Things got super weird in the latest set of Star Wars Rebels episodes, “Kindred” and “Crawler Commandeers.” Weird in a good way, of course.
Exploring different aspects of the Force has always been my favorite part of Star Wars, and I appreciate the fact that Rebels is continuing that by walking on new territory. After all, there’s a lot pertaining to the Force that we don’t know much about, so every time the writers have a chance to add a new detail—even if it’s somewhat bizarre—I’m always eager to learn more and how it affects the Force sensitive characters in the show.
The second episode, while entertaining, had a few details that bothered me mainly because this isn’t the Ghost crew’s first rodeo, so there were a few mistakes on their part that they could have avoided. More specifically, there were a few things that I wish the writers could have done differently to not make the Ghost crew seem like they were inexperienced with what they were doing. For example, tying up the Captain, not putting him in a room with a vent, etc. That said, I do like how the crawling through the vents reminded me of Ezra in Spark of Rebellion. Zeb locked him up in closet, but Ezra managed to escape through the vents. I appreciate the subtle callbacks to season one, but I still feel like the situation could have been handled more expertly by the Ghost crew.
Here are the things that stood out to me the most from this set of episodes:
Rukh: Rukh has two qualities that I find super fascinating. First, I love his deep and garbled voice and the fact that he’s voiced by Warwick Davis. Second, it was mentioned by Pablo Hidalgo in Rebels Recon that Rukh can smell your lineage and bloodline if you were related to someone. That is such an interesting detail about his species, and I wonder if that will play out somehow at some point during the remaining episodes, especially since there’s a fan theory rolling around about how Kanan might be from Lothal or related to Ezra in some way.
Kanan and Hera: They kissed! While I wish there could have been more signs in past seasons leading up to this moment, I like that the writers made us wait this whole time to confirm their feelings for each other. My personal theory as to why Kanan has been pushing for something to happen stems from what happened on Atollon. He got blown off of his bike during the bombardment and even Hera sounded relieved when she heard that he had survived. I feel like that incident motivated him to actually do something about their relationship, so when Hera kissed him after he approached her in an apologetic way, it didn’t feel like it came out of nowhere. The signs (despite there being a few) were there and it’s been fun trying to string them together. At the end of the day, we know that Hera and Kanan care for each other deeply, so the kiss was just the cherry on top.
Loth-wolves Folding Space: I have to admit. The scene in the caves was a trippy ride, and for a second, I thought I was having an out-of-body experience, but it was truly fascinating. I love it when Star Wars goes to the weirdest places. I don’t like it when a story plays it safe, so when these bizarre elements are introduced, they always have my undivided attention. It reminded me of the Mortis and Yoda episodes in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Those arcs took us into uncharted territory when it came to the Force, so I appreciate the fact that Rebels also went there. It’s funny how we learned something new about the Force, but somehow, we still can’t wrap our heads around it. As for what it ultimately means, I’m not sure. It’s fascinating that these creatures are a focused part of the Force and that they have the ability to fold space and transport themselves over vast distances, but what does Kanan mean when he says that something “sinister” is going on? Many have theorized that Lothal may have the kyber crystals that the Death Star needs, but I get the impression that something more is happening, like Kanan said. I look forward to discovering what that is and how Kanan will play a part.
Kanan’s Purpose: I think it’s brilliant that the white Loth-wolf sought Kanan out because he’s a Jedi. He was knighted in Lothal’s Jedi temple, and since these creatures act through the Force and are part of the Force, I like to think this is the reason why they know Kanan’s real identity. Back in the Kanan comic book series, he said that Caleb Dume had died with Depa Billaba, but that identity will always be part of him. It’ll be interesting to see whether he’ll embrace that part of himself again.
Ezra, Impressions, and Vents: Some of my favorite moments in “Crawler Commanders” involved Ezra, specifically his impersonation of Captain Seevor and the part where he was forced to go through the vents. Voice actors are constantly challenged to alter their voices, so I imagine Taylor Gray had some fun (or stress) in trying to imitate Seth Green’s take of a Trandoshan. The animators also tend to use some of the footage that’s captured during the recording sessions, so I’m curious whether some of the expressions we see Ezra use during that scene came from Taylor. I also like that Ezra’s impersonations have become part of his skillset, even though he’s not particularly good all the time. Something that was part of his skillset when he was younger was navigating through ventilation shafts, and he was quite good at them, especially since it allowed him to escape during sticky situations. I found it humorous when he refused to go through the vents this time around. Ezra is about 17/18 years old, so this is about the age where teenagers start to ignore and let go some of the things they used to do as kids. Despite being a minor moment, I thought the writers did a great job at capturing that sort of teenage mentality.
Captain Seevor’s Comeuppance: While some people felt that Captain Seevor was “only doing his job,” I feel it’s important to stress that he was a slave driver and destroying Lothal for his own gain. Seevor is a great example of the common saying, “What goes around comes around.” He did bad things, so it was only a matter of time before bad things happened to him. Some fans also expressed concern for Ezra because of his “watch out” comment and how it’s some sort of sign pertaining to his “dark side tendencies.” To be honest, his “dark side” was the farthest thing from my mind. On my second viewing, I actually laughed when he said “watch out” after the fact. That, in no way, makes him a dark sider. It just means that he has a dark sense of humor. Something bad happened and it was followed by a hilarious one-liner. Some people thought it was out of character or misplaced, but my close friend reminded me that Ezra has always had that sort of dark humor. Back in season one, in “Fire Across the Galaxy,” Kanan and Ezra had to quickly escape after the Inquisitor accepted defeat and died in a fiery death. Ezra points out that they can take the Inquisitor’s TIE. Kanan questions it and Ezra replies, “Well, we know he’s not gonna use it.” So in the end, Ezra’s “watch out” and pleased smirk doesn’t mean that Ezra’s going to the dark side. And even if he is, I would expect something more profound and noticeable than that to happen.
Time to Strike: Hera’s speech gave me goosebumps. What I loved most about it was that she called the Rebellion out and told them that they’re too afraid to do anything about what’s happening on Lothal. Words can only get you so far and Hera understands that risks have to be made. There is no doubt that this is the moment that solidifies her promotion.
While “Kindred” is clearly the better episode out of the two, since it helped shed more light on how nature and the Force work on Lothal, it was important for the Ghost crew to take over that ore crawler in “Crawler Commandeers” in order to get in touch with Hera, especially since the Ghost crew now need to organize a ground assault. And who knows? With the ore crawler now under the command of Vizago, the massive vehicle might prove useful in a later episode. As we’ve seen in the past, there are no filler episodes. Things have a purpose. We might not see them play out immediately, but they’re put in place so that they have a bigger impact at a later date and time.
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