Rebel Transmissions: Steps Into Shadow

The Rebel Transmissions have returned. And I’m still trying to figure out how it is time passed so quickly! The third season has begun, and I can only hope I’ll be able to organize my thoughts decently in this post. Well, won’t find out just sitting around! Let’s dive in!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Rebels episodes Rebel Resolve, Stealth Strike, Legends Of The Lasat, The Honorable Ones, Shroud Of Darkness, Twilight Of The Apprentice, and Steps Into Shadow

Y’know those surtitles or subtitles or whatever you wanna call ’em I put on my post headers? I came up with that concept when Padawanline was only a thought. I liked the idea of a quick clever line to define the episode in some way, whether it was a terrible pun (See: Wings Of The Master‘s “B-lieve It”) or a deep deep thought that truly did define the episode (See: Legacy‘s “Always There”). It’s fun coming up with the surtitle, but it’s also often exceedingly hard. Especially the more dramatic and deep the episode. Figuring out how to put Steps Into Shadow into one quick line was near impossible… until I came up with what you see up there. I feel it’s one of the best I’ve come up with, because it describes exactly where we find our master and padawan right now, and really the Ghost crew itself. Remember way way back on Rebel Resolve? Kanan was captured by the Empire, and Ezra was doing his best to lead the team to find him. When Kanan was there leading them, things went off without a hitch, even when they didn’t. But without him, things went south pretty fast. It’s really says a lot about who he is and how he’d changed. The Ghost wasn’t his, the idea of rebelling wasn’t his — that’s all Hera’s doing. But yet, he became Specter One. Because he believed in what Hera believed in, and in turn, he stepped up and became a better person, and eventually a true leader. His leadership soon went, however, from one of a small rebellion to that of a Jedi master when Ezra came along. And that role taught them both much. However… now Kanan feels he can’t lead, and Ezra has assumed the sort of the same role he once had. When I first heard Ezra would be leading the mission Steps Into Shadow surrounded, I was impressed. He must’ve learned much and become exceptionally skilled and mature, right? Well… though things go better than in Rebel Resolve… Ezra still has some growing up to do when it comes to achieving Kanan-status leadership. But I imagine it’s hard to become that kind of leader when Kanan hasn’t been around much lately. Either way, with Ezra struggling to fill the void his master left, things are most definitely out of balance.
All deep thoughts aside, the opening was a thrill. As soon as I saw Zeb and Sabine making their way right under the stormtroopers’ noses, I felt at home, as though I’d never left. But then Ezra comes up out of nowhere and delivers a solid punch to one of the bucketheads. Seeing Ezra here, looking so very grown-up… it was then I realized maybe I had been away for a while. Of course I’d known for a while that he’d gotten a haircut and stuff, but oh gracious… he really grew up. I still can’t get over how tall he is now. So strong and lean and significantly less of a kid than he was six months ago. And did I mention he’s leading this thing? Wow. I’m sorry I’m still going on about this but I these guys are practically my children and my children have suddenly grown up and it makes me wanna cry and hug ’em at the same time and I know that sounds weird so I will stop talking now. The Rebs are at this particular Imperial prison to rescue a particular individual — an old pirate named Hondo Ohnaka. Hehe the #OhnakaFever never stops around here! I’d wondered what happened to him after Legends Of The Lasat. It’s always a pleasure (even if the last time we saw him he was causing a little trouble). Especially when he happily addresses Zeb and Sabine as “Purple Guy” and “Mando Girl”. I absolutely died laughing at Zeb’s nickname XD Though Ezra’s glad to see his pirate buddy again, the Rebs had other reasons for the rescue. Hondo’s got the intel; Hondo and his ugnaught comrade both do. No time for reunions though look more ‘troopers! And Ezra turns a blaster on them in a split-second. He’s so quick on the draw it’s scary. Clearly he’s been doing more with Rex in his spare time. And maybe taking notes from Sabine, too. Whatever the case it’s impressive… and scary. Like tbh most of his methods right now. Oh and that new lightsaber tho. I’m definitely interested in knowing how he put it together, especially since Kanan likely wasn’t involved. Boyyyy can he do some stuff with that thing! Watching him so gracefully and forcefully fling that ‘saber makes me almost forget that there’s still something a bit… edgier… about his new methods. So short story short the ugnaught informant called no deal at the last second and was then tragically met with the other end of a walker gun. How’re they supposed to handle all these troopers? Ezra’s gonna handle it. As he reaches out with the Force, I jokingly commented “you don’t want to deal with the intruders, you want to go get pancakes”. Unfortunately, the walker driver and his fellow bucketheads don’t get any pancakes… what Ezra does is just plain scary. Actually that’s not good enough, try terrifying. The grimly justified look on Ezra’s face as the walker falls reminds me all-too much of a young Anakin Skywalker. And that alone gave me the shivers. “When did Kanan teach you that?” “He didn’t.” *Shudders* Before the season debuted, I understood that likely Ezra was going to continue playing with the darkness… but actually seeing it… no words. I’m actually sick with terror right now, and this is the second time I’ve watched it. At the start of the last season, I absolutely loved Ezra’s bright hopeful attitude, such a wonderful incredible change from his selfish, jaded self in the beginning. It seems the events of Twilight Of The Apprentice have changed him in a very different way. A very dark way. It’s sorta a swift punch to the gut. It’s not that he’s entirely changed. His fighting style was a little grittier than when we last saw him, but he’s clearly still got that confident swagger and genuine desire to help others he’s always had. He’s still Ezra Bridger. But after that stunt… and after many of his reactions we see in this season opener… there’s something not quite right. But for now everyone’s just glad when Hera and the Ghost swoop in and fly off. Also Zeb throwing out the term “wizard” was just the little spot of sunshine I needed about then XD I love that that backwater Tatooine slang is getting back into circulation amongst not only us superfans but also the SW universe itself! It’s wizard bruh! However, Hera is not finding the insanity that conspired to be too wizard. She remains undoubtedly THE BOSSLADY. Oh yeah and I do love her new outfit. It’s not all that different but it’s so cute I want to wear something similar in the average everyday. But wait that wasn’t the point. Yeah Hera wasn’t happy with the stuff Ezra overlooked and he isn’t happy with folks questioning his sheer awesomeness. Ezra’s out and everyone else is left with the awkwardness. Teenagers amiright?
