Wow…just, wow. Monday night’s first Star Wars Rebel episode was amazing, beautiful, and was enough to break fans’ hearts. The two episodes that were released were by far the saddest episodes in the series. Also, the mystery of Lothal deepened, which is a little frustrating. I really want to know what’s going on! Anyway, let’s get to reviewing…(Major Spoiler Warnings!)
Things Are About To Get A Little Bumpy
We start out with Kanan meditating out in Lothal’s fields near the rebels’ makeshift base. He hears voices, the voices of his own crew, his family. Nearby, the white Loth-wolf stares at him. When the wolf disappears and the voices stop, Ezra walks up behind him. “I need you to do something for me,” says Kanan. “Anything,” Ezra replies. Kanan explains that he wants Ezra to take the lead in their mission to free Hera from the Empire’s clutches. Kanan fears that if he leads his feelings for Hera would cloud his judgement. “I might make a mistake,” he says. “One that could cost us.” Ezra says that they can do the mission together, but Kanan is set. “I’ll be with you,” says Kanan. “But this has to be your plan.” Ezra agrees. “It’s what we’ll need if we’re going to save Hera.” He looks to the distant Lothal city where Hera is being held captive. “And everyone else…,” he says. The ominous white wolf’s theme plays…
Hera’s Bittersweet Memory
At Lothal’s capital city, Hera is being held in Governor Pryce’s office. Pryce continuously tortures Hera with electrocution without even asking her to reveal anything. “You have a lovely voice, General Syndulla,” Pryce says as Hera cries out in pain. Grand Admiral Thrawn enters the room and asks Pryce if she has revealed anything. Pryce admits that she hasn’t asked any questions yet before electrocuting Hera again. “Allow me,” says Thrawn. (This is when people start getting scared, am I right?) “I’ll die before I tell you anything,” Hera said between breaths. “I imagine you will, general,” says Thrawn as he sweeps dust off of his rank plaque. “Like so many of your friends in the failed attack. And so much of your family back on Ryloth.” He picks up Hera’s family heirloom, the Kalikori, which was stolen from her house back in season three. He says that he wanted to ask her about the heirloom. He explains that he likes to know the deeper meanings behind the art he collects. “To me their not merely trophies, but symbols that truly represent some of my greatest adversaries.” Hera tells him that he doesn’t need to know what it means, since she would be taking it back. As his theme begins to play, Thrawn says that he did a little analysis on the Kalikori, and found that each shape on the heirloom represented an individual who was important to her sometime in her life. He carefully handles one of the shapes and says that he found it to be most interesting. “It seems to refer to a brother, one who died while he was still quiet young,” says Thrawn. “I imagine this is a bittersweet memory for you?” Hera tells him that he isn’t worthy of holding the heirloom, let alone understanding it. Thrawn smiles and apologizes. “However, it’s legacy likely ends with you,” he says. “You should take heart in knowing that this work of art is appreciated by it’s new owner.” Thrawn tells Pryce that he will leave and let her continue with the interrogation. Pryce gladly does so. “I don’t care much for art,” she says.
Ezra Takes The Lead
Ezra, Sabine, and Zeb are all at Ezra’s old comm tower. Ezra tries find exactly where Hera is through the force. He finds that she is in Governor Pryce’s office. Sabine tells them what floor that would be in the capital. Zeb wonders how they’re going to get past all the security. “It’s not like we can just fly in,” he says. “That’s exactly what we’ll do!” Says Ezra. “On gliders.” Zeb complains, but Sabine says that Ezra is right. She says that the Empire won’t be looking for something low tech like a glider. Zeb says that if they get spotted that they’ll be at a pretty big disadvantage. Ezra tells them that they’ll look like Loth-bats. he has Zeb look through his binoculars to see that Loth-bats are swarming the area. Zeb, finally agreeing with the plan, asks where they’ll get the gliders. “Easy,” says Sabine. “We make them.” An updated form of Kanan’s theme plays as the rebels prepare for their mission, and let me tell you, if you have seen the episode and then watch it again, this song is a punch to the heart. Not only is it beautiful, but it says, in my opinion, how much different Kanan is now. Kanan sits alone in the cave from the episode “Kindred”. He removes his mask and picks up his knife. Did anyone else wince a little when he cut his ponytail off? Outside, the others, including Ryder Azadi, Jai Kell, and the one and only Mart Mattin, build the gliders. Next Kanan decides to move his transformation further by cutting off his beard. And I’m over there on my couch hyperventilating! (Just kidding, but for real though, I loved his hair and his beard!) After a bit of paint of the gliders, Sabine declares that the gliders are finished. Ezra says he’ll let Kanan know they’re ready, but Kanan already knows. He walks out of the cave with his new look. Ezra looks happy, but did anyone catch that slight cringe? “Let’s go get Hera,” Kanan says. Out in the fields, the Ghost crew set the gliders up. Ezra and Sabine disguise themselves as TIE pilots. Zeb groans and Kanan asks him what’s wrong. “It’s probably good you can’t see this flying contraption,” Zeb replies. “This is one of those times I’m glad the force is with you.” Kanan, Ezra, and Sabine all clime on the three gliders as Zeb gets on a speeder that will get the gliders in the air. On Ezra’s mark, Zeb drives until the gliders are in the air. As they fly off, Zeb calls to them from the speeder. “Go get her!” He says. “Bring her back!” Zeb watches them glide off into the sunset.
