Rebels: Season Two Review

Rebels Season Two Spoilers Ahead!!!

I’ve been rewatching the animated series Rebels, and I’ve just finished Season Two. Not only is it longer (22 episodes rather than 15), but it was so much more emotionally satisfying. Several familiar characters make an appearance (or reappearance), and the finale was amazing. But we’ll get to that.

So much more happens in this season, and this post could be unbearably long if I mention everything, so I’ll try to point out the most important events and highlights.

Hera

So now the Ghost crew are a part of Phoenix Squadron, led by Commander Sato, along with Ahsoka. Hera and the rest of the crew are all gung-ho about it, but Kanan isn’t so sure–he’s reluctant to join the nascent Rebellion, remembering the Clone Wars and what happened to the Jedi because of it.

They receive a transmission from Minister Tua on Lothal–she wants to defect and she needs their help. She’ll give them important intel in exchange. But before they can retrieve her, she’s killed, engineered by Vader in a plot to draw the Rebels out. Kanan and Ezra end up fighting Vader, and it’s clear to them they are way out of their league–he’s more powerful than anyone they’d ever encountered. They hightail it out of there, but they’re stuck on Lothal. Lando makes another appearance here, as he owes them a favor, and he gets them off the planet.

Minister Tua and Agent Kallus

They escape, but Vader tracks them to the fleet. Ahsoka, on board the Ghost, feels his presence, and he feels hers; he murmurs, “The apprentice lives,” in apparent surprise. Ahsoka is shocked and passes out; later she tells Kanan and Ezra that she doesn’t know who he is, but I don’t particularly believe her. She suspects Anakin, I think, but says nothing to the others.

The Imperials burn Tarkintown on Lothal in retaliation, and the Rebels decide not to go back there; they don’t want to endanger anyone else. Ahsoka asks the Ghost crew to find an old friend of hers, believing that he can help them find a new base. The friend turns out to be none other than Captain Rex, along with two other clones: Gregor and Wolf. They’re in “retirement” on some desert planet, clomping around on some old Republic walker that has seen better days.

Captain Rex, Gregor, and Wolf

Kanan absolutely does not trust them, and understandably so. He’d seen clones turn on the Jedi and kill his own master, Depa Billaba. Rex states that he didn’t betray his Jedi, and explains that he and the others removed the chips in their heads that commanded the clones to kill their former generals, but Kanan’s prejudice runs deep. The others seem to like the clones, though. They need to fight some Imperials off, and the clones go back with them to the fleet. The reunion between Rex and Ahsoka is wonderful to see; and although it takes Kanan a while to come around, I love that Rex becomes an honorary member of the Ghost crew.

Unfortunately, Vader has sent out more Inquisitors, and they encounter two of them–Seventh Sister and Fifth Brother–on an old Republic medical frigate they’ve gone to in order to get medical supplies. They escape, but encounter them again when they discover they’re after Force-sensitive babies. They manage to rescue the kids, and we get to see a fabulous display of Ahsoka’s skills as she duels them both before escaping.

Fifth Brother and Seventh Sister

Ezra starts to feel a bit overwhelmed with his Jedi training with Kanan, on top of soldier training with Rex (and the chores Hera gives him on the Ghost), and while trying to escape his responsibilities he encounters Hondo Ohnaka. Since the fall of the Republic and the rise of the Empire, Hondo has come down a few notches in life–no longer the leader of a formidable pirate gang; he scrapes by in whatever way he can, smuggling and making deals with other pirates. He’s as funny and selfish as he was in Clone Wars, and he’s so fun to watch. He takes a shine to Ezra, who he considers to be his young protege in the art of the con.

Meanwhile, Hera brings an experimental B-Wing into the fleet, to be perfected and mass produced, and she becomes Phoenix Squadron Leader. Kanan and Rex go on a mission together to save Ezra and Commander Sato from the Imperials, and start to bond a little bit; Kanan even calls Rex his “friend.” Sabine has an adventure with an old friend, who’s now an enemy, and then becomes her friend again. I can’t remember her name, but she has gorgeous lavender eyes.

Ezra has Force visions about his parents, and is convinced they need to go back to Lothal. They encounter Ryder Azadi, the former Governor of Lothal, imprisoned by the Imperials–along with Ezra’s parents. He tells Ezra his parents heard the message of hope he sent out in Season One, and was inspired to help the other prisoners escape. But they themselves didn’t make it. It’s assumed they are dead, and Ezra deals with his grief.

