Star Wars: Rebels (2016) – Hera’s Heroes, The Last Battle, and Imperial Supercommandos

Hera (Vanessa Marshall) and Ezra (Taylor Gray) have their first face to face confrontation with Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen) in Hera’s Heroes.

With an original airdate of 15 October, 2016, this episode was written by Nicole Dubuc, and brings Timothy Zahn’s creation of the Admiral further into the developing story, and highlighting his interest in a species’ art as understanding their motivations.

Hera returns home with the crew of the Ghost only to learn that her family home, and some of the invaluable family artefacts have been seized by the Imperials who are using the residence as their headquarters.

What starts out as a simple plan to break into her home and steal back a family heirloom becomes something bigger as they confront Thrawn, who has a better understanding of the Twi’lek people than the average Imperial commander.

When things turn against the rebels, Hera comes up with the ultimate plan to keep the Empire’s hands off of her family things. It comes as a bit of a shock to her father, Cham (Robin Atkin Downes), but it definitely feels like the right thing to do in a war against an occupying force.

While Thrawn isn’t quite the same character that was originally presented in the non-canon (now Legends) novels, he’s been juxtaposed from the post-Return of the Jedi era to the pre-A New Hope time period, he’s still a favourite addition to the universe, and as mentioned before, allows me to hold out hope for the introduction, some day, in some way, of Mara Jade.

The Last Battle was written by Brent V. Friedman, and originally aired on 22 October, 2016.

Captain Rex (Dee Bradley Baker) leads the Ghost crew on a salvage mission and they end up being captured by a long lost unit of Clone War battle droids, who are determined to fight this one last battle and win the war for the Separatists.

The droids come up with a final conflict to be resolved, a war game, that they are determined to prove will demonstrate that the Separatists would have won had Order 66, the jedi executions, and the battle droid shut down hadn’t interfered.

As the game is played out, Ezra slowly makes both sides realise that neither of them was supposed to win, they were being manipulated into positions, and when the Empire arrives in the midst of the exercise, droids, clones, and jedi unite to fight against tyranny.

And I have to say, I love the shots of the shuttles leaving the landing bay with the heads of the AT-ATs looming out of the smoke and shadow, truly awesome!

Yes, the episode has some goofy battle droid dialogue, but it also ties in nicely with the previous series, this series, and what we know is to come. It’s smart, fun, and enjoyable.

It really is Star Wars.

The episode ends with the battle droids and the rebels parting company after escaping the Imperials, and that leaves us to wonder where they end up, and if we’ll see them again in the war against the Empire…

Imperial Supercommandos is the final episode this week. It first aired on 5 November, 2016, and was written by Christopher L. Yost.

When contact with Protector Dawn is lost, Sabine (Tiya Sircar) and Fenn Rau (Kevin McKidd) investigate. They soon find more trouble than they expected when they discover that Mandalorians working with the Imperials have taken over the station.

They are led by Gar Saxon (Ray Stevenson) who captures Ezra, Chopper and their shuttle, leaving Rau and Sabine to work together to rescue the young padawan, despite their dislike for one another, and their conflicting beliefs about Mandalore. Happily they have a mutual enemy in Saxon.

There are some pretty solid action beats, and it’s fun to let Sabine’s character do a lot of the heavy lifting for the episode. Mandalorian episodes are always great, because so many people find them a fascinating culture, all thanks to that character that was originally going to be an Imperial Supercommando, Boba Fett.

I like that the shuttle they used in the last episode is now being used by the Ghost and christened the Phantom II.

The battle rages on next week with more Star Wars: Rebels. Until then, may the Force be with you…

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