On the D/L – Star Wars Rebels
Season 1 Episode 14 – “Fire Across the Galaxy”
Star Wars Rebels caps off season 1 and gives the audience plenty to chew on in the wait for the next installment.
Most of the episode was focused on the mission to rescue Kanan from a Star Destroyer in orbit of Mustafar (the site of Obi Wan’s final battle with Anakin Skywalker before Darth Vader as we know him was born). The episode also sets things up for the second season.
I really liked the opening with Sabine performing distraction duties while the rest of the crew steal an Imperial transport ship. This scene confirmed one thing for me – Storm Troopers really can’t hit anything. Sabine’s wisecracking seemed a bit out of place and her constant stopping to apparently mug for the camera while she was being shot at fell slightly flat but I suppose it’ll work for kids watching. I do applaud any scene that gives Sabine plenty to do though including reminding us how good she is with explosives.
Reintroducing the stolen TIE fighter from earlier in the season was a really nice touch and it actually provided a really funny gag in showing that Sabine had used it to express herself creatively. There’s something kind of wonderful about seeing a TIE fighter painted to look so colourful and inviting and I really liked how the paint job played into the rest of the episode. The observation from one Storm Trooper that it wasn’t regulation and the other Storm Trooper admitting he liked it was really funny.
I really liked the scenes involving Kanan being tortured by The Inquisitor who tries to prey on his insecurities as usual. In this case Kanan’s survival of Order 66 is directly referenced and we get an idea of what happened. It turns out he was spared because of a noble sacrifice from his master who simply told him to “Run!” so that he could survive. Kanan’s been running ever since in both a literal and figurative sense. We’ve seen his reluctance to accept his Jedi nature in earlier episodes as well as his fear over training Ezra. A sense of responsibility is something Kanan still fears and it makes perfect sense for him to do so since his Jedi training was never completed.
We get something of a resolution to Kanan’s internal conflict through a badass lightsaber battle that takes on so many different forms. First of all it seems like a homage to the Obi Wan & Qui Gon vs. Darth Maul bout from The Phantom Menace in that 2 Jedi take on a Sith with a double edged lightsaber but it quickly evolves into something far cooler. When Ezra appears to be dead Kanan fully embraces the force and takes on The Inquisitor in a way that we haven’t seen before.
Every other battle between them has had Kanan on the defensive but the motivation of losing his apprentice causes him to go on the offensive in a big way. I love that he was armed with both his own lightsaber and Ezra’s. It was great to see the blaster aspect of Ezra’s custom built weapon in such a creative way. We’ve never seen a lightsaber fight like this one and it was absolutely exhilarating to watch. I’ve always thought that the Jedi’s dismissal of ranged weaponry in battle was really stupid and this battle just proves it. Kanan was a formidable foe wielding both a lightsaber and a blaster so it begs the question why more Jedi weren’t inclined to adopt this strategy.
Seeing The Inquisitor come to an -apparent- end as a result of this beating was something I wasn’t expecting. I had no idea they’d dispense of such an interesting villain so quickly but I’m kind of glad they did. If The Inquisitor had hung around it would have been a lot like Count Dooku in The Clone Wars with a string of empty encounters and defeats that ultimately don’t really don’t go anywhere. Seeing him killed here keeps this show fresh and interesting while encouraging the writers to come up with something new next season.
After everyone escaped we get to see an awesome rescue of the Ghost crew by a Rebel fleet as a Star Destroyer crashes and burns in the background. Visually it’s amazing and matches the tension of the other action beats in this episode beautifully. It was also awesome to see that Chopper was responsible for their rescue. He managed to be really competent where it counts for once. For Star Wars fans there was something poetic about Mustaphar being a location associated with so much defeat transitioning to being the site of a major victory.
There was a nice character moment where Hera and Kanan were reunited which made it clear that they are in a relationship. Obviously the show doesn’t want to make a big deal out of it but it’s good to see that pay off in some small way. It was also interesting that the crew were a Rebel cell without knowing it. It makes sense from a freedom fighting point of view to minimise the number of people who can compromise the whole thing.
I loved the reveal of the players in the Rebel Alliance. It made sense that Bale Organa would be there but to have Ahsoka return was great. It seems that the internet predicted correctly but as a fan of this character from The Clone Wars I’m glad to see that she survived Order 66 and that she’s involved in the Rebellion. Her redesigned look works for me so far and I look to see how she plays into the next season.
Not only that but we also get a few seconds of a Darth Vader cameo suggesting that he’s going to be a major player in season 2. If he and Ahsoka meet then that’s something that will prove interesting. I also wonder if she’ll suffer her end at Vader’s hand. I’ll talk more about this in my full season review but for now I’m excited.
Beyond some out of place wisecracks and a legitimate question relating to what Zeb did in this episode beyond one line of him complaining this was a fantastic finale that seemed to change the DNA of the show in really profound ways. I’m excited to see where it goes from here.
The rescue of Kanan was handled wonderfully and the antagonistic relationship between Kanan and The Inquisitor was explored and capped off nicely. Seeing Kanan go on the offensive in a big way was well earned and was definitely a long time coming.
Seeing The Rebellion as an entity was also really well earned and gave the season an awesome ending with plenty of reveals and the profound suggestion that it’ll be a very different show next season. I for one can’t wait to see it. In short this was fan service done right. My roundup of the season will follow as soon as I can find the time.