On the D/L – Star Wars Rebels
Season 1 Episode 3 – “Fighter Flight”
Another character focused episode of Star Wars Rebels that sees Zeb and Ezra sent on a supply run. It doesn’t go according to plan when they get on the wrong side of the Empire and end up stealing a tie fighter to escape.
Zeb and Ezra seem so far to be the focus of the show and that’s no bad thing as these characters are good fun to watch on their own and even better when placed together. I like how young Ezra is played by seeming bored on the Ghost and purposely trying to wind Zeb up by reminding him that he saved his life with a timely force push in the previous episode. Zeb’s reaction is amusing as he takes the bait and lets Ezra get to him which results in some quite funny situations in the opening part of the episode.
Unfortunately this focus on these two characters comes at the price of the rest of them taking something of a back seat. Sabine is featured quite a bit but she doesn’t have much to do other than carrying on with her graffiti art aboard the Ghost and customising her room. There’s a good moment where Ezra tries to flirt with her but gets absolutely nowhere. Either Sabine is oblivious or not at all interested but either way it’s a good scene that shows a playful dynamic between the two characters. Hera and Kanan take on the roles of the disapproving parents where the rest of the characters are the kids. It seems that this dynamic will be around for a while which is fine but it’s a shame these characters haven’t had much to do since the first episode.
The episode wastes no time in getting Ezra and Zeb into trouble but both of them are more than capable of handling themselves. I really liked the sequence that lead to them stealing the TIE Fighter and the way it was used in the rest of the episode. I can’t fault the composition of the action sequences in this show. They are very distinctive and exciting with plenty of imagination put into them. This is definitely a holdover from Clone Wars where action sequences were similarly inventive. In this episode the tactics were informed by the individual characteristics of Ezra and Zeb by doing things that only they could get away with. It’s a testament to how distinctive the characters are already which puts it far ahead of the Prequel Trilogy in terms of character development.
I really liked that there were personal stakes in the story here since they were on the planet that Ezra comes from and the Empire had destroyed a farm belonging to people his family knew. It’s clear that Ezra feels compelled to protect them because of this connection as well as the fact that he’s fundamentally a noble and heroic person. His determination will surely serve him well throughout the rest of the series.
There are hints that Ezra has been practicing his force abilities in a couple of scenes where he practices moving things before it ultimately pays off when he uses the force to avoid a collision in the TIE Fighter and later when he uses it to free the prisoners. At the moment it seems that Ezra’s force abilities are only triggered by a heightened sense of urgency so he doesn’t necessarily have any control of them as yet. I had hoped we’d see some of the training that Kanan promised to give him but as yet it hasn’t happened. I’m really interested to see how he will handle training an apprentice who is “too old” according to Jedi doctrine. He’s younger than Luke but older than Anakin was so it’ll be interesting to see how tempted he is by the dark side once he learns more. Ezra is far from in control of his emotions so it’ll be interesting if they every get around to it.
A strong character focused episode with lots of well put together action sequences. The characters are gelling well together and feel distinct in their actions. There seems to be some early bias towards Zeb and Ezra with the rest of the characters taking something of a back seat. After a couple of episodes I’m at the point where I don’t feel like I know much about 3 of the characters so I hope they’ll be the focus for the next few episodes. Ezra’s Jedi training doesn’t seem to have started yet despite repeated references previously, I hope it doesn’t take too much longer to get that started. This series is proving itself to be a worthy addition to the Star Wars canon.