From a young girl hiding underground during a Separatist invasion to ace pilot and Phoenix Leader, Hera Syndulla is one of the most valuable characters in the growing rebellion against the Empire. In fact, she’s currently leading a StarWars.com poll for MVP of the Ghost crew with 32 percent. When it comes down to it, without Hera, there would be no Ghost crew. Kanan would be off on his own, Ezra would have continued rummaging through the streets of Lothal, Zeb would have no support system following the devastation of Lasan, Sabine would be a wandering Mandalorian with no allegiance, and Chopper would have been left behind as scrap pile during the Clone War. She is really the glue that brought and keeps the crew together.
In season two, we discovered more about Hera’s past and saw parts of her that we never knew existed, but what were some other memorable moments from our favorite Twi’lek pilot?
Escaping Vader’s Grip (“Siege of Lothal”)
Vader single-handedly wiped out a squadron of rebel pilots and Phoenix Home, reminding fans that his skills as a pilot still ring true years after his fall to the dark side. There was still one ship, however, that kept slipping from his grasp–the Ghost. With all the commotion that was going on in the cockpit, Hera expertly swerved and maneuvered her way around. Of course, the best part was when she was one step ahead of Vader, waiting for the precise moment to jump into hyperspace and leaving him stuck between the tractor beams of the two Star Destroyers. Now that is one hell of a pilot!
Taking Flight (“Wings of the Master”)
For some, finding a place in life isn’t as easy as one would expect. It can take years to find a passion in life, but for Hera, she found hers in the sky at a young age. So when she took to the clouds in Quarrie’s prototype ship, she was back in her element doing what she does best. No one could have flown that ship better than Hera and she proved that when she went soaring through the harsh environment. Han Solo may have a fast ship, but until we can see him perform those same skills in a different ship, Hera will be my favorite pilot because she’s proven that she can handle any vessel with great skill. And that is what makes a great pilot.
Promoted to Phoenix Leader (“Wings of the Master”)
Hera being recognized for her valiant efforts and being promoted to Phoenix Leader will always be a favorite moment of mine, especially when she returned the salute to the members of her crew. Some people think Kanan shouldn’t have been the one to recommend her Sato and that Sato should have done the promotion sans Kanan’s help. Honestly, it doesn’t matter to me because when it comes down to it, Kanan and Hera know each other best. He was looking out for her the same way she would look out for him. Hera deserves to be part of the rebellion in a more official capacity, and if Kanan had to point it out to Sato, then I’m all for it because that’s what friends do. So this moment is not only highlighting the fact that Hera plays an integral role in the rebellion, but it also shows how deep her relationship goes with Kanan and how they know each other’s strengths and weaknesses better than their own.
Switching accents (“Homecoming”)
When you have a parent on your back telling you that what you believe in is wrong, things are bound to go the wrong way–fast. So when Cham Syndulla, her estranged father, came into Hera’s room and told her just that, most people will agree that hearing Hera transition back to her childhood accent is one of the best scenes of the second season. It was both unexpected and brilliant, adding another layer to her character in a unique way. Vanessa Marshall did an exceptional job, as always, and she (and the animators) captured Hera’s frustration and anger perfectly. As someone who originally spoke Spanish growing up, I know what it’s like to fall back into a Spanish accent, especially when emotions are high and all over the place, so that scene was beyond accurate and much appreciated.
Watching the Purrgil Jump (“The Call”)
Hera had her reasons to fear and feel wary towards the Purrgil. She had heard horrible stories of how the giant creatures caused numerous deaths out in deep space, and she had even lost some friends close to her because of them. Before those experiences, however, she was told at a young age amazing stories of how the Purrgil traveled between the worlds and how they inspired pilots to jump from system to system. Her views of the Purrgil became tarnished over the years and she believed those stories less and less. Throughout the episode, Ezra helped her and the others see that the Purrgil were harmless creatures just going about their way, and that sometimes, it helps to go with nature and not against it. So when the Purrgil began to jump into hyperspace, I love how her belief in those old stories were restored.
“How about we follow the Purrgil,” she said, having seen the lumbering creatures in a whole new light. Hera can be as stubborn as her droid, so it was great to see her change her mind about them, especially when people have a tendency to keep a one-track mind. She’s not like most people, however, and that is what makes Hera an awesome character.
Have a favorite Hera moment from season two you’d like to share? Write it in the comments below.