Star Wars: Rebels (2015/2016) – The Future of the Force, Legacy, and A Princess on Lothal

Bill Wolkoff plunges Kanan (Freddie Prinze jr.), Ezra (Taylor Gray) and the Ghost crew into trouble in The Future of the Force, an episode which first aired on 2 December, 2015. The jedi and padawan are sent to investigate a plot by the Empire that involves them sending out Inquisitors. including Sarah Michelle Gellar’s Seventh Sister, to capture Force-sensitive children.

What follows is a chase through a strange city with the young children being the ultimate goal on both sides. Rescuing the children will Kanan, Ezra, Zeb (Steve Blum) and their droid Chopper be able to get away before the fist of the Empire comes down on them?

Happily, Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein) lends a hand as well with her white lightsabers, symbolically showing allegiance to neither Jedi nor Sith, and shows that she is just as powerful, if not more so, than she was when she was in her training. She’s still unsure of who the Sith Lord is, though she knows his name is Vader, and that he is a fortress all his own on Mustafar.

You know that showdown when it happens is going to be brutal and heartbreaking…

And just when you think that our heroes get away clean, we’re reminded that the Seventh Sister and the Fifth Brother (Philip Anthony-Rodriguez) have a piece of tactical information that will serve them well. They now know where the Ghost crew’s rebel base is.

The episode also features some nice nods to Ralph McQuarrie’s art and the George Lucas fantasy film, Willow, while incorporating sights and sounds that are familiar to Star Wars fans the world over.

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Legacy was penned by Henry Gilroy and first debuted on 9 December, 2015. As the Empire launches an attack on the rebel base, Ezra begins to learn more about his lost parents.

He is having visions of his parents in an Imperial cell, and a loth-cat, leading him home to Lothal. But before the Ghost can get there, they’re going to have to survive a devastating Imperial attack.

While Kanan, Ezra and Chopper escape in the Phantom, Hera (Vanessa Marshall) leads an counter assault with the Ghost. A fantastic sequence that shows an aerial battle in a planet’s atmosphere with lots of star destroyers

There are lots of action beats in this episode, and Kevin Kiner makes great use of familiar John Williams’ cues and his own work on the score as things escalate for all parties involved.

Ezra’s visions lead him to Ryder Azadi (Clancy Brown) who is an escaped prisoner, and previous governor of Lothal, and he knew Ezra’s parents, and gives Ezra the news that his parents have died, but not until after they heard his rebel broadcast.

And despite the pain of losing his parents, the story gives him a nice bit of emotional resolution for Ezra, and gives him a little solace. It’s a nice and gentle touch.

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A Princess on Lothal written by Steven Melching, and first airing on 20 January, 2016, brings another familiar face from the Skywalker Saga to the show. Princess Leia Organa (Julie Dolan) appears!

Leia arrives on Lothal at the behest of her father, Bail, to help the rebellion secure more ships for their fleet. Unfortunately when the Empire arrives to lockdown the Lothal, Kanan, Ezra, and the Princess will have to come up with a new plan.

Leia looks great in this episode, her character design and colours tying in with the Tantive IV as seen in Revenge of the Sith, and there are just little movements, and motions that just feel like our beloved Princess. The series creators did it right here.

Through it all, Ezra is still processing the loss of his parents.

But the viewer is delivered an action packed episode that sees Leia working covertly with rebels (the Ghost crew all working together) as they ‘steal’ her ships that are under Imperial protection, and Ryder finds his way back into the fight.

Throw in a couple of AT-ATs and a jedi knowing how to take them down with a lightsaber, and you have a great episode!

The battle continues in a galaxy far, far away next week with another trio of episodes from Star Wars: Rebels. Until then, may the Force be with you…

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