Directed by: Steward Lee
Written by: Kevin Hopps
Life has quieted down for the crew of the Ghost. Unfortunately, this means that they have no jobs and no jobs means no money for fuel or food. While Kanan tries to look for work, Zeb relaxes with a friendly game of Sabacc.
It’s impossible to talk about this episode without talking about the guest star, Billy Dee Williams returns as Lando Calrissian. Unlike the return of Darth Vader or Yoda this is not simply a cameo. Lando is integral to the plot of the episode and features in nearly every scene with our heroes.
We meet Lando as Zeb loses Chopper to him in a game of Sabacc. Lando offers them a way to get Chopper back and make some credits if they help him pick up a piece of mining equipment and smuggle it back to Lothal. The last few episodes have been going dark in their storytelling, here we get more of a fun adventure that helps to balance out the tone and keep things from getting too heavy.
The plot of the episode is fairly simplistic, and instead of big action set pieces we get smaller more character driven moments. Billy Dee Williams seems to be having a lot of fun in his role and it helps keep the tone light. His interplay with Vanessa Marshall as Hera is simply fantastic. This may be Hera’s best episode to date. She shines in several moments and we see just how important she is to the crew of the Ghost. Chopper steals several scenes as well, but we have come to expect that from the little droid.
However, the fact that it is Lando really makes no difference to the episode. This could have just as easily been any cardplayer, gambler, scum and the episode would play out nearly the same. Much like Frank Oz’s return as Yoda previously, it could’ve been done by others easily, but it’s a lot of fun to have Lando and Billy Dee Williams back.
I really enjoyed this episode, but there were several points that I feel held the episode back. After the puffer pig has blocked the main passage to the bridge of the Ghost I was confused that there was no other way to the bridge. I swear I’ve seen characters go around in other episodes, or at the very least it’s a poor layout for the ship to have the bridge so easily cut off. We really did not need the final scene of the episode explaining to us, the audience, that he knew that they knew that he knew. The Ghost crew celebrating gives us closure to the episode and the additional scene of Lando talking to the pig just felt tacked on and forced.
Rebels continues to deliver a great Star Wars story every week, and while this episode had a few flaws it more than made up for it with fantastic voice acting, writing and character design. Lando’s gold medallion was a nice touch. Lando’s comment about the larger than average Imperial presence on Lothal feels like a setup for something larger to come later in the show. Lothal may still have a larger role to play in the growing Galactic Civil War.