Talk about hitting the ground running. I’m still coming down from that episode. This was an exciting premiere / tease for Star Wars Rebels and featured every part of the formula – dangerous missions, space battles, and light saber fights, and Vader. There were a number of takeaways from this TV movie that set up a very exciting Season 2. I have many posts about this episode – here are just a few to start (Warning: some spoilers).
Vader is Impressive
This is what I had hoped to see from Vader. He is the same character that we knew before, but more masterful. Whereas with the Original Trilogy we mostly saw the results of his orders, but in this episode we see him give more direct orders.
And he’s unrelenting. In this episode we see him (or Tarkin?) kill an Imperial defector, burn Tarkin Town, and destroy a Rebel blockade runner. That’s a pretty good book of work for an hour episode.
It’s exactly what I had hoped for.
Things seen a lot harder for the rebels now. While see saw them relatively successful at stealing supplies from the Empire at the opening, we see them on their heels for the rest of the episode – all thanks to Vader’s insights and maneuvering.
His most evil maneuver – setting up Minister Maketh Tua to be killed and framing the Rebels for her death. She attempted to defect to join the Rebels in exchange for Imperial secrets. In their rescue attempt, Vader kills Tua and makes it appear as though the Rebels did it. And before they leave, Vader reveals himself and engages Ezra and Kanan. It was a mismatch. But it was only with the team work between the Rebels that enabled them to get away.. for the moment.
Ultimately, this forces the Rebels to flee Lothal for the foreseeable future.
This is a dramatically different enemy than the Rebels have faced and shows that they can only withstand it as a team.
There IS more going on Lothal
As I speculated in a previous post, there is more happening on Lothal than first indicated. My speculation is that the Emperor is mining for Kaibur crystals on the planet that will be used for the Death Star primary weapon.
Kanan and Hera need to have a talk
There were a few shot, and rather important chats that Hera and Kanan had during this episode that indicate that they really need to have a talk. Kanan isn’t really committed to fighting with soldiers whereas Hera is right in her element. In every relationship, sometimes you have to do things you don’t want to do to keep everybody happy. Kanan doesn’t seem to get this detail. More importantly, it doesn’t sound like he (or Hera) understands how working with the Rebel fleet will impact Ezra’s Jedi training.
What is clear is that there is some disagreement between Hera and Kanan and it’s not clear how this will effect Ezra. Ezra seems to want to fight the Empire and be involved with the Rebels, but also cares for Kanan.
Ahsoka Knows and Isn’t Talking
It seemed pretty clear that Ahsoka knows (or at least suspects) that Vader is Anakin.
Ezra: “Ahsoka, do you know who or what he is?”
Ahsoka: “No, I don’t.”
This may be true, but only from a certain point of view. The ending of the episode shows that Vader clearly knows Ahsoka is working with the Rebels. But Ahsoka seems unsure, but knows. Perhaps she hasn’t searched her feelings sufficiently, but she does know.
It’s still funny
This was a really heavy duty and dark episode. There was an Imperial murder and a plot to trap the rebels. But we still get some light moments. The best: Ezra tries and files a Jedi Mind Trick.
There are so many more moments, great and small. We see a number of special moments that will ultimate