Star Wars Rebels – Season 2 Episode 8
So, apparently Star Wars Rebels wasn’t on hiatus last week like every other show I cover on a Thursday so my apologies for that. On the plus side you’re getting a double bill of Star Wars Rebels today, Kneel Before Blog style!
This episode has a bit of a buddy comedy vibe to it as Kanan and Rex are forced to team up on a mission despite the fact that they don’t get along. I immediately questioned the logic of such a partnership as Hera should have known better than to send people who are at odds with one another on almost every level on an important mission. Sabine would have been a more logical choice as the episode establishes but the producers of Star Wars Rebels wanted a Rex/Kanan episode so we get a Rex/Kanan episode.
Despite the illogical nature of this partnership the whole thing worked really well. There was some “for the kids” humour that didn’t quite work for me as they bantered back and forth but in general they made an effective team. I really enjoyed moments like Kanan bringing Stormtroopers into Rex’s sights using the force so that he could dispatch them.
Rex certainly proves that the clones are vastly superior to the Stormtroopers. There was never any doubt but this episode proves it. Since the Stormtroopers aren’t clones and get some apparently very basic training they are a bit lacking in skills where Rex was literally bred for war. The unsubtle dig at the lack of effectiveness of the Stormtrooper armour was a bit on the nose but I have to admit that I chuckled at the reference.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the visual reminders of A New Hope as they were plentiful and obvious. There was the heroes being disguised as Stormtroopers, the familiar corridors and the general tone was very similar as well. It wasn’t a bad thing but it was very noticeable.
This episode was a good opportunity for Rex and Kanan to bond and it works really well at moving their characters on. They aren’t best friends or anything quite yet but there seems to be a willingness to work together and try to put things behind them. Kanan proclaiming that Rex was his friend didn’t feel earned to me so I’m not really accepting this episode as the resolution to their conflict.
Ezra fed into the action really well though I have to wonder where all this competence came from. Last we heard his training was going very poorly but here he’s using his force powers and agility like a seasoned pro. I loved seeing him turn on his lightsaber as it was on the Stormtrooper’s holster and his attack on Rex and Kanan when he assumed they were Stormtroopers brought out a few laughs. It’s a fair assumption since they had their helmets on and it makes sense to shoot first and ask questions later. Rex’s reaction to have a joke about it was a nice touch.
One downside of the episode is that the Empire come across as a complete joke. The Stormtroopers were completely useless but we’re used to that. I was really confused by the Admiral’s lack of recognition of the threat he was potentially under even when he found out who he was dealing with. He should at least have been more cautious instead of underestimating the skills of his opponents. At least he pays for it with total defeat. The ships being magnetically drawn together and the resulting explosions was a really cool scene.
This episode is definitely a disposable romp which marks another problem with the season in general. There hasn’t been much of a sense of progression for any continuing stories. Darth Vader and the Inquisitors are still out there somewhere while the show plods along being broadly episodic. I’m itching for Darth Vader to appear again and show how badass he is.
A fun romp that comes across as a little disposable as Star Wars Rebels allows another episode to pass without any significant development of the continuous stories.
Having Rex and Kanan sent on a mission together gave the episode something of a buddy comedy episode. It worked quite well at developing their relationship despite the fact sending two people who don’t get along on a mission together is completely illogical. Sabine would have made more sense as backup but this is likely a producer decision more than anything else.
Kanan and Rex definitely work well together as shown by the teamwork of Kanan using the force to put Stormtroopers in Rex’s sights so that he can take them out. There’s definite movement towards them starting to put their differences behind them but Kanan’s statement about Rex being his friend felt unearned.
It’s impossible not to notice the similarities to A New Hope with the Stormtrooper disguises, the familiar looking corridors and the general tone. It’s not a bad thing but definitely very noticeable.
Ezra fed into the action really well by showing some impressive skills despite the fact that his training is supposed to be going poorly. Seeing him turn on the lightsaber as it was in the Stormtrooper’s holster was a really nice touch and his accidental attack on Rex and Kanan was worth a few laughs.
The empire come across as a complete joke here as the Admiral completely underestimates his opponents even after he knows who they are. He is justifiably punished for his stupidity with total defeat but it’s hard to take the Empire seriously when things like this happen.
It’s a shame that this season has been so light on developing the continuous stories. Romps like this are fun but I’m anxious to see Darth Vader turn up again.