TWG contributor Elisa and I gathered our thoughts for our review of the latest Star Wars Rebels episode, “Vision of Hope”. Make sure to visit the StarWars.com episode guide for trivia and other information.
General Thoughts About the Plot
EA: “Vision of Hope” is another action-packed episode that leaves you wondering how its repercussions will play out in the future. On top of being able to see an old friend again for what is hopefully not the last time, we also get further insight into Senator Gall Trayvis’ character. We also get to watch as Ezra takes another step forward in his ability to use the Force, even if he ultimately learns a harsh lesson about the vagueness of visions and trusting his feelings.
JM: Our heroes are back in action after they previously got swept off into a side adventure with Lando Calrissian last time we saw them. This time around, the focus falls on Senator Gall Trayvis. Though the episode seemed to be overly predictable to some, it was a game changer in that the rebels lost one significant ally and source of inspiration. In some ways, Trayvis was the face of the beginnings of the rebellion (sort of like Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games series). Everyone who was going against the Empire in some capacity knew his face and aspired to live up to his messages, Ezra being a prime example. As a result, one can’t help but feel the impact of what happened and how the rebels feel like they’re fighting alone once again. The impact would have been more heartfelt, however, if Trayvis had been a closer friend and ally to the rebel crew. If he had, the sting of betrayal would have been far worse. Nevertheless, the episode concludes with a glimmer of hope, proving that even against all odds, hope should never be lost.
General Thoughts About the Characters
EA: Kanan wasn’t the focus of this episode, though he was a driving force during multiple moments. Things start off with him overseeing some of Ezra’s latest training: deflecting blaster bolts. It’s something that anyone with knowledge of Star Wars is surely quite familiar with already. The other role Kanan really fills in this episode is that he acts as a guide to Ezra, reminding him that visions are not literal and can be difficult, if not impossible to figure out. This makes me wonder how many visions Kanan has had in his life, and just how many, if any, he’s properly interpreted. Though I am unsure if it’s real or not, it does make me curious if Kanan ever really did have a vision about Ezra. If so, did he tell anyone else about it? Or did he simply keep it to himself?
Something this episode does that I enjoy is that it showed Kanan not being in charge all the time. While he often does take up that role, it’s a nice change of pace to see him open to someone else’s guidance. Though that is typically Hera, and most commonly on the Ghost, this episode we got a small scene of him being led by another member of the team while fleeing Imperials.
JM: There’s no denying that Kanan isn’t the best teacher in the world. We’ve seen it before. He’s rough around the edges with his lessons and loses patience quickly. As previously stated many times before, he’s still a Padawan in various ways. He’s learning with Ezra, but on a different level. Kanan’s obviously doing his best with the knowledge and experience he possesses, but he’s still lacking and that’s what causes the tension between Master and Padawan. I don’t expect his teaching to change all that much because he knows that Ezra is better at learning the hard way.
As for the “vision” he had about Ezra, it’s difficult to tell whether he was teasing Ezra or whether he was actually being sincere in a sarcastic way. Though it’s not much to go on, Hera’s curiosity about the topic does make me wonder whether he’s had any at all, especially given how far he had strayed away for several years.
EA: Hera was definitely the character most focused on in this episode besides Ezra. One thing I really love about her storylines is that, for as upsetting as a situation may be or for as vulnerable as Hera may end up due to whatever is happening, she never fails to be sharp and aware. The first moment I really caught this was when Hera was listening to Trayvis explain how he’s never been this close to being caught before. Her face says it all, and it continues to show her thoughts clearly through the rest of her interactions with the former senator.
Hera and Ezra have a lot of overlap in this episode and I only mean that in the best of ways possible. Though he’s young and so new to the crew, Ezra’s enthusiasm for hope and trust in Trayvis is mirrored in Hera, even if she is more mature about how she expresses her feelings. It is at the end of the episode, and after the disappointment that their latest mission has put them through, that she and Ezra share a moment together that I really love. And as always, Hera adds in her own two cents, which ultimately lifts the conversation towards renewed hope.
