Rebel Transmissions: The Occupation

Though the episodes are arriving in pairs, I’m making sure every one of them gets the full-focus Rebel Transmission it deserves, including the sometimes-intense, sometimes-joyful, always-riveting gem that is The Occupation. Join me, if you will!

Contains spoilers from Rebels episodes Breaking Ranks and The Occupation. Also they’re some smaller spoilers from other episodes, so just make sure you’re caught up.

So I’d say it feels great to be back on Lothal again, but… well, you know. The title itself makes it clear things aren’t so hot. It still filled me with some nostalgia feels seeing the little things that made Lothal so memorable in the first season, but they were bittersweet nostalgia feels this time, as this beautiful world, once so bright and clear, is now dark and gray. It’s almost not the same world we last saw on An Inside Man. It’s shrouded in shadow and drowning in sorrows, brought upon by the Empire… and it hurts my heart so much more than I expected.
But leave it to SW to once again bring the perfect balance between dark and light.

As many ways this episode made me weep, it made me smile, too. Like with the return of Vizago! I was surprised at how much I’d missed the slippery scoundrel! And the PUFFER PIGS OMG!! SO. MANY. PUFFER. PIGS!!! You can never have too many far as I’m concerned! Though wow I can’t imagine what you have to go through to farm ’em. And of course, watching the still-so-confident-and-cool Kallus get major burns from Sabine and Rex was a sheer delight XP Yep those are some good times right there.

Oh, and I loved the crew’s new disguises! It’s fun when you’ve been familiar with a character’s look for a while, and then they go and do something so drastically different it kinda throws you at first, and then after a few minutes you start planning your next cosplay project. Well, maybe that’s just the artist/cosplayer/Star Wars nerd in me, but that’s exactly my feelings on it. Hera probably has my favorite costume change, but Ezra and Zeb tie for second with their fantastic, so-called “ridiculous”, hats XD Too bad Sabine didn’t follow that taunting of Chop’s up with a new paint job. Maybe a nice chartreuse? *Chopper comes after me with a blaster*
Right, and Sabine’s new hair, though not a part of the disguise, was great too. I like they didn’t venture too far color-wise from the former, but it still has a fresh, cool feel to it, that also perhaps carries a slight seriousness to it with the coming events…

A moment of silence, of course, for Old Jho and all that Old Jho’s was. The Imperial March is one of my favorite pieces of Star Wars score ever, but I wasn’t too happy to hear the “patriotic” version coming from what was once a good spot for the Ghost fam. Definitely another one of those bittersweet nostalgia moments. But a less-bittersweet moment was the unexpected helping hand that was Jai Kell! It’s funny I’ve been spending so long wondering if we’d see Zare Leonis again (stilllllllll need to read Servants Of The Empire sigh) that I never ever gave Jai a second thought. It’s not that I didn’t really like the kid, but he seemed so hesitant and uncertain inside of the Imperial Academy escapade that I just couldn’t imagine him a true Rebel. Now he’s nothing short of a true Rebel — clever, quick on his feet, and the kind of person you want to be best friends with — and I love him now more than ever! Well that’s one thing I’ve found I love about this series: these characters and stories go down far far better roads than what you and I might predict or assume 🙂

Obviously, there was no question I’d have to dedicate the rest of the blog a paragraph to that lovely little bit of Kaneraness :3 Now when that first clip came up on the socials a week before its debut… um yeah I didn’t see but a second of it but I was thrilled, and got this hope in my head that The Occupation would be a Kanan-and-Hera-centered episode. Ultimately, I got about two minutes instead of twenty-two, but, oh, it was wonderfully wonderful all the same. (Plus, I’ve gotta remind myself every now and again that technically Kanan and Hera got a whole novel, which is like getting several long episodes, so I’ll be happy whether they get an episode or not)
It’s funny… they’ve known each other forever, clearly have had obvious mutual feelings going around for a while, but they don’t get this close until they’re in a dark alley hiding from stormtroopers. AND IT’S SO PERFECT. The “I wish I could see you” bit surprised me some. In a couple small moments in season three, we see them interact by touch in the sweetest way, whether in just the way Hera embraced Kanan after the rescue in The Holocrons Of Fate, or in that brief tender hand-holding on Zero Hour. This gave me the impression, I guess, that they’d worked through some of that initial difficulty and found this great love language that worked well in spite of him being blinded. But turns out, even though he’s gained a lot through seeing with Force, he still does miss seeing her. Kanan looked so downcast… but Hera turned that around with the most genuine, joyful expression on her face when she replied “You could always see me.”. They only got so close before trouble came up again, but AHHHHHHHH THAT WAS SO SO UTTERLY PRECIOUS!! MY HEART IS ABSOLUTELY MELTED. I LOVE THESE BEANS ❤ ❤

As we follow our heroes in a tense chase through the sewers, I do need to take a minute and applaud the lighting artists. Almost the whole episode is in shadow. I thought at first something was wrong with my screen, but nope that’s how it’s supposed to be, to add to the danger and uncertainty, as well as the realization that this town used to have a lot more lights on at night. It’s especially prevalent perhaps within the climax. Doesn’t help we’ve got a deathtrooper involved! Remember last post when I commented I was hoping to see more of them again? I’m sorry Ghost fam, I didn’t think they’d show up that fast! And in the dark! With probes!! It’s almost a nostalgic scenario, even if things are considerably more intense than before. But I love that, in the midst of the darkness and hopelessness, they still come back out of the dark tunnels and into the light, and also into a reminder that this isn’t the first time a small crew of Rebels fought together and made a positive difference… 🙂

Until next post next week!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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