Star Wars Rebels – Season 2 Episode 5
“Brothers of the Broken Horn”
Season 2 of Star Wars Rebels seems to be fixated on bringing back characters who appeared on The Clone Wars and show them in a post Empire context.
It’s not a bad idea and if done right then can really enhance the mythology of the show. If done poorly then it can leave people who have never seen The Clone Wars completely lost amidst the character history that viewers might be expected to know.
So far Star Wars Rebels has been very good at bringing characters back and giving the necessary information to understand them in the context of this show and this is replicated by the return of Hondo (Jim Cummings), a pirate who showed up on The Clone Wars.
Hondo is a great character and that is in no small part thanks to the excellent vocal talents of Jim Cummings who really brings this character to life. He has all of the best lines and delivers them flawlessly to create a loveable rogue character who lives an exciting lifestyle. Hondo didn’t really need to be in this episode as any pirate would have done the job, even a newly created one but using that character further connects the two Star Wars shows and brings back a fan favourite character in a way that makes sense.
The point of the story was for Ezra to learn a lesson about his life on the Ghost. It’s a lesson that he has already learned but that’s only one of my problems with this episode. It’s the laziest set-up for a story imaginable to have a young character feeling overwhelmed by the responsibilities placed on him and the apparent expectations others have for him. He has to learn how to fire a blaster from Rex, have Jedi training from Kanan and clean the Ghost under Hera’s orders without any consideration given for what he wants to do with his life.
As you might expect he decides to run away for a while and finds himself on an adventure with Hondo where he poses as Lando Calrissian to give a recurring joke that is beaten into the ground. It is interesting to see Ezra consider a life that might be more free than the one he currently has but his decision to go back to the Ghost is the right one for him as he does need that structure in his life.
The adventure was fine but a little on the boring side. This episode is almost entirely throwaway as it doesn’t significantly tie into anything else that’s going on in the show. There’s barely a mention of the Inquisitors, no mention of Darth Vader and no development of the crew of the Ghost in terms of how they fit into the Rebel Alliance.
Ezra, Kanan, Chopper and Hera are the only main characters who appear in this episode unless you count Rex and their presence isn’t exactly a significant one. Outside of Chopper the other characters are only shown as a barrier to Ezra and portrayed as being unfair to him as he struggles to juggle his responsibilities. I thought that this lesson had been learned in season 1 so I’m confused to see this ground retreaded to such mediocre effect.
Sabine and Zeb’s lack of presence is notable and only reminds me how vastly underdeveloped they are in this show. Zeb does well enough sometimes but Sabine isn’t far off a blank slate at this point. I would really like to see an episode entirely focused on her without much intervention from the rest of the crew. It’s still a problem that the show needs to address. I’m hopeful that the next few episodes will get the show back on point.
A mediocre episode that is slightly elevated by the return of fan favourite The Clone Wars character Hondo.
Jim Cummings brings Hondo to life beautifully and has the best lines in the episode. The character could have been filled by any pirate but having him around helps to connect the two Star Wars shows in a way that makes sense. The show is doing a good job of bringing characters from the other show back without expecting the audience to know everything about them.
The set-up for the episode is incredibly lazy. Having Ezra be frustrated by the constant expectations placed on him and overwhelmed by his responsibilities feels like something he has already gotten over so this throwaway episode feels like a complete retread. The adventure he finds himself on with Hondo is fine and gives Ezra the potential for a more free life than he currently has but it all feels very redundant.
Ezra, Kanan, Chopper and Hera are the only main characters who appear as well as Rex but their contribution is a very superficial one. Other than Chopper they are portrayed as being obstacles to Ezra getting to do whatever he wants rather than being characters on their own. Zeb and Sabine being completely absent was notable as they are vastly underdeveloped. Hopefully the show will get back on point in the next few episodes.