Star Wars Rebels’ connection with Rogue One grows closer in Thrawn’s conversation with Grand Moff Tarkin. Over a holocall, Tarkin tells Thrawn that his TIE Defender program is at risk. “Orson Krennic has been quiet persuasive about diverting funding to his own project; Stardust (*cough* Death Star *cough*). Thrawn tells him that the Emperor has said that he supports the TIE Defender. Tarkin says that in his view Krennic’s project has been nothing but expenses and excuses for years on end. He says that if the TIE Defenders are to continue production, Thrawn has to make his case directly to the Emperor himself. “I have already arranged a meeting.” Thrawn says he will leave immediately. He hangs up the call and has someone inform Pryce that he is leaving and to make the jump to hyperspace; the Grand Admiral is off to Coruscant. Two Stormtroopers, probably the same two from the episode “Flight of the Defender”, complain about the Loth-bats, not paying attention to what is actually flying right over them. Rukh shows up to ask if they have anything to report. “Nothing here sir,” says one of the Stormtroopers. “Just the same as usual.” But Ruhk isn’t so sure.
Meanwhile, the three rebels sneak right past security on their gliders and land at the capital Dome. Ezra points out that no alarms have gone off. “So far so good,” he says. Kanan says that nobody ever pays enough attention to the world around them. “Good thing you taught me otherwise,” says Ezra. Kanan tells Ezra that he is a good listener and that it will serve him there…and again in the future. Uh oh, this is when I knew without a shadow of a doubt what was about to happen. Ezra asks Kanan what he means, but Sabine interrupts them. She says that they have to keep moving. Sabine gives Kanan magnetic climbers to scale the Dome’s wall. Ezra tries to tell Kanan where he would find Hera, but Kanan already knows. Ezra tells him that they’ll get their escape ship and for him to signal them when he’s ready. Before the two younger rebels leave, Kanan tell the rebels something that pretty much put the final nail in his own coffin. “Ezra, Sabine,” he says. “May the force be with you.” Kanan begins his climb down the Dome, leaving Ezra and Sabine to their own mission. Kanan climbs down the wall, stopping to retrieve something from Thrawn’s office. Inside, Pryce is still trying to get Hera to spill the location of the Rebellion’s base. “Perhaps the Imperial Mind Probe will be more persuasive,” says Pryce. The intimidating probe hovers over and injects Hera with the truth serum. You know, tell me in the comments if I’m wrong, but as far as I’m concerned, this seemed to be the first time we’ve seen the actual affects of truth serum. It basically makes the victim act like they’ve been drugged. So yes, we saw what a drugged General Hera Syndulla acts like. Anyway, Pryce demands to know where the rebels are hiding, and Hera is about to tell, when, even though the serum has blurred her vision, she sees her man Kanan out the window. “Kanan’s here!” She says. Pryce looks out the window, but there’s nobody there. “You’re delusional, my dear,” says Pryce. “Perhaps I’ve pushed you too far.” Rukh enter them room wanting to speak with Pryce. She tells Hera that she’ll jut be a moment before leaving with the Noghri. Two Stormtrooper stay behind to guard Hera. “I’m going to be honest with you two,” says Hera. “Your in terrible trouble.” The Stormtroopers look at each other. “I wonder how he’s going to get in,” she says. At that moment, a blue lightsaber cuts through the floor right under one of the trooper, causing him to fall through the floor. Hera talks to herself, saying that she thought he was going to come in through the window. Kanan enters through the new whole in the floor and forces the other trooper out the window before he can call for backup. He stabs the probe droid with his lightsaber and kicks it into the whole. “That droid REALLY deserved that,” says Hera. Kanan destroys the door’s controls and gets to work on the binds holding Hera down. Kanan apologizes for being late and Hera forgives him. She falls from the interrogation chair into Kanan’s arms. “Oh, I see!” Says Kanan. “We’re in a special