In my Transmission on the last episode, I wrote Ezra had “many difficult decisions ahead of him”, and I’m thinking he may not have made the right decisions in some cases. Like remember that Sith holocron? He still has it. And not only that, he’s freely having conversations with The Presence. Which kinda threw me ’cause I thought she was just contained on the Malachor Sith temple, but evidently she’s also in the holocron, travel-size for your convenience. The Presence basically pats him on the back all “it’s OK dude, haters gonna hate”. Ezra won’t let anyone he cares for get hurt again, and he’ll gladly learn whatever he can to keep it that way. Oh Ez… please don’t. I get being well-rounded and understanding all sides of the Force, but you have to know where to draw the line in this constant battle between the light and the dark…
It seems Ezra’s small slightly-gone-south mission didn’t go unnoticed though. Governor Pryce noticed, and she’s making sure Tarkin notices. And they’re going to make sure a particularly skilled Imperial fleet notices. It is fascinating finally meeting the heard-of-but-never-seen-before Lothal Governor. She’s scary. Her icy stare could kill somebody. But she’s still quite cool. Also nice seeing Tarkin again since I read his book over the summer. All the same though, I’ve got a bad feeling about this.
So howzabout that dirt Hondo promised? He knows about an Imperial salvaging operation destroying old Republic Y-wings on the daily, and the mini-Alliance could always use a few more ships in their fleet. I admit before this it had never even crossed my mind that Y-wings were an older sort of ship that were only brought into use again by the Rebel Alliance. I feel dumb that I didn’t know, but smarter now that I do know. That’s just how it is with SW, I guess. Always learning something new! 🙂 You get all that info for the low low price of $19.95 plus shipping and handling, major credit cards accepted. Lol no actually Hondo’s aiming for a nice ship. Something maybe with leather seats I’d bet. Not the Ghost though, don’t even joke about that ya scoundrel XP Ezra’s rarin’ to go and get them Y-wings, but Hera’s not terribly sure about the intel. Which is why Commander Sato not only puts Ezra in charge of the recon mission, but also gives him the new title of Lieutenant Commander. Congrats all around! Too bad Kanan isn’t here to see this. My heart hurt for Ezra as he commented on his master’s absence as of late. Not only is the Ghost crew out of balance without their Specter One, but I think Ezra is, too 😦 The fact he hadn’t been around struck me with both sadness and curiosity. What’s he been doing since Malachor? Why hasn’t he been with the family? Where was he then? I needed to know.
OK so they don’t answer all of those questions outright per se, but they do give us an idea. Evidently he’s been sitting alone on the outskirts of their base where the smol crabs walk on him and the spidercrabs stare at him, probably annoyed, from across the fence. Doing a lot of thinking and a lot of meditating it seems as a mysterious voice calls out to him. Oh sweet precious Kanan I missed you so! *Ahem* sorry just writing what I’m thinkin’. Anyway, Hera comes over, a tad disappointed he wasn’t there for Ezra today, and also that he hasn’t been there for him much at all lately. She makes it very clear in a quiet way that he needs to go talk to his padawan. Yep she’s so good at bossladying that she can bosslady without ever raising her voice. A few minutes later, Kanan walks into Ez’s quarters. ‘Bout time Master Jarrus. Only took ya a few months! Sorry that was unfair. After all, he’s just as out of balance as everyone else. I imagine his blindness makes him feel useless as a leader, and if he’s not Specter One, then who is he? Not to mention the whole getting-knighted thing and what that means, especially now when he’s not the same man he was before Malachor. Under most circumstances Ezra’s probably be really happy to see him, but well a certain holocron might’ve been within reach… and he’s not fast enough to keep Kanan from finding it. The fact he opened the ‘cron and has been using it frequently does not sit well with Kanan. Ezra argues it’s been helping him win these battles, but that’s don’t convince Master Jarrus and he took it off. Augh my gosh it killed me when Ezra said those hurtful words. I about cried. Kanan tried to reset the balance, but instead, both master and padawan upset the balance even further than before. OK brb I really am crying now. So off Ezra goes with Sabine, Zeb, Chopper, Rex, and Hondo, and then back goes Kanan to his meditating spot.
While things go well for the Phantom team as they get in some hot water with the Mining Guild, Kanan finally decides to follow this voice calling him. Using one of the sensor-poles to ward off the crabspiders, we watch him venture deeper and deeper into the corallike forest. The Force leads him right to the feet of a massive mystical beast who is equal parts awe-inspiring and frightening. And judging by his kind wise voice, apparently a really nice guy. At least we hope so…
Oh yeah and did I mention the whole kerfuffle with the Mining Guild? Yeesh give a guy a custom TIE and suddenly they gotta shoot at evrahbody! It didn’t last too long but it’s worth mentioning as Ezra insists they do away with the rest of them Guilders and everybody else be like “NOPE”. Take a chill pill Ez mkay?
Of course we have to take a paragraph to meet our new friend the Bendu. Neither of the light or the dark, but very aware of both, he instantly picks up on all this imbalancedness going on right now. (See my surtitle really does work!) Also random thought I love that all the little bogan crabs followed Kanan here. Another random thought I love that all the critters don’t seem to mind the Bendu, not even the little birdie perched on his… face… branch… thing. You know what I mean. Kanan is obviously quite concerned about Ezra using this Sith holocron, but Bendu cuts right to the chase — we’re here to talk about what’s going on with Kanan right now, not his apprentice. First thing he’s gonna do is snap that sensor-pole in two. Now Kanan is obviously quite concerned about the deadly crabspiders out there, and the fact he can’t see them to properly defend himself. Bendu’s ready to help him solve his sight problem, but in perhaps a different way than the young Jedi might expect. Regardless of his uncertainties, Kanan’s willing to learn to see. OK so I know I’m not the only one who felt like their galaxy was turned upside down the instant Maul took his vision. The sudden tragedy of it all saddened me, and that’s an understatement. But after many deep thoughts and close observations made while writing the Transmission post on the episode, I began to truly see not the tragedy so much as the triumph as Kanan fought back, stronger than before. So in the months away from the Rebs, I came to a peace with it and maybe allowed myself to forget somewhat how it’d happened, or at least put it out of my mind. But then the instant he took off the mask… and I saw the scar… and his eyes, now a faded blue… my own eyes had tears again. But yet, it’s in this re-reminder of the pain he’d been through that I saw the hope again. AUGHHH THE FEELS.
