Star Wars Rebels – Season 2 Episode 10
Star Wars Rebels deals with the lingering question of what happened to Ezra’s parents when he has a vision giving him clues to their fate.
The fate of Ezra’s parents has been a mystery that has been in the background since the show began. It has heavily informed his character development and created interesting issues with his Jedi training. Ezra’s confidence has been shaken by the lack of parental figures in his life and he carries around a sense of abandonment. This has an effect on his training as a Jedi since his emotional focus is never as “in the moment” as it needs to be. He is too easily distracted and this episode picks this up by suggesting that he has a lack of closure on his relationship with his parents.
His vision was visually really interesting at first. It shows some confusing visual information that leads Ezra to conclude that his parents are alive and that he needs to return to Lothal in order to save them. Ezra leads with his heart rather than his head and is filled with a sense of desperation as he begs the crew of the Ghost for help.
Kanan constantly reminds Ezra that visions caused by the force are rarely literal and contain information that needs to be interpreted before acting on it. Ezra is unwilling to listen which makes sense given how deeply this has compromised him emotionally. I’ve always liked this idea but I’ve never seen it explored fully. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t plenty of Expanded Universe content that deals with visions caused by the force but I’ve personally never been exposed to any of it so I was interested to see this show cover that.
Unfortunately the episode fails to explore it in any meaningful way. I was hoping that Kanan’s constant insistence would eventually lead Ezra to discover that his vision wasn’t literal and then lead him to start thinking differently but the entire thing came true. This was really disappointing as there was lots of potential to do something interesting and spiritual with this idea instead of everything playing out exactly as Ezra sees it.
One thing that does work really well is the support Ezra gets from the other characters. The crew of the Ghost often come across as a dysfunctional family who are there for each other when they really need it. Kanan and Hera are basically the parents of the young crew and this really comes across here. After Ezra refused to listen to the information that Seebo has about his parents, Kanan and Hera took it upon themselves to make sure they got that information and did everything they could to piece it together. They didn’t tell him before now as there really was nothing to tell considering how little they’ve found out but the fact that they were willing to work on it as well as call in favours shows how important it is to them that Ezra finds out the truth. Ezra is naturally grateful as he has never had anyone be this invested in him before.
This was a really strong episode for Taylor Gray who absolutely nails the complex emotions that Ezra is experiencing while retaining his youthful naivety. He has always been good at voicing this character but this is definitely his strongest vocal performance to date.
Kanan comes across as a wise and knowledgeable mentor who has Ezra’s best interests at heart. He never knew his parents so understands the desire to know more about where you came from and get certain questions answered. Kanan knows that if he were in Ezra’s position then he would do exactly the same thing so he fully supports him in what he does.
Interestingly Kanan often seems fairly clueless about how to train Ezra but there are certain things that he definitely knows a lot about. Visions seem to be something that he knows to be easy to misinterpret which suggests that sometime in the past he has had a similar experience and come out feeling disappointed when he interprets the situation incorrectly.
When they go to Lothal and follow the Lothcat they come across a former prisoner named Ryder Azadi (Clancy Brown) who tells Ezra all about his parents. Sadly his parents didn’t survive the escape but conducted themselves bravely by making sure that the other prisoners got out before them. Ezra hears plenty about his parents to be proud of and finally gets the closure he needs on his relationship with them. The vision he has of them is really moving and the final scene he has with Kanan is filled with hope for the future.
Despite some impressive visuals the Imperial Invasion falls a little flat. Everything about it suggests that it’s a big deal but the characters react so casually to it that it feels largely unimportant. I’m confused as to why the Inquisitors were there at all as they did so little. I was hoping that Ezra rushing to fight Seventh Sister would be another example of the Dark Side temptation that he has faced before but Kanan simply shoots the door closed and it’s never brought up again. If the Inquisitors hadn’t been there then nothing would be different. The problem with these scenes is that the distract from the much stronger character drama on display.
I did enjoy the banter back and forth accusing people of being more incompetent than them because the truth is, they’re all useless at this point. Hopefully it’ll soon be time for Darth Vader to come back to show them all how it’s done.
A solid character driven episode that becomes bogged down by some underwhelming distractions that steal focus from the main story.
The question of Ezra’s parents has lingered over the show since it began and getting closure on that is something that Ezra needs before he can become an effective Jedi. His training is unfocused and he is too controlled by his emotions so it’s good to see him working through those issues.
Ezra’s vision is visually interesting and I was looking forward to a potential development of the vague visions that need to be interpreted idea so I was more than a little disappointed when it turned out that Ezra’s vision was almost completely literal. Kanan constantly reminding Ezra that visions shouldn’t be taken literally was a big indicator that there would be more to it so it’s a shame that there really wasn’t.
One thing that works is the support he gets from the other characters. Hera and Kanan are basically the parents of the dysfunctional family that make up the Ghost crew and they will do anything to protect those they consider their family. They have been working to find out what happened to Ezra’s parents so that they can tell him when there is some information to give.
Kanan comes across as a wise mentor figure who understands where Ezra is coming from since he never knew his parents either. He knows a lot about visions which suggests he has had some disappointment in the past.
When they encounter the prisoner that knew his parents Ezra finally gets some closure and hears what he needs to hear about them as well as experiencing a vision of them.
Despite some impressive visuals the Imperial attack on the Rebels is really underwhelming. It never feels like the stakes are especially high and the appearance of the Inquisitors is pointless. It did seem like Ezra would be tempted by the Dark Side but that doesn’t go anywhere. I did enjoy the bickering over who is more incompetent. It seems like it’s time for Darth Vader to return and sort it out.