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Star Wars Rebels Talking Points: “The Occupation” and “Flight of the Defender”

Star Wars Rebels Talking Points: “The Occupation” and “Flight of the Defender”

Season Four of Star Wars Rebels has been a roller coaster of emotions, to this point. Expect that roller coaster to take some sharp twists and turns during “The Occupation” and “Flight of the Defender”. It may be the most intense pair of episodes in this final season of the Emmy-nominated series. Here we go!

Kallus

Kallus has been one of the more fascinating characters to come out of this animated series. When he debuted, alongside the crew of the Ghost in the first episode of the series, it would have been difficult to predict he would have an arc. But he has come full circle and is among the leaders on Yavin IV. His past is cleverly alluded to early in “The Occupation”, but also helps to communicate that much has changed in this series.

Lothal

When Ezra and company return to Lothal (and, did I hear Mon Mothma refer to Ezra as “Commander”?), the planet has been decimated by the parasitic machinations of the Empire. It’s a lot to take in, and Ezra feels the pain of it full on. Pay close attention to where you see literal and figurative manifestations of light and darkness throughout these two episodes. There are some powerful moments in storytelling here, that subscribe to the “show, don’t tell” mantra that many creatives utilize. As a result, it’s easy for the audience to empathize with the heaviness Ezra feels.

Nature

Nature is a critical part of the storyline in “Flight of the Defender”. Two of the inhabitants of Lothal take the spotlight. The Loth-cats really add a lot to the episode; they are not just there for cuteness sake (although it is played beautifully here), but also bring us back to Ezra’s connection to nature. Yet another example of something seemingly innocuous having much more purpose. This episode will surely catapult the Loth-cats popularity.

This motif hits a crescendo with the appearance of the Loth-wolf. It’s hard to write about this without speculating, but I will say this is a fascinating creature. Fans of mythology may recall Fenrir, a large wolf from Norse mythology, and there are some interesting parallels here that play up that aspect in a satisfying manner. This bond between man and nature is captivating and intriguing and encourages you to take in these scenes with a keen eye.

“All paths are coming together now”

When Ezra tells Kanan about the Loth-wolf, Kanan informs him that “all paths are coming together.” This meta-commentary is pregnant with meaning. As stated above, many arcs are rapidly heading towards their conclusion, which leads to the weight of these two episodes. Naturally, we know the series is coming to an end, which means threads will be tied up. Whether these resolutions will be positive or negative, this journey, or path, is winding down, and it’s thrilling to watch.

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