A Television Review by Akash Singh
NOTE: SPOILERS OCCUR!!!!!!!
Star Wars: Rebels is back with a solid episode that turns one major mystery on its head while leaving several heads tantalizingly open. Senator Trayvis has been a mystery up until this episode, with the aura about him remaining enshrouded in darkness. It was apt that the show did so, considering that any other persona for a senator in exile would be ridiculous. From the moment he mentioned not being used to running a lot, the red flags went up and thus, while his eventual betrayal of the group lacked a lot of surprise, it delivered on the shock levels. Hera continues to impress as a character, drawing herself up to be one of the most impressive female characters on television, period. She is well ahead of the pack, picking up on the subtle clues Trayvis leaves in the conversation that hint towards his true allegiance along with the audience. It’s a smart writing choice that not only creates an immediate connection between the characters and the audience but it also keeps the ingenuity that such a group would need to survive intact.
The opening lightsaber sequence was a bit overplayed, hitting similar beats to the ones we’ve already seen in abundance. I’m glad we’re getting a chronological, linear story with Kanan and Ezra, but if it simply goes over little beats again and again, the repetitiveness can become claustrophobic. The repetitiveness is broken apart slightly by Ezra’s visions, which were a little too on-the-nose for my taste. Thankfully a neat little speeder bike chase sequence breaks that awkward opening up and there’s nothing better to get the blood pumping than a few stormtroopers crashing into things. Nevertheless, I can’t help but wonder that if Ezra wants to be a little more inconspicuous, he should probably ditch the helmet that looks like it’s been through a wild paint job. Helmet cues aside, Ezra bumps into his former cadet comrade Zare in the dark alleyways of Lothal. Zare at that moment covers for him, but there’s a little too much focus on that sequence for it not to have some significance down the road. Chekhov’s gun has become a basic rule of storytelling and add onto that the reality of Ezra and Zare being anagrams of one another, it seems inevitable that Rebels is turning the two of them into potential adversaries with tragic consequences. Or maybe I’m just reading too much into it.
The episode’s greatest weakness ironically circles its smartest choice. While keeping Hera ahead of the game is a great meta framework and makes Hera even more of a badass than she already was, the unfortunate tendency of the episode in regards to Trayvis himself is fiercely irritating. The bits of dialogue provided to him made it absurdly obvious that he was up to something and I wish the script had a higher opinion of its audience’s intellect to not beam the conclusion into the sky like the Bat signal. As it stands, it isn’t just the script that telegraphs the inevitable moment when Trayvis literally pulls the gun on the Ghost crew. The framing of the camera by director Steven G. Lee is a bit more than suggestive and slowly the suspense ebbs away until a mere shadow of it remains. Subtlety perhaps has never been the strongest suit for Star Wars, but I remains steadfast in my opinion that the greatest scenes in the entire saga are the quite ones that speak volumes without uttering a single world. Rebels, much like Ezra in that sense, has grown tremendously from its opening and I hope it takes this lesson in stride. Trust your audience.
Great Moments Not Mentioned Above:
+Maketh and Kallus believing that the Inquisitor too much focus on the Jedi
+“…not walking into it for once.”
+Chopper throws astromech down
+“Wait, you know what I smell like?”
+Imperial droid design
+“Think of something clever to say later.”
+“We’re not going anywhere.”
+“We have hope.”
Title: Vision of Hope
Written By: Henry Gilroy
Directed By: Steven G. Lee
Image Courtesy: Coffee With Kenobi