Kanan comforting Ezra, as Ryder Azati looks on

Princess Leia shows up on Lothal as an ambassador from Alderaan, bringing three ships full of medical supplies and relief aid. Of course, she expects the Rebels to “steal” her ships, and in this way she helps the Rebellion in the best way she can. She’s about Ezra’s age here, and they have an adventure in getting the ships off Lothal for the Rebellion, without making Leia look guilty. She’s pretty good at making the Imperials look like fools.

In trying to find new, safer hyperspace routes, they encounter a group of Mandalorians on Concordia Dawn called The Protectors that work for the Empire. They take its leader, Fen Rau, prisoner, and get use of the hyperspace route. Zeb finds out he’s not the last of his people, and they help two survivors find a safe haven beyond the Outer Rim. They go on a mission with Hera’s father, the famed Twi’lek freedom fighter Cham Syndulla. Father and daughter have a strained relationship, but they resolve their differences and get a new ship for the fleet to boot. On a mission to get fuel for the Ghost, they encounter space whales called Pergil, and Ezra makes a Force connection with them (they’ll become an important plot point in a future season). Imperial Agent Kallus and Zeb are stranded on a frozen moon, and have to work together to escape with their lives (the experience leaves an impression on Kallus that bears fruit later).

Zeb and Kallus

Those pesky Inquisitors keep finding them, so Kanan, Ezra and Ahsoka go to the Jedi Temple on Lothal to find answers on how to deal with them. Kanan ends up fighting a Jedi Temple Guard, who turns out to be the Grand Inquisitor from Season One. Turns out, he’d been a Guard before Order 66, but became an Inquisitor afterward. He symbolically “knights” Kanan after Kanan admits to his fear that he can’t protect Ezra forever; he can only do his best. Ezra finds himself with Master Yoda, and talks with him about the war; only after Ezra insists that they must fight the Empire does Yoda tell him to go to Malachor. Ahsoka hears Anakin’s voice: “Why did you leave me? Do you know what I’ve become?” Her suspicions and fears about who Vader is, and her guilt over her potential part in it, hits home.

Chopper finds a new friend in AP5, and old Republic droid who now does inventory work for the Empire. They help each other on an adventure, and AP5 suggests a new planet for the Rebel base. It seems perfect at first, but then they discover it’s inhabited by–what else?–giant spiders. But they find a way to keep them away from the base itself.

The last two episodes of the season, “Twilight of the Apprentice” Parts 1 & 2, are the best episodes of the season, and possibly one of the best arcs in the entire show. Following Yoda’s advice, Kanan, Ezra, and Ahsoka go to Malachor, a “forbidden” planet to the Jedi. It contains a Sith Temple, and here they end up meeting Maul, who’s been slinking around there for years, apparently. They encounter three Inquisitors as well–Seventh Sister and Fifth brother, and one other–and they’ve gone there to find “the Shadow,” or Maul.

Ezra and Maul

Basically, Ezra gets separated from Kanan and Ahsoka, and meets Maul, who wants to use Ezra to get to the Sith holocron inside (as well as turn him to the dark side and have him become his apprentice). Ezra, innocent child, believes that Maul wants to help them, and once they get the holocron, he uses it to activate the Temple–he thinks he’ll get the knowledge they seek, but it really turns into a battle station. Ezra realizes this too late, and in the meantime, Maul has blinded Kanan in battle. They’ve managed to kill the Inquisitors and fend off Maul, but Vader shows up for the holocron, and they’re in real trouble. Kanan and Ezra together retrieve the holocron while Ahsoka battles Vader, and it’s this riveting and heartbreaking encounter that makes this episode epic.

Ahsoka battles Darth Vader

During the course of the duel, Ahsoka realizes that Vader is, in fact, Anakin. As the Temple starts to crumble around them, she tells him, “I won’t leave you. Not this time.” Ezra calls her name, but she closes the temple door on him, and they have no choice but to escape without her. We see an enigmatic scene of Vader leaving the Temple, and Ahsoka going into it. It’s a bit vague as to what actually happened, but it becomes more clear in a future season.

So I’ve already written WAY too much, but suffice it to say this was a great season, with an amazing season-ender.

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Rebels: Season One Review

Rebels Season One Spoilers Ahead!!!

Now that Season 2 of The Mandalorian is over, I decided to rewatch Rebels. I’ve just finished Season 1, and thought I’d just do a basic recap rather than an episode-by-episode review (there are 15 episodes in the season).

Rebels takes place in the few years leading up to A New Hope, when the Empire is in full control but some pockets of rebellion have flared up in response to their heavy-handed rule. Most of the main action takes place on or near the planet Lothal, an Outer Rim world run by the Imperials.

