Secret Cargo is the most significant Star Wars story we’ve seen yet.
While the Rebels await contact with a Rebel transport, they watch Senator Mon Mothma of Chandrila’s critical statements of the Emperor and his tyranny. After an Imperial probe detects them, their transport arrives. The Imperials return with reinforcements and force destroy the transport, but not before they load their secret cargo – Senator Mon Motha. The Ghost crew along with Gold Squadron (Ezra standing in for injured Gold Two) lead the Imperials into a dangerous nebula only to emerge (losing all but 2 fighter) facing two Star Destroyers. The Ghost narrowly escapes after Ezra and Gold Leader ignite the nebula taking out the Star Destroyers. In the End, Mon Mothma makes a call to action to others who would stand against the Empire and unite the various rebel groups throughout the galaxy.
This episode was perhaps one of the most important Star Wars stories ever told. This one episode provides the single rallying point that creates a united rebellion against the Empire.
The most critical moments involve Mon Mothama’s public addresses. She publicly criticizes the Emperor using very harsh language; then publicly resigns her office in order to join the resistance movement on the front lines.
The episode finds her attempting to join the various rebel groups at “The Meeting” at Dantoine. That the Ghost is the ship that brings her there makes its appearance in Rogue One that more meaningful.
The action scenes in this episode were a high point also. We get a surprise visit from Gold Squadron including Gold Leader (voiced by Yuri Lowenthal). We get our first view of the new Imperial TIE fighter that was being secretly constructed on Lothal. It is a formidable opponent that would certainly change the outcome of the various future space battles. Ezra and Gold Leader managed to survive this skurmish showing that Ezra has learned quite a lot about piloting from Hera.
There are also some poignant moments between characters, the most notable being between Mon Mothma and Hera. The two share an interesting moment that shows Mon Mothma as being more fragile than she appears. The weight of her recent actions weigh on her – her words and activities with the Rebels come at the expense of her belief in the political process.
Another important interaction is between Gold Squadron and the Ghost crew. There’s a clear tension between each group, Gold squadron resenting The Ghost’s exploits have increased Imperial pressure. It’s an important interaction that shows that the various Rebel groups don’t all feel the same way about their rebellion and how it should be carried out.
One little tidbit that I enjoyed was Thrawn’s accurate prediction of Hera’s plan to escape from the sector. He accurate predicts that she will come up with something creative, extreme, and effective. But I love that Thrawn developed this understanding after his interaction with her on Ryloth (Hera’s Heroes). It further establishes him as a master tactician who derives insights from the smallest details.