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“The Antilles Extraction” ‘Star Wars Rebels’ S03E03 Review

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The great episodes just keep on coming! In “The Antilles Extraction,” we get a Sabine focused story, we are introduced to a new character that has taken on the name “Fulcrum,” and we meet a character from the original trilogy!

Story

We open on a Rebel crew in the middle of a supply run to the planet Teralov. The crew is in a transport ship escorted by six A-wings. Unfortunately, the mission fails badly, and the A-wings are all destroyed by a squad of TIE fighters led by Captain Vult Skerris. Despite the pilot of the transport’s offer of surrender, the crew on board the transport are also killed.

Back at the Chopper Base on Atollon, the Ghost crew are briefed about the loss of the six A-Wings, and they discuss the declining number of pilots. Commander Sato tells them that he has been working on a solution to this problem with Fulcrum. Ezra wonders if this means that Ahsoka is still alive, as that was Ahsoka’s code name before she joined the Ghost crew. Hera explains the name is just a code name given to the rebellion’s informants, dashing Ezra’s hope. The name was Ahsoka’s idea, but there are now other agents using the name.

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Fulcrum contacts the crew via hologram, though we never see a face and the voice sounds modified, and tells them he or she has information regarding Imperial cadets at the Empire’s Skystrike Academy who are wishing to defect to the rebellion. These would be trained pilots, pilots able to help fill out their dwindling numbers, but they need help to escape the academy before they are discovered. Hera promptly assigns Sabine to the mission, as she is the least likely to be recognized, and has Ezra and Kanan on standby to extract them once they’re free.

Sabine infiltrates the Skystrike Academy by posing a cadet. Once inside she meets a young cadet named Wedge who displays signs of not being completely loyal to the Empire. During a simulation modeled similarly to the destruction of the relief mission to Taralov, and led by Captain Skerris himself, Sabine hesitates to kill the surrendering pilot and Wedge is sympathetic. She later sees him talking quietly to two other cadets and pulls him aside to tell him that she is from the rebellion. She asks if he’s ever thought of getting out. Wedge is excited to hear that the Rebels got his message and tells her that there are others, and they all want out. Sabine tells him to get them ready, they need to leave as soon as possible.

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Meanwhile, Governor Pryce and Agent Kallus have arrived at the academy. They are there to investigate the rumors that there are cadets planning to defect to the rebellion. Kallus seems to think that there is nothing going on, but Pryce decides that sending the cadets into space might be a good way to flush out the defectors.

As they prepare to board their TIE fighters Wedge introduces Sabine to Hobbie and Rake, the two friends he’d been talking with earlier. The three of them all want out. Sabine tells them that there is a Rebel ship waiting for them nearby, they just need to follow her lead. Once they are out in space, Ezra and Kanan come out of hyperspace, and Sabine and the three defectors all fly toward the ship. Pryce orders the four TIE fighters to return, but Sabine refuses, causing Pryce to remotely shut down their ships. They’re sitting ducks, and Pryce orders one of them to be killed. Rake’s ship is destroyed and Sabine orders Ezra to abort the mission. Ezra refuses, but Kanan tells him they have no other choice. They flee into hyperspace, while Sabine, Wedge, and Hobbie are captured.

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Pryce separates them and prepares to interrogate Sabine, but, thanks to her Mandalorian training, she easily overpowers the Stormtroopers escorting her, and knocks Pryce out using her own interrogation machine. She quickly frees Wedge and Hobbie, but as they are making their escape, they are stopped by Agent Kallus. Kallus tells them avoid levels three through five, and to get to hanger 24, which is their best possibility for escape. When Sabine asks why they should trust him, he tells her to “Tell Garazeb Orrelios, we’re even.”

The three manage to escape in a TIE bomber and narrowly escape being shot down by Captain Skerris, just as Ezra and Kanan arrive to rescue them. They stuck around, just in case. Back at the base Sabine introduces the new pilots to Commander Sato, who welcomes them to the rebellion.

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Final Thoughts

I really liked this episode. I loved the introduction to Wedge Antilles, and I really hope that this leads to further tie-ins to the original trilogy. Maybe eventually even Luke? That one’s probably a long shot, but one can always hope. Incidentally, it might interest you to know that Wedge was played by Nathan Kress, who is probably best known for playing Freddie Benson on iCarly.

I also really liked the call-back to last season’s episode “The Honorable Ones” in which Zeb and Kallus forged an unlikely alliance. When Kallus helped them escape, I was sure that it was because he just can’t stand Pryce and really wanted her to look bad, but I was pleasantly surprised to be wrong. I mean, I’d also have enjoyed an underhanded political motivation, but I liked the call-back even more.

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My biggest question from this episode was, “Who is Fulcrum?” This was one of the underlying questions during season one, but it’s back! Fulcrum was eventually revealed to be Ahsoka Tano undercover, but who is it this time? And why hasn’t Hera mentioned this practice of giving multiple agents the same name before? Is there currently more than one Fulcrum, or is the name passed on as each Fulcrum is revealed or killed? Is the identity of this Fulcrum important? If Fulcrum continues to contact them, will it be the same individual?

My irrational conspiracy senses, (and my wildest hopes), make me wonder (and hope) that Fulcrum is indeed still Ahsoka. Perhaps that was a cover story that she and Hera thought up so that she could go back undercover. I am still relatively sure that Ahsoka is still alive, but I can’t imagine that she’d still be hiding out on Malachor. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

What did you think of this episode? What are your thoughts on the Fulcrum Mystery? Do you think it’s even important?

Edited by: Hannah Wilkes

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About Jonathan North

Jonathan North is writer, photographer, video editor, and animation fan from Iowa. He studied advertising and design at Iowa State University, and also has degrees in multimedia and art. His favorite movie is Fantasia, and his favorite cartoon is Gravity Falls. Or maybe Steven Universe. He can’t decide. You can find more of his work on his blog, as well as his YouTube channel, where he reviews all manner things, including (almost) every version ever of Alice in Wonderland. His favorites are the 1999 version starring Tina Majorino, and of course, the 1951 Disney version. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr, @jonjnorth.
  • I doubt Ahsoka is alive but suspect her character will be back in “Rebels” as a spirit/Force-driven embodiment, similar to Obi-Wan contacting Luke in “Empire Strikes Back”. Some people suspect the new Fulcrum is Kallus. While he does let Sabine escape in this episode, I don’t think he’s motivated to deflect just yet. His motivation to even the score with Zeb is logical but I do think part of it is Kallus disagreeing with Pryce’s methods, not just because Kallus despises her as a character or sees her as a rival.

    The first part of this episode felt slow to me but the second half excited things up, especially when we got to see Sabine in all of her Mandalorian glory defeat Pryce in a fist-fight!

    • I sincerely hope you’re wrong about Ahsoka, I would hate for that to be the last we see of her, but if she is dead, having her return as a Force-Ghost would be the next best thing to actually having her there in person.

      I love the Kallus=Fulcrum theory! I hadn’t heard that before, but I am always a bit behind in my viewing, so I stay away from most fan discussion. I would love to see him defect from the Empire!

      And yes, Sabine’s fight at the end was so awesome. Loved it. 🙂