Obviously as Season 1 starts, we meet the Ghost crew: Hera Syndulla, the Twi’lek pilot, daughter of Cham Syndulla, who was a freedom fighter on Ryloth during the Clone Wars; Kanan Jarrus, the human male we quickly learn is a Jedi who somehow escaped Order 66; Zeb, the fierce Lassat who is often the muscle of the group, and who is the last of his kind thanks to the Imperials; and Sabine Wren, a young artistically-inclined Mandalorian woman who formerly attended the Imperial Academy on Mandalore but left when she became disillusioned with the Empire; and Chopper, their feisty, mischievous, and sometimes rude droid who sounds like the adults on the Peanuts specials. Their main mission is simply to make trouble for the Imperials and to help those who may need it; at this point, they are unaware of any other rebel cells at work. There is, however, a contact that Hera gets information from, a mysterious figure called “Fulcrum.”

Ezra doesn’t feel he belongs at first.

They quickly pick up a sixth member in Ezra Bridger, a teenager who grew up on the streets of Lothal. Ezra interrupts one of their theft missions, and Hera and Kanan recognize that he’s special–and a bit annoying–and ask him to join the crew. He’s not sure at first, used to being on his own, looking out only for himself, but when Kanan realizes he has Force powers–powers that he unknowingly used to survive on the streets–he agrees. Kanan, who never even got to finish his own training before Order 66 killed his Master, Depa Billaba, agrees to train him in the ways of the Jedi. We even get to see a hologram of Obi-Wan Kenobi sending out his message of hope to any surviving Jedi, from a holocron that Kanan has in his possession.

Sabine and Hera fight off some monsters.

We also meet the Imperials and Ministers of Lothal, but the main antagonists are Agent Kallus, member of the ISB (Imperial Security Bureau)–he kind of reminds me of a blond Wolverine–and the Grand Inquisitor, who shows up after Kallus reports a Jedi in the rebel faction. I have to say this guy looks really cool: bald, burning Sith eyes, sharp teeth, and a wicked double-bladed lightsaber that spins on an axis. When Kallus and the Grand Inquisitor fail to capture the Rebels or the Jedi, they bring in the big guns: Grand Moff Tarkin shows up to lay down the law and demand results.

One of the main story threads of Season 1 is the question of Ezra’s parents: who are they, and what happened to them? And will Ezra ever see them again? We find out they were ordinary citizens who spoke out against the Empire, and as a result, they were arrested and taken away. Ezra was only seven years old at the time. He’s fifteen now (born on Empire Day), and he has no idea if they are dead or alive; although on one of their missions, they encounter an old friend of his parents, a Rodian named Tseebo, who tells him his parents are alive, but that remains to be seen.

Sabine and Ezra with Tseebo.

In one of my favorite episodes, Kanan and Ezra visit a Jedi Temple located on Lothal. Kanan wishes Ezra to be tested to see if he’s ready to become a Jedi. In the Temple, Ezra must face his fears: his fear of Kanan being killed by the Inquisitor, fear that his new friends ridicule him behind his back, fear that he’s just not ready to become focused and disciplined enough to learn and will fail Kanan. He ends up hearing the voice of Yoda, who gives him a few words of wisdom before a kyber crystal falls into his hand. Kanan himself hears Yoda, and must face his own fears: the fear of not being able to train Ezra, of failing him. The fact that he couldn’t complete his own training, that he was never Knighted as a Jedi and is perhaps incapable of training Ezra, weighs heavily on him.

Ezra makes his own lightsaber from the kyber crystal, and it’s quite a unique one: it’s part blaster, part lightsaber. Clunky, but useful.

Kanan teaches Ezra while Zeb looks on.

There are a few appearances of familiar characters: the crew meets R2D2 and C3PO early on, who are working for Bail Organa. Kanan briefly meets Bail when he returns the droids, but he doesn’t know who he is. Bail is keeping an eye on this particular rebel cell, to see what they do and how they may play a part in the Rebellion he’s trying to build.

They also meet Lando Calrissian and become involved in one of his schemes, which seems sort of out of the blue, but it pays off in Season 2.

As the season starts to head toward its conclusion, we meet Senator Trayven of Lothal, who Ezra in particular greatly admires. He seems to be sending out messages of hope for those who hate the Empire, but when they meet with him it turns out to be a trap. They escape, but are disappointed and Ezra is heartbroken. They decide to commandeer the Imperial communications tower to send out their own message of hope.

