This review of the Star Wars Forces of Destiny episode “Newest Recruit” will contain spoilers.
In advance of the 30-minute Star Wars Forces of Destiny special airing tonight on the Disney Channel, a new episode has been released on Disney’s YouTube channel. “Newest Recruit” features Sabine Wren and Ketsu Onyo. Getting a bit of a jump on things, this episode will be reviewed here — while the rest of the episodes will be reviewed after the special has been broadcast. (You can watch “Newest Recruit” here.)
The episode starts off with the now-familiar opening narrated by Lupita Nyong’o as Maz Kanata, then launches into a mission in progress with Ketsu Onyo joining Sabine Wren. Sabine notes the Ketsu has left Black Sun, but Ketsu says she’s not ready to join the rebellion just yet, she’s just there to help a friend. The mission in question is to acquire crates full of food to feed the rebels. Not exactly the excitement Ketsu was expecting.
Of course, you should always watch what you hope for. As they about to head out with the goods, they encounter a pair of stormtroopers. Sabine and Ketsu have the element of surprise, so the troopers don’t really stand a chance. However, nothing is ever really that easy, and soon there are more troopers to deal with.
During the ensuing battle, one of the food crates is hit and breaks open, revealing a Chadra-Fan child. Ketsu tells Sabine she’ll take care of the child, while Sabine provides cover fire.
While Sabine and Ketsu are able to handle themselves, the situation is turning into more than they anticipated, and Sabine calls on Hera for help. A simple mission to get food for the Rebellion has turned into a rescue mission. Thankfully, Hera shows up with The Ghost in good time. Sabine, Ketsu, and the child are able to get on board just in the nick of time and they all make a quick escape. Safe and sound.
The episode ends with Sabine painting over the Black Sun logo on Ketsu’s armor and replacing it with the rebel insignia. Ketsu is in the Rebellion now! While they might not have acquired to food they needed, they saved a child’s life. Few things are more noble than that.
At just over three minutes, this episode was a little longer than the previous installments. The time was used well, though, and the story moves along at a good clip. Sabine, Ketsu, and Hera are voiced by the actors who portray them on Star Wars Rebels — Tiya Sircar, Gina Torres, and Vanessa Marshall. It’s great that they’re able to bring on board the original voices for these animated shorts because it really lends authenticity.
As with the first run of episodes earlier this summer, the animation is in the 2D style — appreciated by some and not by others. However, I believe it works well for this type of storytelling. Over time I got used to the style presented in The Clone Wars and Rebels, but there is value in getting back to the “old way” of doing things.
Plot-wise, it’s not a complex story, but that’s fine. It still serves to show growth on the part of Ketsu, who as a bounty hunter for a crime syndicate might not have thought about saving a child, especially at the risk of her own life. The influence of her old friend Sabine has altered her point of view — the way she looks at herself and the galactic conflict going on around her. Now is not the time to sit on the sidelines thinking only of your own personal gain or safety. While she was probably teetering on the edge, Ketsu comes to realize by the closing moments that she needs to choose a side and make a stand. Fortunately, she chose wisely.Powered by Sidelines