Rebels Review: Rebel Assault

The mid-season finale is here. After a flurry of episodes the past few weeks, we now have to wait until 2018 to finish of the epic tale of the Ghost crew and their fight against the Empire. It’s been a non-stop ride up to now, and even though I knew we were only getting one episode this week rather than two, it sort of threw me off. So let’s get to it.

In an attempt to relieve the Imperial oppression on Lothal, the Rebel Alliance agrees to launch a strike against Imperial targets. Led by Hera, the fighter group encounters Thrawn and his dreaded TIE Defender fighter. Thinking they were about to succeed, Thrawn does what he does best and swats the fighters from the sky. The assault was foiled, Hera was captured, and the Ghost crew now has to regroup.

This season has been one of my favorites. As I mentioned in my last review, by now, the filler episodes have taken over and the pace of the overall story has slowed down. Season Four has kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. That is, until this episode. I think there may be reasons for this, and I’ll get to that. I did enjoy this episode. I may sound like a broken hologram, but each installment has been visually incredible. I loved how when the TIE Fighters exploded they looked just like the mothball and kerosene explosions from the Original Trilogy films. It was a nice touch. That space battle was great, and I love any chance to see the TIE Defender in action.

When the fighters broke through the blockade, I was moderately worried that Thrawn was going to pull one of his “meh” reactions. You know what I mean. That “It’s regrettable, but we’ve learned something” thing. Luckily he did what he’s known for and already had a plan in place that tore the Rebels apart. This confirmed a prediction I made on Twitter that the Rebel attack would fail. And it failed hard.

This whole part of the episode felt very “real world”. Seeing downed pilots getting captured or evading stormtroopers brought it home for me. And when we see the Ghost crew witness the ruins of the squadron falling from the sky was horrible. I don’t mean the scene sucked, I mean imagining what they felt when they had to watch their help, and friends, crash and burn was rough.

Now, this is when the episode starts to fall down for me. The whole season has been action and fast paced. I know you can’t maintain that for a whole season, I get that. But the ending felt very soft to me. We already knew from the teasers and trailers that Hera was getting captured. But, we also know from Rogue One, that she survives. So, the sense of dread and worry wasn’t really that heavy. I was pumped when Kanan races back to the city to try and rescue her, but it was weird when the wolf stopped him and he was just like “okay, let’s go”. The pace really got messed up for me.

And then it ends. There was no cliffhanger and if there was an attempt to hold suspense over you, I just didn’t get it. I almost feel like Crawler Commanders would have been a better episode to end on since you get to feel the excitement and anticipation of knowing that the Rebels are coming to help Lothal. It would have made a good stopping point.

Likes:

  • The space battle was intense. Seeing X-Wings and Y-Wings in this show, in action, is amazing.
  • Cinematic and expertly directed.

Dislikes:

  • The intense pacing slowdown at the end threw me off.
  • Knowing Hera survives takes away from her capture since she has to escape.

I still liked this episode. It’s just probably my least favorite of the season. That still doesn’t mean too much since the whole season has been amazing. I hate that we have to wait until next year to finish this off. But, at least we have a small indy film coming out next month to pass the time with :).

 

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