However, during the mission, Kanan is captured by the Inquisitor. He sacrifices himself so the others can escape. They want to go after him, but Hera receives a message from Fulcrum, who tells her not to risk it, and that they must focus on the bigger picture. They decide to go after him anyway, of course.

Kanan and Ezra battle the Grand Inquisitor

He’s being held on a Star Destroyer in orbit around Mustafar, and they hatch a plan to retrieve him. Kanan and Ezra end up facing the Grand Inquisitor in a lightsaber duel; in the end, the Inquisitor dies–hanging from a ledge, he lets himself fall into a fireball below as Kanan looks on.

The crew is rescued from a TIE fighter assault by Bail Organa and his fleet of ships, and Fulcrum shows up as well–revealing herself to be Ahsoka Tano.

Back on Lothal, an Imperial shuttle arrives in Capital City, and Agent Kallus greets Darth Vader, who has arrived to clean up the mess and try to capture the Rebels that have been evading capture.

And that’s Season One, which I seemed to enjoy more the second time around, probably because I already know and love these people, whereas at first I wasn’t sure. I’m looking forward to getting into Season Two, which gets even better.

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Rewatching Star Wars: Rebels

Now that The Mandalorian is over for at least a year, the question is: what’s next on my Star Wars viewing list? Movie marathon? (A marathon, for me, is one movie per day, so an 11-day period of Star Wars). Nah, I want to rewatch one of the animated series, where I can get 2-3 episodes in per day.

I thought about rewatching the Clone Wars, but I wasn’t up for that massive project (7 seasons, some with 22 episodes). Not yet. Maybe as a lead up to The Bad Batch, which will come out some time next year.

No, for now I decided to rewatch Rebels, which is shorter, but no less awesome. There are so many tie-ins from that show in The Mandalorian: Bo-Katan, the Dark Saber, Ahsoka, Thrawn. It’ll be great to go back and relive those moments.

I don’t think I’ll review each and every episode on this blog, but perhaps one post for each of the four seasons. Until then, enjoy a few images and moments from the show:

Do you like Rebels? What’s your favorite moment(s)? Comment below and we’ll talk about it!

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Ahsoka Tano: From Padawan to Rebel

My next installment of Women of Star Wars: Animated Edition is Ahsoka Tano.

Ahsoka Tano is Anakin Skywalker’s Padawan in Clone Wars. She’s a young togruta with big blue eyes, and presumably was going to be Obi-Wan’s new Padawan since Anakin had achieved Jedi Knighthood. The particulars of how she became Anakin’s apprentice rather than Obi-Wan’s is detailed in the Clone Wars movie; turns out that Ahsoka has a slight rebellious streak. Despite his initial resistance to taking on a padawan, Anakin himself says to her: “You may not have done well as Obi-Wan’s padawan. But you might do okay as mine.”

The pair make a good team, despite being a bit too similar and getting on each other’s nerves at first. Ahsoka calls him “Sky Guy” and Anakin calls her “Snips”, referring to her initial snippiness.

I’m going to say right up front that I much preferred Clone Wars Anakin over movie Anakin (they almost seem like different characters to me), and I think Ahsoka has a lot to do with that. The fact that he has someone to feel responsible for makes him grow up a little bit; he also comes to care for her and risks his life many times for her. I just find it kind of funny when he dispenses sage Jedi wisdom, like stressing patience, when he can’t even take his own advice!

Ahsoka had some great arcs in Clone Wars; she grew from an impetuous, eager youngster who wanted to prove herself into a thoughtful, cunning, and brave Jedi warrior. But I feel she really came into her own when she actually walked away from the Jedi Order. Accused of murder, expelled from the Order, and put on trial, she’s eventually exonerated (with help from Anakin). But when the Jedi Order welcomes her back in, she refuses to rejoin them. Her hurt and betrayal at their lack of loyalty opens her eyes to other options; she decides to find out who she’s supposed to be and what she’s supposed to do on her own.

Ahsoka’s decision to leave the Order devastates Anakin. He understands, but Anakin himself values loyalty to a fault. Ahsoka knows this, and her guilt at leaving him comes back to haunt her in Rebels.

While Ahsoka is absent from Clone Wars during Season 6, she returns in the seventh and final season. After a much-too-long arc with the Martez sisters, she meets up with Bo-Katan, who enlists her help to liberate Mandalore from Maul. Her confrontation with Maul is thrilling and satisfying. It’s during the trip back to Coruscant with the imprisoned Maul that Order 66 takes place. It’s Ahsoka that liberates Captain Rex from the inhibitor chip in his brain that forces him to attack her, and together they escape the other clones who want them both dead. (Maul, unfortunately, escapes).

