Episode Number: Season 1, Episode 10 (Production #113)
Episode Title: Vision of Hope
Writer: Henry Gilroy
Directors: Steven G. Lee
In the midst of lightsaber training, Ezra has a Force vision that leads him to believe the Ghost crew will soon be working with Senator-in-exile Gall Trayvis in a fight against the Empire. Funny thing about those Jedi visions though is that they don’t usually mean what you think they mean. Turns out Trayvis was working for the Empire the whole time and is merely being used to smoke out insurgents who the Empire can track and later eliminate by way of “accidents.” Disappointment over Trayvis’ betrayal may have dampened the spirits of Ezra but Hera helps him realize they still have hope.
I had a lot of fun with this episode. I definitely had my suspicions about Trayvis, the writers clearly were putting him on a pedestal from Hera’s viewpoint, but the fact that the Luminara broadcast was a trap was a huge red flag and meant he was either duped or he was a fraud.
There was some very cool design elements in this episode with the old Lothal Senate building, the mural and the protocol droids. Vanessa Marshall and Taylor Gray once again delivered great performances, particularly Taylor conveying Ezra’s idealism.
A Political Face for the Rebellion?:
So far in Star Wars Rebels we have met two Imperial Senators, Bail Antilles of Alderaan and Gall Trayvis of Parts Unknown. In Bail we see a legacy character who we know pretty well. He is a friend of the Republic and believer in the Republic, adoptive father to Princess Leia and one of the leaders of the Rebellion. What we infer from what we have seen and the old Legends universe is that Bail, much like Zare Leonis is working to undermine the Empire from inside. As Hera says in the series only one Senator had publicly spoken out against the Empire and that was Gall Trayvis.
In Trayvis we had what we thought could be the public face and voice for the nascent rebel factions across the galaxy, a leader to motive and potentially help united these groups. The revelation of Trayvis true allegiance and the depth of his betrayals leaves a bit of a political power vacuum in the gestating rebellion. Much like Dooku served as the public and philosophical face for the Separatist movement during The Clone Wars, the various rebel groups that evolve into the Rebel Alliance (or Alliance to Restore the Republic) needs a political figure to make the case that what these rebel groups are doing is good and just. They also need an individual or group of individuals to inspire and cause more supporters to flock to the cause.
So little is fixed about certain characters that currently exist in canon that the writers of the show could fill this void with someone like Mon Mothma pretty easily. She could be the first Senator to truly break away from Palpatine and speak publicly. Or perhaps someone like Senator Lux Bonteri of Onderon.
Another scenario is that this political figure role could be replaced by the crew of the Ghost collectively becoming the face, voice and inspiration for the various rebel factions across the galaxy. This is an outcome that may be foreshadowed by the next episode, “Call to Action.”
Of course there is another possibility and a character that I had hoped we would see introduced in The Clone Wars and one that would fit even better in this series. Senator Garm Bel Iblis of Corellia. Created by author Timothy Zahn for his Thrawn trilogy, Bel Iblis was an early leader in the Rebel Alliance who broke with the group over principles, i.e. that Mon Mothma was amassing to much power and if they succeeded in removing Palpatine, she could become a tyrant in her own right. Bel Iblis returns at a key moment to help the New Republic defeat Thrawn and repairs his relationship with Mon Mothma.
Bel Iblis is a Corellian a planet that is obviously missing from on screen appearances in canon. The introduction of Bel Iblis would also be a chance to begin establishing the canon version of that planet and that culture.
One of my favorite short stories is the “Interlude at Darkknell” which was included in the Tales from the New Republic book and co-written by Timothy Zahn and Michael Stackpole. The failed assassination attempt on Senator Bel Iblis and tragic death of his family sets the stage for a great story and a very personal war against the Empire for the character. I cannot suggest highly enough giving this story a read if you can get your hands on a copy.
It would be easy to alter Bel Iblis’ back-story and have events change. For example instead of a random courier of Senator Antilles save his life, it could be a member or members of the Ghost crew. Bringing Bel Iblis into canon and having him be the first Imperial Senator to truly speak out against the corruption and evil of the Empire would give an air of legitimacy to the actions and words of the Ghost crew. It would also be a neat bone to throw to long time Expanded Universe fans like myself. I don’t always root for fan service but when I do t