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Star Wars Rebels

Call to Action (Star Wars Rebels - S01E11) - Animated Series

Series: Star Wars Rebels

Title: Call to Action

Season: One

Episode: 11

Original Air Date: February 9, 2015

Runtime: 22 minutes

Well that escalated quickly. SPOILERS.

Star Wars Rebels sure seems to be ending season one on a high note. The penultimate episode of Rebels’ first season was quite possibly the best episode yet and directly addressed some of the show’s biggest faults. Perhaps the biggest problem with Rebels so far has been the portrayal of the Empire. The Empire has yet to be portrayed as a legitimate threat to the crew of the Ghost, but that all changed with the arrival of Grand Moff Tarkin. I have voiced concerns about including so many movie characters this early in the series but with the exception of the R2-D2 and C-3PO appearance the inclusion of the movie characters has helped elevate Rebels and add legitimacy to the series. This series is set during the Dark Times. I want to see what characters like Tarkin were doing during this time period. I want to see the consequences of Imperial rule and with this episode we’re finally starting to see that. I don’t want Rebels to just be the crew of the Ghost defeating Kallus and some Stormtroopers on Lothal every week. Yes, including so many movie characters this early in the series can make the universe feel small, especially if they stay on Lothal, but I want to see Rebels tackle more important events and ideas and characters like Tarkin are necessary for that.


The episode began with Grand Moff Tarkin arriving on Lothal via an Imperial shuttle while the Imperial March played in the background. This was a great way to introduce Tarkin in Rebels and loved his conversation with Minister Maketh Tua, Agent Kallus, and the Inquisitor. It was filled with dialogue that felt like quintessential Tarkin like when he commented about the Jedi, “Shame we don’t have some who specializing in dealing with them” while directly looking at the Inquisitor. An interesting piece of information that came up was that according to what Tarkin said, it seems that the official stance of the Empire is that ALL of the Jedi were wiped out. I also want to commend Stephen Stanton, who is reprising the role from Star Wars: The Clone Wars, for his performance as Tarkin. Kanan, Ezra, and Sabine dispatched a group of local Imperials in small town just outside the capital. When they returned to the Ghost they watched a HoloNet interview with Gall Trayvis who showed an image of the rebels and offered a reward for their capture. With their image out there and a reward on their heads, it is going to more difficult for the crew of the Ghost to operate as freely as they have in the past. After failing to catch the rebels, Commandant Aresko and Taskmaster Grint were sent in to see Tarkin. Once Tarkin interrogated them about the rebels, he had the Inquisitor execute them on the spot. Tarkin then said, “From now on, failure will have consequences.” This is exactly what Star Wars Rebels needed. I’m not saying there needs to be executions every week but we do need to see start seeing the consequences of the actions of both the heroes and the villains and this was a big step in the right direction for Rebels. In all honesty, I never thought we would see something as brutal as a double decapitation on Rebels but I’m the writers weren’t afraid to go there when the story demanded it.


To execute Kanan’s plan to use an Imperial communication tower to send out an inspirational message like Trayvis did, he, Ezra, and Sabine scouted the communications tower but were spotted by an imperial probe droid. One of Rebels’ strengths has been establishing the relationship between Kanan and Ezra. A great example of this is the scene were Kanan told Ezra that they have to be ready to sacrifice for a greater good after Ezra admitted he was apprehensive about the mission because he didn’t want to lose his friends like he lost his parents. The rebels attacked the commutations tower but Imperial reinforcements quickly arrived. The Inquisitor arrived aboard an Imperial Gunship, which was first introduced as a police gunship during season five of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Kanan sent the other rebels back into the tower and faced the Inquisitor alone. The Inquisitor defeated Kanan and when Hera arrived to rescue the team, Kanan ordered her to leave without him. I though the rest of the crew would find some way to rescue Kanan and they would miraculously escape unharmed like always but I’m glad it didn’t happen that way. Kanan’s capture marks an important turning point in the series, the Empire has its first true victory. Ezra sent out a message of hope and bravery in the face if the Empire’s tyranny but Tarkin had the commutations tower destroyed while Kanan looked on. Tarkin then told Kanan, “You don’t know how to win a war. But I do.” Stephen Stanton’s delivery of this line was perfect. In my review of the previous episode I stated it wasn’t a game changing episode, but “Call to Action” certainly was.  

What Worked

  • Tarkin and Stephen Stanton’s performance
  • The execution scene
  • The Empire finally portrayed as a legitimate threat
  • Kanan’s Capture

What Didn’t Work

  • No major complaints
External Links:
Added: February 13, 2015
Category: Star Wars Rebels
Reviewer: Mike Taber
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