A Television Review by Akash Singh
NOTE: SPOILERS OCCUR!!!!!!!
Rebel Resolve functions inherently like the penultimate chapter that it is. It neatly puts in several pieces for a finale to what has been a solid season that found its footing in the middle, much like this episode itself. The beginning is bemusing in its storytelling while the middle certainly picks up on its way towards a chilling conclusion. The opening sequence with the walkers in the streets of Lothal was reminiscent of the clunkier bits of the season’s early chapters, where the writing, direction, and characterizations didn’t mesh properly. The scrip was certainly muddle and the direction in certain shots was extremely off. But the atmosphere was marred the most by what might have been the worst musical cue usage in the entire series so far. Kevin Kiner is a fairly decent composer and certainly some of his musical cues in the latter seasons of the Clone Wars were great, especially in Ahsoka’s fugitive story arc. Evoking classic John Williams themes when appropriate have elevated scenes from both series to instant classics (Anakin in The Jedi Who Knew Too Much and the triumphal twist on “The Imperial March” in The Empire Day). But Kiner has been sticking far too close to the original trilogy’s musical cues in my opinion and the strange mixture from The Empire Strikes Back during the walker sequence was jarring in its juxtaposition.
As per expectations, the awesome Hera comes to rescue them just in time and the episode as well. The most intriguing narrative thread that’s been consistent throughout Rebels so far is the identity of Fulcrum and his or her exact relationship with Hera. In what is clearly an edited audio to mangle any voice recognition, Fulcrum reminds Hera that the objective of the Ghost crew was to remain hidden. Inviting Tarkin personally seems like the exact opposite of that. But Hera has a point, too – the packets of rebels across the galaxy needed some sort of hope to bind them together and even more so after Trayvis’s public betrayal of their cause. Nevertheless, Fulcrum asks her to keep their next objective in mind and not risk it to just to save Kanan. It’s a quiet, subtle moment that builds upon an earlier story establishment of Hera’s mysterious connections and makes it momentous by putting Kanan’s life on the line. Simultaneously, that scene cleaves through the history of the Ghost crew, openly wondering how much Hera truly has kept hidden from her compadres – the line “He doesn’t know anything” in reference to Kanan was especially telling. Her subsequent heartbreaking decision to leave Kanan makes sense, just as much as it does for her companions to directly disobey her and make a deal with Vizago to find a way to rescue Kanan while revealing that both him and Ezra were Jedi (that surely won’t come back to bite anyone).
The rescue mission was thrillingly executed, made all the more so by some fantastically improved space fighting choreography and the best use of Chopper, well, ever. The plan involves Chopper going deep into enemy territory, disguised as one of the Imperial droid couriers that are now being used for communication ever since Tarkin destroyed that tower last week. Chopper’s entry really was easier than it ought to have been and the episode could have benefited from using more time within the ship instead of the opening sequence. More efficient than ever before (perhaps because of his touching attachment to Kanan), Chopper grabs the information and even has a few stormtroopers sucked out into space because he is just that cool. And not too soon did he rescue that information. Kanan’s torture with the mind probe and lightning looked painful enough and while his initial resistance was powerful, there’s little saying that he can survive for much longer. As it may be, certainly Tarkin can’t be pleased at Kanan’s mental fortitude and there’s few things more terrifying than an angry Tarkin. The plan works out with an ominous little quip that may have pushed the episode into melodramatic territory but it worked enough for me. Kanan is being taken to Mustafar, the planet where Jedi go to die.
Great Moments Not Mentioned Above:
+“A Jedi can still feel pain and pain can break anyone”
+“Today, nothing; tomorrow, who knows?”
+“Oh, behind you.” That never works – clunk!
+I love how Zeb and the crew became appreciative of the Imperial droid
+Chopper kicking the Imperial droid out of the ship and everyone’s subsequent reactions
+The Imperial droid making friends with the local Lothal cats
+The landscape animation continues to be stunning
Title: Rebel Resolve
Written By: Charles Murray & Henry Gilroy
Directed By: Justin Ridge
Image Courtesy: The Bearded Trio