“Its funny, no matter what happens, we always end up back here,” Kanan’s opening quote in Kindred. We are back with another review and this week our emotions ran at the ultimate all-time high! The fast action paced of seeing our heroes of Lothal evading the empire, Kanera, more Lothwolfs, mining guild, and the viewing the look at the manipulation of Thrawn and Pyrce. We were jammed packed in these two episodes as we are officially half-way through the season.

Character Dialogue 4.7/5

The character dialogue was excellent in Kindred. It helped build up some more character arc. That kiss was so perfect.  

 

Music 4.9/5

Kindred didn’t miss a beat. The buildup soundtrack of Kanan and Hera from the beginning episode was so perfect. And then that all-so precious moment, the soundtrack was very moving at that point. The rest of the episode of kindred was perfectly paced. Also the perfect timing of Ruhk’s arrival. You definitely get that vibe, he’s a dangerous character and a respected warrior. So far in this season, kindred has been my favourite music for an episode. Yet in crawl commanders some of the soundtrack sounded too heroic in rebel commander and slightly too dramatic in relation to the crawl ore.

Plot 4.8/5

Plot was well laid out. Mystery still delves into the lothwolves in connection to Kanan. Which happened to be my favourite part of the two-parter. It was also nice to get some answers from the storytellers on what made lothal look the way it is. I felt that the crawler commanders was a way to slow down all the excitement and building up the hype for Rebel Assault.

 

Animation 5/5

So far I’ve been loving this season’s animation. They animators have been knocking this out of the park. They continue to show the beauty and destruction of Lothal. It was a welcoming site that not all of lothal is burnt yet. The highlights were Hera’s awesome escape and the Lothwolfs and there very deep roots with Lothal. It was also stunning seeing the ore crawlers flame and the burning of the grass.

Kanan and Hera

Third is the charm as I said to a few people in conversation after the torture of witnessing them interrupted twice.. After four years they finally have the relationship they deserve. Or one that is more open I should say. There’s still the rebellion to be fought and eventually Hera is to become a general. However everything about that scene was so perfect. I loved when in the middle of the touching moments, the kids were watching. And also when Hera grabbed Kanan’s chin was like a call back from the clone wars when Satine grabbed Obi-wan’s.  

Lothwolves

The fascination of the Lothwolves continue to grow for me. These creatures definitely remind me of Bendu. What they still signify for the story is a mystery for me. It’s so like Dave to keep us on our toes and figure out the riddles he lays out for us. What kind of real force does the wolves have with the connection to Lothal? As Sabine pointed out, they crossed an entire plant from the northern hemisphere to the south. And it didn’t seem like they walked that far. Another interesting point is that the two wolves, they glowed the traditional Sith eyes and had black fur. So will we see some dark side elements to them?  I’m still positive that Ashoka has something to do with them. Some else that has been bugging me, as for others, how does the wolves know Kanan Jarrus’s real name? Caleb Dume. Is it perhaps that maybe Kanan’s heritage is from Lothal? As he said he’s always drawn to Lothal.

Thrawn / Rukh Vs Pyrce

We really start to see the two try to manipulate each other. Kanera might have stole the thunder for this specific topic. But you can see the frustration breaking down the facade of a prominent governor of a very important planet so much so that she is personally leading the operation against the Ghost Crew on the ground, and is bold enough to attack Ezra head on.

I’m curious to know what is going through Arindha Pyrce’s thoughts when it comes to seeing the destruction of her homeworld. We’ve seen how Ezra has reacted. But why not her response? Does she care that her planet is being burnt to a crisp? She started off as a young girl whose life overturned when Ryder Azadi tried to make a profit by buying her family’s mining company. In an attempt to thwart his plans, she sold the company to the Empire. In so doing, Pryce was able to give her family a new job on the planet Batonn. As for herself, Pryce was able to leave the planet that she never really cared for. As a secretary of an Imperial Senator, Pryce learned to navigate the channels of Imperial bureaucracy and politics, which is really, to put it bluntly, one of greed and backstabbing. Her ultimate success was overriding an Imperial Moff’s control by forming an alliance with Tarkin, who in return for her help in defeating his enemies, made her governor of Lothal. She was able to make Lothal the center of the Empire in that sector of the galaxy. But in spite of the power she gained, does she realize how much power she is losing as the empire seizes more and more control over her home? She was fully aware of that problem when she signed her family company over to the Empire. But now that she is in control, is she just complacent?  

 

What would her parents think of her and of her actions toward the people of Lothal? At the end of the Thrawn book, she accepted the deaths of unknown numbers of civilians when she blew up half of a city on Batonn to prevent the Empire from finding out her goal of saving her parents. This shows that Pryce has love for something. She used the power that she had gained to take back her world and save her family. But at what cost? Did she lose more than she gained? Her parents were certainly shocked when they discovered that Pryce had changed. This is similar to the present situation. If she only cares for power what love does she have left for her people? I hope to see some sort of redemption story for her. Perhaps when the moment is dire, Pryce will talk to her parents, and they will criticize the person she has become? At that critical time, she might see the light and see the error of her ways. A team-up with her and Ezra as they fight to save Lothal.

