Rebels, Season 3 Premiere: Steps Into Shadow (Part II)
This is the second half of a two-part recap. To start at the beginning, go here.
Aaand we’re back! Thank you for allowing me a brief respite to collect my thoughts and take another zillion screengrabs and also live my life and be an actual person before finishing this recap.
We pick things up where we left off with Ezra, Rex, Hondo, Zeb, Chopper, and Sabine on board the Phantom, approaching Reklam Station. They see the fabled Y-wings they’re after, but there’s a problem: they’re already in the process of being destroyed!
…so, with only 14 ships remaining, Ezra says they need to act fast. But, uh…
I’m In Charge of Security Here
Ezra gets all up in Rex’s face and like, you have a POINT here, Bridger, but nevertheless, if you ever speak to Rex this way again I will personally send The Possible Ghost of Ahsoka Tano over there to strangle you with her montrals. I’m pretty sure she’d be game if I told her you were mouthing off to Rex.
They breach the perimeter of the station and all of sudden they have some company:
Hondo’s like OH YEAH HAHA OOPS I forgot there might be dismantler droids everywhere MY BAD:
The Imperials running the station take note of their arrival and begin to track their progress:
Recurring Theme: Captain Rex Is Not Going to Let This Kill Him
Rex is like FUCK. THIS. NOT TODAY, SATAN. I did not live through the fucking Clone Wars attached to Semi-Suicidal Skywalker, rip a control chip out of my fucking SKULL, survive years of a life in exile and get ALL THE WAY TO THIS POINT to let some punkass DROID take me down. FUCK. NO. I am Captain Rex, hear me roar!
He dives outside. Go get ’em, Rex!
Rex very nearly falls out to his doom, but is saved in the nick of time by Zeb, and then Rex is awesomely hanging by a leg as he blasts away at the droid:
I Can Do This
The engines are struggling, the ship’s lost power, and Sabine is trying to pilot this thing despite all of this. She’s in luck, because as they crash, they go through a storm, which means the Bad Guys can’t track them (gee that was handy.)
She locks the ship onto the station and the gang is safe, for now. Good going, Mando Girl!
Let’s Make a Deal
They get out, and there are a bunch of ugnaughts working on the station. They’re initially pretty hostile to the gang as they approach them. Hondo, amazingly and fortunately, speaks Ugnese so please enjoy this screenshot of him persuading the ugnaughts that they come in peace:
He tells them that they’ll free them from their slave labor life here on Reklam Station if they help them nab some Y-Wings.
Can they go quick turn off the conveyor? They can!
Back in the control room, the Evil Guys are like “hey no one said to turn off that conveyor! WTF?” The ugnaught lies and tells them it’s malfunctioning and had to be turned off, and the Empire really needs better system monitoring tools in their control room. If they did, they’d have known this guy was lying, but whatever.
They Need a Good Team-Building Outing
With the conveyor disabled, the team get to work stealing the Y-wings, and man, morale — or at least sentiment towards Ezra — is kinda low right now. Sabine is like “OK, so first we need to actually FUEL these ships you’ve decided to grab, genius”…
And then Rex is like “Yeah get ready, this mission is gonna be a pain in the ass”…
…and finally Zeb, for no reason really, decides to wistfully remind Ezra that His Mentor Isn’t Here and OK, thanks for the pep talk, Zeb? You needed to waste time RIGHT NOW to tell Ezra this? Geez.
Force Field Sobriety Test
Where IS Kanan right now anyway, you ask? Why, he’s still off on his Force Quest, asking the Bendu for guidance on how to see again.
The Bendu tells him to head out on a little walk. Kanan is terrified because of, oh, you know, the gigantic menacing spiders out there, but the Bendu takes him on this exercise so he can learn to see from within himself or…you know, whatever. I don’t know, some kind of Force thing. This is the Yoda portion of our program, so it more or less boils down to:
Mentor: Do this crazy thing.
Jedi: Naaaaaah I can’t.
Mentor: No really do it.
Jedi: But it’s haaaaaaarrrdd.
Mentor: You’re gonna fail this course if you don’t do it.
Jedi: UGH OK FINE but I’m going to complain to Obi-Wan’s Force Ghost about this later.
Eventually, though, Kanan overcomes his hesitations and realizes he senses fear. Fear in who? The spiders?
…or maybe not Ezra. Maybe the real Phantom Menace is the fear within yourself, Kanan Jarrus! DUN DUN DUUUUUN!