mood thanks to the interrogation droid.” Hera tells him that she didn’t like that droid and he agrees. He helps her over to the window. Hera tells him to wait because she has to tell him something. She’s about to tell him when she notices his hair. “I…I hate your hair,” she says. Kanan laughs. “It’s the best I could do without a mirror,” he says. Hera reminisces that his hair hasn’t been that short since they first met, which was about nine years before this episode. “That reminds me,” says Kanan. “I brought you a present.” Hera says that he hasn’t gotten her a present also since they’ve first met. Now, I’m sitting here watching this, knowing what is about to take place, but I can’t stop laughing, because Hera was as loopy as can possibly be! Kanan reveals Hera’s present, which is what he stopped by Thrawn’s office for; the Kalikori. Hera takes it. “Kanan…,” she says. “This is mine.” Kanan replies that he knows. “Then…it’s not really a present,” says Hera. The sound of the door trying to be opened by someone interrupts them. He has Hera get on his back before beginning his climb back up the Dome.
Time Is Short
Rukh, Pryce, and a few Deathtroopers break in to find that their captive has escaped. Catching the rebels’ scent, Rukh follows Kanan out the window. Pryce tell the Deathtroopers to lock down the facility and to get to the gunships. “Blast them on sight!” She demands. With the alarms going off, Ezra and Sabine head to the shipyard where all of the troops are being deployed. “Well, I guess Kanan got Hera out,” says Ezra. Sabine tells him that she’ll fly. They run over to one of the gunships. Sabine tells the pilot that he’s been reassigned. “I wasn’t informed,” he says. Sabine offers to show him the orders. She takes him out when they are out of sight and climbs into the cockpit. A Stormtrooper in the back says that Ezra is supposed to be the co-pilot. Ezra tells him that he’s the back-up pilot. “So I’m here…in the back,” says Ezra. The gunship takes off. Back at the Dome, Rukh is still chasing Kanan and Hera, who have almost reached their destination. Hera, still a bit loopy, tells Kanan that she knew he would come. “I am not letting you go this time,” she says as she tightens her grip around his neck, making it harder for him to climb up. “I hope not,” says Kanan. “It’s a long way down.” Back where they left the gliders, Kanan lays in the floor to rest a bit. “You’ve always been there for me,” says Hera. “Whenever I needed you.” Kanan says that that was the job. Hera is telling him that that’s not what she talking about when she nearly staggers off the edge of the Dome. “What are you saying?” Kanan asks, steadying her. She is about to admit that she loves him when she sees the gliders. She asks if they flew in on them. “Yeah, the kids came up with that one,” Kanan replies. (I have always loved how Kanan and Hera refer to Ezra, Sabine, and Zeb as “the kids”). He says that with any luck Ezra and Sabine will bring them a better ride. Hera says she doesn’t know about a new ride. “I kinda wanna those,” she says. “You would,” says Kanan. There is a brief silence; the imminent is coming soon. “Hera,” Kanan says. “There’s something I need to tell you.” They are interrupted by Rukh. The Noghri quickly disarms Kanan, but is force pushed off the Dome. Deathtrooper attack immediately after this. Hera takes Kanan’s gun out of his holster and hands it to him. “Try this,” she says. Kanan fires back at the trooper as Hera pushes one of the gliders to the edge. “What are you doing?” Kanan asks. “It’s time to go,” Hera replies. The two of them get on the glider and fly away from the troopers. Rukh watches them leave. Unfortunately, the glider is hit by one of the Deathtroopers’ blast. “We have a problem here!” Says Hera. “You’re doing fine,” Kanan tells her. He tells her to keep them in the air for a long as she can. They make they’re way to the Empire’s fuel depot
A True Hero
