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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Star Wars Rebels: Rebels Recon for “Through Imperial Eyes”

***SPOILERS*** for the Star Wars Rebels episode, ‘Through Imperial Eyes.”

Fearing that the Empire is about the discover the true identity of the rebel spy known as Fulcrum, Ezra gets himself captured with the hope of rescuing Agent Kallus. The plan goes sideways when Grand Admiral Thrawn becomes involved, and he isn’t as easily fooled as some Imperials.

Take a closer look at this episode with an all-new Rebels Recon:

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Rebels Reconnaissance: “An Inside Man” Review

*Spoiler warning: This review contains spoilers for the Star Wars Rebels episode “An Inside Man”

When the title for this week’s episode of Star Wars Rebels was announced as “An Inside Man” a little over a month ago, I made a bet with myself that Agent Kallus would be heavily featured and immediately added his name to the tags for this blog. And sure enough, the paradigm shift that has been building since last season’s “The Honorable Ones” (and was hinted at in this season’s “The Antilles Extraction”) happened and Kallus was revealed as an undercover agent for the burgeoning Rebellion and the latest incarnation of Fulcrum. Because the origins of Kallus’ change-of-heart began almost a year ago, the development of his character and his switch of allegiances feels like a natural one. As one of the Empire’s most fearsome operatives (and a warrior capable of defeating Zeb in hand-to-hand combat), Kallus would surely make for a valuable ally.

But before “An Inside Man” gets to its reveal, we are treated to a thrilling action sequence as Kanan, Ezra, and Ryder Azadi race through the streets of Lothal’s Capital City. It’s been a while since we’ve been to Lothal or seen Azadi and a great deal has happened in the interim. The Empire has dropped all pretense regarding its intentions to turn the planet into a weapons manufacturing center and its former governor has gone from a reluctant rebel to a full-blown cell leader whose organization has taken it upon themselves to subvert that very manufacturing through sabotage.

Both developments speak to just how much Rebels has grown since its premiere. Consistent and logical character growth over time has become something of a hallmark for the show as each member of its main cast and several supporting players have undergone changes throughout the show’s run, and Azadi is just the latest individual to receive this treatment. Additionally, Rebels’ shift from the first season’s use of Lothal as the location for the vast majority of its stories to one that allows for a galaxy-wide exploration of how a rebellion against the Empire would actually function speaks to the confidence of both its characters and the writers who give them life. This makes the return to Lothal that much more striking as Ezra finds that his home has irrevocably changed as much as he has. And the fact that other characters like the Sumars acknowledge these changes infuses Rebels with a palpable sense of verisimilitude.

Speaking of realism, Grand Admiral Thrawn’s ability to make Sherlockian deductions about the rebels’ methodology and his aptitude for anticipating their next move arguably makes him Star Wars Rebels’ most formidable opponent to date. In “An Inside Man,” we are witness to his examination of various artifacts connected to the Ghost crew ranging from Sabine’s graffiti to the helmet of a Jedi Temple guard and the effect is chilling as one realizes how intimately aware Thrawn is of his opponent. And though we haven’t yet seen the full extent of his ruthlessness yet, his calculated exposure and disposal of Morad Sumar exemplifies the Chiss strategist’s threat level. He is definitely not your average “Saturday morning cartoon” villain who is easily foiled on a weekly basis. There are actual consequences in dealing with Thrawn, and he is much more likely to write the final chapter in the life of any one of our heroes’ lives.

Still, “An Inside Man” provides plenty of levity, be it Chopper creating a diversion by crashing a speeder bike or Kanan and Ezra securing trooper uniforms by punching the Imperial soldiers and having one of the helmets pop back up à la the Nazi cap in Raiders of the Lost Ark. But the humorous quotient of both of those instances pale when compared to the moment Ezra Force-pushes Kallus through a glass monitor board and then reassures Kanan that there will be plenty of chances for him in the future.

To add to that, “An Inside Man” features a sort of preview of what’s surely to come in Rogue One as we are presented with an AT-AT sequence that expands our perceptions both of what the walkers can do–and their limitations. For many fans, their favorite part of this episode will the reactions of Kanan and Ezra as an AT-AT attempts to crush them in their stolen AT-DP.

In the final analysis, “An Inside Man” raises more questions than it answers. What role will Kallus play moving forward? Is his turn legitimate, and if so, how much does Thrawn already know? The rebels do succeed in gaining intelligence regarding the new TIE Defender, but is this victory another hollow one allowed by Thrawn as part of his larger strategy? Regardless of the answers, Star Wars Rebels continues to push the mythology forward and deepen our understanding of the events leading up to the Battle of Yavin. What comes next is just the proverbial icing on the cake.

Thank you for reading! If you have feedback or just want to say hello, you can leave a comment on this page or email me at cdickinson@coffeewithkenobi.com. You can also contact me on Twitter @influxman or check out my Rogue page on “Star Wars in the Classroom.”

And don’t forget to check out the latest Rebels Reactions for even more insight, discussion, and analysis on this episode.

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Rebels Reconnaissance: “The Antilles Extraction” Review

*Spoiler warning: This review contains spoilers for the Star Wars Rebels episode “The Antilles Extraction.

“The Antilles Extraction,” this week’s episode of Star Wars Rebels tells the story of how Wedge Antilles, one of Star Wars fans’ favorite secondary characters, defected from the Empire and joined the ranks of the Rebel Alliance. As he is often portrayed as one of best pilots in the galaxy (borne out by the fact that he survived the attack runs on two separate Death Stars and took down an AT-AT during the Battle of Hoth), Wedge would seem to be an individual worth exploring deeper. Unfortunately, “The Antilles Extraction” doesn’t spend much of its runtime on character study. We find out that Wedge is a former cargo pilot who’s become disillusioned with serving the Empire, but other than that, there’s nothing unique about him.

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Star Wars Rebels: “Siege of Lothal” Teaser Trailer is Here! [Video]

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The hotly anticipated season two premiere of Star Wars Rebels is rapidly approaching, and now we’ve got a glimpse of the first episode, “Siege of Lothal.” Check it out below!

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Go Behind-the-Scenes with Star Wars Rebels: Rebels Recon #14

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*Spoilers for the season finale of Star Wars Rebels: Fire Across the Galaxy*

The thrilling first season finale of Star Wars Rebels just aired — and no doubt all of us are still trying to catch our collective breath!

In orbit over the planet Mustafar, The Inquisitor tortures a captive Kanan – physically and emotionally. Meanwhile, the crew of the Ghost executes their rescue plan, which involves infiltrating Tarkin’s Star Destroyer by making good use of a not-so-subtle TIE Fighter — and fighting their way through throngs of stormtroopers.

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Grand Moff Tarkin Returns in ‘Star Wars Rebels’

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As the rebel threat to the Empire grows, Grand Moff Tarkin finds new ways to motivate his Imperial agents on Lothal in an all-new Star Wars Rebels episode “Call to Action!”

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Grand Moff Tarkin arrives on Lothal to evaluate Aresko, Grint, Kallus and the Inquisitor over the increasing insurgent activity on the planet. When the rebels target the Imperial communications network to deliver a message to Lothal’s people, Kanan’s presence draws the attention of the Inquisitor.

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