Directed by: Mel Zwyer
Written by: Henry Gilroy
We’ve reached the halfway point of Season 2 of Star Wars Rebels. This episode marks the mid-season finale as the show takes it’s winter break.
The episode opens with Ezra having a vision in the Force of his parents. He becomes obsessed with returning to Lothal to find them or at least, find out what has happened to them. It’s interesting to see yet another parallel between Ezra’s story and the Skywalker story. Both Anakin and Luke had visions and became obsessed with following them, both to a detriment. However, here Ezra has Kanan and Hera to guide him and keep his emotions in check. He’s not as free as Luke and Anakin were to immediately run and act on the visions.
Ezra’s visions also mark a major point for Kanan. I don’t think we’ve ever seen him so Jedi like. He seems to appreciate and understand what Ezra is going through and has a way of talking Ezra down and making him listen to reason. If only Kanan could’ve been there for Luke or Anakin, maybe things would’ve turned out differently.
It’s fortunate that the Ghost was getting ready to leave because the Empire has tracked them to Garel. Even without the audio that the Seventh Sister recorded in the last episode the Imperial officers are still hesitant to follow up on the information. Makes you wonder how much authority the Inquisitors carry, and to what extent has the Imperial propaganda machine affected even their own officers regarding Force users. It’s not until Agent Kallus verifies the information that the Admiral is ready to mobilize the fleet.
This leads us into the action. It’s weird for the show to give us the big action early in the episode. But, it does match the Empire Strikes Back feel to this episode. The battle over Garel is tense, and we don’t always trust that all of the heroes are going to make it out. The battle culminates in the Ghost doing a daring attack run on an Imperial Star Destroyer in an attempt to take out it’s tractor beam generators that are holding their command ship. Seeing the tractor beam generators on the bottom of the ship seemed like something new that was added to the ship’s design for this episode, however, a screen capture from A New Hope posted on StarWars.com’s episode guide shows that the generators have been there since the beginning.
Fleeing Garel, Kanan and Ezra are separated from Hera and the Ghost. Kanan and Ezra go to Lothal while the Ghost continues on with the Rebel fleet to their rendezvous. Ezra and Kanan set out to find out more about Ezra’s parents and a mysterious escaped prisoner who may have information about them.
A chase through the streets of Lothal, which is very reminiscent of the show’s early episodes, leads them to a man named Ryder Azadi who was a former friend and fellow prisoner of the Bridgers. He tells them the true fate of Ezra’s parents.
The episode wraps with an emotional moment as Ezra has another vision of his parents looking out on the pre-Empire version of Lothal. For once, Ezra seems to be at peace.
This was a fantastic episode. The story jumps from Force visions to a firefight with Stormtroopers to an Imperial invasion to a deeply emotional climax. Even though the first half is action heavy, it doesn’t make the second half feel slow or uneven. The pacing and direction is well balanced throughout. This creative team has learned not only how to tell incredible stories, but they have learned how to tell deeply emotional stories like this within their 22 minute time frame.