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Star Wars Rebels

The Honorable Ones (Star Wars Rebels - S02E17) - Television

Series: Star Wars Rebels

Title: The Honorable Ones

Season: Two

Episode: 17

Original Air Date: February 24, 2016

Runtime: 22 minutes

Credits: Review & Text: Mike Taber; Page layout & Design: Chuck Paskovics

“Karabast? Karabast? What does that even mean?” SPOILERS. 

“The Honorable Ones” started off with a return to Geonosis. The Ghost crew confirmed rebel intelligence that the Empire was building something over Geonosis. This of course seems to be referring to the construction of the Death Star, which was designed by the Geonosians. It’s an exciting prospect and I can’t help but wonder if we’ll see Rebels directly step up or tie into the events of Rogue One in some way. The construction of the Death Star wasn’t even the most interesting storyline revealed by the return to Geonosis. Chopper scanned the planet, but discovered no signs of life. One of the biggest issues with Star Wars Rebels has been the portrayal of the Empire. More often than not, the Empire hasn’t been portrayed as a legitimate threat. On Rebels, the Empire normally comes off as a casual annoyance at best instead of looming like a shadow over everything the rebels do. However, this episode showed what the Empire is capable of. I had never thought much about what would happen to the Geonosians after they helped the Emperor build the Death Star, but this episode implies that Empire killed the entire population. Rebels can be a pretty childish show, especially when compared with The Clone Wars, but this episode indirectly dealt with a genocide that killed billions. For the first time since Darth Vader’s appearance, I truly felt this show took place during the dark times.

   

Upon infiltrating the Imperial construction facility over Geonosis, the Ghost crew discovered it was a trap set by Agent Kallus. This entire sequence was well done and in particular I enjoyed Chopper’s fight with the Imperial droid. Zeb was separated from the Ghost crew and ended up in an escape pod with Agent Kallus. Zeb and Kallus’ escape pod crash landed on one of the Geonosian moons. Two enemies stranded and forced to work together is a familiar story but it was well handled here and was the springboard for some great character development for both Kallus and Zeb. Kallus was the one who led the slaughter of Zeb’s people so it could’ve been really contrived for Zeb not to kill Kallus the first chance he got but I liked that this episode made Zeb’s motivations clear. Zeb still believes in the traditions of the Lasat warriors and wanted to kill Kallus in combat, instead of simply executing a man with a broken leg. When Zeb confronted Kallus about the genocide on Geonosis, Kallus said he never questioned why the population was gone. For me, Kallus has been one of the show’s weakest characters and a complete waste a very talented actor in David Oyelowo. Kallus has been a one note villain that shows up when the Ghost crew needs someone to defeat, and Oyelowo hasn’t been given anything to work with. Well, at least until now. This episode didn’t suddenly repair Kallus as a character but this was a big step in the right direction. Oyelowo gave a great performance as well. While Zeb thought Kallus took a Lasat rifle as a trophy, Kallus revealed that it was given to him by a Lasat warrior he defeated in combat. Oyelowo did a great job of portraying the conflict and guilt in Kallus’ voice when discussing his actions on Lasat, which was something we haven’t seen from Kallus before. Kallus is still absolutely a villain. He did lead the massacre on Zeb’s home world. It’s not that this episode tried to make you feel sympathy for Kallus, it just made him a more believable character.

   

What I really liked about this episode was that it took the conflict between the Empire and the rebels and examined it through these two characters. By taking an intergalactic conflict and examining it at a more personal level, the writers were able to tell a tighter and more consistent story. Kallus recounted his first mission. He was deployed on Onderon and his entire unit was wiped out by a rebel cell led by Saw Gerrera. One of the rebels, a Lasat, executed all of the injured imperials. First, I want to say that this was a great way to tie into the events of The Clone Wars. Saw Gerrera and the Onderon rebels were first introduced during a four part arc on Star Wars: The Clone Wars. It makes sense that rebel groups like the ones led by Saw Gerrera and Cham Syndulla would transition from fighting the Confederacy to fighting the Empire. Kallus truly believed his mission was to bring peace and stability to Onderon. I will say that I thought it was a little lazy to make the rebel he faced a Lasat. It felt like a way to force another connection between Kallus and the Lasat. Kallus’ account reminded me of a storyline that was introduced in season one of Rebels. Would the average citizen view the rebels as freedom fighters or terrorists? The Onderon arc on The Clone Wars also dealt with this concept. It’s an interesting storyline for a show like this to tackle. Kallus and Zeb had to work together to escape the cave they were trapped in and get to the surface so they could get a signal on the transmitter. They had to climb the cave walls while avoiding a group of monsters. Kallus had a chance to kill Zeb, but chose not to. Of course, the Ghost crew was the first to receive the transmitter’s signal. By the end of the episode, it was clear that Kallus and Zeb are still enemies but a mutual respect had developed. Which is fine, but it still felt like a stretch that Zeb would just let Kallus go. Regardless, contrasting the return of Zeb to the Ghost crew and Kallus’ to the Empire was the perfect way to end the episode. Kevin Kiner’s melancholy score during Kallus’ hobbled, unceremonious return to the Empire was another standout moment. Simply put, we need more episodes like this.

What Worked

  • Geonosis: Genocide and the Death Star
  • Finally! Character development for Kallus and Oyelowo’s performance
  • Zeb and Kallus’ contrasting returns
  • Smaller, more personal storytelling

What Didn’t Work

  • Zeb letting Kallus go
External Links:
Added: March 1, 2016
Category: Star Wars Rebels
Reviewer: Mike Taber
Score:
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