Wow there are a lot of deep thoughts in this post today. I need a break. But that’s impossible because I’m writing about SW and there will always be deep thoughts there. Like Thrawn, for example. Ah yes the guy I’ve heard so so much about! The Chiss of the hour! Grand Admiral Thrawn! Konstantine be like “whut since when?” and Thrawn looks kinda smug about his new position. And hey any guy with the track record he’s got has a right to be smug. As I’ve said before, I haven’t read the Thrawn Trilogy and I know that just saying that made me lose credibility in the eyes of most of my readers, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think he’s a pretty terrifyingly amazing bad guy. And that’s an understatement. Bro gives me chills. I mean, if Pryce’s stare could kill somebody, Thrawn’s could burn a planet to it core. And did I mention that voice? More chills. I have no words to adequately or articulately (or artistically) truly describe his presence. But it is amazing, even for me, as someone whose only experience with the Chiss was in a young readers’ series written by Ryder Windham. His bloodred eyes have pierced my soul. And probably will go on to haunt my dreams, I’m certain.
We reunite with the Phantom team as they arrive at Recklam Station… and to the sight of only fourteen beautiful old Y-wings, one being destroyed every minute. Ezra decides they’re bringing home the bacon (the bacon being the Ys) and he don’t care what anyone else thinks. When he looked at Rex and said “That’s an order.” I was all “OH. NO. HE. DIDN’T.” He did not just talk back to Captain Rex! Respect he’s taking charge, but I’m thinkin’ he could use an attitude adjustment right about now. The Phantom was filled with the sound of awkward silence, and much awkwarder than before. Buuuut his crew don’t argue with him. They just begrudgingly carry on with the new mission. Even when that mission sends them straight into the path of dismantler droids. NBD though that’s why we’ve got Chopper and the clone Bossman. Hehe hearing Rex utter the word “clankers” made me smile ear-to-ear! Of course it doesn’t go perfectly or anything. It’s only thanks to a quick fix by Chop and Sabine’s on-point driving flying skills that they didn’t crash. Ezra may be in charge but teamwork’s the only reason anybody survived today. Even Hondo helped out, using his mastery of ugnaught-speak to gain a few more allies! Seriously let’s give Jim Cummings a big round of applause, ’cause that couldn’tve been easy to do. All they need now is to get those Y-wings fueled up and they’re good to go! What could possibly go wrong from here? Well, a few things, but let’s check in with Kanan real quick.
So right now Kanan is quite obviously concerned about the fact the Bendu’s wanting him to walk right on over to those crabspiders. Kanan does see them in a way, he can hear them, he can feel their vibrations when they walk, even knows their smell. But he didn’t quite see enough when he holds out his hand and feels their crusty, rough hide. Strangely it seems the spiders don’t intend to harm him. The Bendu encourages Kanan to dig deep into the Force, and what he sees is his own fear, and that revelation changes everything. I wish I could say I’m an expert on the Force, but honestly and truly I’m not, and I still don’t fully understand the thing with the spiders. But I do understand that Kanan can see a lot more clearly when he fully embraces the Force, instead of pushing it away. That was true before he lost his vision, and it’s especially true now. Now it’s time he embraces his crew, his family, instead of pushing them away. Because they need him as much as he needs them. Leaving the holocron in the capable hands of the Bendu, Master Jarrus walks off confidently as though he’d been able to see all along. Now, he’s gonna go find his apprentice, who he’s pretty sure could use his help right about now.
At the moment, Ezra thinks he’s got everything under control, even as the Imps and a dismantler droid take notice. Yeah no biggie Chopper just nearly DIED. And so did everyone else! Except maybe Hondo and his pig bros, they grabbed an Imperial shuttle and said their goodbyes, but that’s expected. Ezra’s tooooooootally got this as he lightsabers some storms. Hera, for one, does not buy that when he doesn’t divulge much info when she calls. But Kanan’s back in the copilot seat where he belongs, and Mom and Dad are ready to bring home the kids. And quite possibly ground the youngest one for life XP Anyway yeahhh Ezra’s got this. Completely. Unquestionably. He has no clue that Rex is wrestling with a dismanlter while Zeb and Sabine hang for dear life, but he’s still got this! /sarc/ OK sorry for being all cross with him, that’s not right of me. He may not see the bigger picture but he’s doing OK at least. Boy was Brom Titus surprised to see him. Heh yeah I kinda missed Imperial Sad Clown. And again I’m not sure why I call him that. I guess it’s the way he always looks like he’s frowning. Ezra definitely gets points for the entrance. Just struttin’ on in there. The troopers fire their blasters, but the instant he deflects it they’re both downed. All the other Imps make a break for it. Titus really likes the idea of getting back to a higher rank if he can apprehend the… boy I guess. I don’t really feel I can ever refer to him as “boy” anymore. But “young man” doesn’t even sound right… I’ll work on that. Point is, Titus no likey. But Ezra still got this. And with one slash of his green blade, he cuts the power to the entire station. Sure it’ll send the station crashing down, but he’s confident his comrades’ll be OK. And I’ll admit it was worth it just watching Brom Titus freak out. Zeb, Sabine, Rex, and Chopper are taking the Y-wings home, and all Ezra has to do is get on the Phantom and it’ll be another successful mission for Lieutenant Commander Bridger. It’s right about then that things go bad. The Empire shows up just as they find out the Y-wings are minus their hyperdrives. And as the station starts its descent… a crane slams into the Phantom… and the small beautiful ship hits the ground in a firey explosion. R.I.P. The Phantom. It will forever be missed. But yeah that means that Ezra is on a falling salvage station with no way off. I’m thinking Ezra doesn’t got this anymore. Having lost contact with his crew, he can only cry out desperately “Kanan, where are you?”. The fear in his voice pretty much wrecked me. For all of his confidence and swagger and edgy moves, he’s failed, he’s not a Kanan-level Specter One, and he realizes that as everything literally falls apart around him. But that’s about when the mini-Alliance showed up. With the former Phantom crew and their Y-wings safe from harm, now Kanan and Hera focus on getting the Lieutenant Commander back. Oh gosh this entire scene had me so on edge I’m amazed I didn’t completely explode. WILL. KANAN. REACH. EZRA. IN. TIME???? Last season, I spoke often how much I loved how in-sync Kanan and Ezra were, they way they’d so effortlessly springboard off each other’s moves and whatever the battle, they’d win it together. This entire episode, and I’m betting for a long time, they’ve been very out of balance. Until this moment, as Ezra lets go of the station and Kanan pulls him back into the safety of the Ghost. Now the mini-Alliance is finally heading back home.
