"Star Wars: Rebels" 1.12 – Vision of Hope (7.5 out of 10)  – Directed by Steven G. Lee; Written by Henry Gilroy; Based on characters and situations created by George Lucas; Starring: Freddie Prinze, Jr., Vanessa Marshall, Taylor Gray, Steve Blum, Tiya Sircar; Special Guest: Brent Spiner as Senator-in-exile Gall Trayvis; Rated TV-Y7, Airs on Disney XD 2/2/15. 

This newest episode of "Star Wars: Rebels" begins with Ezra deep into his training. Like Luke, he's learning to deflect stun bolts, but instead of a training remote, the rest of the Ghost crew is firing gleefully at him. During this training he sees a vision of Senator-in-exile Gall Trayvis and spends the rest episode wondering how they're going to help the Senator advance their rebellious goals.

This episode has a lot of great moments, most of which centered around Chopper, though. The team goes in to rescue Trayvis from a blatantly obvious Imperial trap laid by Agent Kallus and Chopper's part in the scheme is priceless. There was an excellent balance to the involvement of each of the team members, and it was great to see that they were favoring Hera more than Kanan in this piece of Ezra's training. It seems like the way it's going to shake out is that Kanan will be training Ezra in the Force and Hera will be training him as a rebel.

This episode had great spots of humor and character moments, but the story was so absurdly predictable that I felt a better job could have been done. The code revealed in Trayvis' transmissions that led the crew of their Ghost to their rendezvous was so obvious that I knew exactly how the rest of the episode was going to play out. Granted, this is a "kid's show" and they probably want to just use a short hand to move the story along, but having Trayvis literally say where and when he's going to be in his transmission across the holonet seems lazy. Especially in a world where there's some technological hand-waving that could have been done.

That bit of telegraphing reduced the dramatic suspense of the episode down to about zero for me. It turned into a game of "How Soon is He Going to Betray Them?" And the second Hera handed him the pistol it became immediately obvious how the rest of the episode was going to play out. 

And I honestly appreciate that Hera was aware of it at some point, but with how careful she is with Fulcrum, she should have been tipped off to this guy's shadiness from the get go.

The only surprise left in the episode was how funny Chopper was going to be.

I mean, for the episode, it's a good lesson for kids to learn: not to trust anything from either side they see on the news, but it was pretty ham fisted here.

Despite the predictability, I really did love everything else this episode added. Ezra is getting much better in his training and I'm excited to see where the show goes from here, but this episode could almost be taken as filler except for the botched revelation about Gall Trayvis's loyalties. As for Trayvis himself, "Star Trek"'s Brent Spiner does an excellent job here, playing the beset but sneering aristocrat on both sides. Ultimately it's not his fault the episode isn't as good as I felt it could have been, enjoyable as it was otherwise.

More than anything, I just can't wait for next week's episode.

Season Scorecard:

Season average: 8.5 out of 10

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Tags: star wars , rebels