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Star Wars Rebels

In the Name of the Rebellion (Star Wars Rebels - S04E03-E04) - Television

Series: Star Wars Rebels

Title: In the Name of the Rebellion

Season: Four

Episode: 3-4

Original Air Date: October 23, 2017

Runtime: 44 minutes

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

"The Empire considers both of us criminals." SPOILERS. 

Although I enjoyed “Heroes of Mandalore” and appreciate the degree of closure it brought to the Mandalorian storyline, I can’t help but feel that this episode should’ve been the season premiere. It is a better representation of what Star Wars Rebels is like week to week (for better or worse). “In the Name of the Rebellion” unsurprisingly puts the rebellion front and center, features all of the series’ major characters, and offered up a competent, action-focused story that tied into Rogue One. The episode began with Kanan, Ezra, and Sabine arriving on Yavin IV for the first time. They arrived just as Hera was forced to crash-land a squadron of Y-Wing bombers. The extended opening act set on Yavin IV might be my favorite portion of the episode. Returning to Yavin IV is always a thrill and it has been beautifully translated into Rebels’ animation style. More importantly, it feels like everything that the Ghost crew has gone through has been leading to their arrival on Yavin IV. It is an earned expansion of the world of Star Wars Rebels. Allies that the Ghost crew have collected along the way like Rex, Wedge, and Kallus are on Yavin IV as well. It is rewarding to see the various storylines and characters from the first three seasons converge in the show’s final season. The isolation and small-scale of the early season was frustrating at times, but it also allowed the rebellion to evolve realistically over time and makes the Ghost crew’s arrival on Yavin IV all the more rewarding. Although the reunions in the episode’s opening moments were brief, it was nice to see all these characters together again (and that includes Kallus and Rex). Speaking of Kallus, his new look was introduced in this episode and he played an active role in the rebellion for the first time. Kallus’ new look fits in perfectly with the established aesthetics of the rebellion and visually reflects his transformation from ruthless Imperial to freedom fighter. Seeing characters like Rex, Hera, and Kallus stand alongside Mon Mothma, General Dodona, and a holographic Bail Organa in the Yavin IV war room was the perfect visual representation of Rebels’ role in bridging the gap between the prequel and original trilogy eras.

   

After deciding to tap into a new Imperial communications tower rather than destroy it, Saw Gerrera publicly called out Mon Mothma’s inability to take action against the Empire. Saw’s extremism was one of Rogue One’s most intriguing elements, but both Saw and the conflicting ideologies of his band of rebels and the larger Rebel Alliance felt underdeveloped in the final film. I’m glad Star Wars Rebels has taken the time to further develop these ideas and characters. The conversation between Saw and Mon Mothma was one of the episode’s highlights and perfectly illustrated the divide between these two characters. Genevieve O’Reilly was particularly wonderful in this scene. I think it’s important to show the divisions within the rebellion as it is more realistic and makes their eventual triumph even more impactful. The reminder that Saw targets civilians and kills unarmed prisoners is important too. Saw’s ruthless brutality and war crimes complicate the rebel alliance and reveal that some awful things were done in its name. Ezra, upset that the Mon Mothma wouldn’t agree to proceed with the mission to free Lothal, began to question why they weren’t destroying the communications tower and taking action like Saw proposed. As Sabine and Ezra attempted to hack into the communications tower, an imperial cruiser arrived. Last week I mentioned that some of the “humor” involving Ezra was a distraction, and that was still an issue at moments this week too. However, the inclusion of the imperial officer Titus yielded some legitimately funny moments. I love that Titus has continually been demoted between each appearance. Titus unleashed Thrawn’s new TIE Defender on the Ghost, preventing them from rescuing Ezra and Sabine. Kanan and Hera working together to fly through the fog and destroy the TIE Defenders was a fun sequence that highlighted their partnership. Although Ezra and Sabine have been the focus this season, Kanan and Hera have been the scene stealers. Saw Gerrera arrived in a U-Wing and saved Ezra and Sabine while destroying the communications tower and killing Titus.

