Directed by: Saul Ruiz
Written by: Matt Michnovetz
Ezra has received word about refugees on the run from the Empire and has offered to help them return to their home. Unfortunately, Ezra wasn’t very forthcoming about where his information came from nor did he know that he had been double-crossed and the refugees were already sold to the Empire. After revealing that the refugees are one of the few Lasat left in the galaxy, we also see that it was Hondo behind it all. He gave the information to Ezra and then sold them to the Empire.
This seems to be a very polarizing episode for Star Wars Rebels fans. It’s also a very uneven episode. The episode opens very action heavy as they try to save the two Lasat from the Empire and we get some very fun Hondo moments, but then the second half of the episode becomes very spiritual as they try to find the long lost planet which will become the new home for the Lasat.
Much like last week’s episode with the Mandalorians, this episode gives us more information about a character’s backstory. The episode is all about the Lasat, their past and their future with Zeb in the center. At first, Zeb is in shock to see more of his people. These two Lasat, Gron who served under Zeb and Chava the Wise who is an elderly shaman or priestess. They have given up their warrior ways and are on a quest for the prophesized planet of Lirasan.
Zeb doesn’t seem to want anything to do with them. His joy of seeing more of his kind is quickly washed away as he considers the quest for Lirasan a waste of time. Ezra wants to help them, but he can see the pain that Zeb is in. This finally gives us some backstory on Zeb and the Lasat. Zeb blames himself for what happened since he was Captain of the Honor Guard. Zeb reluctantly helps them and begins to rediscover his purpose and heritage.
Chava mentions the Ashla guiding them, and it seems that she is referring to the Force. It’s not clear if she is actually Force sensitive or if she is just one of those in the galaxy who believe in the higher power. It’s interesting to see more references in Star Wars now to the Force as an actual religion versus simply a power that the Jedi can wield.
As the quest for Lirasan intensifies so does the animation and music. The episode starts out pretty standard, but by the end transcends what has come before in terms of lighting, direction, and music. Kevin Kiner’s score takes the episode to new heights and truly ramps up the emotional factor. The lighting and direction in the final scenes are simply exquisite. I don’t know if the show has ever produced such beautiful animation.
I know a lot of people did not like this episode and I have even heard some consider it a throwaway episode, but it’s important for us to get to know our heroes. Where they came from and why they are on the Ghost fighting the Empire. There is more to the Rebellion than Xwing fighters and stolen Imperial plans. Each of our heroes has a deeply personal reason for doing what they are doing and I’m glad to see the producers giving us these character heavy episodes to focus and study their motivations and history.