Of course, that’s just what Thrawn wanted. This does not compute for Konstantine, but Pryce is confident the Grand Admiral knows what he’s doing. Also yeah Kallus been here the whole time and I’ve forgotten to say “hi”. *Waves* HI KALLUS! HOW’RE THINGS? ARE YOU A BETTER PERSON YET?? SORRY JUST ASKIN’! *Kallus shuffles away embarrassed* But anyway um yes I think we should be very concerned about Thrawn, don’t you? #Understatement
OK so though we all felt feels after that magnificent rescue, Hera was still pretty sore with the Lieutenant Commander. Not surprised somehow that he lost that title for now. Honestly, I think that might’ve been the right thing to do right now. Ezra’s not quite ready to be a Kanan-level Specter One yet. But that’s OK, he can still be a great Ezra-level Specter Six. And General Dodonna’s unit will be happy to see their new old beautiful Y-wings. Yep these are going out another branch of the Rebellion. Awwwz the mini-Alliance is doing some growing up too 🙂 I’d say the whole chaotic mission was a good experience for Ezra, ’cause it brought him back to down to… um… Earth. So to speak. With a genuine apology spoken, the Sith holocron no longer an issue (for now), and the dynamic duo back in sync again, I’d say the balance has been restored. Nothing is certain, but for now, nothing feels better than watching Ezra and Kanan walk off together as master and apprentice once more 🙂
AWWW YAYY REBELSSSSS!! HOW I’VE MISSED YOUUU!! Though this may’ve been the longest blog I’ve ever written, I’m super happy with how it turned out and was so glad to share my thoughts on this beautiful thrilling episode with you today! I’ll see you same time next week!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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Rebels Reflections: A Season Two Recap

Over the course of this past season of Star Wars Rebels, I’ve faithfully written out my fangirly junk commentaries every episode. But even with all that, I find it’s nice to do a little recap and just spew out all my fangirly thoughts at once with no particular organization. So I’m just gonna sit here and blab about everything, from the episodes, to the events, to the characters, and all the incredible stuff that’s happened this season. And then I’ll stop talking about Rebels for a little while and shift gears to another area of the fandom. Fair deal? OK let’s go then!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from the entire second season of Rebels, and a bunch of stuff from the first season too. So really don’t read this without having followed it as consistently as I have. Also seeing all the movies would help.

So wow. So much wow. I’ve said that a lot this season, but it’s entirely true to how it’s made me feel. This show gets amazinger and amazinger every minute, and it was already amazingest to start out! (Lol ignore my fangirly grammar logic) I’m literally not sure where to begin… so let’s start out talking about our wonderful family of friends, the Ghost crew, starting with our boy Ezra.
Ezra’s growth over the second season is truly amazing, mainly because an absolute ton of his personal growth happened in the first episode. When everyone else thinks they’re wasting their time helping high-and-mighty Maketh Tua, Ezra don’t bat an eyelash “We help people, it’s what we do!”. When faced with the gutwrenching ruins of Tarkintown, he still sees hope in the midst of it. Ez is absolutely a new man in Siege Of Lothal and that hopeful skip in his step makes all the difference. Yet the things we’ve always loved about him, like his sharp wit, street savviness, and natural confidence, have remained the same. And though he faced many many challenges and difficulties over the season, how he’s handled them and how he’s approached them have been incredibly mature. He even gave Hera some stellar drop-the-mic advice in Homecoming! Not that he hasn’t faced hurdles and decisions that weren’t really really hard. I mean, he finally found out what became of his parents, and that was by no means an easy truth to swallow. Something that still clearly hurts, as he came close to shedding some angry tears when telling Maul of their fate. But he continues to live out the Bridgers’ legacy with a fierce determination. And alongside his new family, that core value of hope and helping others his parents ingrained in him has been fanned from a spark to a flame. Of course, I’d be dense not to discuss his growth in the Force. Between Kanan’s teachings, Rex’s military-based tips and tricks, and some supplemental holocron footage of Anakin Skywalker, he’s absolutely been killin’ it out there! He’s taken on some pretty powerful and dangerous adversaries, from the inquisitors to Darth Vader himself, and still managed to come out alive. One of my favorite examples of this will always be when he used the Force to turn on his ‘saber while a stormtrooper had it holstered in Stealth Strike. What an awesome idea! Ezra’s Jedi abilities are amazing to watch because he has so many influences in his training. Not to mention his unique ability to connect! He’s not your average Jedi, and we wouldn’t have it any other way 😀 I’ve always called Ezra the “Force-sensitive everyman”, because he gives us an idea as to what it’d be like learning the Light Side without the formality of a proper temple upbringing. We can relate to him as he attempts to understand all the mysteries of the Force and the how-tos of being a Jedi. Now, though he started this season with a newfound optimism… the season ends with uncertainty on his part. He’s played with the Dark Side, questioned who was the better master, and now, hurt by the tragedy that happened on Malachor… well, as I said on that episode’s post, he’s got a lot to think about and a lot of decisions to make. It’ll be interesting to see what he’ll be doing by the time season 3 starts, and what knowledge he might gain from that Sith holcron…
