I thought the previous two episodes were a little slow and didn’t do much to further the overall narrative of the series and I felt that we’d get more of the same in Wings of the Master. I wasn’t entirely wrong, but we do get another episode where nothing HUGE happens. The Wings of the Master begins with a brief, ill-fated Rebel attempt to provide some urgent supplies to the struggling folks of some hard-done-by, Imperial-occupied planet. It’s one of the first resounding losses for the Rebels, yet Hera is undeterred and wants to take more ships to have another go at it, which seems strangely impulsive and irrational for Hera. She’s usually the smart and cautious one, but this time, Kanan is the one that talks sense in to her by convincing her that the “blockade buster” that Rex mentioned is a prize worth pursuing in hopes of achieving their mission.
Hera hines through in this episode, as does that of the “where have I seen this before” eccentricities of Quarrie, the Mon Calamari who designed and built the B-wing fighter. We’ve seen this ship before in Return of the Jedi, but only briefly because apparently it was a difficult ship to film. But now we see the prototype in its full glory, and the animators did a fantastic job in delivering a great scene of Hera pushing it to its limits through dangerous territory.
I found the ship’s massive weapon to be a bit of a “jumping the shark” moment, but let’s just go with it. In bringing the ship in to battle for a second attempt to help out, Hera swings the battle in the Rebellion’s favor in short order, destroying an Imperial cruiser, to the deep chagrin of Agent Kallus, and his confused shipmates, who had never seen a ship like that before. At this point, Kallus has to be getting a little hot under the collar, as Aresko, Grint, and Tua were killed for their continued incompetence, and the Inquisitor took himself off the board for his own failures to stop the Rebels. The clock is ticking, Agent Kallus.
For her impressive feat, Hera is promoted to Phoenix squadron leader, a well-deserved honor, but it also sets up the obvious: what happens to her that she isn’t at the Battle of Yavin or Endor?
There’s not a lot to take away from this episode aside from the introduction of the B-wing, Hera’ promotion, and her exposition about her youth in the Clone Wars and her love of flying. I get it – the episode is meant to deepen our connection and understanding of the character. The Walking Dead, and other shows have done this numerous times – break up the gang, deviate from the main story, and give each player an episode or two of their own to breathe. With this week’s episode poised to do the same for Sabine, we have to assume that Zeb and Kanan are likely to get their own standalone stories. It’s all good, of course, but fans can’t be blamed if they’re looking for something more at this point.