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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The Mandalorian: Chapter 16–The Rescue

Mandalorian Spoilers Ahead!!!

We finally made it to the Mandalorian finale, and it’s taken me a few days to recover and get my thoughts together, lol. This is a long one, sorry, but it can’t be helped!

I was so nervous going into this episode: would Grogu be rescued? How is Din’s team going to do it? Will he battle Moff Gideon? Will anyone die? Will we see the Jedi? And if so, who would it be? I was squirming with questions and anxiety, but I took a deep breath, sipped my tea, and just took it all in.

I was happy to see Din pick up Bo-Katan and her sidekick, Koska; now the team is complete. All the players are assembled, each with their own agenda and goals: Din, of course, just wants Grogu; Bo-Katan wants Moff Gideon dead and her Dark Saber back; Cara Dune wants to help Din get Grogu, and possibly capture Gideon so the New Republic can get some Imperial intel. Boba and Fennec are just there to fulfill their obligation to Din.

Everyone has their own motives, and there’s not a lot of love lost between Bo-Katan and Boba Fett. There’s some initial squabbling between the Mandalorians and Boba at first: Bo-Katan recognizes his voice as belonging to a clone (she’s met plenty of them during the Clone Wars) and says he disgraces his armor. Boba bites back, calling her “Princess” and again defending his right to the armor; he and Koska even wrangle a bit until Bo-Katan tells them to knock it off.

SPOILERS: 'The Mandalorian' Chapter 16 Recap – Where Does The Show Go Now?  – THE RONIN
The meeting of the Mandalorians.

All of this just reinforces the idea to Din that there are more ways than one to be a Mandalorian; in fact, it’s kind of up in the air as to what, exactly, makes one a Mandalorian. Is it the armor? The creed? Being born on Mandalore? It’s a big Mandalorian mess. And we’re still left wondering: IS Boba Fett a Mandalorian? His father was a foundling, like Din; so Boba has a right to the armor through lineage, but he didn’t grow up in the culture. Like everything else with Mandalorians, it’s confusing and contentious.

Anyway, off they go and capture Dr. Pershing, who is on an Imperial shuttle traveling–well, who knows where, maybe just being escorted back to Gideons’ ship. There’s an interesting exchange between one of the Imperials flying the shuttle, who is using Pershing as a human shield, and Cara Dune, who has her weapon trained on him, along with Din. He taunts Cara; he recognizes her as from Alderaan, and tells her he was on the Death Star when they blew up the planet. He states that millions of people were killed on those space stations when they were blown up by the Rebellion, and that Alderaan was worth it to stop terrorists. We’re not used to looking at the Rebels or the Resistance as terrorists (although the idea is explored more in the books) and it makes us a little uncomfortable. We know they’re the “good guys”, and of course they were right to blow them up. But again, “from a certain point of view,” they’re the bad guys. And in real life, it’s not always so crystal clear as in the movies or TV shows.

Anyway, Cara’s having none of it and she shoots him in the head, leaving poor Pershing nearly deaf. They get information from him about the layout of Gideons’s ship and make a plan: the team will create a distraction and head for the bridge while Din goes to find Grogu in the brig, taking into account the dreaded Dark Troopers, who need time to power up.

Boba pretends to be firing at the shuttle and Bo-Katan flies them into the TIE fighter launching bay; once that’s done, Boba jumps into hyperspace and we don’t see him until later (after the credits, as it turns out). The ladies plow through the ship, killing every stormtrooper in their path (I just love these 40ish women kicking ass), while Din heads for Grogu. He doesn’t quite get there before the Dark Troopers power up and start to come out. He manages to close the door, but one gets out, and he nearly gets killed fighting this thing. He manages to rip one apart with the beskar spear, and then flushes the rest of them out into space.

The Mandalorian Season Two Finale Review: “Chapter 16 – The Rescue” –  Mynock Manor
Don’t trust this guy.

Meanwhile, the team have made it to the bridge and kill everyone there, but Gideon is not there. Turns out, he’s anticipated their moves and is in the brig with Grogu, holding the Dark Saber over Baby (in his little baby manacles). He looks tired, because Gideon has taken a lot of his blood. Gideon tells Din about the Dark Saber, that it’s what Bo-Katan wants, and Din says, “Keep it. I just want the kid.” Gideon pretty much replies that he can take him and go, since he got what he wanted out of him; I can’t believe Din believed him and turned his back on him. The man’s a treacherous jerk. And of course, he attacks Din with the Dark Saber and we get the confrontation I knew was coming.

