TWG contributor Elisa and I return to share our fangirl thoughts and impressions about the latest Star Wars Rebels episode, “Idiot’s Array”. Make sure to check out the StarWars.com episode guide to read up on trivia and other intriguing facts.
General Thoughts About the Plot
EA: Well-paced and action-packed with plenty of twists and turns helped make “Idiot’s Array” a highly enjoyable episode. Not only do we get the return of a character we haven’t seen on screen in decades, but we’re introduced to a creepy new villain of an unknown species and a very cute new animal called a Puffer Pig. Also, the wait is over before it even really began and we get to see Ezra use as least one aspect of his newly made weapon! This episode did not at all disappoint, continuing the streak Rebels has had with hitting it out of the park with strong episodes full of story and characterization that leave us wanting more.
JM: The heroes get sidetracked in this latest episode of Star Wars Rebels. Moving away from the immediate issue at hand (fighting against the Empire), most people consider “Idiot’s Array” to be a filler episode, since it’s unrelated to the main plot and doesn’t alter the characters or story in any significant way (as previously seen with Ezra getting his lightsaber). Despite that, the episode introduced a fan favorite character from the old trilogy, Lando Calrissian, and even though the smooth talker didn’t entirely win the crew over, the memorable encounter made for a fun and entertaining episode.
General Thoughts About the Characters
EA: This episode clearly established that Kanan is fully capable of making decisions that end up backfiring in his face. Even though his interactions with Lando get progressively sour as the story goes on due to both his flirting with Hera and taking them through a plan nobody else is in on, it’s Kanan’s interactions with Hera that grabbed my attention the most. Due to choices made about Chopper, Kanan ends up at the center of Hera’s ire on more than one occasion throughout the episode, though thankfully, her disappointment at him is short lived. The interactions between them continue to show just how close the two of them are and how well they do recover from any possible upset that has put them at odds. This strong bond isn’t solely Hera’s, and even though we’ve seen it other times, I think it’s demonstrated well during the final conflict of this episode. Kanan tells Ezra he continues to impress, and that’s something that really sets Kanan apart from other Jedi Masters we’ve known. He’s not reserved and isn’t cryptic or measured when he gives praise. This gives him a well-rounded characterization that’s just as strong as what other Masters have had, but gives him a very individual feel at the same time.
One thing I really do appreciate is that this episode further points out that Kanan isn’t the best at everything. If asked, I’m not sure what I would say Kanan was best at in general, but this episode helps establish that even if Kanan is a Jedi with all of their reflexes and awareness, that he is in fact leagues behind Hera in piloting capabilities.
JM: The things that stood out the most about Kanan in this episode were his reaction towards losing Hera and his growing frustration with Lando. He was obviously not pleased when Lando unexpectedly traded her for his shipment and when he also continually used certain pronouns, like we and our. Over the years, he and Hera found this balance of leadership and Lando easily stepped all over that foundation in this episode. Kanan, like Ezra, didn’t hesitate to voice how much he wanted to get rid of him, but unlike Ezra, he wasn’t jealous. He just didn’t like having someone wedge themselves into the crew and call the shots—a normal and expected reaction from the leader and alpha male in the group. Kanan showed a remarkable amount of restraint when it came to keeping his frustration and anger subdued, but in the end, Lando’s presence helped reaffirm how much he appreciates Hera for all that she does. He’s no pilot and definitely not the voice of reason, demonstrating that Hera is his counterpart in many ways and accomplishing things that he wouldn’t be able to do on his own. Perhaps next time he’ll think twice before betting and falling back on gambling as a source of income.
As for his reaction towards Ezra’s lightsaber, I like that he appeared proud in the moment, despite realizing that his didn’t do that. Ezra’s a smart kid and it’s great to see that being acknowledged through other people’s reactions.
EA: I love Hera and seeing her interact with the crew always makes me happy, and this episode has a lot of those types of interactions. Up to this point, we’ve not really seen Hera be full on unimpressed with someone, though we have seen her attitude turn unfavourable under the right conditions. When it comes to smooth talker Lando, Hera clearly has him all figured out in record time, even if she may not know what his goals are for her and her ship. This episode also gave us a new look at Hera’s quick thinking and her personal fighting abilities. After being left with Azmorigan, who is voiced by the incredible James Hong, Hera shows off her skills when it comes to adapting to an unexpected situation. With a tray in hand, Hera single-handedly gets herself out of the spot she’s found herself in and is able to rejoin her crew.
