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Star Wars Rebels

Homecoming (Star Wars Rebels - S02E16) - Animated Series

Series: Star Wars Rebels

Title: Homecoming

Season: Two

Episode: 16

Original Air Date: February 17, 2016

Runtime: 22 minutes

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

There are NO space whales in this episode. SPOILERS. 

After losing yet another member of Phoenix Squadron in a battle with the Empire, Hera learned that a rebel cell on Ryloth spotted an Imperial carrier that could serve as a base for Phoenix Squadron. This meant that Hera had to contact the leader of the Ryloth cell, her father Cham Syndulla. Cham Syndulla was first introduced in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, although he never became a fan favorite like Hondo Ohnaka or Cad Bane. Cham was never one of my favorite characters introduced in The Clone Wars, but his return was more than welcome because he is Hera’s father. Cham represents a window into Hera’s past and provides even more connective tissue to The Clone Wars. Since we’ve seen him before, Cham’s introduction as Hera’s father didn’t feel as rushed as it would have been if he was a new character. We already had a connection with him. Kanan didn’t have a big role in this episode, but I enjoyed his nervousness upon Cham’s arrival. I must admit, I chuckled at Kanan mixing up the names of the Ghost crew when introducing them to Cham. Cham arrived with fellow freedom fighters Gobi and Numa, who are also returning The Clone Wars characters. She wasn’t given much to do, but how great was it to see Numa again? “Innocents of Ryloth” remains one of the best episodes of The Clone Wars so finding out where Numa ended up was really rewarding. I also appreciated that Numa, Cham, and Gobi all had pieces of clone armor from the Battle of Ryloth as part of their own.

   

Immediately, Hera and her father clashed over the mission. Cham wanted to destroy the carrier as a symbol to inspire the people of Ryloth, while Hera wanted to steal it for the Rebellion. With the introduction of Cham, we learned more about Hera’s background. Cham went from fighting alongside the Republic to fighting against the Empire. When Hera’s mother was killed in battle, Cham began to care more about winning the war than his family. We even learned about Chopper’s past, who Hera discovered during the Clone War. A real stand out moment in this episode was Hera and Cham’s argument before the mission. While Hera wants to help everyone, Cham only cares about Ryloth. Cham’s tunnel vision makes sense. He has been fighting for Ryloth’s freedom for over twenty years. I liked that when Hera was faced with her father, she slipped back into her natural accent. It was a rather nuanced moment for Rebels. The way the rebels boarded the Imperial carrier was actually pretty clever as well. Once aboard, Cham and his soldiers betrayed the Ghost crew so he could blow up the carrier. The idea of Cham betraying Hera was an interesting premise, but a lackluster resolution made it less effective. After waking up from the stun blasts, Kanan and Ezra used the Force to get through a series of rapidly closing blast doors. While visually fun, this sequence speaks to a larger problem with Rebels. Kanan and Ezra’s rather casual but advanced use of Force powers. To me, Kanan and Ezra’s abilities have gotten a little out of hand this season. They look like Anakin Skywalker or Mace Windu during the height of the Clone Wars. Also the whole blast door sequence was rendered pointless when all the blast doors behind Kanan opened for no apparent reason so the others could get through. Ezra’s use of the Jedi Mind Trick also really bothered me. Ezra mastered the mind trick on his “first time.” Apparently the Jedi Mind Trick is really simple to learn for people who have never attempted it before. The way it was played off as a piece of comedy just didn’t work for me either.

   

Cham confronted Hera on the bridge of the carrier. Hera convincing her father to help her steal the ship instead of blowing it up was a touching and well done moment. That moment would’ve been a nice way to resolve the issue of Cham’s betrayal, but instead of having him choose his daughter over making a statement they just blew up a different ship. By having both Cham and Hera get exactly what they wanted, the writers diluted the central conflict that Hera and Cham faced in this episode. The episode ended with Cham calling Hera “Captain Syndulla” and saying he was proud of her, which was an admittedly nice way to end the episode. I also wanted to point out that this episode had several really fun, well directed action sequences. They weren’t anything revolutionary, but they felt like Star Wars. Despite some problems, “Homecoming” succeeded by focusing on Hera and her relationship with Cham. Besides, this episode didn’t have any space whales. That fact alone makes it a much better episode than last week’s. Exploring Ezra’s connection with space whales is not a story that needed to be told. In contrast, exploring Hera’s relationship with Cham and her past was an important step for her character.

What Worked

  • Delving into Hera’s past
  • Hera and Cham’s argument
  • Numa!
  • Fun, well directed action sequences

What Didn’t Work

  • Blast door scene
  • Ezra’s Jedi Mind Trick
  • “Let’s just blow up a different ship”
External Links:
Added: February 24, 2016
Category: Star Wars Rebels
Reviewer: Mike Taber
Score:
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