Galactic Hunter Video Theater Presents: Star Wars Rebels - Rebel Resolve

By Adam Pawlus — Monday, February 23, 2015

Tonight's episode of Star Wars Rebels continues the second real multi-episode arc of the season. "Rebel Resolve" builds a little tension without spending too much time on the specifics of Kanan's imprisonment and also makes us think that Ezra likes him more than Hera does..


Surprisingly, nobody has been rescued and there's an honest-to-goodness cliffhanger to make things interesting next time. Read on for more!



The story - the crew of the Ghost attempt to find out where Kanan is before trying to rescue him. Ezra makes a pretty big promise to Vizago, and we see Sabine show her skill at producing droid repaints. Surprisingly, Hasbro is not following her lead.


As always, the visual and audio similarities to the original trilogy gives me a twitchy feeling because of all the winking in the cues. We see Kanan get captured and there's an IT-0 droid present. Kanan gets zapped with blue lightning. Tarkin gives us his take on "He's no good to me dead." Were this released in the first decade following the movie it might be seen as clever - not unlike how they keep winking at us in the Terminator movies - but here it's just grating. Generally speaking the saga has shied away from having too many winks and nudges, other than "I've got a bad feeling about this" and the proclivity toward dismemberment. The music from the AT-AT battle on Hoth during the opening AT-DP battle just continues to add weight to the argument that this series is, more than anything else, Star Wars Remixed. Even the lighting at the end of the episode evokes Cloud City, although I suppose it could just as easily have been meant to give an emotional, firey punch as well. I'll leave that up to you.

Grand Moff Tarkin is back and we get to hang out with a bundle of characters for brief blips. Hera and Ezra are the big standouts, although Chopper gets to do a lot while also proving his continued ability to be a tremendous jerk. In a classic TV switcheroo, they kidnap a Courier Droid and Sabine paints up Chopper to match him. Chopper boards a Star Destroyer, gets some information, and comes back - killing four men in the process. During the mission the captured Imperial droid turns out to be a friendly addition to the crew who the Rebels decide to add to their band... until Chopper shoves him out an open door, crashing to Lothal's surface. Despite Darth Vader's murdering of his underlings, it would seem Chopper's more chaotic nature makes him even more of an unpredictable danger to anyone on the show. You actually have to make a mistake to get Darth Vader to kill you, Chopper just seems to want to bring more chaos for everybody.


Tarkin, Kallus, and the Inquisitor get a bit less screen time this week. A lot is going on for our heroes, so this is no surprise as three the Empire's finest spend a good amount of time trying to figure out if Kanan is, in fact, a Jedi. This isn't terribly exciting for the audience because a) we know the answer, b) they probably do too, and c) it's not like there's some blood test to make it brief. Other than poke him, prod him, and zap him, not much happens here - basically we just see that he puts up a good fight and doesn't know of any other Rebel resistance cells. Which we also already knew. The 1990s incarnations of Star Trek were frequently accused of overly padding their multi-part story arcs, and I felt the same way about much of The Clone Wars. This installment of Rebels doesn't feel like it's going anywhere yet, and while I'd like to give them the benefit of the doubt that there are nuances and bits of foreshadowing I'm not picking up on just yet that does not seem likely.


Hera points out that Kanan doesn't know anything and therefore, is not a particularly valuable prisoner. The mysterious Fulcrum's identity has been decoded using audio editing software, but for now this individual serves as a sounding board who shows more than a little interest in Ezra at the expense of Kanan. But why? Is Ezra the "new hope?" Well, of course not - but maybe Fulcrum thinks that he is. The character dynamic results in an interesting role reversal, with Hera playing the part of the level-headed but fairly cold commander who must leave someone she cares about behind for the sake of the mission, while her man is the hostage. Of course none of this really matters, because the limited amount of information we know about Fulcrum proves that this individual is probably starring in a far more interesting show than the one we're seeing.


The scenery this week is fantastic, with different angles and lighting on familiar sets giving them a lot more life. I'm still feeling restrained hanging around Lothal most of the time - seriously, the Empire can't catch these guys when they park in open grass fields? - but at least they keep it looking interesting. The musical cues are mostly very familiar, but that's par for the course. The textures are unquestionably Star Wars, so you're getting pretty straight-up stuff here.


Ending an episode with a loss for the heroes is always a good move for keeping us interested. We know - or we think - that after the Empire captures Kanan, this will have to be addressed soon. How long will they keep him apart? Few shows have the cajones to keep this sort of thing going for long, especially in genre series. Deep Space Nine had an arc where they lost the station, but the story played out over about 7 episodes. When main characters get captured, usually it's a week - two at the most. I expect he'll be free and running next week if not in the season two premiere, but if the writers keep him behind bars for longer than that I'll be incredibly impressed.

Takeaway from this week:
We're going back to Mustafar! Again.
Hasbro: Courier Droids, please. And a Chopper repaint. Thank you.
Other than Tarkin, we got to see a lot of the Empire's nifty transport ships.

Next time: The season one finale with "Fire Across the Galaxy!" See you next mission!