Star Wars Rebels: The Occupation Review

The two latest episodes of Star Wars Rebels are the two greatest episodes that season four has had so far.  The animation is beautiful and we got to see old characters return.  Though Lothal isn’t looking so hot, is it?  There’s so much to talk about, so let’s get down to business!  Major Spoiler Warning!…

 

Ezra Finally Gets A Mission To Lothal

We start off with the Ghost coming out of hyperspace and heading for Yavin 4.  In the cockpit, Hera has Sabine transmit clearance codes while Ezra is sound asleep in one of the chairs.  Though, he appears to have a bad dream, since he awakes in fear.  The rebels turn to him with worried looks.  “I saw Old Jho, I heard Ryder,” Ezra says.  “I think they’re in trouble!”   Kanan tells him that they had talked about his nightmares before and that it’s just his anxiety about Lothal.   “It’s never in the briefings anymore,” says Ezra.  “No one ever mentions it.  He says that they promised Ryder they would come back.   “And then Thrawn ambushed our fleet,” says Hera.  Ezra insists that Lothal is suffering.  “Everyone is suffering, Ezra,” Hera tells him.  She says that he needs to be patient.  The Ghost lands at Yavin 4 base and Erskin Semaj, a returning character, tells Ezra that Mon Mothma wants to see him.  In the war room Mon Mothma shows the rebels a transmission that was sent by Ryder Azadi.   “the Empire is beginning trials on a new version of a TIE Defender.  Intel from our spies in the captial reveals the upgrade is…”  Ryder’s transmission just stops.  Ezra asks what happened.  “Ryder Azadi’s transmission from Lothal was cut off,” Mon Mothma says.  “We haven’t been able to contact him since.”  She tell the Ghost crew that she has witnessed the threat of the TIE Defender first hand and that if there has been a new development with them the Rebellion needs to know.  She knows how important Lothal is to Ezra and says she’s looking for volunteers.  “When do I leave?”  Ezra asks.  “When do we leave?”  Hera corrects him.  “We’re all going.”  Mon Mothma comments that they do work best as a team.  She warns that Lothal is under complete lock down and that they might be able to get in…but she doesn’t know if she can get them out.  Ezra doesn’t care.  He’s going home to help his people.  “Which means I’m there to stay.”

 

The Return Of Cikatro Vizago

As the Ghost heads toward a very familiar looking ship, the Broken Horn, Kallus expresses his worry about trusting a criminal like Vizago.   “Yeah, well, we used to says that about you,” says Sabine.  “Yeah,” Ezra agrees.  “Besides, Vizago has a legitimate business of Lothal now.”  Kallus asks who told him that.  “Hondo,” Ezra replies, causing Hera to become upset.  “Trust me,”,” Ezra says.  “Vizago will get us through the Empire’s blockade.  He needs the money.”  After they dock with Vizago’s ship, he comes aboard the Ghost asking if he has “them”.  “Come see for yourself,” Ezra says.  In the Ghost’s hold, they have dozens of Puffer Pigs ready for Vizago to take.  Vizago is very pleased that they were able to find the creatures.  Ezra tells him that if he smuggles them past the Empire’s blockade the pigs are his.  Vizago notes that Lando Calrissian made a fortune with the creatures.  All of the rebels help Vizago load the pigs onto his ship, all except for Zeb.  “So…you’re not gonna help?”  Rex asks him.  Zeb replies that he’s not allowed to go near the Puffer Pigs because he scares them.  “Apparently there’s something wrong with my face.”   “At least your’s is unique,” Rex tells him.   Zeb asks him if that’s Clone humor.  In the cockpit, Hera leaves Rex and Kallus in charge of the Ghost.  “Take care of her,” she says.  “I will want her back.”  Kallus sits in the captain’s chair and reminisces about how much trouble the Ghost had given him.  “And now I’m in command of it,” he says.  Rex tells him that he is mistaken and Hera had put him in charge.  Kallus asks why he would give the ship to Rex and says that he has commanded Star Destroyers.  “Well I’d says that you answered your own question then,” Rex replies.  At that, Kallus thinks for a moment before moving to the co-pilot’s seat and letting Rex be in command.