Hera got a lot of use this episode, and it was great to see her do more than what we normally see from her. Her attitude towards Lando, who is great at manipulation when it comes to other ladies, was fun to see, and I thoroughly enjoyed that she was able to get a low blow on him for what he put her through.
JM: Lando’s charm had no effect on Hera whatsoever. This was her episode to shine as a leader and as someone in control and calling the shots. She knew how to read Lando like a deck of cards and when to tell him to cut the games. Her no-nonsense nature goes down as one of my favorite aspects about this episode, especially when she ended up punching both Kanan for betting Chopper and Lando in response to offering her as a slave. That particular scenario that Lando put her in didn’t visibly affect her or dredge up unwanted memories as one would have expected, since her people are often subjected and forced into slavery. She played the role well and didn’t miss a beat, which brings into question her own past and experiences, a background that continues to elude the audience. We know her to be strong (strongly written) and capable, but a person’s past also says a lot about one’s character. Although Ezra is the focus character and gets most of the character development, it would enrich the story significantly if her past was explores—and not necessarily in the series, but in a comic book or some other medium. She is a splendid character and a brilliant role model for younger children that it’s a shame to see her character remain in the background and get the least amount of attention, especially in marketing.
EA: At first, I was surprised that Chopper didn’t shock Zeb or Kanan at all in this episode for what they did to him. Thinking about it, I realized that can tell volumes of the relationship that Chopper has with the others and how it varies from what he has with Ezra.
I really liked how even if he didn’t exactly do a whole lot this episode, Chopper’s presence was really felt throughout the whole thing. His relationship with Lando especially was a complicated one. For as nice as Chopper was to him, what with getting him a drink and showing him around the ship, we see twice that Chopper had no interest in Lando touching him. The first time takes place in the Ghost. Then, before they depart at the end of the episode, we see Chopper use his arms to push Lando’s away from him again. Chopper’s scenes at the end of this episode were fantastic, though. Not only did he steal a much needed fuel canister for the Ghost, but he was also the winning factor. I can’t ever imagine going back on these words, but seeing Chopper be the hero will never get old to me.
JM: In keeping with gambling terms, Chopper knew how to play the cards right in this episode. Not only was he fully invested in Zeb’s card game, but when he was used as part of the bet, he knew how to stick it to his team. It is through him that we learn the underlying theme of the episode: learn to appreciate one another. Chopper is an essential member of the crew, since he’s the engineer in the Ghost and an integral cog in keeping the ship running at its optimal performance level. Losing him would mean losing the ship and their main mode of transportation, but it also means losing someone who obviously cares for the group. He protected Zeb from Azmorigan and stole a fuel canister from Lando. So despite being discarded like another credit on the gambling table, Chopper remained loyal and aware of what the crew needed to survive for the next mission.
EA: Zeb kicks off our episode with Kanan’s help by losing Chopper in a game of Sabacc. This opening pretty much sets the tone of this highly entertaining episode. He is properly apologetic to Hera about what he’s done, but isn’t about to shoulder all the blame himself and rightfully points Hera at Kanan as well. Excluding the opening scene and the final confrontation, I like how Zeb pretty much had Ezra by his side the whole episode. The pair love getting into trouble equally, and like any trouble that happens around them, they find it together. Zeb’s assurance that he’s not scaring her (the puffer pig) never fails to make me laugh, and I love how he’s later used to scare her again, though for good cause instead of accidental mischief.
Something I really appreciate about Zeb’s character is that even if he is a trained and skilled fighter, that doesn’t mean people can’t sneak up on him. He’s just as perfect and imperfect as everyone else.