Rukh informs Pryce of where the rebels are heading. She tells two AT-AT Walker pilots to immobilize the Walkers. Hera and Kanan crash land near the fuel depot. “That was one of your better crashes,” says Kanan. “Kanan Jarrus! You know I never crash!” Hera says. “I have-.” Kanan finishes her sentence saying that she has “very exciting landings” and thanks her for reminding him. He takes her hand and runs into the huge fuel depot. The gunships are heading in the same direction. Kanan calls Sabine to ask if she’s on her way with the ship. Sabine asks if he got Hera. “Of course he did,” Hera chimes in. From the back, Ezra cheers, making the Stormtroops stare at him. “Yes…isn’t flying great?” Ezra says. Kanan tells Sabine that they had a change of plans and they need a pick-up at the fuel depot. “I know,” says Sabine. “The Empire does too.” Sabine tells Ezra that he’s going to want to hold on. “Sorry guys,” he says to the Stormtroopers. “This is where you get off.” Sabine tips the ship over and the troopers fall out. She blasts the second gunship to pieces. The third takes action and fires at them, but Ezra makes quick work of that one too by deflecting it’s own bolts back. Kanan and Hera reach the top of the fuel depot; it’s time. I’m going to warn you that what happens next is easily the saddest Kanan and Hera scene in Star Wars Rebels. Hera says that she knows what to say now. “I love you,” she says. Kanan chuckles sadly. “Must be the truth serum talking,” he says. “No,” Hera tells him. “It’s me…all me.” For the second time in the series, the two of them share a kiss. Ezra and Sabine arrive to pick them up. “Hey, enough of that!” Ezra says. “Time to go!” They don’t notice the two AT-AT Walkers coming up. Pryce orders for them to fire at the fuel depot. After a little hesitance from the pilot, they do so. They fire, and it hits the very place where Kanan and Hera are standing. Kanan runs ahead and uses the force to block the fire from getting to Hera and the others. Hera screams his name and rushes to help him, but, with his other hand, Kanan forces her to stop. He force pushes her into Ezra’s arms. In a brief instant, Kanan looks back at Hera, and his eyes go from grey to their original teal. With what strength he has left, Kanan lets the fire wash over him to force the gunship away. Sabine and Ezra watch their father-figure die. Hera watches the man she loves die. Sabine, who is crying in the cockpit, manage to fly away before the whole depot explodes. And the original orange and black Star Wars Rebels symbol that we are used to seeing when the episode closes? It is now black and white with ashes falling around. Star Wars has lost a loved character.
So there’s that. Star Wars Rebels’ saddest episode yet. This episode is amazing, but I have to talk about that death scene. The animation was purely beautiful, and the music is a work of art. I’ll say this, I started crying (not just crying, I was bawling like a little kid) the moment Hera screamed his name all the way to the end of the next episode. That moment when he looks back at Hera…he regains his sight…that hit me hard. I’ve been watching Star Wars Rebels for about four years and Kanan is a character that I loved very much. Even as I write this I have tissues next to me (which are being used, it’s really that bad!) But one thing is certain; Kanan died the death of a true hero. Let me know what you think about this episode and Kanan’s death in the comments below!
– When Kanan looks back at Hera just seconds before he dies, his eyes turn back to teal. He regained his sight, meaning that he came through with his promise we all thought he had broken. In the season two episode “Mystery at Chopper Base”, Kanan promised Hera they’d see each other again after he returned from Malachor. Obviously, he went blind and it seemed like he had broken the promise. His final moments brought clarity to this.
– If you want to listen to the beautiful song that plays when Kanan sacrifices himself, you can find it on “Jedi Night”‘s episode guide at Star Wars.com. The song is called “Kanan and the Fire”. If you’re like me, have a tissue nearby when your listening!
My review for “Dume” will be posted tomorrow. Star Wars Rebels returns on February 26, at 9:00 p.m. with two episodes; “Wolves and a Door” and “A World Between Worlds”. You can see a clip for “Wolves and a Door” at Star Wars.com, but as for me, I stay away from clips…
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