Galactic Hunter Video Theater Presents: Star Wars Rebels - Fire Across the Galaxy

By Adam Pawlus — Monday, March 2, 2015

Tonight's season finale of Star Wars Rebels doesn't answer many of the hanging questions, but we do get a big peek behind the curtain in "Fire Across the Galaxy." We see a potential death, an unmasking, and wrap up Kanan's imprisonment with what is probably the best space battle we've seen on the TV editions of the franchise so far. In short, good times all around - and the amount of giddy fan stuff at the end is going to make you scream out for joy. (As long as Hasbro follows the cues of the episode, of course.)


Read on for more! I just finished watching this moments ago, so it's not too in-depth. And spoilers follow.



The story: the crew uses a couple of stolen Imperial ships, and the greatest TIE Fighter repaint I've ever seen (and now want as a toy) to catch up to Tarkin's Star Destroyer around Mustafar. So we don't actually get to see Mustafar, but that's OK - we spend enough time blowing up Star Destroyers and having lightsaber fights that this doesn't really matter.


Much like the opening salvo of Return of the Jedi, we have an idea of where the story is likely to go - it's unlikely that our heroes will get killed, and we know they can't kill Tarkin, so odds are we're going to see a neat and tidy rescue operation. The crew adapts the previously stolen (and repainted) TIE Fighter as a non-lethal Trojan Horse (Dr. Heller would be proud). Another stolen freighter was used to get behind enemy lines so everybody could board the Star Destroyer and give us the running around, shooting, and Stormtroopers we so desperately crave and it was awesome. This is more or less what you want in a Star Wars movie, although there may be no finer example of the impotence of the Stormtrooper than Sabine's taunting at close range during the opening sequene. At this point I have to assume it's a joke on the part of the creators, because, c'mon man.

Unlike most weeks, many things of great significance happened. Heck, so did some product placement - the second half of the season has allowed for Disney to promote Ezra's lightsaber much as how Hasbro snuck in a Barrel of Monkeys into Iron Man 3. Not content to let Ezra's character promote the toy, Kanan used two lightsabers in what was an amazingly well animated duel that was, as many things on this series are, largely based on another fight. There were a lot of similarities with the Darth Maul duel on Naboo, hitting many of the same beats in a remixed but ultimately satisfying way. And just like at the end of that duel, it seems like the Inquisitor is dead and never got a name. He fell into a plume of smoke, so we can assume he's dead but you know how these kinds of story goes - no body, no death. And even if there's a body cut in half, they might show up again with cyborg legs and, I assume, excretory organs.

Grand Moff Tarkin provided a little bit of narrative clarity with most of his most important stuff coming up at the very end of the episode. Getting to see him trot out Darth Vader at the end gives me high hopes for next season, at least in terms of maybe raising the stakes beyond the trials of a couple of Imperial middle-managers and five scruffy space privateers. Darth Vader's introduction is far more interesting based on the previous scene, which was the big reveal of the Rebel cells.


Bail Organa is back with a group of Blockade Runners, and the Ghost returns piloted by a mysterious person. It's Fulcrum. And if you are the kind of person that can play with audio editing software or pays attention to casting news, the cat was out of the bag that another Padawan was likely to show up soon. Ahsoka Tano shows up to show how she looks 15 years on and this development makes for some very interesting story directions should the showrunners decide to follow up on the reunion between Darth Vader and Ahsoka. Or I certainly hope we see it, the idea of the disillusioned student to come back and change the world is tons of fun and this could be played up all sorts of fun ways. She doesn't have to be killed in the premiere, but I digress - there's not much to say about her appearance other than that it kicks open the doors to sequelize some plot threads from The Clone Wars. And man oh man, do I hope Hasbro gives us figures of these new introductions.


While I have no doubt that there were things playing out that we don't fully realize the importance of just yet, it was a blast and a half to see Stormtroopers getting blasted, blasting back, and running all over the place. The torture sequences were pretty much what we've already seen, but at least this part is all over now, and we've got a bright future for our heroes.


Absolutely everything looks gorgeous and sounds pretty good, too. The music cues felt fresher, the lighting changed up the look of everything, and things were briskly paced to set up another far more interesting season of the show. Overall, the episode seems to speak more of its own voice and hopefully we'll see a lot of that in the next episode which I am told will debut at Celebration VII. I assume camping-out lines and overflowing auditoriums will be a part of this.


We ended on a high note, but what of Ezra's parents? Who are these other cells? Are we about due for a showdown between master and apprentice? We've got at least one more season before Disney gets bored and goes in a different direction, so cross your fingers that we get more episodes like this and hopefully see the animators get bigger budgets to go to new and more diverse worlds.

Takeaway from this week:
Ahsoka! Darth Vader! Bail Organa!
Will we get to see Tarkin and Vader's relationship explored? I hope so!
I would love to see toys of these vehicles. Speaking of vehicles, the Imperial Troop Transport is shipping now.

Next time: Are we due for a showdown between Darth Vader and Ahsoka Tano? I hope so! See you next mission!