 

Lothal Isn’t Doing To Well

With the Broken Horn in hyperspace, the Ghost crew prepare for their mission.  They all put on new outfits in order to blend in with the people of Lothal.  When Chopper sees them, he immediately begins to insult them.  “What’s wrong with my hat?” Zeb asks.  For real though, Zeb did look very strange with that…uh…hat thingie.  “What do you mean ridiculous?” Ezra asks.  “Don’t make me paint you again,” Sabine says.  When they arrive at Lothal, it’s obvious that some terrible stuff has happened to the planet.  It seriously looked like the Death Star got hold of it.  Ezra laments on the way it looks, saying that the planet looks as though it is dying.  “Your home isn’t exactly the place you remember, kid,” warns Vizago.  “Better prepare yourself.”  When they try and get through the blockade, the Empire scans the Ghost crew’s life signatures and report to the ISB.  Even the the Empire is onto them, they still let them through.  We don’t really see the extent of Lothal’s damage until they get into the planet’s atmosphere.  I seriously did not recognize the place.  Lothal looks awful, and I was very sad to see it that way, just as the rebels were.  “They’ve burned it…” Ezra says.  “They’ve burned it all away.”  Two TIE Fighters fly up beside the Broken Horn, which makes Hera uneasy.  Vizago tell them that having a TIE Fighter escort happens sometimes.  Zeb asks how many times it has happened to him.  Vizago replies that it is the first.  The ship lands and two Stormtroopers immediately puts a gravity lock on it and they go to search the ship.  Hera assumes that they were scanned.   “Hey, if they don’t find us, they got nothing,” says Ezra.  He tells Vizago to stall the Imperials.  In the cargo hold, Ezra and Sabine let all the Puffer pigs out of their cages.  Sabine asks him if he is sure that his plan will work.  He’s pretty sure.  He asks Zeb if he is ready.  “Yeah, let me put on my useful face,” Zeb replies.  He scares the pigs, making them inflate and begin to bounce all over the place.  While the Imperials are distracted by the pigs, the Ghost crew hurries out of the ship.  Vizago was going to join them, but he was more interested in rounding the pigs back up.  Ezra says that they can start at Old Jho’s, since he must know how to find Ryder.  Hera says that they should split up.  She has Ezra, Sabine, and Chopper head to Old Jho’s while the rest of them will go to get a transport.

 

Goodbye Old Jho

As they walk down Lothal’s streets, Ezra notices some old wanted posters of the Ghost crew up on the walls.  “Why are they using the younger image of me?” He asks.  “I don’t even look like that anymore.”   “That’s a good thing Ezra,” Sabine says.  They reach Old Jho’s place, reminders of how bad Lothal has gotten all around them.  “The Empire wouldn’t do anything to Old Jho, the people wouldn’t stand for it,” says Ezra.  But I knew what had happened.  I knew the instant they had said the Ithorian’s name; he wasn’t going to be there to greet them.  Sabine asks him if he’s sure.  “It was the one place on Lothal where you actually felt like the Empire wasn’t welcome,” Ezra says as they head into the building.  But by the looks of it, the Empire definitely felt welcome.  Sabine comments on this.  They turn to leave, but see a Stormtrooper asking Chopper about them.  Ezra suggests that they get a drink.   “Are you trying to get us caught?” Sabine asks.  Ezra tells her that if they walked in and walked out they would have looked suspicious.  “It’s not like anyone’s going to recognize us,” he says.  “He might,” Sabine says, gesturing to a hologram of a famous TIE pilot, Baron Valen Rudor.  The barkeeper, Baron himself, brings the two rebels their drinks and confirms that he is the famous TIE pilot.  “Oh…wow,” Ezra says sarcastically.  Sabine asks why he’s the barkeeper.  Baron explains that the cantina belongs to him, as well as the rest of the Empire.  He tells Ezra that he looks familiar.  “I used to come in here when it was called Old Jho’s,” Ezra says.  In a corner, someone is watching the rebels.  Baron tells them that their was a raid on a suspected rebel cell, and Old Jho had helped them escape.  Ezra asks if he was captured.   “Captured,” Baron says. “And executed.”   This makes Ezra very angry.

