Note: This is a spoiler-free review of episodes 3 and 4 of Star Wars Rebels, as shown at New York Comic Con.
Season 2 of Star Wars Rebels kicked off with the incredible thrill ride that was this summer’s two-episode story arc, The Siege of Lothal. With the crew of the Ghost now desperately attempting to outrun the likes of Darth Vader, the stakes have never been higher — and it’s about time they called in some help.
Cue the beginning of the next arc. The Lost Commanders and Relics of the Old Republic exist as a a two-episode reintroduction of three beloved characters from The Clone Wars: Captain Rex, Commander Wolffe, and Captain Gregor. When Rebels returns this Thursday, the three former clone soldiers are sought out by the crew of the Ghost in an effort to find new locations for a Rebel Base.
Without going into detail, the episodes are a delight for fans of the former TV show, as well as newcomers to the Star Wars saga. Changed and aged as they are, the clones are introduced in a manner that makes them easy to cling to as favorites, even for the uninitiated.
Told, as always, through the eyes of Ezra Bridger, the episodes are less filler and more fun than anything else. The first major appearance of Imperial AT-AT walkers look like something more than CG —like McQuarrie concept art at its finest, highlighting the vast landscapes of the rocky planet. In fact, the wide shots are what make this episode so striking, beyond the rich character interaction. The shots themselves are worth framing.
Emotional and hilarious, the episodes serve to give fans an example of how the Rebels made so many allies in a time where the Empire was often turning the galaxy against them, through either propaganda or fear of being caught making an alliance with what the Emperor considered traitors.
What shines about these episodes is the no-frills approach to character development. In the first season, episodes that were mostly filler were met with some cynicism from fans; now, it seems, we’re being put on a rollercoaster of emotions and story, with no way to get off. Luckily for Lucasfilm, fans of the show will not.
The final moments of the episode present a rather ominous look into an rather bleak future, reminding us once more of the resilience that it took to be a member of the Rebel Alliance in the first place. A new evil is rising, and though the conclusion of the episode proves hopeful for the Rebels, this new challenger could spell doom for the little cell that we so faithfully root for.