"Star Wars: Rebels" 2.7– Stealth Strike (8.5 out of 10) – Based on characters and situations created by George Lucas; Starring: Freddie Prinze, Jr., Vanessa Marshall, Taylor Gray, Steve Blum, Tiya Sircar, David Oyelowo; Rated TV-Y7, Aired on Disney XD 11/25/15.
This review contains spoilers.
"Stealth Strike" is the latest episode of "Star Wars Rebels" and it's a lot of fun. Ezra volunteers to accompany Sato on a mission but en route they are pulled out of hyperspace by the Empire's prototype Interdictor Cruiser.
Sato, Ezra, and the crew of their ship are captured aboard and Hera sends Kanan, Chopper, and Rex as a team to go rescue them.
The episode is a standard "Star Wars" rescue plot, replete with Stormtrooper disguises, bridges with no hand rails, Imperial super-weapons, and a bunch of Imperials too arrogant for their own good. It's equal parts, suspenseful, humorous, character building, and intriguing in how it advances the overall state of the galaxy. Seriously, the closest thing I can conjure this episode feeling like is "A New Hope," but in ways it's more rich because it has so much more story behind it for us.
The relationship between Kanan and Rex is something that adds such a wonderful dynamic to the show since the last time Kanan interacted with Clones, they were hunting him down in the wake of Order 66. Forcing him to face that fear of betrayal with Rex and melt back into some of his old Jedi habits is good for him. For Rex, it's a chance for him to prove his worth and loyalty to a cause that betrayed him.
For Ezra, he's coming into his own as a Jedi and a leader, but because of his age, he's constantly being under-estimated, which works to his advantage.
One of my favorite things about this episode was that they brought Interdictor Cruisers into the canon. These were some of my favorite ships in the old West End RPG and it delights me to no end to see them paying so much respect to that original world building. This really is the "Star Wars" universe I'm most familiar with and I feel very much at home here.
The effect of the Interdictor was truly stunning as well, that rainbow kaleidoscope effect, as the ships were being pulled out of hyperspace, is truly beautiful to look at, but what was even cooler was the explosion that destroyed the whole ship. Joel Aron's crew is doing some of the best work of their lives on the explosions for this show and they just keep getting better.
More than that, I love how this episode illuminates what the Empire is up to as they wait for the Death Star to complete its construction. They aren't sitting around, hoping to keep all the systems in line, they're coming up with all kinds of nasty little toys to oppress the galaxy.
And that makes me wonder if we'll see the Imperial Senate on this show in the days before Palpatine dissolved it. I'd really love to see that, though somehow I doubt it, unless it's through the eyes of Bail Organa and the context of the Rebellion. But, you never know, maybe Mon Mothma could show up here sooner or later. Or Ackbar. Or any other number of luminaries of the Republic we've not yet seen.
For the nostalgia of this episode and the spinning wheels of thought about the galaxy this episode sent me toward, I'm giving it an 8.5. It was funny, well paced, and meaningful.
And it had probably one of the best set up and timed jokes in the series. The set up? Kallus telling Admiral Titus not to underestimate Ezra Bridger. The pay off? Kallus jumping into the sector to find everything destroyed, save for a single escape pod containing Admiral Titus.