Rebels Review –  “In The Name Of The Rebellion Parts 1 & 2”

“In The Name Of The Rebellion Parts 1 & 2”


Oh Rebels, why are you making it so difficult for me to love you every week.  If this keeps up, I think we will need to go to couples therapy to sort out my feelings on this show.  We are four episodes into this final season and you’ve already acquired a long list of fresh and unsqueezed raw Star Wars awesomeness, but you’ve used that in all the episodes as a crutch for the rest of the show to stand on.  Last week we had a flawed but suitable and possible conclusion to the epic Mandalore saga which had Mandos shooting rocket jetpacks at TIEs.  This week we return with basically a prequel to Rogue One featuring lots of Saw Gerrera, Mon Mothma, U-Wings & even some laughs with the world’s sweetheart, Two Tubes!  While there’s no denying the coolness of the simple fact that we are are getting animated versions of all these beautiful things, they constantly upstage and overshadow the characters this show is supposed to be about.   This season more than ever feels like the Rebel Alliance aspect of Rebels is in red and underlined, but with only a handful of episodes left and some very big questions about what happens to who that need to be answered, I just wonder if this is the time or place for the Saw Gerrera Hour.  Which physically hurts me to write that as i really did love it so much.  Maybe just give Saw his own show?  The New Adventures of Saw Gerrera?  With his sidekick Two Tubes!

Anyways, the basics of this two parter finds the Ghost crew meeting up with Hera and Zeb at the new secret base on Yavin IV.  There we quickly are greeted by the new Rebel, Hot Kallus and then it’s straight into the planning room with Mon Mothma and a sweet hologram of Bail Organa.  Clearly, this is all Star Wars gold so far.  There’s some stuff about a mission to head to giant Imperial Radar Dish and Sabine, Ezra and Chopper volunteer to go all 2009 Star Trek and dive down to the dish.  Naturally, things don’t go quite as planned and they are picked up by Saw & Two-Tubes who somehow are flying around in a presumably stolen Rebel U-Wing.

Let me back up here and talk about a scene with Saw that happens a little before the radar dish mission.  It’s nighttime at Yavin and mysterious droid suddenly begins projecting a GIANT hologram of Saw’s head basically telling all the Rebels on Yavin that they are a bunch of babies and that the only true way to fight the Empire is to fight dirty. Out walks Mon Mothma and the two of them have a brief but juicy debate over the morals of war.   Written by Rogue One co-writer Gary Whitta, this is an amazing moment that makes you look at both Saw and Mothma’s roles in Rogue One in a whole new light.

The thing that bums me out with scenes like that is thinking about how a moment that strong and with that much Star Wars heaviness is the kind of thing Dave Filoni and crew seem to have such a hard time harnessing into our main Rebels characters.  Major things happen to these people, but feel quickly passed by in sometimes the very next episode.  Week after week, the show’s best moments are often left for characters that have been borrowed from Star Wars films, books or Clone Wars.

As the episodes go on, Saw’s quest to discover the secrets of the Empire deepens as he finds a gigantic Kyber Crystal (perhaps the same one last seen in the unfinished Utapau arc of Clone Wars) and sees the awesome power of the Crystal when it is used as weapon.  Ezra, Sabine and Chopper make it back home and once again probably learn that family is the greatest power there is or something.

So is this a good episode and should you as a Star Wars fan reading a review of a Star Wars cartoon on a website for a Star Wars podcast watch this episode?  Definitely yes to all those questions.  Do I have hope that Rebels will start to address it’s own characters and tell it’s own stories now that we’ve got Mandalore and Rogue One stuff out of the way?  A little bit.  But then as we all know, rebellions are built on hope…

Final Grade : B 

Editorial – The Importance of Jyn Erso

The Importance of Jyn Erso

By Jason Gibner 


There was a disturbing trend that started around the release of Rogue One with major entertainment journalists writing about how Jyn Erso’s character was left on the cutting room floor or how she lacked personality or wasn’t as strong of a character as Rey and blah and blah and blah.  I didn’t understand that then and now that the film has been out for over a month now, that kind of chatter seems to be the new norm amongst a certain percentage of fans out there.  Not only do I not like that icky way of thinking, I would even argue that Jyn Erso is not only a complex and fascinating character, she is one of THE MOST important characters in Star Wars history.

Let me explain:

When we first meet Jyn, she is a young girl watching her family literally torn apart as The King of Bad Luck Orson Krennic takes away her father and Deathtroopers kill her mother.   She is later rescued by Rebel guerrilla fighter Saw Gerrera and I’m sure has a fun time living in stinky caves being taught to fight until she’s 16 and Saw ditches her in cave with only a knife, loaded blaster and a pack of gum.  So here we have a person who looks at the Empire and the Alliance with equal disdain and distrust.  Her whole life has her being an afterthought in this giant galactic civil war and every move she’s made has been wrapped around these two sides fighting.  Because of this confusion and heartache, Jyn has turned herself off to all the political activity of her time.  She travels around the galaxy with an alias.  She has left her old life behind and would rather now just be nobody and blend in with the crowd looking out for only herself.  Awoken in an Imperial prison by water dripping on her face, she stares longingly at the Kyber Crystal necklace given to her by her mother.  “Trust the Force”, she said.  Surely, at that moment she does not have much faith in that ancient religion, but then as we know “the force moves in mysterious ways…”

Things change once her father befriends an Imperial cargo pilot named Bodhi with the hope that maybe his message of how to destroy the Empire’s destroyer of worlds will get to Saw and just maybe his daughter is still there with him.  Within his extremely important message of hope for the galaxy is also a personal message to his daughter if she is still alive.   Completing her father’s mission becomes Jyn’s personal quest and she will do it with or without the Rebel Alliance.   Her quest of mentally getting back home  and repairing the damage done to her family is greater than any of the back and forth of the Empire or the Alliance.  During her passionate speech to the Alliance council, you can see the looks on Mon Mothma and Bail Organa’s faces.  Her fire is exactly what the stagnant, fragmented Alliance needs at that moment.  After they tell her that a mission to Scarif can’t happen, what does she do?  Against the odds, she goes anyways.  This is the kind of David vs Goliath attitude that the Rebellion was founded on but had become lost under rules and battling opinions.   Mon Mothma’s smile when she is told that Raddus is commanding an attack fleet to Scarif to protect Jyn’s team says it all.

Let’s look at Jyn Erso while she is stealing the Death Star plans.  Over and over again, it becomes clear for her that there is no getting off Scarif alive in this mission.   Even when Cassian is knocked out, Jyn “No Retreat, No Surrender” Erso keeps climbing and shoves herself through a death trap heat vent hole thing.   Finally confronted on that catwalk by Krennic, Jyn wastes no time reminding him and herself who she is what she is fighting for.    She still may not care for either side of the war that explodes in the sky around her, but she does care about her family that loved her and for what’s the right to do.

Had Jyn not begged the uptight Alliance to listen to her and then go off and rebel on her own, the Empire would eventually find Yavin and destroy it.  Ben Kenobi & Yoda would grow old alone in their huts on far away planets, Leia Organa would likely be captured and terminated on the Death Star, and the last Jedi would sit on the moisture farm looking up at the sky and wondering what else is out there for him.  With her compassion and ability to never quit the fight, Jyn Erso not only lights the fire of the Rebel Alliance, she plants the seed that ends up saving the entire galaxy and brings about the return of Jedi.

The history books in the Star Wars universe may not have a chapter on the brave Jyn Erso and her unbelievably heroic actions but us viewers of these Journals of the Whills have Rogue One to see just how things went down.  The only one who would live to tell the story of Jyn and the daring crew of the Rogue One would be likely Mon Mothma.   I would love a story or comic one day as she tells of a passionate criminal daughter of an Imperial scientist who inspired the very spirit of the Alliance that carried forward.  Mothma would likely tell the young eager soldiers of the Alliance or the New Republic that everything they have is because of a woman she met once who was named Jyn Erso.   People may think that Mothma is just telling a story to inspire others, but we know the truth that often some of the greatest heroes are not the ones who get the medals.