Enjoy This Parting Gift
Kanan passes his Force Exam and is ready to go help his friends now:
The Bendu asks him what he wants him to do with the Sith holocron:
…and, all right, that seems like kind of a shitty gift. “Here! It’s filled with the power of darkness.” “Oh my God thank you! You shouldn’t have.” For whatever reason, the Bendu seems to find this absolutely hilarious:
OK then. Nice meeting you, Force Creature with the Voice of the Fourth Doctor! Maybe our paths will cross again someday.
Recurring Theme: They’re Onto Us!
Back on Reklam Station, the Imperials have been alerted that the Rebels are still alive and…
The ships get locked down again! Rats!
The only way to unlock them now is via the control tower. Ezra tells Zeb and Sabine to keep refueling:
I have to feel kind of exhausted for Rex here. An old man, probably besieged with back problems and old war injuries, still running around on some insane quest, taking orders from some smart-mouthed, possibly-evil Jedi kid. Obi-Wan isn’t the only one getting too old for this sort of thing, soldier.
As they get to work with the Y-wings, a dismantler droid comes after Chopper, because it really had been awhile since we had an electrocution:
Recurring Theme: Hondo Ohnaka, Swindler of the Jedi
Hondo and the ugnaughts (another thing that sounds like a terrible band) start making their way towards totally not stealing a ship and blowing this joint, and Ezra tells Rex to go help Sabine and co while he goes to deal with the control tower.
He’s fighting a group of stormtroopers when his space mom calls to yell at him. You were supposed to check in with us, son, where the hell are you?
At Rebel HQ, no one’s buying that they’re only scoping the place out anymore. Hera says:
Annoyed though she is, she is delighted and relieved to see who’s already on board the Ghost:
Recurring Theme: Captain Rex, Droid’s Worst Enemy
Rex does some awesome ass-kicking of the dismantler droid and saves Sabine, Zeb and Chopper, who are dangling over a ledge…
…while Hondo tells Ezra the least-believable lie ever:
Ezra then makes his way to the control tower. He expertly takes down a few more stormtroopers, and LOL that the rest of the guys in the tower just run away from him, leaving him and Titus alone for this scene:
They have words, and I also need to mention that this scene involves a score that is spiritually similar to the “Jaunty Horns For An Action Sequence With The Jedi Doing Something Heroic” theme that we hear occasionally throughout the saga films.
Turns out, the only way to release the ships now is to cut the power to the station entirely — but that would cause the station itself to plummet into the abyss.
Ezra is unfazed:
Ezra busts up the control panel behind him with his lightsaber, knocking out the power to the entire station.
He tells Sabine to have the crew take the Y-wings and get outta here, and he’ll take the Phantom. Chopper is decidedly not interested in getting in a Y-wing, and Zeb basically has to do that thing I have to do with my kids when they don’t want to get in their car seat:
Recurring Theme: Oh Hondo
As Sabine’s crew sets out, Hondo leaves town, and I just love that Hondo constantly fucks the Jedi over and they’re always like “OH HONDO, you ol’ such and such.” He’s like, their deadbeat cousin who only shows up to ask for money but whom they have a fondness for nevertheless because he’s the funniest one at family gatherings.
Bad news for the gang in the Y-wings, though:
And this bad news gets worse when the party gets crashed by these guys:
Sabine is frantically radioing into Ezra…but Ezra’s got very big problems of his own now, as he watches the Phantom disappear into the void:
Recurring Theme: I Need My Space Dad
Everyone’s scrambling to figure out what the hell to do, and Ezra laments:
Yes, sometimes even the whiniest, cockiest, most self-assured Jedi Trainees still need their Space Dads to come help them. This makes me wonder if Vader ever really got into some difficult situation during the Empire Era, and out of instinct was like “OBI-WAN COME HELP ME” before remembering that he couldn’t have Obi-Wan come help him anymore, and then he felt a momentary, tiny pang of sadness before crushing it with rage, and now I’ve somehow managed to really make myself sad again, and as usual it’s Anakin Skywalker’s fault.
OK! So it is around this time that the Rebellion arrives on the scene to save the day, collecting up the Y-wings:
…and Sabine asks Hera and Kanan where The Phantom’s at. Uh oh…
Recurring Theme: My Dad and I Have a Force Moment
Kanan and Hera set out to find Ezra, and Kanan uses his Force-dar to guide him:
He runs to the door of the ship to make a daring rescue and let us not overlook the VERY OBVIOUS SYMBOLISM of Kanan literally holding out his hand and pulling Ezra back into the light:
The Force Theme plays, and Ezra is saved.