JM: This was another brilliant episode for Hera and her keen senses when it comes to reading people. In the previous episode, we saw how she didn’t fall for Lando’s suave personality, successfully reading through him and cutting right to the chase. Quite observant and strategic, Hera never fails to impress. She picked up on the subtle hints that led her to believe something was amiss with Trayvis’ words and actions. When she confronted him and defended Ezra’s parents, I thought the truth about their fate would finally come out in the open, but it continues to elude us. I find it intriguing that she hasn’t told anyone yet, especially Ezra. It’s as if she wants him to keep the positive memories he has about them rather than tainting those memories with something that could potentially topple him. She is, after all, aware of what happened to him on the asteroid. Maybe she thinks withholding the truth is for his own benefit, which is why she stepped in when she did to speak positively about his parents. Hera’s also remarkably resilient for someone in her line of work. Despite the loss, she still managed to find the hope she often holds onto for the future and becomes that beacon of light for Ezra. Overall, it was also great to see her out and about with the rest of the crew, while also having a central role not only for the story’s progression but for Ezra’s state of mind.
EA: There was a lot to like about this episode, but I LOVED Chopper’s moments the most. Him dispatching the other droid, cutting Kanan off mid-sentence, and his scene with the Stormtroopers all made me laugh. The visual humor that’s often used in Chopper’s scenes never fails to entertain me. It’s quick and cartoony while still seamlessly fitting in with the themes of the show.
Saying that, I have seen a lot of people not so pleased with Chopper in this episode, especially when it came to his actions with the other droid. Over the course of Rebels, I have seen a lot of things said about Chopper, some of them even outright disturbing, and all of which leaves me wondering where certain people have been during the course of the franchise. For this fangirl, nothing Chopper has done has ever struck me as something a droid wouldn’t do.
JM: Chopper, whether you like him or not, provides the slapstick humor in the group. In many ways, he’s more cartoony than the rest (with Zeb coming in at a close second). What I find most humorous of all are people’s reactions towards him and his “murderous” moment, completely forgetting the fact that Star Wars: The Clone Wars was an entire series based on a war with droids. Chopper did what he had to do to get the job done. Did he enjoy doing it? Sure, but so did most clone troopers when they took down droids of their own. If he hadn’t gotten rid of the droid, the two stormtroopers who passed by later on would have noticed the suspicious activity. Speaking of which, talk about not backing down from or being fazed by the enemy. Chopper barely gave it a few seconds before he started undoing the welding job on the sealed door. That is true loyalty and tenacity. Without a doubt, Chopper is fully in control of his actions, not requiring any orders or being told what to do in order to do an efficient job.
EA: Zeb is awesome, and though he wasn’t the focus this episode, the scenes he was in were memorable. I love their sibling relationship and how Zeb is such an older brother to Sabine. Both in how he jokes around with her as a peer and with how he keeps an eye out for her when he needs to. One of my favourite moments of Zeb in this episode has to be when he grabs Sabine and pulls her to safety before an explosion can catch up with her. It again shows just how in sync the two of them are, which is a contrast to how often Zeb can lose sight of Ezra. Something that I really haven’t addressed with Zeb is him being a skeptic in this episode.
In A New Hope, we have the famous line about the Force being an ancient religion and we see characters, like Imperial captains as well as Han Solo, show skepticism at the idea of the Force. Now, while Han may have more of an excuse and believes a little better after he sees it first hand, Zeb seems to fall more towards the Imperial Captains, individuals who surely had seen or at least heard of Vader using the Force before, yet, still decide that it’s not something real. Due to never seeing Zeb tease Kanan about his abilities, it does lead one to wonder if this is yet another example of picking on Ezra due to him being both the youngest and the newest member of the Ghost. Still, any comments he makes about the Force and his expressions when he does see it being used leads me to believe that Zeb is not a true believer, even after seeing it in action. Will there be a moment when he truly believes and no longer questions the Force his teammates use? I don’t know, but I am interested in finding out.
JM: Though fulfilling his role as part of the team’s overall plan, Zeb doesn’t really stand out much in this episode. There was one memorable moment when he caught Sabine before she fell off. He shielded her from the blast and I thought the sequence was beautifully animated. I also found it intriguing that he used the words “precious senator” around Ezra to describe Trayvis. It might have been more to tease Ezra’s growing fascination with the man and his motives, but Zeb, so far, seems to be more interested in carrying out whatever orders he’s given rather than striking up an alliance with people he doesn’t know. There hasn’t been much evidence of that, to be honest, but that’s the impression I get and I look forward to seeing how he’ll interact when other individuals fighting for the same cause begin to show up.
EA: My favourite duo is back! I love just how often I get to see Sabine and Zeb interact and how the two are such old pros when working together. My favourite scenes with Sabine in this episode are when she and Zeb are up in the rafters and are getting the jump on Kallus and the troopers after they’ve caught Kanan and the others. I love how often we’re shown her skills and just how quick thinking and strategic she is. The other scenes I really liked of Sabine were the ones taking place in the sewers, especially when she was in the lead of getting Zeb, Kanan, and herself to the others. There haven’t been a lot of times we’ve seen Kanan interacting strictly with Sabine in a situation that isn’t in the Ghost, and I appreciate finally having one.
