Star Wars is a cinematic icon, but it is much more than its 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.
The Ghost is low on fuel, and the Lothal rebels need to find a place to gas up in a hurry. They head to a distant mining colony, only to find their journey impeded a herd of Purrgil, massive whale-like creatures that glide through space with gentle grace. Ezra is awestruck by these creatures, but Hera is convinced they are
little more than dangerous, lumbering brutes that pose a danger to her ship. Their debate is left unresolved, as the rebels find themselves ambushed by yellow TIEs from the Mining Guild. Fending off their attackers, Hera, Zeb, Kanan, Ezra, and Sabine are able to track the TIE Fighters to the Asteroid Belt Gas Refinery, which is nestled into the side of a crater on a planetoid.
The crew hatches a plan to HALO jump down to the refinery floor, swipe some fuel, plant explosives, extract the team, and destroy the refinery, thereby inflicting a significant blow to the the Mining Guild and the Empire. But, of course, things never go according to plan, and the Rodians guarding the refinery are soon alerted to the rebels’ presence. Yushyn, the cruel leader who operates the facility, orders an all-out attack on both the rebel group and the Purrgil, who hang around the refinery because they are attracted to the gas in the atmosphere.
In the heat of battle, Ezra falls off the side of the refinery and begins to plummet into the depths of the planetoid. However, he is rescued by one of the Purrgil, with whom he establishes a deep and mysterious connection. As he looks into the eyes of the massive creature, Ezra sees a sheet of glowing stars. This mysterious union allows Ezra to convince the Purrgil to aid the rebels in escaping the refinery. Just when all hope seems lost, Purrgil rocket upwards through space, destroying the yellow TIEs and carving a path for Ezra and company. As for Yushyn, he finds himself being dragged down into the planetoid by one of the Purrgil; and for Hera, who once harbored a similar level of disdain toward these gentle giants, the creatures bring salvation instead of death.
Refueled and safely out of harm’s way, the Lothal rebels debrief, as the tentacles of the Purrgil begin to light up like the runway strips of an airport. The giant creatures zoom off into hyperspace, leaving the crew in their wake.
“The Call” is a low-key, yet fascinating episode. The most surprising moment, of course, comes when the Purrgil show that they have the ability to travel through hyperspace. It is interesting that, even in the Star Wars universe, modes of transportation find their inspiration in the natural world. Indeed, this episode’s meditation on diverse animal populations that inhabit the galaxy far, far away offer Christians the opportunity to marvel at the ingenuity and infinite artistry of our Creator.
At the same time, this creature-centered episode provides us with another opportunity to see Ezra’s ability to connect with animals. While the show’s creators have said they do not want to exploit this ability by having it used as a sort of superpower, I genuinely hope that this unique skill is fleshed out a little more in future episodes.
Overall, this felt like a strange episode. While it is always fun to learn more about the fascinating planetoids and creatures that call the galaxy home, I am starting to get a little anxious for episodes that will push the narrative forward in more significant ways, which is another way of saying that I’m ready to see Darth Maul again. With only eight episodes left in the season, however, we won’t have to wait much longer.
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.
- In this episode, salvation comes from an unexpected source in the Purrgil. How is this idea mirrored in the biblical narrative? Where does our salvation come from as Christians, and what made the incarnation such an unexpected way to redeem the world?
- Several times in this episode, Ezra is distracted by the beauty of the Purrgil. Have you every found yourself distracted by the glory of the natural world? Read Psalm 19 for an example of how our world is a testament to God’s creativity and artistry.
- This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about the mining guild. They’re mentioned in a conversation between Lando Calrissian and Princess Leia in The Empire Strikes Back. They are also an important part of John Jackson Miller’s novel, A New Dawn, which is a prequel to Rebels.
- This episode marks the first appearance of Yushyn and the Purrgil
- The purpose of the yellow paint on the Mining Guild’s TIEs is to distinguish them from official Empire crafts.