Sunday, 25 February 2018

Star Wars Rebels S04E10 "Jedi Night" & S04E11 "DUME"


The Ghost Crew infiltrates the Imperial headquarters on Lothal to save one of their own before reeling from a devastating loss, the Ghost crew rallies together to find a new purpose and resolve.

What I thought

After what seems like an age since we last saw 'Rebels' and that failed attempt to blow up the TIE Defender facility on Lothal, we're back with what is a double-bill episode, although some countries are showing them individually. Crazy! They really are better back to back, not least because there's little actual content in the second episode, once you've seen the devastating first one.

Let's get it out of the way instantly: Kanan is dead. There should be no ambiguity here, and I don't think there's even a slither of one. No one is even posing the question as to if he survived the end of episode 10. After such a massive loss of a central charecter, and the massive explosion that saw this Jedi's demise, the subsequent episode was always going to be a downer of sorts, but it was one that was definitely needed in order for emotions to be played out. I've seen Clone Wars and Rebels cartoons, but this combo of episodes was the first time I came close to actual tears in what was a massive pay-off for regular fans of the show in terms of reunion and loss for Hera and Kanan.

There's a sign of good things to come at the start of episode 10 when we have Kanan preparing himself for what he obviously seems to know is inevitable, by having a haircut and a shave with a knife that would be best used for chopping up bread. How he managed to shave that well with such an implement I don't know. He's placed Ezra in charge of the rescue of Hera who is being tortured with the electric chair and mocked by Thrawn in a way only he can deliver. Not long before the gang use manual flying contraptions to look like natural "birds" to infiltrate the Imperial Base, the dreaded Interrogating Probe Droid 'ball of no fun' injects Hera with a truth drug. Why it takes that floating device to give an injection I don't know, but I guess it cuts down on nurses. Entering the base proves very easy by air for Kanan, Sabine and Ezra, the latter of the two go their own way to help find transport away from the base, as Kanan uses magnetic suction devices to climb the walls to where Hera is being held. All Jedi's know how to make an entrance, and Kanan has this one nailed, as he arrives via the floor of this room, which for some reason extends outwards unlike the rest of the base. He ruthlessly deposes of the two troopers, one via the "Mace Window" exit technique, and kicks the probe droid down the entrance hole. Hera is delirious due to the drug, making for a fun and emotion moment, especially just before Kanan arrived. When Rukh shows up, Kanan eventually deals with him in a rather uncivilized fashion of force pushing him off the edge, before the pink-pimpernel Death Trooper's have them pinned down, leading to Kanan and Hera escaping via the manual flying contraptions. Incidentally, the Death Troopers this episode speak in garbled code, just like in Rogue One, which is what we all expected them to be like and not as they has been in previous Rebel episodes. That's more like it! Sadly, they don't seem to be much better than regular troopers at aiming this week as the Rebels get away. I'm also not sure why the Death Troopers were dispatched when they are normally guards for high-ranked commanders. Guess Thrawn sent them. He's about at this point but soon gets called away by Tarkin for a meeting with the Emperor to lobby for his TIE Defenders. Good luck with that Thrawn, especially as the Death Star plan gets a mention here. 

Kanan and Hera land in the fueling depot of the TIE Defender factory, quickly climbing to the top of the central fuel cell to await rescue by Sabine and Ezra who have some amusing moments infiltrating an Imperial shuttle, very reminiscent of the Clone Wars style, which is a joy to see. Governor Pryce, left on charge now, has a moment of madness that is pretty rubbish even for her, as she is usually not too bad for an Imperial Commander. She sends in AT-ATs (why?) to pursue this handful of Rebels, and then crazily fires on the fuel cell the Rebels are being rescued from! Is she stupid? Seems so. It's like using a hammer to crack a nut. As the Rebel's are far from safe from the explosion, Kanan courageously sacrifices himself, using the force to hold back the explosion and send the rescue craft to safety. With the episode ending in total silence, and the following beginning the same way, this is a OMG moment that's executed brilliantly.

There's not really as much to say about the second episode 'Dume' which does play the aftermath of Kanan's death very well. Everyone is deeply affected, not least Ezra and Hera, the latter of which finds great comfort from her family heirloom that Kanan saved for her, along with Chopper who stays by her side. Ezra though feels lost without Kanan, and ends up getting chased by Wolves, who cryptically speak to him, eventually revealing that he needs to fight on, especially as the Jedi Temple (which one though?) is at serious risk and he needs to protect it. This is eventually what Ezra tells the gang they need to do next and sets up an intriguing final 4 episodes, not least as we know the Emperor is involved. I hope we also get to see Thrawn meeting him, although unsure on that one. 'Dume' might seem like filler, but it's a necessary one for it shows the emotions of the gang, which really had an impact on me. It also helps show direction for the setup of the end of the show which promises to have some surprises, I can feel it.

Rating 8/10 - An awesome "Jedi Night' episode, and an emotional fallout 'Dume' episode which is less awesome but packed of tearful moments and a setup for the end of the series.

What I liked

  • Death Troopers talking in code! Now that's more like it!
  • That Imperial craft the Rebels stole is so Clone Wars
  • Everything about 'Jedi Night' episode, especially Hera/Kanan was simply emotional, warming and brilliantly scripted.
  • The end of Jedi Night episode! The silence afterwards ...
  • The setup for saving the/a Jedi Temple.
  • Hera/Chopper's emotional bond
  • The gang's grieving is very well protrayed.
  • Just the mention of the Emperor perks up ears.
  • Rukh being awesome

What I didn't like

  • Let's make Death Troopers great again please! They need to be effective.
  • Governor Pryce. Why? What was she thinking? Was this an order to undermine Thrawn?
  • Rukh being undone by Sabine/Zeb and made to look stupid by being spray painted. Why did he go after them??

Thrawn mocks Hera

Haircut time for Kanan. Would have been easier with the lightsabre.

Health and Safety would never approve this rescue plan.

Climbing walls "sucks" for Kanan.
A Jedi knows how to arrive in style!

Death Troopers!

Governor Pryce has a senior moment.

Kanan holds back the flames, and our tears, sacrificing himself.

Kanan :(

Pryce!? WTF?

The wolves really harass Ezra.

Hera grieves with the help of Chopper.

Invisible Rokh? That's a new trick but sadly goes wrong.

Big wolf, daddy wolf, grandmother wolf ...

Poor Rokh.

I hope that's a map.

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