I always love the banter and back and forth this series has between its characters, and this episode doesn’t disappoint at all on that front. I enjoyed the interactions Sabine had with Ezra and the comments she made to him are a sharp contrast to how she interacted with him last episode. I’m also curious what she means exactly when she mentions in the sewers that she can smell him. There is a lot of tech that’s been known to be inside of Mandalorian armour, especially when the user has modified it to their liking. I know that these were probably throwaway comments, but due to them appearing more than once in this episode, I wonder if this tidbit of information will become important or brought up again later on.
JM: Like Zeb, Sabine offered much of the sharp shooting and explosive backup in this episode. She didn’t have all that much to say, but I did appreciate the fact that she and Kanan got to work together, since she’s almost always paired up with Zeb. Kanan recruited her and brought her on board the Ghost, so it’d be fascinating to see more interactions between the two, especially when working side by side.
EA: The other focus character in this episode, Ezra has unlimited amounts of hope and optimism, even when he assures others that he knows to not get ahead of himself, which is something he still needs some good practice at. This is also another episode where we get to see Ezra further train his Force abilities. So far, we’ve seen quick and steady growth when it comes to his powers, which makes me all the more curious how far Ezra will go before the series finishes. Eventually his training, at least how we currently see it, will come to an end. For now, and however much farther he has to go until we’re past that point, we get to see Ezra continue to hone his skills. Even if that means his friends get to shoot at him in what was a very enjoyable opening scene.
To touch upon a scene later in the episode, I was actually sort of expecting something to happen, and the fact that it didn’t was a little surprising to me. I am probably the only one, but I was fully expecting Ezra to retaliate against Trayvis while Hera was giving him her speech about hope and fighting the good fight. Losing Trayvis as the icon of good that Ezra had elevated him to was clearly a hard blow. Even more so due to him knowing this man knew his parents and having had such excitement over that fact before he experienced it outside of his vision. Though, even if Ezra didn’t do anything to Trayvis, the final look he gave him said a lot. I don’t think we’ve seen Ezra give such an adult expression to someone before. The look is also a sharp contrast compared to the cute puffy cheeked expressions Ezra was making earlier in the episode when he was being teased.
JM: The young and naive Ezra, always looking to improve and to do good. It hurt me that his heart was in the right place, but the person he thought he could trust let him down, especially when he had compared that person to his parents. His progression from a kid who only thought about himself to someone who sacrifices himself to get intel and save someone else’s life in order to preserve their voice of freedom is one of my favorite things about the series. As seen during his training toward the beginning of the episode, he doesn’t easily give up (unlike Luke in The Empire Strikes Back). Ezra manages to stay mostly positive during his training sessions, which demonstrates his strength of character. His eagerness to follow in his parents’ footsteps and carry out their legacy in some way, shape or form simply warms my heart. I was worried, though, when Trayvis revealed his true colors because I didn’t know how Ezra would handle it. Given what happened on the asteroid, I thought Trayvis’ betrayal would have rekindled whatever anger or hate still lingered inside of him. His mean glare towards the senator definitely left the impression that what had happened wouldn’t leave him anytime soon.
Briefly going back to beginning, it was quite impressive that he hit the target during his training session as a result of being consumed by his vision. He made himself vulnerable, and through that, he exhibited great power sans control. It’s unsettling because he could potentially lose himself again and hurt someone in the process. This is the second time he loses control, the first being on the asteroid, so I’m curious as to how this will be addressed later on in the series. It’s important for him to hone in on his skills and gain control. Otherwise, he’s just as dangerous as the people he’s fighting against. It’s also interesting to note the fact that both he and Ahsoka had visions during the early stages of their training.
EA: While I was fully prepared for him to be a bad guy, by the time we got to the point of his betrayal in the episode, I couldn’t help but hope that it wasn’t going to be the case. When Hera give him her gun, however, I had a mix of apprehension that he was about to shoot someone in the back and excitement at the idea that he was going to find out rather quickly that it wasn’t “loaded”, like what we saw in The Clone Wars, when Rex and Cody allowed traitor Slick to pick up a powerless blaster.
