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