On the D/L – Star Wars Rebels
Season 1 Episode 6 – “Out of Darkness”
At long last we get an episode of Star Wars Rebels that focuses on Sabine and Hera, two characters that have been present since the beginning severely lacking in meaningful development. Thankfully this episode lets them embark on an adventure that lets us learn more about them and their role within the team.
The plot seems somewhat average with a simple enough retrieval mission but the simplicity doesn’t matter all that much considering the strong fleshing out of the characters. Sabine in particular interests me the most with her back story centered on her morality above all else. We learn that she was at the Imperial Academy on Mandalore and are given vague references to what happened when she was a cadet as well as once following orders blindly and that causing issues. The title of the episode is almost certainly a reference to Sabine managing to escape her service to The Empire as well as the obvious references to the climatic battle.
As references go it’s kept suitably vague but we are given just enough to build interest. It’s clear that Sabine has lots in her past that she regrets and doesn’t feel comfortable talking about but is finally sure that she’s doing the right thing. I feel like the more I learn about her the more I’ll like her and that’s no bad thing. An upcoming episode where her past directly comes back to haunt her is almost certainly on the cards and hopefully it’ll build on what was set up here.
Hera is kept similarly mysterious but we learn that she uses undisclosed sources to give them the information to help plan their missions. Many of her scenes helped to reinforce her skills and her affinity with the ship. It’s clear that she can make The Ghost work in ways that nobody else can which makes her uniquely indispensable here. I really liked how she knew exactly what to do in times of crisis but wasn’t completely infallible shown by her accidentally rupturing a fuel line in the opening action sequence.
Sabine and Hera’s interactions were really interesting, especially when Sabine questioned Hera about the reason she keeps her sources hidden. Hera explains that it’s not a matter of trust so much as protection in case anyone is captured. Sabine still not seeing that point of view proved to be an interesting discussion suggesting a team dynamic where people don’t necessarily always agree or get along.
If anything I wish the episode had spent more time on Hera and Sabine just chatting about things because moments like this were by far the strongest in the episode. The battle with the creatures didn’t do an awful lot for me but it was a refreshing change from constant Imperial antagonists over the course of the series so far. It’s a shame it had to interrupt an interesting conversation.
Ezra, Zeb and Chopper spent much of their screen time doing their standard squabbling and this definitely has good moments but descends into the realm of tiresome more than once. Something was added to it when their messing around caused nearly fatal issues for their colleagues so it’d be nice if this becomes development for these characters and teach them to take things more seriously.
As always, much of the action is dynamic and exciting with the opening minutes being particularly impressive. The later battle with the creatures wasn’t the best for me but the location was interesting and it moved along enough for it to be pretty effective. Not relying on the lightsaber is doing wonders for this show in terms of memorable action sequences.
A solid episode that finally gives some underdeveloped characters some welcome attention. Each of the characters are kept enigmatic enough to have plenty more to give as the series progresses but betray plenty of information to keep the audience interested.
Some really interesting differences in opinion are seeded between Hera and Sabine which makes the team dynamic seem all the more real. There’s plenty established here to inform future stories.
Beyond all that the series continues to impress with exciting and diverse action sequences that managed to be exciting and build tension wonderfully.