Oh and then there’s Kanan. The only one of the crew who wasn’t all-in on the idea of a larger rebellion. It took him the entire season to finally admit that maaaaybe it wasn’t so bad. Thankfully, for some things, it didn’t take him nearly as long to figure out. His training Ezra really exploded this season; the things they accomplish when they use the Force, together or interchangeably, are truly incredible. Again, that mixture of real-world skill and Jedi prowess make for some really awesome stuff. Homecoming has one of my favorite examples of this as they make their dash to the bridge. Just… AHHH WOW!! That and the beginning of Shroud Of Darkness, too. OK pretty much all the time. They’ve become an in-sync, formidable duo, and we owe Kanan a lot of that. He’s become more confident in his role as master and Rebel, though like say, it took some time to get there. It’s hard to forget his “clone issues”, right? His difficulty with trusting them was understandable, considering all he’s been through over the years, but once he put aside that fear and frustration and learned to trust, it made for a world of difference both for him and for his relationship with Rex, too. I remember before the season started thinking that, with Ahsoka around, maybe there’d be a bit of a too-many-cooks-in-the-kitchen situation going on, but ultimately that role would fall to the good Captain instead XD Stealth Strike is an incredible episode for many reasons, and the moment where Kanan says “I’m going to rescue my friend” is one of those reasons. That’s not the only character growth we see out of him, of course… let’s spend the rest of the day talking about what conspired in the Lothal Jedi Temple! For all he and Ezra had accomplished together, he still had doubts and fears concerning his apprentice’s future. But when he finally learned to be let go of what he feared to lose… HE DONE GOT KNIGHTED. Ahhh I got chills! Definitely one of his most defining moments. ‘Cause you know I hadn’t considered this until now, but yeah this was an example of how to handle attachment. I mean, you wanna freak someone out? Tell them their padawan will become an agent of evil! Kanan fights the guard with both his blue blade and a red blade, likely signifying the dark and the light in him as he wrestles with this fear. And when he finally drops both lightsabers and realizes all he can do is start Ezra down the right path… a very glorious thing happens. Also yeah WHOA THE GRAND INQUISITOR WAS A JEDI OAO Explains how he knew so much about Depa Bilaba’s fighting style. I guess. Maybe they were friends back in the day? Weird thought. But more on the inquisitors later, this is Kanan’s paragraph! This whole situation of Ezra’s uncertain future definitely comes back in to light on the finale, as he watches his padawan and an ex-darth being all chummy all of a sudden. Again, Ahsoka’s reminder “because you taught him” was all kinds of perfect timing. And wow when he faced Maul there… he couldn’t see, but yet… HE. COULD. SEE. I absolutely can’t wait to see how he furthers and fine-tunes his skills in this way, as well as how he might use that in training Ezra. I foresee him becoming the Daredevil of Jedi — whupping the Empire with the combination of his other four senses and the Force!
And wow we’ve really gotten to really know Hera over this season too. THE BOSS LADY HAS BECOME MORE BOSS! We’ve finally gotten to meet the rest of the Rebellion she had hiding behind the curtain for all of season one, and seen how she takes charge long before she became an official squad leader. Especially when putting up with Kanan’s “bleh larger rebellion” crud XD She’s still remained the heart/soul/team mom she’s always been, but we’ve also gotten to see more than just that side of her. We’ve seen her heart and passion for flight, and for helping others while doing it, we’ve seen a deep selflessness shine through as she allowed herself in the path of danger to save the rest of her squadron (not that we didn’t already know that she was capable of it, but we hadn’t actually seen her come out nearly killed because of it), we’ve seen her less-than-sweet side as she deals with her difficult dad’s ideas of rebelling, and we’ve seen her have a little trouble letting go herself as she watches her boys walk away to a place she can’t go. These ups and downs have only made us love her more as we see the human/sentient being side of her. With her leadership and her crew-family by her side, I have no doubt as to how far-reaching her influence will be for the Rebel Alliance, and the galaxy itself.
SWR is really good at not revealing too much but revealing just enough when it comes to backstories. This is definitely the case with Sabine. We find she’d had a stint as a bounty hunter and that she’s a rock-solid Viszla clan Mando through-and-through. Things have been rough for her, what with being betrayed by a close friend all that time ago and more recently nearly losing Hera. But she’s still come through and come back stronger. And ultimately, she’s gone right up against the Mando code in the choices she’s made. She forgives Ketsu without expecting anything in return. She chooses not to get revenge on Fenn Rau. Her line from The Protector Of Concord Dawn “I guess I was raised right”, pretty much encapsulates the entirety of her character growth in season 2. Sabine remains the cool, confident Mando we’ve known her to be, but her strong morals and the choices she makes ultimately make her even cooler 🙂
Like with Sabine, we don’t get all the backstory with Zeb. They give us keys to open future doors to learn more instead of giving us everything at once. This season’s had a lot of tides turn for Zeb. He’s overcome his own self-doubts as he pulled off a fantastic rescue in Always Two There Are, battled past regrets and hurt and found hope in Legend Of The Lasat, spent a day with his enemy and found out there was more than met the eye in The Honorable Ones… honestly he’s been through a lot and it’s amazing. We see a wounded, vulnerable side of him, as well as one that bleeds respect and honor, and yet he hasn’t lost that stormtrooper-bashing edge and flawless ability to punctuate a sentence with a smart comment. So much of what we thought we knew about him and the story surrounding him has been rewritten. Seeing him come through this season the way he has has made me love him even more. He is no longer alone, he lost who he thought to be a mortal nemesis, he protects his crew-family, he protects the innocent, he is both child, fool, and warrior… he is a true captain. Also on a weird note I had a dream a month or so ago that I was a Jedi-Rebel and I was going to join Kanan, Ezra, and Ahsoka on Malachor, so I gave Zeb a friendly goodbye hug… to which he pushed me away and was all “Um sorry not a hugger” XD XD
Then there’s Chopper, who naturally didn’t really change a bit XP He powered through that season mercilessly running into people, zapping his crewmembers, outright hitting them, and dropping droidspeak-snark every ten seconds, like he do. And we wouldn’t want him any other way. But he did make one exception to the rule, he did grow just the teeniest teeniest bit… he made a friend. Who’da thunk an old persnickety protocol and an attitude-laden astromech could become friends? Though they spend most of their time squabbling, you can’t watch Chopper stand by AP-5 in what appear to be his final moments and not feel the friendship feels in the room. So proud of that C1-10P 🙂 And it’s great learning his backstory too… combination grumpy cat and war hero! Funny I think he’s the only crewmember to get their entire backstory told. Wow. Though I do want to know how long it took for Hera to fix him up and when exactly she did, since he seems absent in A New Dawn… oh well. Another mystery for another day!
