbie too!) I’ll fly with ya next week! *Punched for the bad pun*

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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