The final few scenes of Season 7 Clone wars is haunting and heartbreaking, with Ahsoka contemplating the death of clones she’d fought with, and the devastation of the Jedi Order. She drops her lightsaber into the snow. Later, Darth Vader picks it up, wondering, perhaps reminiscing, watching a lone bird circle above, Anakin’s eye just visible through the red lens of his mask. This whole sequence gives me the shivers.

We don’t see Ahsoka again until Rebels, after 15 years have passed. It wasn’t until the book Ahsoka, by E.K. Johnston, came out that we knew what she’d been up to in the meantime. After Order 66, Ahsoka and Rex parted ways, agreeing it would be safer for them both to do so. She wandered from place to place, hiding her identity and Jedi abilities, calling herself Ashla and repairing droids and mechanicals for a living. It’s in this book that she ends up facing an Inquisitor and defeating him. She takes his double-bladed lightsaber and makes them her own, “healing” the red, bleeding kyber crystals and turning them white. She also meets up with Bail Organa, and decides to join the Rebellion in a specific capacity: running his intelligence networks as Fulcrum. It’s a good book, and I recommend it.

It’s in Rebels that we see the fully adult Ahsoka Tano, when Fulcrum’s mysterious identity is finally revealed. She comes to know the whole Ghost crew, and is reunited with Captain Rex. These are some of my favorite scenes of Rebels. When they learn of the existence of a Dark Lord of the Sith, Ahsoka feels something familiar about him, and has her suspicions. She’s believed Anakin dead all these years, but her confrontation with Darth Vader in a Sith Temple on Malachor proves to her that Vader is, indeed, her former Master. “I’m not leaving you,” she says. “Not this time.” At these words, we see Vader pause, as if she’s gotten through to Anakin somehow. But only for a moment. “Then you will die,” Vader replies. She only survives the duel because Ezra, in a later timeline, pulls her through to the World Between Worlds.

We don’t see Ahsoka again until the final episode in Season 4, when she appears at the very end to meet with Sabine. They’re going to search the galaxy for Ezra, who disappeared with Thrawn in the last battle on Lothal. When they were in the World Between Worlds fleeing the Emperor, Ezra says, “When you get back, come and find me.” “I will,” Ahsoka replies. “I promise.” Ahsoka Tano keeps her promises.

Padawanlost

What do you think of Ahsoka Tano? Comment below and we’ll talk about it!

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Rebel Love

After watching The Clone Wars (and absolutely loving it), I moved on to Rebels. I’d heard good things about it, but I wasn’t sure. How can anything top Clone Wars? I’ll probably just be disappointed…but I knew Ahsoka made an appearance, along with Captain Rex. Darth Vader, Maul, even Obi-Wan. How could I stay away?

So I gave it a try. The first few episodes, I thought, hmm, I don’t know. It’s not really catching me. But that’s how I felt with Clone Wars at first. So I kept watching. And I’m so glad I did. As Season One drew to a close, I knew it had me.

Season Two was when things really picked up, and it only got better from there. I just finished Season Four, and I got a little emotional that it was over, at how wonderful it was, and the questions I still had.

I thought I’d highlight a few favorite moments from the show:

❤️❤️❤️❤️
Ahsoka’s and Rex’s reunion (cue lump in throat).
I thought the Grand Inquisitor was pretty cool.
This confrontation gave me goosebumps.
Yes yes yes yes yes  I love my intelligent, calm, collected blue boyfriend 💙
I was never very interested in Thrawn, but now I am. On to the Thrawn books!
redteamdoyle: “kallus + fucked up ”(GIF set)
I kind of liked Agent Kallus even before he became a Rebel.
Star Wars Rebels - Kanan Jarrus Also Wookiepedia is a great star wars informational site, use it all the time
Every single scene with Kanan Jarrus. Every. Single. Scene.
Star Wars: New Look at Obi-Wan Kenobi vs. Darth Maul Rebels Rematch
This confrontation also gave me goosebumps. Obi-wan is simply amazing.
I’m in love with the lothwolves. (I like the lothcats, too).
Jacen Syndulla: Answers to All the Big Questions After the bombshell finale revelation that Kanan and Hera actually had a son, I found myself pouring through all the Kanera moments in the rest of the...
I didn’t see this coming at all, but it delighted me.
Ezra Bridger is lucky to have these two women who care about him, that’s all I can say. Except maybe “sequel series, please.”

There are so many more fantastic moments in this show, I could go on and on, but these were at the top of my list. Rebels truly exceeded my expectations, and if you haven’t checked it out yet, you’re really missing out on some great Star Wars moments.

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