And now, a haiku about our favourite Lasat:
Zeb is big and strong
He is tall, purple, and fun
I love him a lot
JM: Zeb’s cockiness got the best of him in this episode. He was so certain that he was going to win the game, that he didn’t stop and think about the only other hand of cards that could beat his own. On top of that, his actions also resemble that of a child looking to cause mischief. He almost comes across as naive and clumsy. I suggested to my Rebels Chat partner that it could be that he didn’t have a childhood. Being that Zeb was part of the Honor Guard, he might have had to suppress childlike urges, and with Ezra at his side, he’s able to express more of that as time goes by. Regardless, he’s a fun character. He’s there to make wild and exaggerative gestures and remarks to strike up laughter in the audience. When teamed up with Ezra, madness will ensue, adding an additional challenge to the plate. It’s also interesting to see how he’s very well aware of Ezra’s crush on Sabine. Like an older brother, he was quietly laughing as he saw the exchange between Ezra and Lando. It makes me wonder if Hera and Kanan are aware of this crush as well, especially Kanan.
EA: While Hera was quickly unimpressed with Lando and his quick talk, Sabine is quite the opposite. During her scene with Lando, we see her smiling and even her brushing her hair back behind her ear. Not only is she happy to hear that Lando likes her art and can actually name an artist that Sabine herself was inspired by, but she’s also clearly enjoying the attention. What she doesn’t enjoy as much is Ezra jumping in and commenting that he told her he liked her art months ago–something that makes her respond a little coolly to the young Jedi in training. The only other time Sabine and Lando interact in this episode actually goes unseen to us. On the other side of the puffed up puffer pig, we can hear Lando offering Sabine money for her art. I really do love how she repeats what he’s said to her, wanting to make sure that what he said was right. What I find most interesting about this interaction is how she says her lines. They’re not cautious but joyful, where you could imagine a smile on her face. It comes across that she’s a little suspicious and not quite trusting of Lando’s comments.
It was during the final fight that Sabine really was able to shine. I adore how fast and lithe she is and how the animation really gets that across. It gives her a very individual feel, especially since the way she moves at times are ways that I’d expect only from a Jedi. I personally loved the shot of her on the roof standing with dual blasters drawn. It’s such an iconic and menacing pose.
JM: Sabine found a kindred spirit in Lando, since they both share a love for art. In the end, she was the only one who wasn’t entirely frustrated with him. She also seemed unusually annoyed by Ezra and his comments, and even though the theme of the episode was about appreciation, she didn’t appear to appreciate Ezra all that much. Her demeanor was vastly different from when she reached out to him and gave him the image of his parents in “Gathering Forces”. That said, she is a teenager. (One day you like the kid, and the other, you can’t stand him.) I just wasn’t particularly happy with how she treated him. I may be biased, however, since Ezra quickly became my favorite character in these past few episodes. She seemed rather distant and cold, which I can understand because I’ve been there with the awkward crushes, but her approach doesn’t sit well with me. She doesn’t have to encourage him, but she also doesn’t have to be standoffish. I look forward to how she’ll handle the crush as time progresses. That said, she did have some brilliant moments during the shoot-out. The image of her standing on the roof and pointing her blasters down at the assailants goes down as one of my favorite shots of her.
EA: This was not a happy day for Ezra. Not only was he called a child that has no experience of the galaxy, but his attempts at not being overlooked when it came to Sabine went just as well as most of Kanan’s plans did in this episode. The scene of Ezra lightly arguing Zeb’s dislike of Lando was sweet, and again, I love that these two are together so often. It seems that off the ship, Zeb is most commonly paired with Sabine, while in the ship during down time, Zeb hangs out with Ezra. The scene that follows that interaction is one that I found to be my favourite in this episode. As if his feelings for her weren’t apparent enough, Ezra didn’t mind Lando at all and, in fact, thought he was nice enough, but how quickly his tune changed once he saw him begin to interact with Sabine. The way he leans forward once their interaction begins and how he remains watchful as the conversation carries out, gives me the impression that he had been eying Lando the whole time. While I’m sure the dislike still would have been there, it makes me wonder if Ezra would have continued to have such a reaction had Lando not called him an uncultured child.
Besides his scenes surrounding Lando and Sabine, we get a very cute scene when we see Ezra use his new weapon. During the final confrontation, and hiding behind a crate with Kanan who is armed with a blaster, Ezra is warned that they don’t use their lightsabers when Kanan catches Ezra with his in hand. After firing off a shot, Kanan is quick to comment that his doesn’t do that and that Ezra continues to impress. Sadly though, the high times for Ezra are fairly short lived. Not only does Lando get a comment from Sabine about his shooting, but during the final scenes of the episode, Ezra reiterates that he’s always appreciated her art, and similar to before, Sabine brushes him off. The animation here is subtle but seeing his smile fade really did break my heart.
