Disney, Lucasfilm Animation, Reviews, Television, TV

‘Star Wars Rebels’ Second Half of Season 2 Review

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Lasat

As you’ve probably noticed, I got way behind reviewing this past season of Star Wars Rebels. I’m currently in school, and they released the episodes at a rate that I could not keep up with. Now, with the finale airing tonight, I really want to be able to give my thoughts on this crucial episode. So, I’ve decided to do one long article and give a brief review of everything in between my last review and the finale.

I hate to not do my normal recap/review style articles on all these episodes – so many were flat-out amazing – but as I enter into the last month of the semester I’m only going to get busier. I just wasn’t going to be possible to catch up any time soon. Hopefully this compromise will be okay with everyone.

Let’s get started!

Leia

“A Princess on Lothal”

This episode was so good! We got to see Princess Leia in action, as an actual princess doing princess things, but still being a kick-awesome character who doesn’t take guff from anyone! I will admit to being skeptical of her involvement in the show at first. Quite often I feel like writers bring in a big name character just as fan-service, with no real purpose, and I was afraid that was what was happening. I needn’t have worried at all! Leia was amazing! I hope that they bring her back as soon as they can! We know she had an active role in the rebellion (judging from her capture at the beginning of A New Hope). I can’t wait to see more of her leading up to this!

“The Protector of Concord Dawn”

This was mostly a pretty standard episode with a few surprising bits thrown in. First off I have to say that I love the design of Concord Dawn. The planet blown in half surrounded by pieces of itself; such a great design! Was it just me, or did anyone else get any Adventure Time vibes from those shots? They looked a lot like the desiccated future Earth to me.

Dawn

Aside from any design aspects of the episode, the thing that stood out most to me was the fact that they let Hera get badly injured. It was a bit of a brave choice to me. This is Disney after all. They don’t often have that kind of stakes in their TV shows, but I’m so glad they’ve allowed Rebels so much leniency. What with this show, and all the stuff that Gravity Falls got away with, I feel like Disney is doing it’s best to change for the better.

“Legends of the Lasat”

I loved this episode. It was everything Star Wars needs to be: the perfect blend of science fiction and fantasy. In this episode we learn that, contrary to Zeb’s belief, he is not the last of his race. Thanks to a tip from everyone’s favorite space pirate, Hondo, the crew of the Ghost discover two more surviving Lasat who have been captured by the Empire (also thanks to Hondo). Under the guidance of the elderly mystic, Chava, the crew of the Ghost are led through an imploded star cluster beyond the outer rim in wild space, where they find the legendary home world of the Lasat, Lira San.

Everything about the final scenes of this episode was amazing. The design of the imploded star cluster, and the music as they go through it, was so different than most everything else in Rebels, and I loved it. Here’s hoping we get some more episodes like this in the future.

“The Call”

And as if beautiful space anomalies weren’t enough, in this episode we get beautiful space traveling psychic whale squids! Flying whales have always been one of my all time favorite fantasy creatures, from the flying humpbacks in Fantasia 2000 to the Star Whale in Doctor Who’s “The Beast Below,” the thought of a gravity defying whale in outer space is just such an amazing, beautiful thought. Leave it to Rebels to come up with another great twist on one of my favorite ideas with the Purrgil. I’ll have to add these to my mental list of things I want to return to the show.

Purrgil

“Homecoming”

As Twi’leks have long been one of my favorite races in the Star Wars universe, it was really nice to get to see a few more. I love that we have Hera representing the Twi’lek race all the time, but I do like to see some variety. Plus, in this episode we got to meet Hera’s father, war hero Cham Syndulla, who we last saw many years ago during the Clone Wars. Cham changed a lot between then and now and almost betrays the rebels in a prideful attempt to bring glory to his planet, as he cares only about Ryloth’s fight against the Empire and not the rest of the galaxy. Thankfully, Hera gets through to him and he comes around to seeing things their way.

This was a great episode and a great callback to not just the Clone Wars. You may have noticed that there was a slight nod to the original trilogy as well, as Cham makes mention of the Empire selling his people into slavery. One of the most famous examples of a Twi’lek in the original trilogy was Oola, the Twi’lek slave of Jabba the Hutt that gets fed to the Rancor. I suppose it’s a bit of a morbid callback, but I kind of enjoyed that little nod to that plot point.

Zeb

“The Honorable Ones”

I do love a good redemption story, but I never thought I’d see one like this on Rebels! The redemption hasn’t quite happened yet, but it would seem that the seeds were planted. When Zeb and Agent Kallus are stranded together on a Geonosian moon, the two enemies must work together to survive the night. In the process they come to understand each other better. I love these kinds of stories! In the real world, no one is ever just completely evil; they became that way somehow. I love stories that bring some humanity to characters that you previously hated. I have a much deeper appreciation for the character of Agent Kallus now, and I hope that this plot will be revisited in the future. Is it too much to hope that he’ll defect from the Empire and join the rebels? I guess we’ll just have to wait and find out.

On an unrelated note, how cool were the Bonzami? (Thank you Star Wars Wiki for the name.) The Bonzami were the massive creatures inside the cave with Zeb and Kallus. They looked like a cross between some kind of ancient Pterosaur and an iguana, with maybe a bit of Ceratopsid thrown in. I love it when they bring in new creatures, especially when they’re this cool!

Ahsoka

“Shroud of Darkness”

Oh the feels! Ezra meets Yoda face to face (sort of), Kanan becomes a full Jedi, and Ahsoka finally learns the terrible truth about her former master, Anakin Skywalker! When Kanan and Ezra realize they may be putting the rebellion in danger, as the Inquisitors seem to follow them everywhere they go, they take Ahsoka and head back to the Jedi temple on Lothal to seek Yoda for guidance.

Once inside the temple, they are split up and taken to different spiritual visions from the Force. Kanan is taken to a dojo where he duels a Temple Guard who is later revealed to be the late Grand Inquisitor. What? I’m still confused by that one. Anyway, eventually the now good Inquisitor/Temple Guard knights Kanan as a Jedi. Ezra meets Yoda in person, so to speak, and Yoda tells him to seek the planet Malachor. Ahsoka sees a vision of Anakin, who tells her that her leaving him is the reason for his downfall, and he reveals himself to be Darth Vader.

Honestly, there was so much going on in this episode that I wish I had time to do a longer review on it. There is so much that could be discussed, especially the nature of the Temple Guard and why the Inquisitor was there in the first place. He died, still consumed by the Dark Side, at Kanan’s hand. I wouldn’t think there is any coming back from that. I really hope we get some more answers to this one in the future.

Chopper

“The Forgotten Droid”

Well this episode was almost a complete 180 from the last one! After the serious, emotional episode last time I assumed we’d gear up for the finale, with each episode getting darker and darker, but I was so wrong! This episode was nothing like the last one, and I kind of loved it! When it became clear that this episode was going to be all about Chopper, I geared myself up to hate it. Chopper has never been my favorite character and, even though he has shown some character growth, he hasn’t done too much to impress me, until now.

The episode follows Chopper as he steals a replacement leg, and then an entire Imperial cargo ship! During the heist of the leg, he is accidentally left behind on an Imperial base where he steals a cargo ship, makes friends with and then frees an equally cantankerous droid, and saves the Rebel fleet from flying into a trap. I loved everything about this episode, and I really hope Chopper’s new droid friend, AP-5, becomes a regular recurring character. Did anyone else get some serious R2 and 3PO vibes from that last scene? I loved it!

Bugs

“The Mystery of Chopper Base”

This episode follows our crew as they attempt to set up the base suggested by AP-5 in the previous episode. The only problem is, it is swarming with giant, aggressive, spider-like, alien insects! This was a great little alien adventure. It didn’t do much to advance the plot as a whole, but it was a fun episode with a very well designed creature. While the last two episodes are ones I would have loved to go into in a little more detail, this episode was perfect for an article of this kind. It was fun to watch, but does not provide a whole lot to write about. I really enjoyed it, but in a different way than most other episodes.

The only other thing to note about this episode is the fact that Kanan and Ezra are leaving the Ghost crew to join up with Ahsoka for the finale. The final episode is titled “Twilight of the Apprentice,” which has me very apprehensive…

Final Thoughts

This season has been pretty much phenomenal. There were so many great episodes! While I don’t like having to skip out on reviewing them all, I’m glad to be caught up in time for the finale (which I will make time to review).

What are your thoughts on the season so far? What do you think will happen in the finale?

Edited by: Hannah Wilkes

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About Jonathan North

Jonathan North is an advertising and design student at Iowa State University. He has been an animation fan since he was a kid watching Fantasia at his grandparents' house. He is a huge fan of animated television, and his current favorite series’ are Steven Universe and Adventure Time.
  • Leah

    So excited for the finale! But a little scared too… Thanks for all the reviews. I really enjoy them. I’m a full time college student as well so I can completely relate.

  • Rachel Wagner

    Great summary. I’m watching the finale right now. Holy cow!!!

  • If “Legends of the Lasat” is about Zeb tapping into his warrior instincts then “Honorable Ones” is about Zeb as a soldier; one with priorities who sets aside his qualms with Kallus so they can survive. I’m not sure if Kallus is going to be “redeemed” but it does make him a more interesting protagonist. (Good villains are hard to come by!) He’s had a moment of mutual respect for Zeb and knowing this show, it’ll have impact on future episodes. The significance of the unresolved glowing stone also has potential for a story.

    I especially enjoyed watching Kanan’s trial in the temple for “Shroud of Darkness” and his struggles with the Force. The fear of letting go of a loved one is a popular theme in “Star Wars” and Kanan certainly fears losing Ezra to the Dark Side. But he accepts what he cannot change and Kanan progresses into a Jedi Knight. The reveal of the Inquisitor as a former Knight also opens up potential for background stories.