Sunday, 3 April 2016

Star Wars Rebels S02E21 "Twilight of the Apprentice"


"After gaining information about the Sith, Kanan, Ezra and Ahsoka battle the Inquisitors with the help of a new ally, but are overmatched when Vader arrives."

What I thought?

This is the first ever episode of Star Wars Rebels that I've watched twice. I rarely watch anything a second time, not least all the way through. Some of the reason for that I won't go into here, but did my views change from first to second time?

Yes, they did. On first watch I was underwhelmed. Probably because I'd been so hyped up about a massive finale, Vader, and someone probably dying, that when it didn't all happen the way my mind had somehow predicted, it was naturally deflated. But, there's a heck of a lot contained in this episode and lots to digest long after it's finished, which is why this episode is most definitely rewatchable as you debate and re-debate nuggets of information amongst the massive reveals.

In short, Ahskoa, Kanan and Ezra find a sith temple. The former Darth, Maul, seduces Ezra when he becomes separated from the other two, slowly fueling his darker sides as they uncover the secrets of the temple. How much Maul is betting on Ezra being the apprentice that he claims near the end, is anyone's guess. All Maul wanted was the power behind the temple to destroy all his enemies; Jedi and Sith. Throughout the episode, the inquisitors are there, including a new one, who seem to only be a plot point to distract our heroes before they run away and then come back at inconvenient points. The Grand Inquisitor in series one was awesome. He was mysterious, strong and had great dialogue. The inquisitors in the second series are just annoying, quite frankly, and carry no weight to them other than the inconvenience one might feel after stepping in dog poo. Not to worry, because Maul kills two of them (off-screen deaths of course, this is a cartoon) and although the 3rd one kind of gets away, it's ambiguous if they died. But it's suggested from other sources that they are indeed dead. This could be the end of the inquisitors. As a concept they are great, but this second season they've been much of nothing really.

Vader arrives near the end, on top of his tie-fighter! An awesome entrance. He chats too much for me, but only just too much. Maul is very chatty throughout the episode but this is the post-film Maul who does nothing but natter. He's very different to the film's Maul who was almost mute. I like Maul, but somewhat prefered him when he hardly muttered a word. Word on the street though is that Maul is the third season's main foil for our rebels. He doesn't care much for them, but we can be sure he cares less for the Empire.

We never saw Maul Vs Vader but we did see some of Ashoka Versus Vader. The fighting wasn't overly dramatic but the cinematic display throughout this episode, along with background music was awesome. Vader seems to do nothing but stride and push his lightsabre about these days rather than be too animated, but he's clearly dark, evil, big in stature and powerful. Naturally one can never have enough Vader on screen.

So, at the end what do we have? Looks like Ashoka will be playing less screen time next season, going by rumours. She's still alive, despite everyone believing she was destined to die in the finale. Vader is slightly battered from the experience. Probably more battered than I'd expected given his powerful awesomeness. Kanan ends up blind, which looks permanent. This probably spells more trouble for Ezra as with Ashoka and a slightly more subdued Kanan we now have clear evidence from this episode that Ezra is dabbling in the dark side much more.

A few quibbles; Vader, arrives on top of ship. Autopilot? It flies away when he dismounts? Guess it must of been. I also didn't think how reasonable Kanan and Ahsoka were with Maul rang quite right either. And why would Yoda send them there? Lots to think about.

Rating 8/10 (GREAT)

It started with a ... ship, of course. Hic!

Anyone falling from that height, with that much rubble, would be dead or very hurt but alas our heroes are fine.

Maul didn't really help at all with the doors.

Chopper was awesome as always. Manning the tie-fighter guns was cool.

The Inquisitors this season are really a menace and annoying, carrying little threat.

Some beautiful visuals in this episode.

Cool use of lightsabers but far too much of it and somewhat ridiculous.

Now this is how you make an entrance.

The man behind the mask.

How dark is Ezra going to go next season?

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