Blood Sisters is yet another addition to Star Wars Rebels streak of great episodes. It’s yet another example of the show choosing to focus on someone besides Ezra, and giving them a chance to shine; this time giving the spotlight to Sabine. The more Rebels does this, the better the show gets.
We open on the planet Garel where Hera is giving orders to two rebels as Ezra, Chopper, and Sabine exit the Ghost. When she sends the other rebels on their way, Ezra asks what she wants them to do. Hera tells him that this mission is for Sabine. She tells Sabine that she needs to meet a courier with secret information. She does not know what this courier looks like, only that they will respond to the coded phrase, “It’s a long way to Alderaan.” Hera tells Ezra that he and Chopper can go with her, but that Sabine is in charge. As they leave the hanger, Sabine notices a distinctive graffiti tag on the wall. She appears to recognize it, but when Ezra asks about it, she tells him it’s nothing.
When the trio gets to the hanger where the courier is supposed to be, they begin trying to find them by repeating the code phrase to just about everybody. They spend hours talking to people with no luck until finally the bay closes down for the night. Dejectedly Ezra sits on top of a crate, and Sabine asks him if he’d been saying the code phrase correctly. As he repeats the phrase one more time, the crate he’s sitting on stands up revealing itself to be a Gonk Droid named EG-86. It’s the courier!
As the group discusses how great a spy such a droid makes, they are interrupted by a bounty hunter; a bounty hunter named Ketsu Onyo, and Sabine seems to know her. She tells the bounty hunter that she saw her mark inside, and refers to her as an old friend. Ketsu disputes the term friend, and says that she’s just there for the droid, but that she’s still deciding whether or not to collect on the bounty the Empire has placed on Sabine’s head.
The two “Old friends” have a brief back-and-forth, and through their dialogue we learn that Ketsu Onyo and Sabine used to be students at the Imperial Academy on Mandelore. They really were friends back then, but some time after they escaped the academy and turned bounty hunter, Ketsu apparently left Sabine for dead and joined the Black Sun on her own, while Sabine joined the Rebellion.
In the middle of their discussion they are interrupted by a group of stormtroopers who tell them they need to leave, as the hanger they are in is closed. Ketsu responds by firing into the group sparking a huge shootout.
Forced into a temporary alliance, Sabine, Ezra, and Ketsu all try to hold off the stormtroopers while Chopper gets EG onto a shuttle. As soon as Chopper and EG are in, Sabine and Ezra join them. Chopper shuts down the pilot droid and Sabine takes over, but as they take off, Ezra falls out of the ship and is left behind. As Sabine disappears, Ezra calls Hera and tells her the mission has gotten complicated.
Down in the bay, Ketsu is still fighting off the stormtroopers, but quickly finds herself surrounded. Just as it looks like they have her, she springs into action and singlehandedly takes them all out, jumps onto a shuttle in the middle of takeoff, and leaps over a wall to freedom. As two of the stormtroopers try to figure out what just happened, they see Ketsu’s ship, the Shadow Caster, taking off in the distance.
Out in space, Sabine is trying to set coordinates for the rendezvous point where they’ll be delivering EG, but they are soon overtaken by Ketsu; who takes out their hyperdrive and shoots open the door of the shuttle. The opening creates an instant vacuum, which starts jettisoning the contents of the shuttle. EG finds himself pressed against the doorframe sideways, and Sabine manages to cling onto him, but Chopper isn’t so lucky, and soon finds himself drifting in space.
Sabine, holding onto EG manages to seal off the hatch before they both end up with Chopper. As soon as she’s safe, she gets a transmission from Ketsu, who tells her that what she’s doing is nothing personal, just business. She wants Sabine to give her the droid, and in return, she’ll let her live. As Ketsu speaks, Sabine watches through the window as Chopper maneuvers his way to the top of Ketsu’s ship.
She stalls for time, keeping Ketsu busy while Chopper takes out her weapons array. When she finally tries to fire on Sabine’s shuttle, her weapons don’t work. As chopper taunts her through her window, Sabine bids her farewell. She takes off over the Shadow Caster so that Chopper can fly himself up and get back in the shuttle. As Chopper tries to enter the shuttle, Ketsu actives a tractor beam pulling him into her ship. Now Sabine has no choice but to make a trade. Ketsu tells her she’ll extend a docking ramp so they can trade droids; Chopper for EG.
When they meet on the ramp between their ships, Sabine says she’s not giving up EG, Ketsu will have to take him. Ketsu tries to bargain with her, offering her half the money she’ll make from EG, but Sabine refuses, saying she doesn’t do things for the money anymore. Ketsu tells her that she’s being foolish, her cause is doomed to fail, and they’ll never overthrow the Empire. Sabine tells her that she forgives her for what she did all those years ago; she still trusts her and she’s giving her a second chance at life, just like the Rebels gave her.
Just then the shuttle receives a transmission from the Empire. It has been reported as stolen, and they should prepare to be boarded. “Looks like we’re friends again,” Sabine tells Ketsu, smiling. “Don’t have much of a choice,” she replies, and the two run to the shuttle.
