Sunday, 5 March 2017

Star Wars Rebels S03E18 "Secret Cargo"


The Ghost crew must escort Senator Mon Mothma, now wanted by the Empire, to a meeting that can change the galaxy.

What I thought

Continuing on nicely from last week with regards to ramping up the anticipation of the final endgame, this week raises the stakes higher, as the Ghost crew (well, Zeb, Chopper, Hera and Ezra) help transport some secret cargo for the so-to-be-official Rebel Alliance. Given the season's trailer and clips for this week, we all know it's Mon Mothma who is the cargo. But even if we didn't, the fact that they have the crew listening to her speech to the senate via hologram whilst they are waiting quietly for their cargo, is an example of some of the numerous "I saw that coming" moments this week. Sigh. 

Anyhow, this episode is full of great moments in Star Wars history, as well as visuals. In a season of the A to Z of Imperial Probe droids, we have another version this week. This one is in a ship making those iconic and gorgeous imperial language sounds as it's scouting where the Ghost crew are hiding out. The probe does its job and discovers them, leading to Ezra testing his appalling shooting skills, as they take their time to shoot it down, just before the cargo arrives in the form of a transport and accompanying y-wings. Within seconds of this rendezvous, the Empire also arrives and all goes chaotically wrong as the transport is decimated and Mon Mothma instead uses the ghost in the getaway. There's some animosity between the rebel crew who are with Mon and the ghost crew over secrecy and tactics, which expectedly goes out of the window during the course of this episode, leading to some mutual respect by the end. The Gold Leader guy looks well serious and almost imperial like in his facial expressions during initial greetings. We also see that Mon can do the physical stuff this week in helping disengaged the ghost from the failing transporter ship and also by serving up hot drinks from the ghost's vending machine. This lady can do it all; physical stuff, drinks and digging into the Emperor in the senate.

Thrawn is watching in on what happened and hatching a plan, having worked out exactly how Hera would take Mon to a rendezvous point over dantooine where mom hopes the rebels will rally to. If he knows the route, why aren't they assembling over dantooine? Slightly confused here but oh well. Anyhow, the route Hera decides upon is through a dangerous nebula. Right on cue, the Empire arrives, along with, finally, that prototype TIE-fighter we saw the plans for a while back, which chases them into the immensely heated clouds. A few references to not using ion canons in the nebula set us up for what's coming later, as the heat rises through the walls of the Ghost whilst Hera risks taking things to breaking point in order to evade the Empire. Ezra (who finds himself flying the Ghost's smaller shuttle) and Gold Leader eventually deal with the prototype TIE (although we don't see it destroyed), but once everyone exits the nebula, there's two massive Imperial destroyers waiting for them. It's tractor beam time, but we all know that there's no chance that Mon will be captured, and sure enough Ezra and Gold leader use the ion canons on the nebula cloud which burst spectacularly into the destroyers, helping the rebels escape.

There's a lot to like about this episode as it's an enjoyable roller-coaster ride. It's great to see the rebellion really come together at the end. This helps turn Star Wars Rebels into Star Wars Rebel Alliance, which is where I hope they go with this show into next season. Sadly, several obvious "I saw that coming" moments helped destroy some of my excitement from building. Also, I found Mon Mothma to look a little awkward in terms of her aspect ratio, not least that as soon as I saw her eyes, I forever thought of Gollum. Maybe it's just me, but she looked a little odd compared to everyone else in this episode in terms of her frame. Still, it was an episode that helped to continue the build-up to the finale.

Rating 7/10

What I liked:
  • Mon Mothma more than a senator
  • Senate references
  • Thrawn’s strategies
  • Seeing all the rebel alliance coming together, meeting other rebels.

What I didn’t like:
  • Prototype TIE not given best debut
  • Several "I saw that coming a mile off" setups
  • Mon looked … odd … to me anyway.

The crew watch a hologram of Mon Mothma's speech ahead of some secret cargo. Wonder what that cargo might be huh?

I loved the probe droid's language :)

The Ghost crew meet the cargo

These new rebels don't seem to be overly happy with the ghost crew's history.
Don't worry, they kiss and make up quickly.

Empire arrives! Time to leg it!

Thrawn strokes his virtual beard and hatches a plan.

Mon serves up some blue milk for Hera.

Ezra needs some shooting practice.

Prototype TIE gets it's debut but little time to impress.

Oh-Uh ...


Meet the alliance ...

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