For the last couple weeks, fans have been itching for action to heat up on Rebels, myself included. This week’s episode answered the bell, at long last. Rebels is a show that excels when moving at a brisk pace, and this episode makes 22 minutes feel like a fraction of that.
I’m not completely versed on all things canon, so pardon my ignorance, but I had never seen an Interdictor Star Destroyer before, so to finally see one on screen was really cool. I imagine being pulled out of hyperspace is a bit like having a bucket of ice water thrown on you while you sleep, unless you’re a force-sensitive like Ezra, who could sense danger just around the corner. His gut instinct proven right, he and the crew of his ship are captured by Imperials, fallen prey to this new class of Star Destroyer.
Of course, we know this won’t end well for the Empire. As usual, Ezra uses his emerging Jedi skills – which he seems to be gaining at an alarming rate – to escape his hapless captors. He now seems very comfortable in deflecting blaster bolts, disarming foes and using his surroundings to aid his attack. This episode felt like a showcase of Ezra’s rising power, and we see this through Commander Sato’s eyes. When Ezra is first assigned to their mission by Hera, it is made clear that Sato had to be convinced that Ezra would be of great help. When the going got tough and the mission belly-up, it was Ezra who remained confident and led the charge towards escaping. Let’s recall that it wasn’t so long ago that Ezra was knocked flat by the Inquisitor in mere seconds. It now feels like he could last long enough to be a threat in a lightsaber duel. He’d probably still get himself killed in a real duel vs a real opponent but I don’t think that’s going to be the case forever.
Kanan and Rex continued their begrudging bromance, with their relationship now starting to look like that of Riggs and Murtaugh from the Lethal Weapon movies. Except in this case, the old guy in Rex is closer to the gung-ho, full steam ahead Riggs, and Kanan is the more cautious Murtaugh.
This episode was the closest in terms of look and feel to original trilogy; the sounds of off-gassing, garbled commands over P.A. system, the way the blast doors open, the look of the detention block. Being aboard the Interdictor very much felt like being aboard the Death Star in A New Hope, and the production crew deserves serious kudos for replicating the atmosphere so faithfully.
At the end, the good guys get away, the Empire is left reeling, and Agent Kallus comes up empty-handed again. Although he can hardly be held responsible for yet another Rebel escape, I’m sure Vader may not feel that way.
Best episode of this season by far, and it looks like the ball is finally rolling!
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or @tumblingsaber!