Saturday, 4 November 2017

Star Wars Rebels S04E05 "The Occupation" & S04E06 "Flight of the Defender"


Ezra and the Ghost crew are called back to Lothal when a new Imperial threat rises. The rebels look to secure intel on a deadly new Imperial fighter prototype.

What I thought

After dropping multiple hints every week, Ezra finally gets to go back to Lothal with the gang, after Mom Mothma gives them approval to find out about a new upgraded TIE-defender. In season one I was glad when they left Lothal, and here we are back there, albeit for one double-parter. It was much as I expected; cutey/nasty Lothal cats, creeping about, and some random zany Ezra like stuff to appease the younger audience. It was very acceptable entertainment although felt very much like it was all planned out rather than flowing smoothly.

In the first episode the gang arrive on Lothal in some ridiculous disguises. Ezra and Sabine head to a bar which was anti-Empire but is so pro-Empire now you'd think you was on the Death Star. A pilot as a bar host? Imperial march music playing? And ... hardly anyone in there? Outside someone was being done for breaking curfew but inside the bar no one questions this fact. A local helps Ezra and Sabine out of a tight squeeze but this only leads to the obvious as the whole gang soon are being pursued by the Empire and head down the sewers. Zeb isn't happy but these have to be the cleanest sewers in the world as there's absolutely no material of any substance down there. There's a typical cartoon dilemma as the gang seem pinned down by a handful of Stormtroopers one minute but got rid of at least 3 imperial droids not long before. Anyhow, Lothal giant, Ryder is on hand to help the gang out of a sticky situation right near the end of part one, much like Saw did at end of previous two-parter. Hey, it's a good "cliffhanger" situation right?

In part two, it's all about the Defender, as Ezra, Sabine, Zeb and Ryder (plus Lothal Cats) head to the TIE compound where the new Defender is just landing. Sabine heads in to steal the flight recorder, which is a new tactic because last time they decided to steal the schematics. Anyhow, whilst she's inside pulling wires out, none other than Grand Admiral Thrawn, Governor Pryce and two Death Troopers arrive to inspect the Defender. Great timing! Ezra runs a distraction by basically causing a hell of a mess, before ending up in the Defender with Sabine as that's their best route of escape. Watching that thing blow everything up was awesome, as was how cool Thrawn was as he never flinched from being shot at!!!! Amazing. Thrawn wants to use the opportunity to see the Defender in action, learning that it's likely to be Ezra flying. Wonder what use he'll make of that?

After crashing the Defender, due to a kill switch being used by the Empire, they smuggle the hyperdrive and flight recorder from the wreckage, and get an odd ride back to Ryder's camp by a direwolf. Ok, it's actually a Lothal Wolf but it could be a direwolf as it's massive. What are we to make of this? Is it anything other than Ezra's connection to the force and animals?

Rating: 6/10 – The return to Lothal was thankfully a short-stay one, but had some memorable moments along the way.

What I liked
  • Great to see Rex and Kallus get some better screentime although it was brief.
  • How cool is Thrawn in this episode? Not at all concerned about being shot down. Then there's his calculating analysis of the Defender.
  • The occupation of Lothal was grim and dark.
  • The Lothal cats were super cute and funny this week, especially with those two stormtrooopers.
What I didn’t like
  • Didn't Ezra say he was going to stay on Lothal this week?
  • Death Troopers were once again different to the Rogue One version but certainly less rubbish than in the previous episode. However, they didn't really do much but bark orders in these episodes.
  • Very "staged" in first episode down the imperial bar with the imperial march music playing and a former pilot now running a bar?
  • Some good interaction with Kallus and Rex but we hardly got to see them.
  • Umm, where's AP-5?

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