"Star Wars: Rebels" 2.10– A Princess On Lothal' (8 out of 10) – Based on characters and situations created by George Lucas; Directed by Bosco Ng; Written by Steven Melching; Starring: Freddie Prinze, Jr., Vanessa Marshall, Taylor Gray, Steve Blum, Tiya Sircar, David Oyelowo, Dee Bradley Baker; Special guests: Clancy Brown, Julie Dolan; Rated TV-Y7, Aired on Disney XD 1/20/16.
This review will contain spoilers.
Picking up moments after the last episode left off, "A Princess on Lothal" is the episode that brings "Star Wars Rebels" back from the winter break. Ezra is dealing with the knowledge that his actions led to the death of his parents and in Kanan thinks taking a mission would be good to distract the boy with. Which is fortunate because there are three transport ships from Alderaan en route, ready for the Rebellion to steal to replace their missing ships.
With Alderaan in the mix, it's no wonder Princess Leia is brought to the show to add an interesting dynamic, at least for this one episode. Since Leia is essentially the same age as Ezra, it makes sense to put them together and see how they interact, and I really loved that part of the episode.
Where this episode succeeds is in its warmth and fun. The writing for Princess Leia is spot on. She's very much a teenage version of herself from "A New Hope." She's commanding, witty, to the point, and as strong as anyone raised by Bail and Breha Organa could be.
There were two moments that worked out to be my favorites, though, and neither had anything to do with the Princess.
The first was a moment with Zeb, where he has to make the capture of Ezra and Kanan disguised in Stormtrooper armour look convincing. The way the gag was built and how it paid off was a testament to the writing and direction in the episode. It was just very smart. My second favorite moment came
My second favorite moment came when Kanan pulls his lightsaber in full stormtrooper armour. First, it hearkened back to early Ralph McQuarrie paintings that gave stormtroopers lightsabers and it was great to see that image moving in a story context. But what sold it for me was Clancy Brown's delivery of, "He's a Jedi..."
I will never tire of the spine-tingling that is offered when a character realizes that there is still magic in the universe and their side might win. Especially in a time as dark for the light as in the lead up to "A New Hope." Despite everything they did right with Princess Leia, or the action, or anything else in the episode, this was the perfect moment that sold me on the episode.
With that said, I think it's very smart how they're filling in holes in how the delegation from Alderaan can operate in the galaxy as an aid to the burgeoning Rebellion and as members of the Imperial Senate. It definitely raises the stakes on how quickly Vader sees through Leia's ruse in "A New Hope," as well. It's things like this that Filoni and crew do the best, right? They take questions that might not quite make sense in the films and give them context so that not only are they easier to understand, it actually makes them cooler. "The Clone Wars" did this every week for the saga and I'm glad to see "Rebels" slipping into that pattern as well.
I really enjoyed this episode, but I wonder if I would have liked it more before seeing the trailer for the second half of season two. It was fun, but didn't really deliver the sorts of feelings I was hoping for based on the tease they gave. I'm giving it 8 out of 10.
Season 2 Scorecard:
- The Siege of Lothal (10 out of 10)
- The Lost Commanders (7.5 out of 10)
- Relics of the Old Republic (8 out of 10)
- Always Two There Are (8 out of 10)
- Brothers of the Broken Horn (8 out of 10)
- Wings of the Master (8.5 out of 10)
- Blood Sisters (7 out of 10)
- Stealth Strike (8.5 out of 10)
- Future of the Force (8.5 out of 10)
- Legacy (8.5 out of 10)
- A Princess on Lothal (8 out of 10)
Season Average 8.22 out of 10