I’m a Pirate!
A Television Review by Akash Singh
NOTE: SPOILERS OCCUR!!!!!!!
The latest episode of Star Wars Rebels was frankly a disappointment. As exciting as Siege of Lothal was, the following seasonal episodes have left several things wanting. Rebels in a way wants to have two things simultaneously and those two things can work in the series’s favor if it balances them properly. On one hand, the series wants to be an adventure story within the Star Wars universe, which is perfectly fine. On the other hand, Rebels wants to espouse the gritty fight between liberty and death that The Empire Strikes Back most overtly personifies. Last week, as uneven as the tone was, there was at least a narrative propulsion riding on a balance somewhat. This week that balance goes what whack out the proverbial desert window in an adventure that could at best be described as being completely bemusing. There were some strong moments, certainly due to the incredible voice work of Jim Cummings and a nice callback to Obi-Wan, but outside of that and some nice aesthetics, this episode felt ultimately like a large waste of time. Certainly it’s not an episode that I would have expected following the introduction of the two new Inquisitors.
The episode begins with Ezra having a random fit about having too much stuff to do, an exceedingly out of character moment considering the circumstances. Equally out of character was Hera interrupting Ezra and reminding him that he actually has chores left to do that involved the cleaning of the ship. Hera keeping everyone in check is a part of who she is, but she would be intelligent enough to keep Ezra’s training a priority, especially in light of the Inquisitors reveal. It’s an extremely contrived set piece and the end result is Ezra getting onto a ship with Chopper. In another case of extreme coincidence, he hears Vhizago’s distress call and head off on his own, because, teenage years? The entrance of Ezra into Vhizago’s ship is cast in an eerie sort of light amidst darkness, which would have been neat was it not for the jarring tone and essentially the same visual and audio tactics having been used last week. Keeping in mind that he was to pay Vhizago back (a nice plot callback), Ezra is thusly quite surprised to see a Weequay pirate instead.
The return of Hondo Ohnaka from The Clone Wars saves the episode from unparalleled infamy, in large part due to Jim Cummings returning as Hondo Ohnaka. His last appearance in the Darth Maul arc was indeed a memorable one, his witty dialogue, suave mannerisms, and character complexities endearing himself to a plethora of Star Wars fans. His rapport with Ezra is a highlight here, potentially crafting a relationship that could prove to be another boon for the Rebels team. What Hondo’s appearance means more than anything else, at least to myself, anyhow, is his close relationship with the Jedi during the Clone Wars era that has largely faded away into an unknown dream of the past. While certain Rebellion figures know that past, many do not and that could be an interesting narrative for the show to grasp (as it is, I doubt Hondo was arriving for a one-off appearance). The risk of exhausting that gamut, however, is ever-present and as much as I love The Clone Wars, Rebels needs to ensure that it stays on its own.
Great/Not So Great Moments Not Mentioned Above:
+Hondo’s soundtrack, called “The Indian Pop Source”
+“I’m certain we can.”
+“Your business plan is impressive.”
+“You lied to me? I knew I liked you.”
+Double blaster Chopper was pretty great.
+“One of my best friends was a Jedi. I’m pretty sure we were friends.” What a great, subtle little callback.
Episode Title: Brothers of the Broken Horn
Written by: Bill Wolkoff
Directed by: Saul Ruiz
Image Courtesy: Comic Book Movie