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Star Wars Rebels

Blood Sisters (Star Wars Rebels - S02E08) - Animated Series

Series: Star Wars Rebels

Title: Blood Sisters

Season: Two

Episode: 8

Original Air Date: November 18, 2015

Runtime: 22 minutes

Sigh. Get ready for the worst episode of Star Wars Rebels since Ezra and Zeb's fruit shopping adventure! SPOILERS. 

The long-awaited Sabine-centric episode is finally here…and it didn't deliver. In a show filled with underdeveloped characters, Sabine has been the weak link. We're well into season two of Star Wars Rebels and she's barely even a character. Perhaps I'm being hard on Sabine but I've never liked her character. Not only is she ridiculously underdeveloped—and this episode did nothing to help that, but to me she is also a poorly conceived character. Any fans of The Simpsons out there? I bring that up because Sabine reminds of the character of Poochie on The Simpsons. On the show, the creators of Itchy and Scratchy decide to add a new character to their show named Poochie to boost ratings. He's a shallow character designed by corporate committees and focus groups who proved to be so unpopular that he had to be unceremoniously killed off. That's the feeling I get from Sabine. A character designed by corporate committees and focus groups. Sabine is Star Wars Rebels' attempt at manufacturing a fan favorite. I'd love to see Sabine develop into a great character, but I saw no signs of that in this episode.

   

"Blood Sisters" began when Hera assigned Sabine a mission to meet a courier who is carrying vital information. For no apparent reason, Ezra joined her and Chopper on the mission. Ezra has had some good moments this season (particularly when he was paired with Rex), but he was more annoying than ever in this episode. He didn't have a ton of screen time, but Ezra dragged down every scene he was in this week. After a long search, Sabine discovered that the rebel courier was a Gonk droid. The Gonk droid was a nice addition and he served his purpose well throughout the episode. After Sabine identified the courier, a bounty hunter named Ketsu Onyo arrived in hopes of capturing the Gonk droid. It quickly became clear that Sabine and Ketsu knew each other. Apparently, they broke out of the Imperial Academy together and became a bounty hunter team until Ketsu left Sabine for dead. That's all we get. In last week's episode, the writers only scratched the surface of Hera's character. This week they just outlined Sabine's backstory. "Wings of the Master" showed us how growing up during the Clone Wars on Ryloth made Hera want to become a pilot. After watching "Blood Sisters" I still don't know what motivates Sabine or how she became the character we know. Okay, they outlined Sabine's backstory. That probably should've happened early on in season one. This episode felt like a missed opportunity to develop the character that needed it the most. As for Ketsu Onyo, she had a few good actions scenes and veteran actress Gina Torres did what she could with the material she was given. My major problem is that the relationship between Sabine and Ketsu didn't feel genuine. The connection between these two characters felt forced. A lot of the blame for this disconnect lies in the script and Tiya Sircar's performance.

   

After a confrontation with local Imperial forces, Sabine and Chopper escaped aboard a shuttle with the Gonk droid. However, Ketsu wasn't far behind. Thankfully, Ezra was left behind on the planet's surface. A showdown between Sabine and Ketsu that included a hostage trade ended when an Imperial cruiser arrived. Sabine and Ketsu were forced to work to together. Chopper is a character that I have been critical of but he was much more likable than normal in this episode. The writers have been finding better ways to use Chopper lately. Sabine and Ketsu managed to escape the Imperial forces (hey, at least it wasn't Kallus again) and delivered the courier droid to R2-D2 because why not. Ketsu's willingness to help Sabine was out of necessity but it still felt very sudden. Perhaps the biggest issue with this episode, and Star Wars Rebels in general lately, was the lack of forward momentum and weak writing. After some exciting introductions (Vader! Ahsoka! The Rebel Alliance! Rex!) I was expecting a jump in quality this season. Instead, Star Wars Rebels has felt rather stagnant lately. Aside from a couple of standout episodes (Siege of Lothal and Relics of the Republic), season two has largely been made up of episodes that were neither offensively bad (well besides this week's episode) nor anything special. This follows the same pattern established in season, a couple of standout episodes to go with multiple episodes that were merely not bad. A lot of times it seems like Star Wars Rebels is content with mediocrity. People have brought up how hit and miss Star Wars: The Clone Wars was, which in all fairness it was, but for every "Corruption" we had to sit through we got truly special episodes like "The Wrong Jedi", "The Lawless", and "Carnage of Krell." For me, Star Wars Rebels hasn't come anywhere near the heights that The Clone Wars reached. And you know what? That's fine. However, I hope Rebels doesn't continue to settle for being average. I'd rather have a show take big swings and miss a few times before hitting the home run, like The Clone Wars did, than a show that simply settles for being average.

What Worked

  • Chopper more likable than usual
  • A few good action scenes

What Didn’t Work

  • Wasted an opportunity to develop the show’s weakest character
  • Ezra at his most annoying
  • Sabine/Ketsu relationship didn’t feel genuine
  • No forward momentum, weak writing
External Links:
Added: November 25, 2015
Category: Star Wars Rebels
Reviewer: Mike Taber
Score:
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