Yes, I’m back! I know it has been a while since I have blogged, but between life wanting to turn everything upside down, hosting Rebels Reactions and my regular 9 to 5, the time has eluded me no matter how hard I have tried. Now after all these months I can’t let things slide anymore.
This month’s topic is something I hit on during a recent episode of Rebels Reactions. It is something I have been guilty of in the past, and that is classifying the significance of each episode as it pertains to the saga overall. Some episodes have a profound impact and are praised highly on podcasts and social media alike. Others, where the value isn’t immediately evident, get dismissed as “filler” episodes.
Since I have started hosting Rebels Reactions and analyzing each episode as they come out, plus after seeing Rogue One, I reached a conclusion: there is no such thing as a “filler” episode in Star Wars.
I will go ahead and advise you that if you haven’t seen Rogue One, don’t read any further unless you want spoilers.
I remember sitting in the theater watching Rogue One opening night, and seeing all of the awesome nods to Rebels in the movie. The appearance of the Ghost, the page of General Syndulla, Chopper, and then we saw the Hammerhead Corvette cruisers during the battle of Scarif. As I sat there and watched them on the big screen it blew me away. Here is why, back in season 2 of Rebels, an episode aired entitled “A Princess on Lothal.” In this episode we are introduced to the Hammerhead Corvette cruisers as they are being delivered by Princess Leia to the Ghost crew. I remember some of the chatter about how great it was to have Leia in Rebels but why introduce her in a “filler” episode like this. It was quite the banter then. Yet, as I sat there in the theater in Lakeland, FL, watching as one of those Hammerhead’s rammed a disabled Imperial Star Destroyer into the shield around Scarif, ultimately leading to the Rebels success in stealing the Death Star plans, I was blown away.
It was quite a thing to see the MacGuffin from an episode that people considered filler become vital to the success of the Rebellion on the big screen. Almost a full year had passed since we became aware of the purpose these ships would play. So much for filler.
This isn’t the only time though.
Lets look at the most recent episode of Rebels, “Trials of the Darksaber”. In this episode we see Sabine battling the demons of her past while being trained how to wield the darksaber by Kanan. This was a tremendous episode, and in my opinion one of the best of the series to date. The growth seen in Sabine as she faced her past and we learned about it. The internal struggle faced by Kanan to train her the right way. The raw emotion in this episode was chilling. Yet, not 4 days after it aired, there it was on social media. “This episode was boring. There was no action.” “This episode was such a filler. So boring.”
The greatest emotional growth seen by a character in Rebels is boring? We have no clue yet how this will play out. There are endless possibilities that this episode can go. I can’t wait to see what Sabine does with the darksaber as well as what happens when she faces her family. We don’t know the impact this will have on Sabine, the rest of the Ghost crew, much less Mandalore and the Rebellion. We just have to wait and find out.
But wait, there’s more!
Remember during the fifth season of The Clone Wars when we what was affectionately referred to as the “droid arc.” You remember, the 4 episode where R2-D2 joined a squad of other droids led by Colonel Meebur Gascon. Dubbed D-squad, they infiltrated a Separatist ship and stole a decoder unit before getting stranded on a desert planet. While trapped on the planet they met a clone commando who had amnesia. They assisted in helping him remember who was and this clone helped them escape the separatists on the planet and get back to Republic forces. We are lead to believe this particular clone perished in the firefight. It was almost 3 years later when we find out that this clone commando survived and made it off that planet. In the Rebels episode “The Lost Commanders,” our crew is sent to find Clone Captain Rex and when they do they find out he is living on a desert planet with Commander Wolfe and our clone commando Gregor. So although we don’t know the effects of the decoder unit had on the Clone War, we do know that Gregor, who only appeared in that arc, survived when all thought he perished. So what was considered a filler arc in 2012, had relevance in 2015.
Remember, everything in each story is done for a reason. These episodes take time to make so they are meticulously planned out to the last detail. Any scene, any object, or any character can be used again and have a significant impact on the saga overall. Think twice before writing an episode off as filler or fluff. Remember, always in motion the future is. You never know when your “filler” will show up again.
Let me know what you think about the idea of “filler”episodes and their impact. Leave a comment or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or hit me up on Twitter! You can also check out Rebels Reactions on Twitter and listen to our shows here!
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