Star Wars is a cinematic icon, but it is much more than it’s movies. Blaine and Josh dive right into the middle of Star Wars Rebels, the fantastic animated show on Disney XD, and will be reviewing Season 2 as it progresses. As a show aimed at kids, but also clearly for the kid in every adult Star Wars fan, they’ll also have a discussion section to talk about the themes covered in each show.
It’s not always ideal to jump into the middle of a season and start reviewing it, but that is the hand we have been dealt moving into the midseason premiere of Season 2 of Star Wars Rebels. Blaine and I will make sure to have the first part of Season 2 caught up before the finale, and we’ll also be sticking in some reviews of Season 1, as well.
In the season 2 midseason premiere, Star Wars fans are in for a huge treat with the appearance of one of the characters from the original trilogy big three. No, it is not Han Solo, although we did have a season 1 appearance by his counterpart in dirty old pirate-ry, Lando Calrissian. And, of course, it wasn’t Luke Skywalker, who is growing up as a nobody on a backward desert planet in the Outer Rim not named Jakku. No, the most obvious candidate and the one that came to fruition is the daughter of Bail Organa, who we have seen a couple times throughout Rebels, the princess of Alderaan, Leia Organa.
After Ezra learns of the fate of his parents from the former governor of Lothal, Ryder Azadi, Hera informs Kanan Bail Organa has sent relief supplies to the rebels in the wake of the Empire’s discovery of the Rebel’s base of operations on Garel. Those supplies will be coming to Lothal personally escorted by Bail’s daughter, Leia. Ezra, still reeling and struggling to cope with the news of his parents’ death in an Imperial prison, is asked by Kanan to join him on the operation to procure the supplies. Ezra agrees after Kanan reassures him it might help him take his mind of his parents.
After some initial shenanigans hashing out their plan, Leia, Kanan, and Ezra arranges for the capture of three Alderaanian hammerhead corvettes Leia brought under the guise of an Imperial mercy mission. However, Lieutenant Yogar Lyste, an Imperial officer stationed on Lothal, has the three ships locked down by gravity locks that mimic the technology of a tractor beam to prevent the ships being stolen by Rebels; a problem Leia’s Imperial escorts have had as of late.
Kanan takes over and concocts a new plan to steal the ships, but it is foiled more than once as they have to prevent Ryder Azadi’s capture and narrowly escape thanks to Hera and some painful improvisation from Zeb. After reconvening together for the first time since the fleeing of Garel in the last episode, Zeb and Sabine talk to Ezra and express their remorse over his parents’ death. Leia comforts Ezra as he struggles to cope. Leia is aware of Ezra’s transmission from season 1, and this is another instance of a rebel being aware that Ezra’s “call to rebellion” reached a good portion of the galaxy. Although it led to Ezra’s parents leading a prison escape that cost them their lives, but freed Azadi, his message inspired rebels around the galaxy, as Leia puts it, “to fight for those who cannot.” After this, the team, with Leia and Ryder, devise a new plan to steal the heavily guarded trio of hammerhead corvettes.
Waiting until night to hatch their strategy, the group swoops in and uses the Princess’ Imperial connections to catch the guards unaware and frantically work to release the ships from the gravity locks and deal with the threat of two AT-ATs. In one of the coolest scenes to date, Kanan, disguised in stormtrooper armor, activates his lightsaber and cuts out the legs of an AT-AT to save Ryder’s life and secure the final ship. Leia, to make it “look good”, lets Ezra stun her at the end of the mission to make sure it looks like she had no part in it. The Rebels have new ships, Leia completes her mission, and Lyste looks incompetent. All in all, another successful rebel mission!
The episode does a great job of picking up where the show left off in the beginning of December. Of course, the best touch being the introduction of a young Princess Leia. But the story is not stuck on explaining her backstory or getting lost in focusing on her. She is a part of the show, but she plays a secondary role to the main characters and fits in quite well to our already existing characters. While not the trickster, pirate type Lando was in Season 1, Leia shows herself to be just as much a burgeoning rebel. She is not as confident as she is in A New Hope, but she is learning to take up the mantle of her Senatorial father; a position she will one day assume. She can resonate with Ezra as a young rebel, and both share a common thread with Leia’s biological mother, Padmé Amidala, in their involvement in resistance and politics at a young age.
What continues to amaze me about this show is how exciting and fun an episode focused on a rebel mission can be. It introduces something intriguing, like an original trilogy character, but also propels along Ezra’s story and the continuing growth and collaboration of the rebel groups. While some shows can get bogged down in having only a couple episodes in every season push things forward, Rebels finds a way to make it interesting but still have fun. And that is what matters, especially to kids. We adults might love the story and appreciate the build up to more episodes about the Jedi, Vader, and Ashoka, but kids, especially my kids, love the fun and banter of the show as much as lightsabers. Let’s hope as the teased episodes connecting the show to The Force Awakens and the prequels, the makers of Rebels continue to have fun and build the camaraderie between the main crew.
Star Wars Rebels is a family show. Parents love watching as much as their kids. Infusing the spiritual with the fantastic and adventurous, Rebels continues the spirit of what makes Star Wars great. In order to foster the young minds and hearts of your Reel World Theologians, each week there are questions you can use during or after the show to talk about with your kids. Enjoy the show and then enjoy conversation, but always remember that story is powerful and Star Wars Rebels is not mindless.
- Have you ever lost someone important to you? What did that feel like?
- Ezra tried to distract himself from his parents’ death with a mission. Did it work? Is it okay to be sad when someone close to us dies? What does God say about it? Read 1 Corinthians 1:3-4 together and discuss what it means for God to comfort us and for us to comfort others.
- How is Leia’s attitude of “fighting for those who cannot” reflect the heart of God? Read Proverbs 31:8-9 and Isaiah 1:17 together and discuss how this passage relates to the rebel struggle.
- How is Jesus like the rebel fighters? What battle did he fight for us so that we could be victorious?
- For older kids, read 1 Corinthians 15 together. What victory did Christ win for us? How did he fight? With blasters and lightsabers? Read 1 John 3:16-17 about Jesus laying down his life.
The outfit used for Princess Leia in this episode was based off conceptual drawings famous Star Wars artist Ralph McQuarrie did for the original Star Wars.
The design of the interior of the hammerhead corvette’s are based on the design of the Tantive IV, the personal ship of Bail Organa and the ship Darth Vader pursues and captures Princess Leia on in A New Hope.
The common “Force” motif used in Rebels is a thematic introduction to the Force theme from A New Hope when Obi-Wan Kenobi is sharing stories of the Jedi Knights and the Clone War with Luke.
If you thought you recognized those hammerhead corvettes, they are based off a design used in the video game Knights of the Old Republic.