 

An Old Friend

Meanwhile, Hera and Kanan are walking around the streets.  Hera comments that the city looks like a ghost town.  “Everyone’s afraid,” Kanan says.  “And they’ve got every reason to be.”  Kanan hears someone coming and he takes Hera into an alley way just as two Stormtroopers come around the corner.  They walk right by without noticing them.  “I just realized,” Kanan says. “It’s been awhile since we’ve spent some time alone.”  Hera points out that when they do, it’s usually in situations like the one they’re in now.  Kanan grows sad, says that he wishes he could see her.  Hera removes his visor so that she can see his eyes.  “You could always see me,” she says.  They go for their first kiss, but Zeb just HAD to call and interrupt.  I mean, really, Zeb?  Good grief.  Anyway, Zeb tells Hera that he found some speeder.  Hera asks him how many.  “Uh, all of them, I think,” he replies.  “Their being confiscated by the Empire. Convenient actually.”  Hera asks if there are any Stormtroopers around.  “I said convenient, not perfect,” he says.  Hera hangs up with Zeb and tells Kanan that they had better get moving.  Kanan puts his visor back on, clearly agitated.  “Yeah..gotta get moving,” he says reluctantly.   Back at the cantina, Baron says that it’s a shame about what happened to Jho.  “I understand he was loved by the community, but a traitor is a traitor, and they must be dealt with.  Sabine notices that Ezra isn’t very happy, and says that they should go.  She thanks Baron for the drink and pulls Ezra aside.  “Hey, would you get a hold of yourself?”  Sabine says.  They start to walk out, but Baron has two Stormtroopers stop them.  When Ezra asks what the problem is, the person watching them from a dark corners steps out calling, “Oleg!”  They all turn to him.  One probably would be able to recognize the character, since he has changed dramatically, but I knew it was him for sure when I heard his voice; Jai Kell last seen in the season one episode “Breaking Ranks”.  Jai tells Ezra that he’s been looking everywhere for him and asks if he forgot to pay for his drinks.   “Oh, I thought they were on the house,” Ezra says.  Jai ask why he doesn’t just pay Baron, Ezra asks what he could pay him with.  “Do you now have any credits?” Jai asks.  Ezra turns to Sabine.  “I though you had credits.”  Sabine replies that she doesn’t have any.  Jai says that he’s got it.  He pays Baron.  “I didn’t get your name,” Baron says.  “Thats okay,” Jai says before leading Ezra and Sabine out of the cantina.  Jai recognizes Ezra, but Ezra doesn’t recognize Jai. “You don’t remember me?”  Jai asks.  Ezra stares at him for a long time before it clicks with him.  He remembers him from the Imperial Academy.  Jai tells Ezra that he saved his life and that it’s his chance to return the favor.  Jai is about to contact someone to pick them up and take them to Ryder, but Ezra tells him that they’ve got it covered.  At that moment, Hera, Kanan, and Zeb arrive in a Land Speeder leaving a trail of explosions behind them.  Hera has them all get in, but before they can get away, two Imperial tanks block their path.  They all get out just in time for the tanks to blow the speeder up.  Jai leads the Ghost crew back into the cantina, where some Deathtroopers and Stormtroopers run past, not recognizing them.  Zeb breaks the door behind them.  Jai takes them to a sewer drain.  Hera has Chopper scan the drain to find them an exit.  Zeb complains as they descend into the sewer drain.  “I hate the sewers!” He says.

 

Follow The Starbirds

The Imperials go back into the cantina flanked by Baron.  A Stormtrooper opens the sewer drain when Baron tells them that they went in there.  A Deathtrooper asks Baron if he knew that the sewer drain wasn’t sealed.  “I had no idea,” Baron replies.  The Deathtrooper says not to worry, there are not many places that the rebels can hide.  He send out Probe Droids to look for them.  In the sewers, the rebels run into dividing tunnels.  “This place is like a maze, which way?” Sabine says.  Chopper beeps out something.  “Great,” says Ezra. “You got us lost.”  Jai says that he remembers that the sewers lead to a junction beneath the main road downtown.  Sabine suggests that he activates his beacon so that Ryder can come get them when they get out.  “Well, so much for disguises,” Ezra says as he tosses each rebel their signature weapons.  The Probe Droids find them and begins to shoot at them.  The rebels right back, (Chopper runs away, by the way) but are unsuccessful.  Kanan says that they’re transmitting their position and that they had better go.  He tells them to split up.  Ezra, Sabine, and Zeb go down one tunnel while Hera, Kanan, and Jai go down another.  The second team find a way out first.  A ladder leading up to the streets.  Kanan asks if it’s the right way.  Jai starts to climb up to find out, but Kanan pulls him down when the sewer drain opens to reveal two Stormtroopers.  One of the troopers has a flashlight and begins looking down into the drain to see if there are any rebels.  The three rebels do their best to hide from the light, but a Probe Droid finds them again and Kanan is forced to show himself.  he takes the Probe down, but the Stormtroopers alert the others that they found them.  They run away as Chopper joins back up with them.  The droid takes note of a Rebellion symbol on the wall.   The other three rebels also get caught by two Probe Droids, which Zeb and Ezra both destroy.  “Please tell me you know how to get out of here,” says Zeb.  “Didn’t you grow up in a sewer?”  Ezra replies that he’s from the city and that he’s never been in that sewer.  “What’s the difference?” Zeb asks.  Ezra says that everything is different, and that the situation their in is his fault.  “I’m the one who pushed for us to come back, I never thought it’d be this bad,” he says.  He says that Saw was right; Lothal is gone and they already lost.  Sabine tells him that they haven’t lost and to forget Saw.  “You said as long as we’re together, we’ve got a chance.”   “At least we’ll go down fighting,” says Zeb.  Sabine notices another Rebellion symbol on the wall.  Ezra says that Ryder must have left a trail for them to follow.  They go in the direction that the symbol is pointing.

