Star Wars: Rebels (2016) – Homecoming, The Honorable Ones, and Shroud of Darkness

Hera (Vanessa Marshall) heads back to her home world of Ryloth with the Ghost crew in Homecoming. Steven Melching penned this episode which first debuted on 17 February, 2016.

Arriving home leads to the inevitable confrontation with Hera’s father, Cham Syndulla (Robin Atkin Downes) who was first introduced in The Clone Wars. We also catch up with Numa (Catherine Taber) who was introduced at the same time. We also learn that Hera has had the droid Chopper in her life since the events of the war.

All of this is set against the backdrop of the rebels attempting to steal an Imperial ship.

In terms of continuity, I love the fact that the weight of the war is heavy on Hera, the loss of each life in her squad resonates with her, even as attempts to lead the fight, and in this episode, deal with her father.

Her aggravation with her father is evident in her interactions with him, as her Twi’lek accent becomes more pronounced (which sounds an awful lot like French).

Hera’s plan is designed to steal the Imperial carrier, but Cham wants to destroy it as a symbol, leading to a familial betrayal, and trouble for Hera and the rest. As the Ghost crew work to stop Cham, but still steal the carrier, Kanan (Freddie Prinze jr.) and Ezra (Taylor Gray) demonstrate some great teamwork and Jedi fighting skills.

Will Cham and Hera find a way to reconnect and will the mission be a success?

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The Honorable Ones feels like a riff on a familiar story, two characters from opposite sides forced to work together in order to survive.

Kevin Hopps wrote this episode that first debuted on 24 February, 2016. Zeb (Steve Blum) and Agent Kallus (David Oyelowo) end up marooned together on a frozen moon, and despite being sworn enemies, especially for what Kallus did to Zeb’s people, the Lasat, they’ll have to work together to find a way off the planet.

In terms of continuity, we hear a mention of the mysterious vanishing of the entire Genosian race, and that raises a few questions. There’s also a mention of Saw Gerrera.

With a fantastic battle opening, the story moves quickly into survival adventure as the two enemies traverse the frozen wasteands and caves, the two enemies fight to survive, even as their respective sides attempt to find them.

Despite the well-used story line, the story works really well, and lets both characters grow, showing that both are layered and involved.

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Shroud of Darkness was written by Henry Gilroy and first aired on 2 March, 2016.

Kanan, Ezra and Ahsoka (Ashley Eckstein) journey to the hidden Jedi temple on Lothal, where Ezra underwent his first trials, in hopes of learning how the Inquisitors are able to track the rebels, and seem to be one step ahead of them.

Both James Earl Jones and Frank Oz return to their iconic roles of Darth Vader and Yoda, respectively.

There are encounters with the Seventh Sister (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and Fifth Brother (Philip Anthony-Rodriguez) as well as a discovery of who the Grand Inquisitor (Jason Isaacs) was.

We get a cold open that sees the clash of lightsabers as Ezra and Kanan take on the Inquisitors before making an escape from a planet they had hoped could be a rebel base. But it is the encounters that each of the trio have in the temple that are the highlights of the episode, and none have more emotional weight than Ahsoka confronting the knowledge of who Vader is.

And Ezra is given a quest by Yoda, to find Malachor… This is something Ezra hopes will help the rebels win against the Empire, though Yoda was less than enthused that the young padawan wants to fight.

The battle for a galaxy far, far away continues next week as I finish up season two of Star Wars: Rebels. May the Force be with you…

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