Paul’s Rebels Review: Iron Squadron

“Iron Squadron”

The Imperial presence on the planet Mykapo is increasing.  The Ghost and Phoenix Squadron are tasked with evacuating the Rebel sympathizers before more Imperial forces arrive.  However, things change when they arrive and discover a small ship identifying itself as The Iron Squadron fighting back against the Empire.

iron_squadron_thumbTurns out that Commander Sato is originally from Mykapo and has family here, his nephew Mart Mattin.  Iron Squadron is actually only 3 people, Mart, Gooti Terez, and Jonner Jin.  They have been using a modified YT-2400 freighter to fight back against the Empire, unaware of the true size and power of the Empire.  They take out a small transport and think it’s a Star Destroyer.

Zeb sums up this episode early on, describing the Iron Squadron as a ship full of Ezras.  Essentially, that’s the episode in a nutshell.  Much like Ezra back at the beginning of the series, they are fighting back against the Empire, but in small ways, seemingly unaware of a larger Rebellion or anything beyond their own front door.  Other members of the Ghost crew try to explain things to the kids of Iron Squadron, but they won’t listen.  The episode creators did a great job of capturing the aspects of teenage life, the rebellious spirit, the refusal to listen to anyone else, the seeming immortality of youth.  These three kids would seem very familiar to anyone who is a parent of teenagers (or those who are honest about how they acted as a teenager.)  They are young, dumb, and think themselves unstoppable.

The Empire responds under Thrawn’s command.  He sends Admiral Konstantine in one light cruiser to stop the Rebels.  This is where the episode gets problematic for me.  Thrawn has been a really interesting villain in the show so far, but his motives here are very unclear.  I’m not sure if he is trying to discredit and embarrass Konstantine, or if he is trying to use him to prove a point.  At this point in the season, I would really like to start getting a look at what Thrawn’s endgame is.  So far, we have seen him allow the Rebels to escape, learning all about them while letting them think they are winning.  This episode really doesn’t show us what he is up to.  Thrawn doesn’t seem to gain anything, and there is no sense from him if this is a victory or a loss.

Nothing is truly won or lost in this episode.  The Rebels do manage to complete their mission and evacuate the people from Mykapo.  We learn a small amount about Commander Sato.  About the only thing that this episode does is show us how far Ezra has grown.  He has a good scene as he talks to the three members of Iron Squadron about how he felt leaving Lothal and joining the Rebellion.  Other than that, there isn’t much to offer in this episode.  As Shakespeare said it’s “sound and fury signifying nothing.”  No one really loses anything, and no one really gains anything.  It’s fun to see the return of the YT-2400 freighter, aka The Outrider from Shadows of the Empire.  The three new characters are all interesting and prevent a unique view on the fight against the Empire.

This episode while enjoyable doesn’t provide us any new insight into the characters and does very little to propel the overall story arc of the season forward.  At the end of the episode, we are in much the same place as we were at the beginning.

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