Hearing him break down how exactly he’d never been found out by other rebels and ousted as a traitor makes me wonder how many people have fallen into his trap and how many have had the “accidents” he mentions. And though the Ghost crew does not look like it will be one such group, I do believe that of all the members of the crew, Gall has most to worry about Ezra the most. Not only did he betray Ezra, but he also spoke ill of his parents and used them and their disappearance as a weapon to hurt him. I am excited to see how this will all branch out in future episodes. I also can’t help but feel excited about what may happen the next time Gall Trayvis runs into Ezra and what his story will be like from here on out.
JM: The most awesome thing about Gall Trayvis is the fact that he’s voiced by Brent Spiner, who is most commonly known as Data from Star Trek. We didn’t know much about him to actually feel some sort of connection. Whatever connection the audience may have felt happened through the emotions and reactions of Hera and Ezra. He proved to be just another pawn in the Empire’s grand scheme of ruling the galaxy. Looking back, it seems more obvious now that he wasn’t the genuine thing, since Bail Organa is clearly operating at this time and he goes about his operations surreptitiously. Gall Trayvis was the complete opposite, and though it may have been obvious to some, I (like Hera and Ezra) still had some hope that he was on their side. His act of betrayal will certainly make the rebels think twice before striking up any alliances in the future.
EA: For as much as I loved Chopper’s scenes in this episode, I think I really have to go with Kallus and the troopers surrounding Kanan, Hera, Ezra and Trayvis. Hearing him say “Padawan Jabba” without any hint of humor had me rolling. David Oyelowo has a fantastic voice and his delivery of that line was gold.
JM: Seeing Zare again. He’s an awesome character and it’s so sad that he didn’t get to learn Ezra’s real name. However, the future Servants of the Empire books may explore this detail and I look forward to seeing him again.
EA: I am still very much disliking the utter lack of female troopers. How hard is it to have a woman voice one? The longer they continue to not include one, the stranger it’s going to be when one finally appears.
JM: I disliked the fact that we didn’t know much about Gall Trayvis personally to feel betrayed. I felt betrayed through the rebels’ reactions, but it would have caused more of an impact if the audience had known him more as a leader and a freedom fighter.
EA: We were able to see Sabine have a fair amount of interactions with Ezra in this episode, all of which were a lot different from what we saw in the previous episode “Idiot’s Array”. Unlike last episode, Sabine was amused by Ezra and even teased him in return. I love seeing these interactions and not solely because I would be okay if they eventually got together. Out of the whole crew, Sabine and Ezra seem to be the only two that have any sort of uneven relationship where one is still trying to find their ground with the other, and that does include Ezra and Chopper. Even if this does fall more squarely on Ezra, due to having an infatuation with Sabine and also being younger, the dynamic the two share is constantly in flux. This furthers my feelings that something is going to happen. Either the two will be stranded and have to rely on one another to get out of a nasty situation, or Sabine will give Ezra a stern talking, because at this point, I’m not getting any indication from the show that growth of any kind in any particular direction is happening between them.
In his brief scene, Zare mentions that he is being transferred off world, and though I knew going in that he wasn’t going to be constantly appearing, it does make me hope that he isn’t gone forever. I’m quite invested in his search for his sister and finding out what happened to her. And while I can hope that this isn’t the last we see of Zare in the television series, I really hope we get more content about him in either book or comic format.
And finally, I am going to need a really good explanation as to why Hera hasn’t told Ezra anything about his parents. She was right beside him when Trayvis told Ezra that they were gone, and though I wouldn’t expect her to take Ezra aside right then to explain anything to him, I can’t help but feel that the two of them sitting on the ramp together would have been a good time for her to talk to him.
I can only speculate, but until proven otherwise, I’m going to go ahead and think that it’s Kanan’s doing. Meaning, that he told Hera not to tell Ezra what she knew, and Hera is trusting Kanan’s instincts about it, no questions asked. This is taking into consideration the fact that he’d taken her aside to talk to her about Ezra using the dark side before she was able to explain to him the truth. I still am going to need an answer on that though, even if it is only Kanan saying that he hadn’t felt Ezra was ready.
JM: “Vision of Hope” was ultimately about testing trust and hope itself. Ezra and Hera trusted Gall Trayvis the most and that didn’t work out for them, but it didn’t crush their hopes entirely. They bounced back from the incident and continued to place hope in the future and that all would turn out well eventually. A few other details that I enjoyed about this episode include Zare’s appearance and the latest news he had to share, Agent Kallus and Maketh Tua working together to wrangle up the rebels, and the team training with Ezra. All in all, “Vision of Hope” was a vision of awesome, to put it plainly.