Wings of the Master was an excellent episode! It was the unexpected origin story of a pretty big part of the original trilogy, and it kind of caught me off guard with just how much I got into it!
We open inside hyperspace, where the Phoenix Squadron is on its way to the planet Ibaar to help the people there. The Empire stepped in, doubled their workload, and cut their rations. The Ghost crew communicates with the people while they travel, but as soon as they exit hyperspace the signal is cut off. The Empire jammed the transmission and formed a blockade, preventing the rebels from going down to the planet.
Hera sends an attack formation ahead, lead by the Phoenix Leader, but they are met by massive resistance and are quickly overtaken. The main transport is destroyed, as well as the Phoenix Leader’s ship, killing him in the process. Hera calls for the mission to be aborted and the remainder of the fleet jump back into hyperspace.
Back at headquarters, the rebels regroup and try to figure out some way to get back to the planet. They don’t have much time before the weakest people on Ibaar succumb to hunger. As they argue about the best way to go about it, Rex steps forward with a new plan. He was in contact with an engineer who claims to have built a ship with enough firepower to take out the blockade. The only problem is that this engineer lives on the planet Shantipole, a planet the other pilots claim is a one-way trip. And he will only discuss his ship in person.
It takes a bit of persuasion on Kanan’s part, but Hera reluctantly agrees to go to Shantipole. She takes Zeb and Sabine with her in the Phantom, and they head out. Upon arrival though, she informs the others that the reason no one ever goes to Shantipole is that the atmosphere is so dangerous that any ship passing through it loses power and falls out of the sky. The others are understandably terrified at this revelation, but by this time it’s too late to turn around.
As they pass through the upper layers of atmosphere, the ship is immediately struck by lightning multiple times and starts falling fast. As they pass through the thickest clouds they can still barely see, as the entire planet appears to be covered in fog; a fog which masks enormous stone pillars, on which other ships have been destroyed. Hera somehow manages to keep the Phantom on course though, and – even though they’re crashing – she still manages to steer it towards a landing pad.
After a disastrous landing that renders the Phantom unflyable, the trio emerge from the ship to find a Mon Calamari named Quarrie, who tells them he’s on this particular planet because there’s no way the Empire will even try going there. Plus, the horrendous atmosphere and terrain are great for test flights. If a ship can fly on Shantipole, it can fly anywhere.
Quarrie takes the trio to his hanger where he reveals his new ship, which he calls the “Blade Wing.” Hera expresses great interest in flying it, but Quarrie immediately shuts her down and walks away, asking why he should let her fly his ship.
Outside, Hera tries to fix the Phantom, but it’s useless. They don’t have the parts on board to get it running again. To make matters worse, Sabine tells them that the com system is fried and they have no way to contact the Ghost. They’re stuck there. Just then Quarrie reappears, with a dolly full of parts and his droid, an astromech named BG-81.
Quarrie is going to help them get their ship running again, but he still doesn’t want Hera flying his new ship. He tells her he’s waited a long time to find the right pilot, and he can wait longer. Hera asks him if just any pilot would risk their life to come see him, which gives him pause, and he asks her why she did.
Hera tells him about her childhood on Ryloth during the Clone Wars. She would look out at the Republic ships who had come to help free her world, and she wished for nothing more than to join them. When she was old enough she left her family to fight for other people’s freedom, to help those in need. Something in her story must have touched Quarrie, because when she was finished, he told her they’d wasted too much time. There were beings in need of help, and his ship was in need of a pilot.
Back at the Phoenix Squadron, Kanan is loading up the Ghost with supplies for Ibaar. They’ve had no contact with anyone from the Phantom, so they head out without them. The decide to make another attempt to get through to Ibaar, hoping that the Ghost will be small enough to just slip by the Empire.
On Shantipole, Hera is in the cockpit of the Blade Wing, preparing to take it for a test flight. As they watch her start her take off, Sabine asks Quarrie how many times he’s flown it. He tells them that he’s never flown it, but theoretically it should fly. Sabine and Zeb immediately freak out, especially when it looks like the ship plunges over the edge of the runway. But their worry is for naught, as the ship flies right back up and takes off beautifully.