JM: The green-eyed Ezra made an appearance in this episode, but before his jealousy over Lando came into play, he was first seen levitating his helmet in the cargo area. It was a short few seconds of him practicing, but it shows how far he’s progressing. From “He’s nice enough” to “I don’t like that guy”, Ezra doesn’t hesitate to show that he has a thing for Sabine…again. It’s adorable and sweet, but most importantly, it’s something that he doesn’t know how to handle. He lets the crush get the best of him, literally getting crushed by the puffer pig later on in the episode in an attempt to get in between her conversation with Lando. As mentioned before, I’m surprised the writers haven’t added a moment with Kanan observing from a distance or imparting a few words of wisdom, like “mind your emotions”. Ezra’s at an age where he sees girls as being pretty, and without proper guidance from his master, he will continue to let his emotions win over him. It once again begs the question: does Kanan even know how Ezra feels towards Sabine? Kanan has had some encounters with women over the years, even getting proposed by one, but there doesn’t seem to be much attention being given to Ezra in that way.
Ezra also showed off a new feature in his lightsaber. A few conversations about how his lightsaber functions cropped up on Tumblr and whether the energy ball came directly from the kyber crystal. As we’ve previously seen in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the crystal has the potential to disintegrate and kill anyone who comes in contact with its beams. However, it was recently explained in Star Wars Insider #154 that Ezra’s blaster only stuns, “Since Ezra is learning he is not as adept at deflecting laser blasts. To counter this he has added a multi function where he can disengage his saber and fire stun blasts at an opponent, allowing him an opportunity to escape.” Though it’s not stated anywhere, I like to think Ezra built his energy slingshot. Even if he didn’t, he made a choice (and the writers made that choice) to use it. And the fact that he built a lightsaber with a stun blaster speaks volumes about his character and the writers. He’s a 15-year-old kid who doesn’t need the weight of having killed someone sitting on his shoulders. He’s a boy looking to do good in the galaxy without harming anyone else in the process. It’s his method of operation: avoid and evade. In fact, he would make a good airbender if he was in the Avatar: The Last Airbender universe. The fact that he relies on those methods doesn’t make him childish, a word that’s often used as an insult. That makes him a strongly written character with morals. (I JUST LOVE EZRA BRIDGER, OKAY!)
EA: Lando Calrissian and Billy Dee Williams were fantastic! Armed with the need to get precious (and probably illegal) cargo past the Empire for his own needs, Lando openly plays with the crew in what are some of the most fun interactions I’ve seen. Just like in the movies, I love what a smooth talker he is, and his interactions with Sabine particularly made me think of Han calling him an old smoothie. It was great seeing him in this episode and watching him slowly manipulate his way into getting what he needed from the crew, before Hera set him straight. By the end of the episode, Lando has all that he’s sought out to get, and I can’t help but wonder if his plans really will work out for him. Considering he’s here on Lothal goes a long way to show two things. One, he’s not yet at Bespin, and two, that he’s nearby for easy story access whenever the time might be right. I’m excited to see if and when Lando comes back into the story, and how he’ll be dragging the crew around when he does.
JM: Lando obviously has to be a jack of all trades, knowing a little bit about everything. He is an appreciator of many things, so the fact that he’s able to strike up a conversation about art or what have you just shows how generally smooth he is when it comes to a variety of subjects. I like that he gave off the same vibe as he did when we first met him in The Empire Strikes Back—the mysterious character with a hidden agenda. Later on, having known Hera for a short time, he knew she was more than capable to handle herself in the situation he tossed her in. In that way, I like that Lando acted as a facilitator for the group, intentionally or unintentionally helping them realize what one crew member meant to the others and vice versa. Did his presence make the galaxy seem too small? Yeah, it did, but at the same time, it’s Lando Calrissian.