 

On the other side of the coin we see Thrawn’s annoyance with Imperial command.

Thrawn and Pryce began their work on Lothal as a “marriage of convenience.” But in many ways, it is also a relationship based on influence and usefulness. Since the Thrawn book, Thrawn has been able to rely on Pryce’s political knowhow while Pryce depends on Thrawn for military support. But in this episode, Thrawn has become fed up with the flourish of the rebels. You can see it in his face and in his voice. Hence, he begins to to butt heads with Pryce. He explicitly criticizes her for letting the rebels escape. On the one hand, he is probably very weary with how his Imperial colleagues continue to make mistakes when fighting the Rebels after the fiasco with Konstantine. But now that the Rebels have the blueprint of his plans, it is also important to note that he fears that his TIE defender program is at risk. The stakes have obviously risen for him. It is odd, however, that Thrawn has not established more security around the program given that the rebels have succeeded in infiltrating Lothal more than once by now. We will most likely see that in the next episode though. For now, I think that THrawn brought Rukh in to help defeat the rebels as soon as possible.

 

Rukh is a creepy Noghri, who Timothy Zahn introduced back in the 1990’s. It is great that he has also made his way to the screen, and I have to say I’m really impressed on how the animators created such a creepy, more animalistic being. He spooked me in a good way. When he spoke it was like daggers going to the heart. I would not want to meet him on his bad side. This is a Norghi that should be feared and respected.

Mining Guild

It was great to see the point of view of the Mining Guild. According to Dave Filoni, the Mining Guild is an independent organization that the Empire has not yet absorbed fully under its control. They are on Lothal as a part of Pryce’s plans to mine the planet for its resources. But they are not evil at all. They are there to make money, and like Pryce, as Timothy Zahn pointed out in his new Thrawn book, made deals with the Empire to benefit themselves. However i still find them evil due to the fact that they are slavers as well.

Ezra

At this point, Ezra is continuing to grow a deeper bond with the lothwolves and his home. He is grasping the very knowledge that he needs to liberate his people. In the first interaction with Ruhk, was calm and cool. First trying the diplomatic way, like a Jedi ,then of course then resolving to draw his blade. The Ruhk chase with Jia Kell reminded me of the Endor scene from Return of The Jedi.  I was just in awe when i saw him walk into a potentially dangerous situation with the wolves. Once again cool and calm behavior. His willingness to trust the wolves goes to show how much he trusts the force and his home.  I also felt that Ezra’s grown into his league where he can command and had some authority. For example, fooling the empire that everything was under control. A little throw-back when he was climbing in the air-ducts was perfect as well. Sabine “Its what you do”. His response when it came to the captain of the crawler puzzled me though. It was as if he maybe, enjoyed seeing him melted to a crisp. I cherish the moment when you can see the glee in Ezra’s eyes when Hera informed them that the fighters and bombers were being fueled and prepare for combat.

Zeb

Zeb was awesome in this episode!!! It was so funny, seeing him steal that transport in the same difference way as he always stole different types of imperial transports. I had to yell at the empire, “Watch the transport Imps”. His reaction of getting shot at by Azadi was a typical Zeb reaction. Humorous. Afterall he didn’t let them know he stole a transport. Lets not forget that hand-holding-the-cliff ending of that scene where Zeb met his match. It was very fun to see Zeb go toe-to-toe with someone his his size and muscle. Yet the Lasat lives to fight another day.

Hera

Without further adieus for the ghost crew, and with Kanan, Hera really stood out, evading the empire and on Yavin IV at rebel command. She really made those TIE fighters silly. Her hyperspace exited really shows how talented her piloting skills are. With that also of the animators. The defining moment for me was her speech for the leaders of the rebellion. She at one point looked impulsive yet bold and fearless. I can understand where she’s coming from though. Her family is on Lothal, relying on her support to destroy the factories and get some imperial occupation off their tail. She is willing to do whatever it takes!

Rebel Command

When Hera arrived with the Old U-wing I felt the nostalgia when the ties come in from Rogue one once again. Witnessing more and more as the rebellion continues to grow. The command structure has really gotten stronger since the name of the rebellion. Asking Hera to remove herself as they have a ‘secret meeting’. I was in disbelief that they asked her to leave. Hera is one of the founding mothers of the Rebellion, and her leadership and sacrifices have been phenomenally important to the Rebellion. Something very chilling though that got me really turning the wheels was from Mothma’s lips, is that the empire has initiated a protocol that was used on Jedah. Protocol 13 where they remove all imperial personal. This could be a scary situation for Lothal if indeed it’s for the planet………..

 

The build-up to the next episode is very exciting. Rebel assault. We are now officially half way through the last season of this incredible show! These two episodes really helped build up to the mid season finale. The last six episodes have really shown the growth of the storytelling, animation and the heart of the rebellion. In the meantime don’t forget to check out Rebels Recon for all the juicy details of these two phenomenal episodes and read the episodes I’ve linked down below. As Always may the Force Be with you!

 

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