 

Ryder Saves The Day

In the cantina, a Stormtrooper tells a Deathtrooper, DT-L21 that the rebels had destroyed all of their probes.  The Deathtrooper tells him to get a squad down to their last know location and another squad to cut them off at the main junction.  Ezra, Sabine, and Zeb look everywhere for the next symbol.  DT-L21 and some Stormtroopers run in to meet them.  “Not this way!” Ezra shouts.  Then, the other rebels come in to reunite the Ghost crew.  Hera warns Ezra that there are more troopers behind her.  Ezra explains that they were following the Rebellion symbols, and Hera says that’s what they were doing as well.  “Looks like we followed them into a trap!” Says Zeb.  While the rebels fight, Chopper looks up at the ceiling that was another opening and a ladder…and finds another symbol.  Chopper alerts the others.  “Somebody get up there!” Hera says.  Ezra jumps up onto the ladder and cuts the controls with his lightsaber, causing the ladder to release.  Sabine asks how their supposed to know if there’s Stormtroopers up there too.  “Doesn’t matter because we know they’re down here!”  Kanan replies.  One by one, the rebels go up the ladder.  Ezra cuts the ladder so the Stormtroopers won’t be able to follow them.  At the top, Sabine finds that the door won’t open since Ezra cut the controls.  Nice going, Ezra.  Fortunately, the door opens.  “Good job, Sabine!”  Kanan calls.  Sabine tells him that she didn’t do it.  At that moment, Ryder Azadi steps up.  “Welcome home!” He says.  “Now get moving.”  He helps the rebels out and shuts the sewer drain.  They all pile into Ryder’s U-wing and take off.  Ezra thanks Ryder for coming.  “Least I could do, you came back here for us.”  He says that he wasn’t sure if his message to the Rebellion had gotten through.  Ezra confirms that it did and that Mon Mothma had sent them to help and to get intel on the TIE Defender.  Ryder tell the rebels that he will brief them at his camp.  “We need to plan an attack on the TIE Defender factory as soon as the rest of your forces arrive.  Ezra reluctantly tells him that there won’t be anyone else coming.  “It’s just us,” he says.   “The Empire has Lothal locked down tight,” says Zeb.  “How are we going to do this.  Ezra tells them that this is the way a Rebellion starts.  “Small, with a few people standing together.  We’ve done it before, we can do it again.”  Ryder says that they will get a look at the new fighter tomorrow and Ezra can see if he still feels the same about their chances.

 

Conclusion

There we have it!  My review for “Flight of the Defender will come tomorrow.  Anyway, This episode was really awesome.  This show is getting darker and darker, but it still has it’s humor.  Seeing Lothal so broken was sad, and I know it’s only going to get worse.  One good thing though was that we got to see Jai Kell again.  He looks a whole lot different from the last time we saw him, but that’s okay.  I can’t wait to dive into the TIE Defender and the mysterious Loth-Wolves in my next review!

Stray Thoughts

– In this episode, the death of a recurring character was comfirmed; Old Jho.  Obviously, this blog is named after him and his cantina, so it was really upsetting to hear that he’s gone and that the Empire has taken over the cantina.  RIP Old Jho.

– At the part where Kanan and Hera have their moment in the alleyway, it is a reference to when they first met in the book “A New Dawn” by John Jackson Miller.  The two met in an alley on the planet Gorse.  If you have not read this book yet, please do.  You will not be sorry.  I’ve literally read it, like, five times!

The next Star Wars Rebels episodes, “Kindred” and “Crawler Commandeers” will air on November 6, at 9:00 p.m. ET.

 

All media property of Lucasfilm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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