Im filled with mixed emotions as I write this review. Star Wars Rebels season 1 is now officially over and I know there will be a long wait until Season 2 starts up . That fills me with much sadness.
Maybe it will take that long to wipe the grin off my face.
If how much the inner fanboy in me was indulged was a barometer for how awesome an episode of Rebels is ; then I can safely say that this episode was off the chart!
An argument could be made about how the shows writers have been mining various set pieces and scenes from the Star Wars movies and reshaping them for the shows audience all season; but can we really fault them for that? Epic Light Saber duels and spectacular space battles all culminated in THE best episode of the season.
The first season of rebels has been a ” Slow Boil” and it wasn’t until mid season that we really started to get a sense of the danger our crew of heroes was facing. Last weeks episode was an eye opener to be sure with Kanan getting captured by Grand Moff Tarkin and hauled off to who knows where to get interrogated ( Which is never fun when Imperial Inquisitors are concerned)
The 30 min running time was cutting it close for all the key moments that this episode needed to deliver on and between rescuing Kanan, finally revealing who Fulcrum was and resolving the ongoing grudge between the Inquisitor and our Heroes ; it was almost as though the show was busting at the seems with story content. Luckily it was guided by a skillful hand and every point was hit with accuracy that almost made Luke Skywalkers “One in a million” shot that blew up the Death Star, look bad.
Speaking of Star Wars references; this episode was full of them. Most of them where indirect and more like Homages but keen observers can clearly draw parallels between Phantom Menace’s Jedi/Sith set piece with Obi Wan, Qui Gon Jinn vs Darth Maul and the Kanon/Ezra/Inquisitor showdown. The setting was a series of precarious walkways with vertical shafts of light that made me have a severe case of Deja Vu. It didn’t help matters that the Inquisitor also wielded a double bladed Lightsaber and proved to be incredibly adept at fending off two Jedi ( well one Jedi and an Apprentice) at the same time. Im almost entirely sure that it was totally pre meditated on Dave Filoni’s part ;but regardless It worked
Between the tense moments waiting to see if Hera and the boys would get past the Imperial boarding protocol ( Heavy channeling of Return of the Jedi “Fly Casual” scene) and the exhilarating evacuation of the Star Destroyer as it blew up from the inside, everything came together nicely and not once did I feel that the show was being rushed just to wrap things up. It came to a natural conclusion albeit shorter than what I would have liked.
The real stand out moment of this episode came in the closing minutes when we finally get to see the true identity of the mysterious “Fulcrum” . The whole season we have been hearing the name and slowly developing a sense of curiosity of who Hera’s secretive contact is and ” Fire Across the Galaxy” pulled the curtain back in a very casual fashion( Fulcrum literally just climbed down a ladder into full view).
I’ll be honest; this one took me by surprise and even though Im sure fans have speculated this for awhile now , I had no idea that Ahsoka Tano would make her appearance in Star Wars Rebels let alone turn out to be Fulcrum.
Having watched a lot of the Rebels Predecessor ; The Clone Wars, I appreciated the return of this fan favourite from that show but I’m not sure if her presence in this episode made sense aside from the shock factor.Im sure that next season we will get a lot more backstory on what she has been up to since the Clone Wars and why she is actively helping the growing Rebellion.
If the big reveal didn’t satiate your appetite enough the closing scene that bookended season 1 should have . While It didn’t have the same shock factor it nonetheless was cool to see Darth Vader himself show up on screen in person alongside the Grand Moff. After watching it I realized that we where watching the early years version of Vader where he was subservient to Tarkin before he assumed the role of the Empires guiding force. My only complaint is that all we got was a brief glimpse of him walking down the ramp of the Imperial Shuttle and a very brief explanation ( as if we needed one) as to why the Sith Lord was in tow behind him. Come on guys; would it have killed you to grab James Earl Jones for a few minutes of voice work ?
With lots of questions I am hoping to continue on reporting about upcoming Star Wars Rebels news and information as we start the slow crawl towards season 2. Make sure you follow us and check back often if you like my coverage and thanks for visiting our new site.
Dwayne “EVO Knight” Morash