Rebels Reconnaissance: “Rebel Assault” Review

*Spoiler warning: This review contains spoilers for the Star Wars Rebels episode “Rebel Assault.”

One thing that Star Wars has always done exceedingly well is subvert expectations. “Rebel Assault,” this week’s episode of Star Wars Rebels follows that tradition with a story that shatters assumptions from the outset. With this first half of the season seemingly building toward an epic clash against the Empire, “Rebel Assault” instead takes the narrative on a downward trajectory much faster than many probably expected.

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Rebels Reconnaissance: “Kindred” and “Crawler Commandeers” Reviews

*Spoiler warning: This review contains spoilers for the Star Wars Rebels episodes “Kindred” and Crawler Commandeers.”

Star Wars Rebels returns this week with another pair of episodes that continue with what looks to be a season-long arc focusing on our heroes’ return to Lothal and an impending massive clash with the Empire. The first episode, “Kindred,” at first feels to be a simple continuation of last week’s “Flight of the Defender” with Ezra returning to the site of the TIE Defender crash to find the downed ship’s hyperdrive, but it soon escalates into something much more dire.

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Rebels Reconnaissance: “The Occupation” and “Flight of the Defender” Reviews

*Spoiler warning: This review contains spoilers for the Star Wars Rebels episodes “The Occupation” and “Flight of the Defender.”

It’s hard to believe that Star Wars Rebels is already in its fourth season, as the flurry of new Star Wars content since 2012’s Disney purchase of Lucasfilm can sometimes cause one to forget about the show that established how the two enormous companies would interact. But in many ways, Rebels has been the standard-bearer for this new era of Star Wars as it pioneered the methods in which stories across media would interact and established the precedent for incorporating “Legends” material into canon. And now with the show having an end date that its writers can plan for, the final chapters of Star Wars Rebels seem to be methodically filling in the gaps, tying off loose ends, and bringing a logical conclusion to the series.

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Rebels Reconnaissance: “In the Name of the Rebellion” Review

*Spoiler warning: This review contains spoilers for the Star Wars Rebels episode “In the Name of the Rebellion.”

With a return to the sequel trilogy era in the form of The Last Jedi on the horizon, it becomes only natural to wonder about the place of Rogue One (a standalone story) in the cultural zeitgeist. In many ways, this film–that was highly successful on a number of fronts–has essentially slipped from the public’s consciousness. But with “In the Name of the Rebellion,” this week’s episode of Star Wars Rebels, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story gets a powerful burst of relevance.

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Rebels Reconnaissance: “Heroes of Mandalore” Review

*Spoiler warning: This review contains spoilers for the Star Wars Rebels episode “Heroes of Mandalore.”

The fourth season of Star Wars Rebels opens with an episode that packs a punch–albeit one a bit weaker than it might have. At its core, “The Heroes of Mandalore” is about legacy–what one leaves behind–and for Sabine, it’s about the sins of the past infecting the present. Fortunately for the Ghost’s (erstwhile?) demolitions expert, the cost of her bygone indiscretions are somewhat mollified.

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Rebels Reconnaissance: “Double Agent Droid,” “Twin Suns,” and “Zero Hour” Reviews

*Spoiler warning: This review contains spoilers for the Star Wars Rebels episodes “Double Agent Droid,” “Twin Suns,” and “Zero Hour.”

The third season of Star Wars Rebels has proven to be an astounding one that somehow surpassed the greatness of a second season that heavily featured Ahsoka Tano, Darth Vader and a climactic battle between the two. From the numerous Rogue One connections to the end of Maul, Rebels established its rightful place within the overall saga and continued to show on a weekly basis how crucial the show has become as an avenue for augmenting the established Star Wars canon. The last three episodes I’ll be covering in this post exemplify that importance.

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Rebels Reconnaissance: “Legacy of Mandalore,” “Through Imperial Eyes,” and “Secret Cargo” Reviews

*Spoiler warning: This review contains spoilers for the Star Wars Rebels episodes “Legacy of Mandalore,” “Through Imperial Eyes,” and “Secret Cargo.”

“Legacy of Mandalore” serves as a direct follow-up to the excellent “Trials of the Darksaber” and continues the trend of outstanding character-driven episodes we’ve seen in this third season of Star Wars Rebels. Again taking center stage, Sabine Wren returns to her homeworld of Krownest to confront her mother and reveal that she now wields the legendary Darksaber. It’s a noble attempt at reconciliation for the Wrens as a family and the Mandalorians as a people, but it feels like a fool’s errand just the same.

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Rebels Reconnaissance: “Trials of the Darksaber” Review

*Spoiler warning: This review contains spoilers for the Star Wars Rebels episode “Trials of the Darksaber.”

It wasn’t really that long ago that Star Wars Rebels was seen as a show that underserved its female characters at the expense of focusing on Ezra, an adolescent male and the character closest to the show’s viewing demographic. But as time went on, the doubters were proven wrong and those who preached patience were rewarded with episodes like “Blood Sisters,” a plethora of Ahsoka Tano-centric episodes (most notably “Twilight of the Apprentice”), and this season’s “Hera’s Heroes.” Now, “Trials of the Darksaber” shifts the paradigm even further by suggesting that Sabine Wren might have a more important destiny than Ezra Bridger.

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Rebels Reconnaissance: “Warhead” Review

*Spoiler warning: This review contains spoilers for the Star Wars Rebels episode “Warhead.”

After two and a half seasons, Star Wars Rebels has earned the benefit of the doubt in terms of where it’s going regarding its various story arcs, and it is with this grace that one should view this week’s episode, “Warhead.” According to the episode’s trivia gallery on starwars.com, “Warhead” was originally planned as the B-story portion of next week’s “Trials of the Darksaber” and frankly it feels like it never quite evolved past that stage. It’s a fun story wherein Zeb, Chopper, and AP-5 take center stage, but it just seems small–until the end.

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Rebels Reconnaissance: “Ghosts of Geonosis” Review

*Spoiler warning: This review contains spoilers for the Star Wars Rebels episode “Ghost of Geonosis.”

Since Lucasfilm’s announcement regarding Star Wars canon on April 25, 2014, the status of Star Wars Rebels as a major part of that canon has never been in doubt. In fact, the first major addition to the canon was the novel A New Dawna novel by John Jackson Miller that serves as a direct prequel to Rebels and is a book I highly recommend. And throughout its run, Star Wars Rebels has been the connective tissue that has augmented Star Wars: The Clone Wars and the pre-existing film series. But with the release of Rogue One, Rebels has achieved a new level of esteem due to that film’s inclusion of the Ghost, Chopper, and “General Syndulla.”

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