Governor Pryce, Huge Thrawn Fangirl
The evils are chatting about what to do now. Thrawn was right — the Rebels came to save the Y-wing thieves. Thrawn knows that the 3 ships they brought to the rescue is not the full Rebel fleet, though. And this guy has got a long-term plan for the Rebellion which will not ultimately be successful although I guess maybe it will be depending on how you look at things? Given what we know about the state of the universe post-Episode 6 now, I really have no fucking idea who to declare the Eventual Winner here.
So anyways, Thrawn says:
Recurring Theme: They Let Us Go
…wait, what? We’re gonna just…let them go?
Governor Pryce is like “you guys just don’t UNDERSTAND, Thrawn is a beautiful cyan genius and I have all his albums and he is the best so just trust him.”
You Are Grounded, Young Man
Back home safely now, Ezra is getting yelled at by his Space Mom:
Sabine is like “…well, at least we got the Y-wings?” Hera says these particular Y-wings are not for them — they have orders to deliver them:
And oooooooh we’re just walking our way right on over to the Original Trilogy, you guys. Eeeee! The Rebellion Theme plays as the group gazes proudly at a parking lot full of old, beat-up Y-wings and I’m sorry guys but OK, FINE: this scene kinda got to me.
Recurring Theme: Everything’s Going to Be FINE
Ezra and Kanan have no gigantic picture window to gaze out of (well, and I guess it doesn’t make much difference to Kanan anyways 🙁 ), so instead they stand and stare straight ahead at nothing for no reason other than to give them somewhere to be while they do this episode’s Wrap-Up Speech. Ezra apologizes for using the Sith holocron, then inelegantly asks where it is. Kanan just tells him it’s safe. Ezra then somewhat sweetly says he’s glad Kanan decided to come back…and Kanan tells him he always will, and Ezra gazes at him as they walk away.
I am going to give this entire scene a preemptive OH WHY STAR WARS because this kind of Emotionally-Laden Dialogue always, ALWAYS means that someone is going to die or become Ultimate Evil’s Arm Candy or something. See also:
- Qui-Gon telling Obi-Wan he’ll be a great Jedi, Episode 1
- Obi-Wan telling Anakin he’s proud of him, Episode 3
- Rex telling Ahsoka to be safe out there, Rebels
- Obi-Wan telling Luke that the Force will be with him always, Episode 4
- Leia asking Han to bring back their son, Episode 7
- Han Solo telling Kylo he can help him, Episode 7
There’s more, too, of course. I’m guessing that Final Anakin/Ahsoka Conversation in the last TCW arc would have been a soul-crusher, for example:
Anakin: Sorry Snips, Obi-Wan and I can’t stay here and help you. We just found out Palpatine kidnapped himself again so we’re gonna go do Episode III now, I guess.
Ahsoka: Oh come on, he kidnapped himself again?!
Anakin: Yeah, so anyways, here’s Rex and a bunch of the 501st. You take care of them for me, OK? I’m super proud of you, and don’t worry because Obi-Wan and I will definitely be right back.
Obi-Wan: Why wouldn’t we be, right?
Ahsoka: I can’t think of a single reason why! You guys are such a great team and you love each other so much! Nothing can stop you! Nothing ever has!
Anakin: Everything’s going to be FINE. I don’t even feel a little bit evil at all! I bet the war is going to end peacefully soon!
Obi-Wan: I’m so proud of both of you!
Ahsoka: I love you guys!
Rex: Awww, are we doing a Bittersweet Farewell? I love you guys too!
Anakin: You take care of Ahsoka, too, OK Rex? Again: WE WILL BE BACK ASAP.
Your Author: OK GUYS THAT IS ENOUGH DRAMATIC IRONY.
Ahem. Anyways. This all makes me think we should really keep an eye on Luke and Leia in Episode 8. If they start to say things like “I’m proud of you” or “Everything’s going to be fine, I’ll be right back” then we all need to PANIC.
At any rate, on this probably-ominous note, that’s a wrap for this Rebels Season Premiere! This season’s got so much left to give us, too: Darth Maul (I SWEAR ON THE DAMN KYBER CRYSTAL THAT SOMEONE BETTER KILL THIS GUY SOON,) Bo-Katan Kryze, the motherfucking DARK!SABER! (YES!), Wedge giving the Empire his first but not last middle-finger, more Thrawnification, and God only knows what else. The sky’s the limit, friends!