Gideon’s not bad with the Dark Saber, but Din is still better, even with just a beskar spear. He knocks the saber out of Gideon’s hand and bests him, but he doesn’t kill him. He cuffs him and brings him to the bridge, holding Grogu–and the Dark Saber. This is where things get interesting, as Bo-Katan looks with bewilderment as they enter. She made it perfectly clear that Gideon was HERS to defeat; and here was Din herding him onto the bridge as his prisoner.

THE MANDALORIAN Season 2 Finale Recap - The Beat
I foresee problems.

Gideon takes advantage of this, goading them both with the fact that Din can’t just hand over the saber to Bo-Katan. Din owns it now, since he won it in battle. And if Bo-Katan wants it, she must win it from Din in battle, as well. Din tries to simply give it to her–he doesn’t have any interest in fighting her for it–but Bo-Katan hesitates and says that Gideon is right.

So time out here–I think many of us who watched Rebels were wondering WHY she couldn’t just take it. Because Sabine had simply handed it over to her, and Bo-Katan accepted it. So why can’t she do that now? Are they suddenly changing the rules? Well, I don’t think so. Obviously Dave Filoni and John Favreau are aware of what happened in Rebels, so they wouldn’t have arbitrarily changed the rules. They know what they’re doing. And so, trusting in that, I think that Bo-Katan probably feels that, since she lost the Dark Saber and Mandalore along with it, she CAN’T simply take it yet again. She MUST fight for it, she MUST earn it back, or she may be considered a pretender to the throne of Mandalore. She must earn the Mandalorians’ respect and loyalty. That’s my take on it anyway. So even though Din tries to give it back to her, he’s stuck with the stupid thing.

But before she can do anything, the Dark Troopers return. They fly now, remember? And they march toward the bridge, and start pounding on the blast doors. And they can’t do anything except watch and wait for them to crash through that door. Gideon is again annoyingly arrogant, telling them only he and the Child will survive. He also shoots Bo-Katan with a blaster he’d hidden under his cloak on the floor, but I believe she survived. The others point their weapons at him, and he decides to kill himself, but Cara Dune knocks the blaster out of his hands and knocks him out.

The Mandalorian Resorts to a Deus Ex Machina to Stick the Landing in 'The  Rescue'
Luke Skywalker!!!!!!!

This is when the lone X-Wing appears, and my heart skipped a beat. One X-Wing. I can’t imagine it’s Trapper Wolf or that other guy, what’s his name. Can it be? Can it really be? They watch on the monitors as a Jedi floats down the hallways, his robes swishing, and engages the Dark Troopers. A green lightsaber flares. A GREEN lightsaber. A black-gloved right hand. OH MY GOD, it is! It’s Luke freaking Skywalker! My fingers dug into my poor husband’s arm.

He makes quick work of the troopers, and Din lets him in. The hood comes off, and there’s young Luke. It’s a CGI Luke, and as such there’s something a little off about him, but who cares? Din asks kind of a silly question: “Are you a Jedi?” Since he’s seen Ahsoka in action, can there be any doubt? But Luke simply says yes. He reaches out for Grogu. Din says he doesn’t want to go with him, but Luke corrects him: He wants Din’s permission to go.

So there’s the whole goodbye scene with Din and Grogu, and Din takes his helmet off in front of everyone so Grogu can see his face and even touch it. It’s painful for Din, for Grogu, for everyone watching. I love it when R2D2 rolls in and has a little conversation with Grogu, and Baby’s ears perk up a little bit. Then Luke leaves with Grogu, and that’s it. He’s gone.

The Mandalorian S2E8 “Chapter 16: The Rescue” | 25YL
Din shows his child his face.

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful season-ender. And now everyone’s up in arms about what’s going to happen to little Grogu, is Kylo going to kill him at Luke’s Jedi Academy in 25 years? I don’t think so, and here’s why: at first I thought Din would give Grogu his little silver ball as a goodbye token. But he didn’t. Maybe he forgot in the heat of emotion. But that just proves to me that he WILL see Grogu again, and give him his little ball. I’m guessing Grogu will stay with Luke as long as he needs, to learn how to control his abilities, and then he will return to Din. How long will this take? Who knows. Five years? Ten? Twenty? But I think he’ll be gone by the time hell breaks loose with Kylo. At least, I have to believe this, or my heart will utterly break into a thousand pieces.

There’s also questions about Season Three. I’m assuming Grogu will be gone, so where do they go from here? Well, there’s the whole Mandalore question. Will Din help Bo-Katan take it back? Will Bo-Katan fight Din for the Dark Saber? I think those are the questions next season will address, and perhaps lead up to the big crossover between it and the new shows, Ahsoka and Rangers of the New Republic. Thrawn? Lots of possibilities here.

Of course, on my first watch, I missed the Boba Fett scene at the end of the credits. We usually watch the concept art during the credits, and then shut it off when they’re done. This one had no concept art, so it got shut off sooner than usual. I had to find out about the scene on social media, naturally, and I watched on my second viewing. It was intriguing. Not sure I’m too excited about it yet. If it also crosses over with The Mandalorian, I’m sure I’ll tune in.

So if you’re still with me at this point, I’m impressed! I don’t usually ramble on this long, but there was so much to unpack and comment on. It’s the finale, after all. Thanks for reading, and let me know what you thought of the show in the comments below!

Grogu and Luke || The Mandalorian || Chapter 16: The Rescue - The  Mandalorian Fan Art (43696143) - Fanpop
Bye-Bye, Baby

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The Mandalorian: Chapter 11–The Heiress

Mandalorian Season Two Spoilers Ahead!

The latest Mandalorian episode, Chapter 11: The Heiress, packs a punch in its 36 minutes.

Din has to make an emergency landing on Trask because of the pitiful state of the Razor Crest, and has to be fished out of the water by a really cool walker-crane. He throws some credits to a Mon Calamari wearing a warm-looking cable-knit sweater and suspenders to fix it the best he can.

That’s a great sweater.

Frog Lady reunites with her hubby, who directs Din to an inn where he can find info on Mandalorians. A Mon Calamari there directs him to some Quarren who will take him on their boat to the other Mandos. But guess what?

The Quarren just want to steal his beskar, and they push the Child (in his egg-stroller–wink, wink, poetic justice) into the mouth of a monster. Din jumps in but becomes trapped; it doesn’t look good until three Mandalorians show up, take out the Quarren and rescue the Child from the jaws of the monster.

So this is when it gets real interesting and kind of flip-out exciting.

Of course, Bo-Katan (!!!) is immediately recognizable with her distinctive armor; she’s showed up with two others of her group (who I’ve since learned are called Nite Owls–never knew this). When they take off their helmets, Din naturally thinks they’re not real Mandalorians, and demands to know where they got their armor.

The Mandalorian' Chapter 11 Exposes a Dark Truth About Our Hero
Katie Sackhoff, who voiced Bo-Katan in the Clone Wars, plays her live-action counterpart in The Mandalorian.

This is where Bo-Katan sets things straight for Din. She tells him the armor has been in her family for three generations, she was born on Mandalore, and is the rightful ruler. And she recognizes him as one of “The Watch,” a cult of religious Mandos who seek to go back to the old ways (which I believe is a remnant and evolution of Death Watch, as Din was saved and taken in by them–you can see their sigil if you look carefully in Episode 8 of Season One).

So now we understand the whole helmet thing.

And I don’t think Din knows how to feel about all this, either. His motto is “This is the Way,” but it’s not the only way, and he never knew this. He leaves them abruptly, apparently having no use for them. The fact that they just saved his ass and he just abandons them tells me his whole life perspective has just changed and he needs some time to digest this.

They meet up again in an alleyway where they save him again from some Quarren looking for revenge. He agrees to talk with them over a drink, and he tells them he’s looking for Jedi to bring the Child back to its own kind. Bo-Katan replies she knows a Jedi (and we know who she’s talking about–more flip-out excitement!). She can tell him where to go if he helps them with their mission: to steal some weapons from an Imperial ship to help them in their quest to take back Mandalore.

He drops off the Child at Frog Lady’s house for her to watch over him (and gives him stern daddy-orders to behave), and off he goes with the other Mandalorians. They jet-pack onto the Imperial ship, break in, and cause all hell to break loose. When it’s clear to the captain his ship is lost, he contacts–guess who?–Grand Moff Gideon. Gideon basically orders the guy to kill themselves to prevent the weapons from getting into the hands of the “pirates.” And he does it. But not before the Mandos get into the cockpit. Bo-Katan is looking for the Dark Saber–which, of course, Gideon possesses. The captain kills himself before she can find out where Gideon is. They manage to save the ship and and the weapons. She invites Din to help them retake Mandalore, but he has his mission and reminds her of the location of the Jedi she promised. She tells him the name of a planet, Corvus, and then she says it:

Ahsoka-freaking-Tano! Not like that, of course. But that’s what we hear, and we’re over the moon about it.

So Din retrieves the Child from Frog Lady’s house (no pollywogs were eaten), and off he goes, limping away into space again.

Whew! That’s a lot to take in in 36 minutes. But what an amazing episode. I’m sure all of us would love to see Ahsoka in the next episode, but again, I think they’re going to make us wait. I’m betting Din’s going to Navarro to recruit Cara Dune and Greef Kargo to help him first, and then maybe we’ll see our favorite Togruta after that.

She’s worth waiting for.

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