Obviously I needed to talk about Ahsoka. Her presence in this season has been an absolute dream come true and then some. She was not only a member of the growing Rebel Alliance, but was a true friend and hero! The way she fit in so perfectly with the Ghost crew, always helping them out when they needed her most, the way she easily could strike up a conversation with Ezra and Kanan, her incredible Jedi prowess when she fought the inquisitors, her ever-present hope and optimism, her courage when she laid it all down for her friends. It’s truly truly beyond amazing. I don’t know if we’ll ever see her in this time and place again, but her impact will always be there, and she will always be one of the biggest highlights of season two 🙂
And of course AHH REX!! We got to see a lot of amazing characters return this season… Hondo, Leia, Vader, Cham, Yoda, Maul, but reuniting with Rex and a couple of his fellow brothers was the first one I knew about, and the one that made me absolutely cry/squee with delight that day during Celebration last year. Still as sharp and fearless and a strong leader as ever. But what made it even a further joy to have him in the mini-Alliance was watching him teach Ezra in a grandfatherly way, seeing him and Kanan become an unlikely set of friends, witnessing his sweet reunion with Ahsoka all the way to their final goodbye… Rex has always been and continues to be a great, loyal soldier, but without a constant war to be fought, we have more time to see his heart and soul and it’s been too amazing. And I’m excited to see how his journey continues from here. Rex is living proof that no matter how dark the situation, good will ultimately triumph in the end. Rex was intended as just one small component of Sidious’s horrible plan, but he is so so very much more than that… he’s a true hero :3
Shifting gears, let’s talk a little about them ‘quisitors, Fifth and Sev. Yesss for this season the trouble done got doubled! And though they didn’t hold the high position their nefariously classy boss held, they were by no means any less of a threat to our heroes. They pretty much scared the midichlorians outta me on the regular with their strength, power, and unshakable confidence. I mean, if you need an example, look no further than the time they tore up a public shuttle and everyone on it to kidnap a Force-sensitive child. That’s ’bout bad as it gets man. But regardless of their actions, they still can’t help but be cool. With Fifth Bro so deadly serious and Seventh Sis so devious and crafty and flirty, they make a pretty aweaome team despite their differences. Le sigh they will be missed. They made for some delightfully dangerous foes, constantly keeping us guessing, and both freaking us out and majorly impressing us at the same time 😀
Also wow Kallus made some great strides, didn’t he? And I mean REALLY great strides. Like, planet-wide strides. At the start of the seaaon, it seemed working alongside Vader went to his head, and his jerkyness went up one-thousandthfold. Everywhere we turned, he waa dishing out some surefire sarc and finding the best new ways to make things difficult for our heroes. Agent K was at the top of his bad guy game, it seemed. Right up until one episode came along and blew our tiny minds, anyway. Give it about 22 minutes and my entire view of him was decimated and I found myself crying for him. He was hurt and talked a lot of talk. He went into things without asking why. He’s not really all that bad. WOW. I’m definitely excited to see what happens next in Kallus’s story. After all, if there are heroes both sides and evil is everywhere, I’d sure like to see a real hero on the Empire’s side 🙂
And then we owe Darth Vader a paragraph. *Is Force-choked for not doing it sooner* It probably won’t be too long a paragraph since he really doesn’t exhibit any character growth. But his role this season has been utterly terrifyingly fantastic. I’ve said it before, but it’s worth saying again: seeing Vader in his merciless, nightmarish prime has made me greater appreciate him as a villian. I love his redemption story so much I often look past the horrible things he’s done. I was squarely reminded of how far he’d fallen through basically every minute he was onscreen the entire season, especially in Siege and Twilight. Whether nearly in killing Ezra twice, burning Tarkintown, or giving his former padawan no mercy, he gave me all the chills all the time. But through it all, it’s a good reminder as to why his ultimate redemption is so powerful. The entire Ahsoka-Vader-Anakin story weaved throughout is a solid reminder as well. And still I be wondering… if Ahsoka is truly alive… how is he still alive? We may never truly know, but either way, his role this season has added much to the emotional side of the story as well as being a genuine threat to our heroes.
Gosh, there are honestly a ton of things worth talking about in Rebels season two, but due to my lack of time and likely your lack of attention span, I think I’ll be wrapping this up. We’ve seen so much this season, seeing the mini-aliance come to be and expanding across the galaxy, and seeing this beautiful cast of characters grow and thrive. Every episode went above and beyond what I ever could’ve imagined, and continue to inspire me and encourage me and make me laugh and cry with every viewing, and really just about every day. I can only predict more excitement and more feels and more joy from here.
And since I’ve been terrible and haven’t recapped as thoroughly as I should’ve, I’ve compiled links to all the original Rebel Transmissions from the past season, so you can dig even deeper if you haven’t already. And don’t worry… anything I haven’t covered here will eventually come up, I promise ya 😀

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

The Siege Of Lothal
The Lost Commanders
Relics Of The Old Republic
Always Two There Are
Brothers Of The Broken Horn
Wings Of The Master
Blood Sisters
Stealth Strike
The Future Of The Force
Legacy
A Princess On Lothal
The Protector Of Concord Dawn
Legends Of The Lasat
The Call
Homecoming
The Honorable Ones
Shroud Of Darkness
The Forgotten Droid
The Mystery Of Chopper Base
Twilight Of The Apprentice

Rebel Transmissions: Stealth Strike

Blogger’s Note: You may be wondering why this came a week late, well the holidays are keeping me quite quite busy for one. I’m thinking that this will be the last Rebel Transmission for the year, since I want the next couple of blogs to be primarily devoted to Episode VII’s release. The Transmissions for The Future Of The Force and beyond will resume in the year to come. Thank you for your patience.

