Star Wars Rebels 1.15: “Fire Across the Galaxy” Review

The Rescue

A Television Review by Akash Singh

NOTE: SPOILERS OCCUR!!!!!!!

“Tell me, Jedi, how did you survive Order 66? Hmm? It was your Master Billaba who laid down her life for yours. Do you remember her last word to you, her last, final breath before she died? You do, don’t you?..”

“Run.”

Star Wars Rebels arrived on the back of excitement and a fair bit of skepticism after the premature end of The Clone Wars. The attachment of the Disney name did little to alleviate those fears that a childish version of Star Wars lore was arriving during a time period when the darkness of the Empire ought to have been at its powers. Over the course of the first season, certainly some of those fears were warranted, as showcased by the extremely weak opening. But as time went on, the show grew more confident in its storytelling and the relationship between its characters and tonight’s finale was no exception. There are some missteps in terms of continuity (most notably in the beginning) and an hour-long slot could certainly have helped the pacing, but this is overall a pretty solid season finale with a number of shocking moments. Our heroes have escaped as one would expect, but to say that they have escaped unscathed would be a mistake indeed. The fight is only about to get a lot tougher down the road and our rebels are going to get all the help they can.

And it appears they will receive a decent chunk of it. But before we get to the appearance from You-Know-Who (no, Voldemort doesn’t appear), let’s get to the rescue mission itself. Kanan is still receiving some lovely torture from the Inquisitor, who is primarily interested in knowing the identity of Fulcrum. Of course, only Hera is privy to that information. But the Inquisitor, not being aware of that information, continues to press in with some decent psychological torture regarding Kanan’s survival of Order 66. As it was, Kanan as a Padawan was with his master when the order was executed and the last word Jedi Master Depa Billaba spoke to him was a simple, single word. “Run.” And Kanan ran and one could argue that he hasn’t stopped running since, with the only potentially stabilizing force in his life being the crew of the Ghost. As their leader he found some semblance of hope for the future, but when the Inquisitor asks what his crew would do when they found out he was a coward for running, there’s a visible fear in Kanan’s eye that indeed such trauma could come to fruition. Then he would truly have no one left.

Thankfully the crew arrives to infiltrate the Star Destroyer and garner their friend and it’s done in a fairly intelligent manner. Ezra quickly discovers Kanan’s location but not before they run into the Inquisitor in a fairly obvious callback to the good parts of The Phantom Menace. A fantastic duel breaks out amidst the three combatants as the Inquisitor snarls and takes on both master and apprentice with expected competency. As by far the weakest combatant in the fight, Ezra is taken out fairly quickly. While it’s a little apparent that Ezra is still alive, Kanan only sees the quick fall of his short-lived apprentice. A quiet, resounding fury begins to envelop his visage. “I have nothing left to fear,” he snarls at a determined Inquisitor and the fight begins in earnest to become easily the best confrontation in the series so far. The duel in and of itself is absolutely pulse-pounding, with beautifully animated fight choreography to boot. It’s a true battle of the wills, with Kanan’s ferocity at truly espousing the Force after being beaten to the bare bone providing the thrilling emotional stakes necessary for a fight sequence like this to work. The Inquisitor in his hubris makes a tactical error as he, in true Star Wars fashion, finds himself dangling from the edge of a precipice as his lightsabers fall into the reactor core and cause a series of blasts. As he stares into the eyes of his victorious nemesis, a haunting expression comes over him. He quietly utters “There are some things far more frightening than death” and he tumbles voluntarily towards his death.

The things that are far more frightening than death happens to boil down to a single individual, whose quiet steps down the ramp of an Imperial ship send chills throughout the air. A steady, mechanized rasping fills the air as Vader appears. Yes, an angry Vader is far more frightening than death. But there is at least a fighting chance in sight. A fleet of Alderaanian ships come to the rescue of the Ghost crew. They discover, much to their surprise and or relief, that they are only one of the rebel cells  alive and functioning. Coordinating a good deal of this is Senator Bail Organa, who se presence provides this episode with a clear foreshadowing of the eminent, unified Rebel front that hopefully we’ll see building up on our screens. Before this profound revelation truly sets in, we go towards the command central, where Ahsoka Tano reveals herself as Fulcrum. It was a speculation that had been already taken as fact by the fans, but in all honesty it didn’t make the actual revelation any less exciting for me. So that’s where we end this solid beginning to a new chapter in the Star Wars mythology as the old and new come together in a brilliant fashion to propel the galaxy in a new direction. There are new allies and enemies and while the fight certainly is going to be a difficult one, there’s nothing to say that it won’t be a journey worth taking. May the Force be With You and I’ll see you back for Season 2!

Great/Not So Great Moments Not Mentioned Above:

+“Miss me, bucket heads?”

+“Yep, you definitely miss me.”

+“Artist is back.”

+“Not again! Everyone, evacuate!”

+Rebel symbol rising in smoke was a fairly cool shot

+Finally, a good editing cue for the logo

+“That’s not regulation.”; “I kind of like it.”

+Reinforcements at the ready

+“It’ll take them a while to find us”; “They found us.”

+The callback to the vents

+Chopper saving the day

+“This is Fulcrum. Who is this?”

+“Let me borrow that.”; “Yeah, no problem.”

+The Inquisitor surprised by the lightsaber-gun, which is phenomenally used here (I want one)

+Prequel-era music cues

+“That was a mistake.”

+Some great direction from Dave Filoni here, especially the shot of Ezra’s unconscious body

+“The Force is stronger than fear.”

+“I know the feeling.”

+“Well, we know he’s not going to use it.”

+Echoes from A New Hope

+“Well, these things weren’t built for three.”

+“You’re welcome, dear.”

+“Wait, did you know we were a cell?”

+“Fulcrum… My name is Ahsoka Tano.”

+“Unrest all over Lothal and there are whispers from Mustafar.”

+“The Emperor has sent an alternative solution.”

-The stormtroopers’ aim was a little ridiculous in the opening

-Hera’s speech was a little ridiculous considering her previous stance

-The slow motion on the Inquisitor was jarring

Brilliant

9/10

Title: Fire Across the Galaxy

Written By: Simon Kinberg

Directed By: Dave Filoni

Image Courtesy: Star Wars Rebels Wiki

Advertisements

Comment Below!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: