"Star Wars: Rebels" 1.14 – Rebel Resolve (9 out of 10) – Directed by Justin Ridge; Written by Charles Murray and Henry Gilroy; Based on characters and situations created by George Lucas; Starring: Freddie Prinze, Jr., Vanessa Marshall, Taylor Gray, Steve Blum, Tiya Sircar, David Oyelowo; Special Guests: Jason Issacs, and Stephen Stanton as Grand Moff Tarkin; Rated TV-Y7, Airs on Disney XD 2/23/15.
This review contains spoilers.
After the events of the last episode, I would have been genuinely surprised if the crew of the Ghost weren't on the hunt for Kanan and his captors. But that is exactly where this episode starts.
We're dropped right in the middle of the action, watching the Ghost crew blast through the streets of Lothal in a stolen walker set to music from "The Empire Strikes Back." That specific music used throughout the sequence was aped fairly heavily by Ulpio Minucci for his work on "Robotech", and is the same stinger every time you hear the Zentraedi Battle Pods seem to be attacking. In fact, the entire scene that opens this episode of "Rebels" reminded me of the the opening episodes of "Robotech" with Rick Hunter in a display model Veritech running from those very same Zentraedi Battle Pods.
The search for information about Kanan, however, turns up with nothing and before they decide on a next step, and for reasons that are not yet quite clear, Fulcrum advises Hera to give up the chase in the service of the greater good.
That's not something that sits well with Ezra and he goes off, recklessly, to get information about Kanan that he might be able to use to save him. The thing I love most about that part of the story is how archetypically "Star Wars" it is. The master forbidding the student from saving the ones they're attached to were the central conflicts inside both Luke and Anakin Skywalker. Giving that dilemma to Ezra is a natural fit, though we will need to wait until the season finale (or possibly next season) to see if things go "kill all the sand people" bad for our new favorite padawan.
After putting himself in an incredibly foolish bargain with Vizago, (in another echo of Anakin dealing with Palpatine in "Revenge of the Sith"), Ezra discovers how he might be able to get information and that launches into an elaborate plan to replace an Imperial courier droid with a newly repainted Chopper.
All the while, Kanan is undergoing all manner of torture at the hands of Tarkin and the Inquisitor, but he will reveal nothing to them.
Overall, this story feels very much like the middle part of a larger story, so it's almost all rising action that resolves very little. The crew of the Ghost achieve the smaller goal of finding a bit of information about Kanan, but that's all. He's still in the clutches of the Imperials and they're taking him to Mustafar, which is a planet that we're told is now the place where Jedi go to do. The most interesting thing about that idea is the fact that this reputation could have been created to mask the identity of Darth Vader. Perhaps the reason it has the reputation is because the story is that Anakin was the first to die there?
The episode itself is full of more humor than I would have expected in an arc that is as dark as this one, and I think that's to the credit of the writers. Everything with Chopper is priceless and even Kanan's tortured banter is classically hilarious in its own ways.
As we move into the season finale from here, the only thing I can say is that "I have a bad feeling about this." Freddie Prinze, Jr. assured us that our hearts would explode and there are very few things that could come in the finale that would do that. Will we discover the identity of Fulcrum? Will Darth Vader make an appearance? Will Hondo Ohnaka show up and subjugate everyone?
Only time will tell.
For me, this episode was an easy 9 out of 10. It's everything I want out of this show. It's tense, funny, and is building to something larger. It feels like "Star Wars" which is the most important thing it can do.
- Short films: 8 out of 10
- Spark of Rebellion: 9 out of 10
- Droids in Distress: 7.5 out of 10
- Fighter Flight: 8 out of 10
- Rise of the Old Masters: 9 out of 10
- Breaking Ranks: 8.5 out of 10
- Out of Darkness: 6.5 out of 10
- Empire Day: 9.5 out of 10
- Gathering Forces: 9.5 out of 10
- Path of the Jedi: 9.5 out of 10
- Idiot's Array: 9.5 out of 10
- Vision of Hope: 7.5 out of 10
- Call to Action: 9 out of 10
- Rebel Resolve: 9 out of 10
Season average: 8.57 out of 10