Directed by: Bosco Ng
Written by: Steven Melching
Phoenix Squadron is taking heavy losses. The Empire nearly caught the Ghost during a cargo transfer. The episode opens mid-battle as the Ghost and the ships of Phoenix Squadron try to deliver cargo. It’s a great homage to the classic opening shot of A New Hope, and it’s a classic Star Wars to drop us into the middle of the action. The only problem is that it drops us in so quickly I felt like I missed a few seconds, even the music cue sounded interrupted. It could’ve been a problem with the streaming video on the DisneyXD app though.
Once they make their escape, Hera reports their heavy losses to Commander Sato. Luckily he knows a way that they can assist another Rebel cell in the Ryloth system and gain some much needed help for their fighters. Turns out Cham Syndulla, who we last saw fighting alongside the Republic during the Clone Wars, is the leader of the Rebel cell on the planet. He has never stopped fighting for his planet’s freedom. Sadly, a freedom fighter does not always make the best parent. Cham and Hera do not have the best relationship.
Not only does this episode give us a fight against the Empire but it also delves into Hera’s past. I know a lot of people have wanted to see more of the fight against the Empire recently as they have not been heavily featured in the last few episodes. With no main Imperial figurehead in this episode, we see a lot of the generic officers onboard. It almost looks like a ship of clones. Some variation would be nice, even just a hair color change.
Unfortunately, for the crew of the Ghost, Cham goes into this mission with his own agenda and plans. He intends to destroy the carrier and is willing to risk the lives of our heroes to get what he wants. The writing does a good job of not making Cham a bad guy, we see his point of view and why he wants to do it. He has the narrow focus of someone who has been fighting for Ryloth’s freedom for so long, nothing else matters to him.
Vanessa Marshall really gets to shine in this episode. She gives Hera a lot of nuance. Hera loves her father and knows that he is trying to do the right thing, but she has to make him understand that there is more at stake. In one of my favorite Hera moments, her accent switches while arguing with Cham. She reverts back into the more familiar Clone Wars era accent. It’s something so simple but it speaks volumes about what Hera is going through and Vanessa Marshall’s talent.
This episode delivers on many levels. The twi’lek designs are great, giving subtle nods to the character’s history in the Clone Wars both in-universe and out. The characters are shown working well as a team with Kanan and Ezra doing some very unique Force moves. A great episode that connects to the past while still driving the story forward.