As she flies, Hera tests out the weapons capabilities and is a bit disappointed by what seems to be a rather weak energy beam. She radios back to Quarrie to tell him that she thinks the ship needs more firepower. He calls back and asks if she pulled the big lever. She hasn’t. Upon pulling the big lever the firepower of the ship is magnified tenfold, as energy beams shoot out from all corners of the ship and converge into one massive beam that annihilates one of the crashed ships stuck in one of the rock pillars.
When she gets the ship back to the landing pad, they hear a beeping coming from the Phantom. BG fixed the radio, and they are receiving a transmission from Kanan. He tells her that Commander Sato ordered another attack on the blockade; they’re on their way to Ibaar.
As the group scrambles to get ready to take off, Sabine uncovers another problem. The weapons capabilities on the Blade Wing are so massive that they’ve completely drained the ship’s hyperdrive. There’s no way to get the ship charged up enough to make a jump through hyperspace to get to Ibaar in time to help. Quarrie tells them that he can’t put in a new hyperdrive either, because he used his other one to fix the Phantom. No one knew he did this, and Hera is ecstatic. It’s the answer to the problem!
At the blockade the Empire has spotted the Rebel fleet’s approach, and Agent Kallus commands them to scan all the ships to figure out which one is carrying the supplies. When they realize it’s the Ghost, they focus all their energy on it. Just as it looks like it’s too late, the Phantom emerges from hyperspace carrying Quarrie’s Blade Wing. The Phantom releases the Blade Wing and Hera flies it right into the battle targeting one of the Imperial Light Cruisers and instantly destroying it. Agent Kallus is stunned, as he had not suspected such a massive display of firepower from such a small ship. The distraction proves to be enough, because as the Empire tries to deal with the massive blow they were just dealt, Kanan pilots the Ghost down to Ibaar, and delivers the relief supplies.
After the battle, Commander Sato tells them that Senator Organa found a shipworks that is sympathetic to their cause and is willing to make more of Quarrie’s ships in secret. Quarrie agrees, but tells them he’ll supervise the manufacturing process. There are still many adjustments that need to be made. As Quarrie leaves, Commander Sato turns to Hera. He tells her that he is taking Kanan’s recommendation; she is to be promoted to Phoenix Leader! As she looks shocked, her crew salutes her. Kanan tells her, “Good job, Captain Hera,” and she slowly smiles and salutes them back.
“Wings of the Master” was one of my favorite episodes so far! Hera is one of my favorite characters, and it was so great to see an episode devoted almost solely to her. I have no problem with Ezra, but it does seem at times that the show focuses too much on him. I realize that he is technically the main character of the show, but it is called Rebels for a reason; they have a great supporting cast, and it’s nice to see someone else get the spotlight for once.
Before I go on to one of my other favorite things about this episode, I have to admit I have never been a massive Star Wars vehicles geek. I liked Boba Fett’s ship, the Slave I. I liked the Gungan sub in Episode I and the AT-AT’s in Episode V, but that’s mainly because they are unique designs that really stuck out to me as something different. Beyond those, I never paid too much attention to the ships. I’m more of a creatures guy.
I say all this because, taking into account my general lack of caring, I was surprised to find that I absolutely loved that they focused on the origins of a ship. I got so into this! To begin with, the B-wing is a totally unique design. I knew what it was years ago, but I guess it never stood out enough for me to care, because I just didn’t. Now, after this episode, it’s one of my top favorite ships! I loved the gyroscopic cockpit when I first realized that’s how it was going to fly, but when it fired the laser canon for the first time I kind of cheered! That was so awesome! I feel so strange geeking out about a vehicle; that is so unlike me. I think I should move on to something I normally geek out about.
Creatures! There wasn’t much by way of creatures in this episode, but what was there was awesome. But at the same time, also confusing. I love the Dactillions. I thought they were an awesome creature design since I first saw them in Episode III, but how did they get from Utapau to Shantipole? I know it’s kind of a nitpicky thing, but they can’t have just independently evolved on both planets. I want to know why the exact same species lives on two completely separate planets, presumably far away from each other and probably in separate solar systems.
Star Wars Rebels just keeps improving. Every episode this season is better than the last. I am loving all the characters and, especially in this episode, I love that some of the more under-used characters are getting a bit more time in the spotlight. Let’s hope this trend continues!
What did you think of this episode of Star Wars Rebels? Do you like it when the show focuses more on the other characters?
Edited by: Hannah Wilkes