One of the reasons he was brought back was to add a bit more diversity into the mix, something I’m thankful they kept in mind. However, that could have easily been done with a brand new character, and thus, expanding upon the small amount of minority characters that currently exist. Regardless, it gives this particular rebel cell one more connection to the Rebel Alliance and characters established in the old trilogy. Lando seemed sure that they would meet again in the future, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he became a recurring character. After all, he is well-versed in the art of smuggling and it could be that the rebels need some help down the line from an old acquaintance.
EA: For me, it has to be the scene of Lando talking to Sabine. Everything from start to finish was perfect to me. I loved the expressions. Billy Dee’s voice acting was perfect, especially with his line after Sabine told Ezra that he didn’t know why he liked her art. I also loved the comparison that Ezra got to Kanan with the line “I know what that means” which he then almost immediately followed up with “What does that mean?” So much characterization was there for all four characters taking place in it.
JM: Ezra shooting his lightsaber blaster for the first time.
EA: I really have nothing to add here.
JM: Yoda was in the previous episode and Lando followed. It would have been great to space out those two major appearances.
EA: To start off, I am so happy that James Hong voiced Azmorigan. He also voiced Endente in the unaired “Crystal Crisis on Utapau” arc from Star Wars: The Clone Wars. He has an incredible and unmistakable voice and plays some of the best villainous and questionable characters I’ve seen in media, so I’m happy that others will be able to enjoy his voicework.
I know time and events take place between what we see in these episodes, and for some of them, a good amount of time is taking place. This still leads me to ask about the green hover bike we see Sabine sitting on in the first scene she appears. We know that it was developed to be Kanan’s bike, but where did it come from? How did they get it? To be honest, I was so consumed with staring at Hera helping stabilize Sabine on the bike that I was absolutely confused with Jo commented on Ezra’s floating helmet. It’s funny what we can notice while completely missing something else.
Staying on Sabine, due to her being the center of attention for a few scenes in this episode, I loved that we were able to see the huge difference between what Sabine does respond to and what she doesn’t. Ezra’s crush on her is as bright as ever, but her answers to him were fairly dismissive, sadly. I get the feeling that she is quite fully aware of his feelings for her and that she is more apt to roll her eyes at him when he displays them than offer him a smile. What with his line about telling her he liked her art months ago, I could see how she’d grow tired of such interactions.
A train of thought I had from this episode came from Chopper. Even in his upset, he didn’t go after Zeb or Kanan for what they’d done with betting him, though he did give Zeb a few good whacks on the leg. I had mentioned before that Chopper would shock anyone who slighted him or just for kicks when it came to Ezra–something I now need to reevaluate. I don’t see Chopper ever shocking Hera or Sabine or even attempt to, but for one reason or another, I never really thought about him legitimately trying to go after Kanan or Zeb. After this episode, even though Chopper ended up being sold like a possession–something Hera is vocally upset about when she clarifies to Kanan that Chopper is part of their crew–Chopper still respects those involved, even if he may be mad at them. It makes me wonder what he needs Ezra to do for that respect to be earned, or if he simply teases Ezra due to him being both the newest and the youngest in the ship.
This episode was great. While others may argue that the scope and scale of Rebels isn’t nearly as grand as The Clone Wars (which often means it’s not as good), I can’t help but disagree. While Rebels is smaller in scale since they’re not going to various planets to help stop a war, I can’t help but feel that had the series been about young Luke growing up on Tatooine and dealing with the life there, that there wouldn’t be as much dislike for it.
Yes, these are all new characters, and even though I also want to know more about what ultimately happened to those whose endings were left open by The Clone Wars, I still fully appreciate and enjoy Rebels for what it is. At the end of the day, these are individuals that have come together, a mixed family trying to save a planet and her people from the Empire while trying to spark something within the population to ask and demand better of the government that controls them.
JM: Needless to say, “Idiot’s Array” was another enjoyable and lighthearted episode. It gave a fair amount of focus to each character, and despite not developing anyone in particular, it established another relationship with a classic character. There were some interesting details that caught my attention, including the green speeder bike, a more comprehensive view of the Ghost, Jaynor of Bith influencing Sabine’s work, Azmorigan’s design based on Ralph McQuarrie’s concept art of Jabba the Hutt, and James Hong returning to voice him.