Once they’ve boarded they realize they have more problems. Since Chopper took out Ketsu’s weapons, they have no way to fire on the Empire, and since her ship is still docked with the shuttle, they can’t use the Shadow Caster’s hyperdrive to escape. Sabine tells Chopper to overload the shuttle’s hyperdrive while she contacts the Empire. As Chopper messes with the controls, Sabine tells the Empire that their ships have suffered extensive damage, and they are in danger of self destruction. The Empire scans their ships, and read just that. They tell them they have two minutes to get the ships stabilized so they can board. Sabine tells Chopper to purge the shuttle’s reactor and to get ready to disengage the docking tube. They’re going to blow up the shuttle giving them time to escape in the Shadow Caster.
While he’s doing that, Sabine and Ketsu retrieve a cache of explosives from the Shadow Caster to plant in the shuttle, giving the explosion an extra kick. While Ketsu readies the Shadow Caster for takeoff, Sabine turns the pilot back on and tells him that the Imperial cruiser is preparing to destroy her ship for being stolen.
The droid tries to begin emergency protocols, and the crew on the Imperial cruiser, sensing the shuttle powering up, begin firing on it, trying to take out the control hub. One blast hits the docking tube as Sabine is leaving, knocking her out. Ketsu tells Chopper to disengage the docking tube, but he refuses, as Sabine has not boarded yet. Looking down the tube, Ketsu can see Sabine lying on the floor, unconscious. She runs down the tube and helps Sabine to her feet. As they run down the tube, Ketsu tells Chopper to get them out of there. He closes the tube and powers up the ship.
The cruiser locks on to both ships preventing them from escaping, but as soon as the Shadow Caster is ready for takeoff, the shuttle explodes, breaking the cruiser’s lock, and freeing the Shadow Caster to jump into hyperspace.
When they arrive at the rendezvous point, they are met by two Alderaanian rebels, as well as R2-D2, who are there on behalf of Senator Organa. Sabine tells R2 to let Senator Organa know that they brought his intel safe and sound. As they watch the Gonk droid leave with R2 and the rebels, Ketsu tells Sabine that they need to get her home.
Back on Garel, Hera and Ezra are waiting for them to arrive. Ezra is incredulous that Ketsu is actually helping Sabine, considering the last time he saw them she was ready to shoot them. Hera reminds him that when they first met him, he was stealing from them, so he should know that people can change.
When Ketso and Sabine arrive, Hera thanks Ketsu for her helping their cause. Ketsu tells her that it was mostly an accident, and that she’s not ready for a full on fight with the Empire yet. Hera tells her that no one ever is, and leaves them to say their goodbyes. Sabine thanks her for helping her. She could have left her to the Empire, taken the droids and made a good profit. “It’s only money,” Ketsu replies. Sabine asks her if she’d like to help them out some other time, and Ketsu tells her she’ll think about it. As Ketsu takes off Ezra asks Sabine if that’s the last they’ll see of her. “No,” Sabine replies. “And I’m glad.
Blood Sisters was another stellar episode! I think I’ve said it before, but one of the things I loved about Clone Wars, was that they would never focus on the same person for too long. They’d do a story on one planet with one person, and then go to a completely new place, with completely new people for the next. It kept things fresh, and was a great way to get a huge variety in their storytelling. While Rebels sticks mostly to their core cast, it’s nice that these last few episodes have been taking turns with characters, and introducing new ones.
I really liked the new character of Ketsu Onyo. She was a much needed piece of Sabine’s backstory, and a great character to boot. I loved the dynamic between the two, and it was good for Sabine to have a friend for once. As Ezra pointed out briefly in this episode, she’s alone a lot. Even when she’s with them, she’s still a bit of a loner. I really hope that they bring Ketsu back for a future episode. Actually I’d love if they brought her back full time.
In addition to the great characterization they gave her I also loved Ketsu’s design. The Star Wars Wiki lists her species as human, but she’s not like any human on earth! Maybe they evolved a bit different on Mandelore, but the reddish color of her skin, and the fuchsia/purple color of her eyes give her a totally unique look that I just loved.
I loved all the droids in this episode. I thought EG was a fun new character. I know people rag on Gonk droids for looking like walking garbage cans, and they’re not wrong, they look exactly like walking garbage cans, but they have their own brand of charm, and it was nice to see one get to be an actual character, instead of a background prop.
The pilot was pretty funny too, for what little time we got to spend with him, it’s just too bad they had to go and blow him up. Oh well. He’s literally one in a million, so it’s quite likely we’ll see one of him again.
It wasn’t much, but I loved seeing R2 at the end, even if it was only for a moment. I love seeing characters from other media in this show, and even if it’s only for a brief moment, it’s still nice to know they’re still there.
And finally, there was Chopper. Chopper was the MVP in this episode! I will admit he often annoys me, though I think he’s supposed to, but he really shone in this episode. His little escapade when he was shot out of the shuttle was rather harrowing, and then when he took it upon himself to disable Ketsu’s weapons? That was amazing! Not to mention hilarious! Seriously, the animator responsible for animating Chopper in this scene is a genius. Chopper’s body language was so funny.
I’ve said it twice, but I’ll say it again, Blood Sisters was great! It had action, humor, a bit of heart, and great characters. Keep it up Rebels! I can’t wait to see what’s coming next!
What did you think of this episode? Do you hope to see more of Ketsu?