And so we’ve arrived at another Rebel Transmission for another super-amazing episode. And that sounded like a severe understatement. Yeahh… I’m kinda running on empty for a creative opening for this, so let’s just get started on talking about the totally thrilling, very funny, and extremely heartfelt Stealth Strike!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode III and Rebels episodes Spark Of Rebellion, Breaking Ranks, Brothers Of The Broken Horn, and Stealth Strike

Today Ezra’s joined up with Commander Sato and a few of his Phoenix Squad buddies on a bit of a search-and-rescue. A lot of the fun of this episode is in seeing two of our Specters working together with two of our newer Rebs. There’s a great mix of headbutting and camaraderie that’s absolutely irresistible, and we get a chance to further get to know Ezra and Kanan as well as Sato and Rex. I bring this obvious fact up because Sato isn’t terribly impressed with Ezra’s skills at the moment. Pff Satos gonna sate XD (I’m so sorry but I’ve been dying to use that since I started writing this) And then out of the blue, their cruiser literally gets sucked out of hyperspace and right into the path of one nasty new Imperial ship. They have about a second to shoot a distress call to the Ghost before everything gets cut off. And we in the audience feel absolutely sick from terror at the fact the Empire’s grabbed them just like that. At least I know I did.
Once the rest of the Ghost crew catches wind of this, Kanan’s no-questions going after them. And Hera’s sending Rex with him. Kanan very very much expresses his displeasure of working with him. I imagine partly due to their battles over rights to train Ezra as well as his general distrust of clones. But Hera is certain Rex’s knowledge of Republic-turned-Empire procedures and his military experience will bring a lot to the table on this mission. It takes her reminding him just how crucial rescuing Ezra and the Phoenixes is to get Kanan to ultimately agree. Kanan knows what he has to do even if it’s not what’s preferred… and also knows that arguing with Hera on the matter is a battle he definitely won’t win XP
On the other end of this conundrum, we find Ezra, Sato, and the rest of their crew aboard the Empire’s newfangled craft, getting a talking-to by Admiral Titus. I don’t know why but the minute he came onscreen I muttered “he looks like a sad clown”. I cannot tell you why exactly… but just picture him with some facepaint and I think it’ll make more sense. Whatever the case, bro is definitely not someone I’d want to be friends with. He’s just too proud of himself for nabbing a big shot Rebel like Sato on his ship’s first run! Literally, he’s too proud of himself. Ugh. Ezra, who’s still formulating a plan, gives him nothing more than his fake name, no not Lando, not Dev, it’s his other other fake name, Jabba. Apparently Kallus and Titus must talk a lot because the Admiral recognized Ezra from that nickname. So now he’s even more puffed up over who he caught. *Sigh* Don’t you hate it when good sarcasm is lost on snooty villains? And like that the Rebs are carted off to get locked up. Yup hate it when this happens.
So Kanan and Rex get off on the right foot NOT. I mean, dang man! Rex is clearly a good guy and you’re giving him this crud about clones and storms being essentially the same! I’m not saying you guys have to get along all the time, that you can’t occasionally play tug-of-war with Ezra, but c’mon Kanan this is low. You act like you’ve never worked with clones before! Yes I get that you have a slight problem with them as a whole because of stuff but it’s not their fault, and Rex has done nothing but fight for the good guys since he became a part of the mini-Alliance! And I realize it sorta sounds like I’m ranting. Sorry about that. But that does make an interesting point… how much did Kanan work with clones back in the day? And how much did he remember about them either way? Wasn’t at least his master chummy with them? Didn’t he have a clone friend or two? Either way I suppose he was a bit young and having your own soldiers turn on you probably could change your perspective. Yeah I really shouldn’t be so hard on Kanan, I mean, I love him as much as I love Rex, so I didn’t need to spend a whole paragraph yelling at him all the things I would’ve yelled at him had I been there. And he has been through stuff I can’t fully imagine, so yeah… but they’ve got to put their arguing on hold for a minute because Zeb has brought them a couple lone bucketheads for their disguises. I imagine Zeb out there crouching around like a tiger at some Imperial outpost, singling out his prey, trying to locate the weakest as well as the ones who would fit Kanan and Rex best. I can see him now, leaping majestically from the shadows and mauling the unsuspecting ‘troopers, then dragging his kill prisoners back to the Ghost. The one thing I’d rather not imagine is what in the world they did with them after they stripped them of their armor… and bodysuits… eww. Anywayyy so Rex isn’t a fan of that ‘trooper armor. Let’s talk about that. You may ask why it’s worth discussion, but I think it goes a little bit farther than just it being a bit tighter than he’d prefer, which honestly is interesting because I wasn’t aware that stormtrooper armor came in anything but one size. Oh wait well that could just be because Rex doesn’t fit into the standard size… forgive me that was a bit rude to bring up, but I’m just writing this where my thoughts take me. But yeah I have a feeling that clonetrooper armor > stormtrooper armor for a number of reasons. I imagine after the Empire came to be and they retired all the clones they decided to get a cheaper, more easily-made armor for all the new soldiers. In fact I’m pretty sure most of the differences between troopers are because Palpatine wanted to buy some expensive new speeder and they had to lower their budget because of it; hire people instead of cloning, cheaper armor, more efficient training… I guess because they figured there was no real war going on it didn’t matter if they weren’t as good as clones. Welp how’s that going for you now, Palpatine? Wow we have fun conversations here at Padawanline don’t we? YAY IMPERIAL ECONOMICS! 😛 And then Sabine brings in their ride, a pretty standard Imperial shuttle, which Kanan queries on why they’re able to steal so many as it is. Which brings me to another interesting point… sorry sorry kidding… that’s the last of the intelligent SW conversation for this paragraph. Not likely for the entire post, but at least for now because danggg only four-and-a-half minutes in and I’ve already hit 1200 words! Yeah this is why this transmission’s taken so long to write…