   

Saw left with Sabine and Ezra, much to Hera’s chagrin, and asked for their help in his quest to uncover the Empire’s secret weapon. It was a nice touch to include Two Tubes as Saw’s copilot. Two Tubes had a small role in Rogue One, but it’s a fantastic design and it was great to see more of his character. Saw, Ezra, and Sabine infiltrated an Imperial cargo ship in hopes of tracking down the mysterious cargo Saw has been chasing since Geonosis. They discovered a group of prisoners that the Empire had kidnapped. All of the prisoners were engineers and mentioned that whatever secret cargo the Empire was transporting came from Jedha. I was impressed by the wide variety of classic aliens that made up the group of prisoners. Rebels doesn’t have a great track record with background characters and designs after all. Revealing that this was the moment that led Saw to Jedha was a nice connection to Rogue One. Between Saw, Two Tubes, U-Wings, Jedha, Death Troopers, ideological conflicts in the rebellion, and a Krennic name drop, this episode had a lot of connections to Rogue One. Which isn’t a bad thing since most of the connections were handled well. However, the depiction of the Death Troopers was one of the episode’s glaring flaws. The Death Troopers were pretty useless in the episode and seemed about as competent as the average Stormtrooper. I don’t know what they were doing with the voice of the one Death Trooper with speaking lines, but it didn’t work. The hybrid between the scrambled Death Trooper noise from Rogue One and a regular speaking voice was bizarre, and not in a good way. They should have stuck with one or the other. I like the introduction of a female Death Trooper, but the bizarre voice, general incompetence of the Death Troopers, and her death were disappointing, to say the least.

   

Saw, Ezra, and Sabine discovered that the secret cargo was a massive Kyber crystal from the mines of Jedha. Saw knocked out Ezra and Sabine because they wanted to escape with the crystal and prisoners while he wanted to follow them to their intended destination. When Saw realized that the destination was just another Imperial ship, he and Two Tubes prepared to escape. Saw refused to waste time rescuing the prisoners and turned the Kyber crystal into a bomb. Ezra refused to go along with Saw and stayed behind with Sabine to rescue the prisoners. Forest Whitaker’s best moment was Saw’s final scene. Saw is a man so consumed by grief, pain, and hate that he has sacrificed his own morality and yet fights for the good of the galaxy alongside our heroes. That inherent contradiction is what makes Saw an interesting character. I don’t know if we’ll see Saw again before the series ends, but this was a decent showcase for his character.

   

Moving on, I did enjoy the mini-subplot about an increasingly annoyed Chopper leading the prisoners around the ship. It’s another example of this episode using humor more effectively than “Heroes of Mandalore.” Ezra and Sabine escaped with the prisoners just before the Kyber crystal exploded destroying both Imperial ships. The rate at which the rebels are destroying Imperial cruisers is getting pretty ridiculous. The newly freed prisoners decided to join the rebellion, which was a nice moment. My only other major issue with the episode would be Ezra. He was more integral to the story this week, but he still lacked any substantial character development. He rejected Saw’s lack of compassion, but began and ended the episode on the same note of believing that the rebels weren’t doing enough to fight the Empire. At this point, I think it is safe to say Star Wars Rebels has an Ezra problem. I’m not even talking about having a young Jedi involved with the rebellion this close to A New Hope. Ezra has regressed as a character since the series began thanks to an inconsistent characterization and infrequent development despite being in every episode (even when he has no reason to be in the episode like last week). “In the Name of the Rebellion” offered some fun connections to Rogue One and explored ideological differences in the rebellion, but not much else.

   

What Worked

  • Mon Mothma vs. Saw Gerrera
  • Yavin IV and expanding the world of Star Wars Rebels
  • Rogue One connections

What Didn’t Work

  • The Death Troopers
  • Once again, Ezra’s lack of development
External Links:
Added: October 28, 2017
Category: Star Wars Rebels
Reviewer: Mike Taber
Score:
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