Star Wars Rebels – Season 2 Episode 3
“Relics of the Old Republic”
After a fairly slow first part Star Wars Rebels more than makes up for it with an exciting conclusion that effectively bridges the gap between the Clone Wars series and this one.
After all the set-up last week this episode was mostly action but the characters didn’t get lost in the chaos of it all. It was great to see Rex, Wolfe and Gregor using their considerable experience to take on the Imperial Walkers. They have always been frightening tools of the Empire and suitably iconic since their introduction in The Empire Strikes Back. They are slow and unwieldy but there’s something inevitable about their presence that makes them a very dangerous threat. The way that they tower over the old Republic tank only adds to how threatening they appear.
The tactics employed by Rex, Wolfe and Gregor against them were inspired. Using the sand storm to provide cover reminded me a little of the Mutara Nebula battle in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. All of the hallmarks were there from the lack of visibility to the cat and mouse approach of the battle. There was also a nod to A New Hope when Ezra closed his eyes to visualise where to aim the shot to bring the walker down.
Kanan still doesn’t feel comfortable working with clones but he also doesn’t want to see them die. He still recognises that they are living people and they don’t deserve to be slaughtered by the Empire. The look of discomfort on his face when Rex referred to him as a General was very fitting and the fact that they are joining the Rebellion should leave him with plenty of time to be uncomfortable around them while getting used to the idea.
Rex seems to feel the opposite as do Wolfe and Gregor as they are genuinely thrilled to be working with a Jedi again. They are keen to take orders from Kanan and there’s a real sense that they are enjoying being able to make a difference again.
The Empire are portrayed really well here as well with Kallus taking point on the Imperial Walker batte as the commander and constantly being baffled at the resourcefulness of the clones in combat situations. He is completely arrogant about their inability to take on three Imperial Walkers and his overconfidence is ultimately his undoing. Their tactics in the sandstorm coupled with the fact that he knows Jedi are present should have given him more than enough information about what he is expecting. I suspect that oversights like this are why Darth Vader is involved in bringing down the Rebellion as it has been made clear that Kallus isn’t getting the job done.
I really liked seeing Ahsoka and Rex reunite. There is an easily identified bond of friendship between them that spans years and her quip about him getting old was full of affection. I was a big fan of The Clone Wars so this was a reunion that really worked for me. I hope to see more characters from that show cropping up over the coming episodes.
The arrival of a new Inquisitor is an interesting development that was of course completely expected as the Emperor ordered Vader to dispatch more. It seems that this season will have more than one kicking about which should raise the threat level in interesting ways. It’s a strong start to this season so far and there’s lots of things to consider.
As usual the rest of the characters completely take a back seat. Zeb is pretty badass in helping take down the walkers but in terms of actual character development there isn’t much. Sabine has very little to do other than try to fix the Phantom. I hope for more development of the supporting characters this season as it has been sorely lacking before now.
A really strong conclusion to the story that was started last week and an effective bridge between the Clone Wars and this series.
The tactics in the battle against the Imperial Walkers were really inventive which showed the resourcefulness and experience of the clones. I really liked how excited they were at the prospect of taking orders from a Jedi again and how uncomfortable this made Kanan feel as a result. His take on the situation was really interesting as well with his discomfort at working with clones still being powerful but his desire to not see them killed being more so. It shows a movement towards acceptance for Kanan that should develop more now that Rex, Gregor and Wolfe are part of the Rebellion.
I liked how the Empire were portrayed with Kallus being very overconfident about his chances of defeating the outdated clone tank. His overconfidence turns out to be his downfall as he never considers failure. With this attitude it makes complete sense that Darth Vader has been called in to help deal with the Rebellion.
Ahsoka and Rex’s reunion was brilliantly done. I really liked seeing the bond of friendship that clearly exists between them and the quips about age only strengthened this. I’d like to see more bridging of the gap between the two different series’
As always the other characters remain underdeveloped with Rex being little more than a badass in battle and Sabine simply being around to fix the ship without much else to do. More needs to be done to develop these characters as it has been lacking since the first season.