And yesss that artwork in the shuttle of Rex and Kanan is amazing, even if Kanan and Rex don’t seem all-too fired up about it. Aw c’mon how can Sabine’s art not get you fired up?! Or at least kinda inspire a teensy bit of teamwork in here? Imperial-painted Chopper is enjoying all the sarcasm and snark flying around the room though. Thank goodness they spot that ship as quickly as they do… these two in a confined space for a long period of time is bad news. Rex drops some major protocol codes like a boss. Kanan is so completely uninterested in that kinda stuff, as we well know, but is slightly more interested when it gets them in without a hitch. That grin Rex shoots him. Priceless. Oh, and then they’re all “Just follow my lead” “NO YOU FOLLOW MY LEAD” XD And then it’s time for Kanan to drop some mind tricks like a boss. Interesting thought… he only mindtricked one ‘trooper, but the other one opened the door for them. Did he have both guys convinced somehow? Because if not that guy should’ve been kinda suspicious. Or perhaps completely fired. AND ERMAGOSH THE AWKWARDNESS IN THE ELEVATOR! The guys have been doing so well and then they both do some floundering as Rex doesn’t know how to close the doors and Kanan doesn’t know the Imperial protocol lingo. Ah goodness gracious I could keep quoting the best lines but if I did I’d pretty much be quoting the whole episode! They’ll save our heroes… eventually…
Meanwhile Ezra’s kinda saving himself. OK hardly “kinda”, he’s pretty much doing all of it! I mean, turning on his blaster-saber while the stormtrooper had it holstered?! That is incredible! I don’t know how it is I’ve never seen a stunt like that in the entirety of the history of SW, but it is great. Man oh man, those moves he does with his ‘saber! Clearly those lessons are paying off ’cause bro got mad skillz. And even with all these great moves, he doesn’t kill them. Much applause for young Bridger is in order. And then along come two more ‘troopers! And I’ll be honest the idea that they were Rex and Kanan didn’t even remotely occur to me… it made perfect sense that those downed dudes would need backup. That’s when Chopper rolled in all “Y’know you just stunned a couple friends of yours”. Ezra tries to tell the story a bit differently to Kanan and Rex, but Chopper got alllll that lovely material on video XD Kanan is dumbfounded, Rex is impressed. And that leads to an argument on the usefulness of stormtrooper armor, but what else is knew? They fight like cats and dogs. Wait that’s not quite right… more like a honey badger and a Tasmanian devil in a small room on a bad day XP Ezra don’t got time for this, he tells them his own plan, right after pointing out that their squabbling is half the reason he took this mission. The master and the captain exchange quite a look. Dude dey just got served. Kanan puts it well when he comments “He takes after Hera sometimes…” XD
So they didn’t quite get away with all this unnoticed though. The Imps are putting everything on lockdown and Titus has full intent to snuff their escapee out, so as not to prove Kallus right on the whole “he’s tougher-than-he-looks” thing. Rex and Kanan have to do a little shooting to see this plan through. And Ezra’s taken a little trip to the reactor core, where Chopper has his own plan to execute… a plan that involves turning off the gravity. We’ve had zero-G fights before in Rebels but with all the room in the ship’s core it’s the most 360-degree zero-G fight ever! Up until Chopper shuts it right off in the middle of it all. Watching Ezra practically land on his head like that made me wince. But that C1-10P knows what he’s doing, even when no one else does 🙂 And Kanan and Rex are doing pretty good holding their own too, even considering Rex “shoots like a stormtrooper”. Hehe I love it when he clocks that ‘trooper with his helmet XD And they have no problem rescuing Sato and the crew. Sato’s mind got blown wide open at the notion that Ezra already escaped; don’t think Sato’s gonna sate anymore. For a minute, Kanan and Rex were in tune as the master would force-grab a buckethead and the captain would take aim, “just like old times”. Everything was going to plan as our heroes made a dash for the exit, and then Rex does the incredibly noble thing of staying behind to fend off the Imperial forces. It’s almost hard to imagine that Rex could get worn out at all, but yeah he is only human… and a slightly older human at that… and a clone that ages faster than a normal human so he’s more of a seventy-something than the forty-something he’s most likely to be. This episode definitely reminded me of that fact… that somewhat sad prospect that he’s in the winter of his years, after being such an unmovable force during the Clone Wars and even now. Especially when the Imperials actually got him. I know I gave a loud gasp at that. Titus doesn’t get why someone who “helped shape the Empire and bring peace to the galaxy” would go rogue like that. Well I for one am completely insulted and hurt, probably just as Rex was at such descriptions. How drastically different are their views of the universe! And more specifically Order 66! The Admiral offers him a job training their forces if he surrenders his conspirators, but Rex doesn’t bat an eyelash before turning him down. And then… the interrogator probe. And the scream. Aughh my heart about broke into pieces here! But Kanan heard, and the expression on his face literally does make my heart break into pieces. The Rebs could leave now, they could be home free. But Kanan… he’s got to save his friend. AHH THE FEELS! Though Ezra’s all “What friend? Did you bring someone else with you?” 😛 But hey man Ezra’s got this and leads them on through the fire. Sato is definitely impressed. Hehe I love when he turns to his crew and relays “Don’t worry! He’s got this!”. I’m sure the rest of the squad’s all “Um… dude we know. What took you so long to figure that out?”.
So I can I just mention how much Admiral Titus grinds my gears? For the record, I don’t hold any real hate for him because all SW is awesome, but yeesh what a jerk! The whole “obsolete piece of field equipment” thing was just wrong. I mean, all the junk he was telling Rex was flat-out wrong but I don’t dare repeat any of it. This is not the way Captain Rex goes down! But it won’t be because Kanan yanks off that helmet and starts blasting at those baddehs! And Rex certainly knows how to throw a few seriously solid punches of his own. Now Titus don’t look so smug… that terrified expression is worth all the credits in the world XP And then the Phoenixes get back to their ship and Kanan and Rex board an escape pod and after a few frightening moments of uncertainty, Chopper’s plan comes through in the clutch, and the Empire’s own gravity comes crashing back down on them! Much applause is in order. And Titus had some eat some crow and “I-told-you-so”s from Kallus. So all ended well, and the captain and the master exchange a friendly salute and a bit of a smile. Though they may still have their differences now and then, I think it’s safe to say they can honestly and truly call each other “friend” now 🙂
Aww so much wonderfulness just happened! Though it took some time to put together I’m super-glad I was able to blog on this amazing episode (even though clearly my closing thoughts aren’t much to look at). Until next time…

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight