“Stealth Strike” is another solid entry in the Rebels storyline. What at first seems to be another Ezra focused episode quickly gives way to a story that is focused mainly on the relationship between Kanan and Rex, and the friction that continues to exist between them.
We open in hyperspace. Ezra has joined Commander Sato on a mission to the Del Zennis system to investigate the disappearance of one of their patrols. As they make their way through the emptiness of hyperspace Ezra senses something bad coming. They are suddenly pulled out of hyperspace and are directly underneath what appears to be a Star Destroyer. Commander Sato tells Ezra it is not a Star Destroyer and tries to radio the Ghost, but power to the ship is cut before he can finish the transmission.
The Ghost gets half the transmission, which is enough to tell them that the ship was lost when it was pulled out of hyperspace. While the others don’t know of anything capable of tracking a ship through hyperspace in order to lock on and pull it out, Sabine tells them that she saw that the empire develop a ship with a gravity well – something strong enough to pull a ship out of hyperspace without targeting it – during her time at the academy. Suspecting that the ship is still in the testing phase, she suggests that they will still find it in the direct vicinity of where they lost the commander’s signal. Knowing that Ezra and the Commander’s crew will be captured, Hera sends Kanan and Rex to find them (as they are the best suited to impersonate stormtroopers). Kanan is not too happy about this arrangement, as he still has yet to fully accept the former Clone Trooper as one of their own.
Meanwhile, the other group is indeed captured. While being led to meet Admiral Titus, Ezra tells Commander Sato that he’ll get them out of this; he’s been captured many times before. This is not exactly comforting news, but Ezra insists that he escaped a lot too. When they are brought before Admiral Titus, Titus tells them he was the one who captured their missing patrol; it was a trap for the rebellion, but he never imagined he’d succeed in capturing someone as significant as Commander Sato. He’s quite happy to have captured Ezra as well, and tells him he knows that Agent Kallus will be pleased to hear about this.
As they prepare to leave Kanan bickers with Rex, asking him how he can be sure he won’t forget whose side they’re on once they’re inside the Empire’s ship. Hera stops their quarrel and tells them that once they’re in, they’re to signal her so she can come in with the Phoenix Squadron and blast them all out.
The two, dressed as stormtroopers, board a stolen Imperial shuttle along with Chopper, who is painted to look like an Imperial droid, and set out for the location of Commander Sato’s last signal. Once they reach this point they emerge from hyperspace and find themselves not far from the ship. The Empire immediately contacts them, and Rex manages to bluff his way on board using his extensive knowledge of the Empire’s codes.
Inside, Admiral Titus contacts Agent Kallus, who is predictably pleased that Ezra Bridger is finally captured. He tells Admiral Titus to lock him in a secure cell under triple guard, but Titus seems to think that such extreme measures are unnecessary for someone who is only a child. Kallus tells Titus not to underestimate Ezra, but Titus tells him that the Imperial navy is more than a match for one boy. “We shall see,” Kallus replies, “I’m on my way.”
Once inside the ship, Kanan uses the force to get past the guards and has Chopper find Ezra and the crew. Chopper logs into the computer and discovers that Ezra has been transferred to a secure cell. The trio immediately head for the detention block.
As Ezra is transferred he handily escapes his captors, locking them in an empty cell. As he runs away, he shoots down two more stormtroopers, with the stun gun on his lightsaber, only to realize too late that they are actually Kanan and Rex. When they finally fully regain their senses Ezra tries to pretend like they got ambushed, but Chopper rats him out.
Kanan is furious, but Rex thinks it’s funny, causing another argument. Ezra is frustrated with their fighting, and tells them to break out Sato and the crew while he sabotages the ship. Kanan isn’t having any of this, which starts yet another argument with Rex. Rex agrees with Ezra that the ship must be destroyed. Ezra breaks in and tells them that part of the reason he volunteered for the mission was to get away from their arguing. He walks away telling them he and Chopper will meet at Sato’s ship.
Meanwhile, Admiral Titus has been informed that Ezra has escaped. Titus orders that everyone be on the lookout for him and that he be eliminated. He does not want to prove Agent Kallus right.
As the ship goes into high alert, Kanan and Rex have to figure out how to get past a small team of stormtroopers. Kanan rejects Rex’s offer to bluff their way past and decides on a direct approach, blasting his way through.
Ezra and Chopper make their way to the reactor core where Chopper tells Ezra he has a plan, a plan that involves Ezra acting as bait. Ezra agrees, as the Empire seems to always ignore droids anyway. He gets in and draws the attention of everyone working in the room. As they begin firing at him, Chopper sneaks in and turns off the gravity. As everyone floats helplessly in the air, Chopper sabotages the system and then turns the gravity back on. This action causes the crew to plummet downwards, while Ezra holds on to a walkway.
Back at the detention block Kanan and Rex work together, while still doing a fair bit of arguing, to free Commander Sato and the crew. Once they are free Commander Sato seems shocked to learn the Ezra escaped on his own.
As they escape, they get a call from Ezra, and Kanan tells him that they are headed for Sato’s ship. They are still under heavy fire, though, and Rex, who tells Kanan that he’s too old for all this running, insists that he get everyone else out. Kanan angrily tells him to stop trying to impress him, but Rex tells him that he’s not trying to impress him and that he’ll meet him back at the ship. Rex shoves Kanan through a door and closes it behind him. As soon as he’s alone he charges the stormtroopers and is easily taken down.
Rex is taken before Admiral Titus, who recognizes him as a clone trooper. He tells him that he’ll get him immunity, as well as reinstatement at an Imperial training academy, if he surrenders his compatriots. Rex refuses and is immediately tortured by an interrogator droid.
As the rest of the rebels escape, Kanan, who senses Rex’s pain, tells Ezra to get Sato and the crew to the blockade runner. He’s going back for his friend. As Kanan charges back Ezra leads the rest of the rebels, easily taking out most of the stormtroopers on his own.
Kanan makes his way into the interrogation room, shoots down the droid, and takes out the other stormtroopers while Admiral Titus flees the scene. “Nice to know you care,” Rex tells him. The two race out of the room, while Kanan calls Ezra to have him tell Sato to take off. They have another way out. They climb into an escape pod and shoot themselves out into space.
As Sato’s ship takes off, Admiral Titus orders that his men prepare the gravity wells. The rebels try to jump into hyperspace, but they are pulled back in. Ezra demands to know if Chopper sabotaged it, but he simply tells him to wait. Suddenly they realize that the ship isn’t pulling just them in, it’s pulling everything around them in. As all their ships collide into them, the main ship implodes, and the Rebels make their jump.
In the aftermath, an Imperial shuttle arrives on the scene; it’s Agent Kallus. They find a lone escape pod containing Admiral Titus. “Had some problems with the boy, I see,” Kallus says. Titus can do nothing but look furious and chagrinned.
Back onboard Sato’s ship, he thanks Kanan, Rex, and Ezra. Ezra tells Kanan and Rex that they make a great team – when they’re not fighting each other. They reluctantly agree, and Rex stumbles through an attempt to thank Kanan for coming back for him. Kanan accepts it and, as Rex leaves, Kanan calls him and salutes him. Rex looks momentarily shocked, and then returns the salute.
“Stealth Strike” was a pretty good episode. While it definitely won’t end up on anyone’s top ten list, it was still a solid episode, with some much needed character development from both Kanan and Rex.
To me, the shtick of having Kanan and Rex at each other’s throats all the time was getting a little old. I completely understand Kanan’s reluctance to accept him into their circle. The clones, while at one time one of the biggest allies of the Jedi, did horribly and unforgivably betray them. While those of us who watch the Clone Wars series know the truth, they were brainwashed into doing so and had no control over their actions, the average citizen of the Star Wars universe is not going to know that. And, if they did, they may not believe it; so I get why Kanan wouldn’t want anything to do with Rex. However, he’s been through enough with Rex that you’d think he’d have learned he could trust him by now. Hopefully after the events of this episode he’ll be able to completely move on and get past this. His salute at the end seems to hint that his animosity is behind him.
While I have said before that I am not the biggest Ezra fan, I’ve said this when the show seems to focus on him too much. This episode started out seemingly as an Ezra-centric episode, but it moved on pretty quickly and, when it did focus on Ezra, it wasn’t all about him. And I really appreciated that.
I actually really liked Ezra in this episode and I hope that this is the way he’ll be used from now on. He was funny, useful, and he didn’t seem to be there as a way to draw in the kid audience, which is the vibe I’ve always gotten from him. I don’t think kids need to be pandered to with characters their own age; so if they’re going to have a kid character, I want there to be more reason for them to exist than to be just a reference point for a younger audience.
As a kid I watched Batman: The Animated Series, as well as Superman, and neither of them had unnecessary kids as main characters. They didn’t need to. The shows were good enough, and kids loved them anyway. It’s too late for Rebels to not have a kid for a main character, but – since Ezra is already here – I hope they continue to develop him and make him someone we all can love. I’m quite pleased that they seem to be working toward that.
While this definitely wasn’t one of my favorite episodes, it was not bad and I was very happy to see not only some much needed character development, but to have Ezra in a story that makes perfect sense for him to be involved in. It was a good, average episode.
What did you think of this episode? Were you glad to see a resolution between Kanan and Rex?
Edited by: Hannah Wilkes