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Star Wars Rebels

Through Imperial Eyes (Star Wars Rebels - S03E17) - Television

Series: Star Wars Rebels

Title: Through Imperial Eyes

Season: Three

Episode: 17

Original Air Date: February 25, 2017

Runtime: 22 minutes

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

“I thought I lost a little weight.” SPOILERS. 

The writers created a fun and suspenseful Star Wars thriller with “Through Imperial Eyes.” It is a well-written and well-directed episode. However, one issue I have with this episode is its failure to address Sabine’s departure. I have made it clear that I have never been a Sabine fan, but she was one of the main characters. I’m not saying half of the episode should have been the Ghost crew talking about how much they missed Sabine, but it should have been addressed even if it was just a line or two. How does Sabine’s departure change the dynamic of the crew? How did Hera react? Not addressing Sabine’s departure is lazy storytelling and diminishes the impact of her decision. It is more of a problem with the placement of this episode than an issue with the episode itself, but it still bothered me and created a narrative disconnect. Now I should probably start talking about what is actually in this episode. The episode began with a fantastic point of view shot as we were literally seeing through Kallus’ eyes. Overt point of view shots aren’t typical for Star Wars so it felt fresh and unique here. Beginning the episode with Kallus’ point of view and the alarms blaring in the background created a disorientating experience. That disorientation was the perfect way to begin an episode built around deception.

   

Kallus and Lieutenant Lyste captured a transport that was trying to escape Lothal. The pilot was Ezra in disguise who came to warn Kallus that the Empire was monitoring their last transmission. I get that Ezra is the main character, but I wish they would stop forcing him into episodes. He really doesn’t add anything of value to this episode. Why not have it just focus on Kallus and the Imperials? Kallus could have become aware of the Empire’s suspicions when Yularen arrived, Ezra didn’t have to tell him. Before Ezra and Kallus could escape, Kallus and Lyste were ordered to take the prisoner to Thrawn’s ship and report for interrogation. Thrawn brought in Colonel Yularen to lead an investigation into Fulcrum’s identity. It was great to see Yularen again. Although he was far from the most interesting character on Star Wars: The Clone Wars, he was a major character on that series and added a lot when he was used properly. It was interesting to see what happened to Yularen after the rise of Empire. Yularen became the head of the ISB which has been described as a Star Wars mixture of the CIA and the FBI. Positioning Yularen as Kallus’ mentor added even more tension to the episode and was a smart decision. I was a little disappointed that we didn’t get a brief Rex and Yularen reunion, but overall I thought Yularen was used effectively in this episode. Ezra and the other rebels were present, but Kallus and the Empire took center stage in this episode. This was another standout episode for Kallus who has gone from useless, one-dimensional villain to one of the show’s most developed and interesting characters. David Oyelowo once again delivered a great performance as Kallus. More than any of the previous episodes, this episode showed how cunning and skilled Kallus can be through his manipulation of Lyste. I also liked how this episode really focused on the Empire and some of the day to day operations. Establishing a purpose for those cylinders is a perfect example of how this show can add something new to the OT era. I also enjoyed exploring the power dynamics between officers like Thrawn, Pryce, Yularen, and Kallus.

   

Kallus freed Ezra and broke into Thrawn’s office so they could contact the rebels and erase Chopper base from Thrawn’s list. Thrawn had narrowed down the base’s location to a few dozen systems. There were a lot of fun easter eggs in Thrawn’s office. The Holy Grail and Commander Gree’s helmet are a couple of my favorites. Kallus and Ezra escaped Thrawn’s office, but it is clear to me that Thrawn noticed that one planet had been deleted and replaced by another. He knows where their base is now. Speaking of Thrawn, I thought this was one of his best episodes so far. Lars Mikkelsen has been phenomenal in the role all year, but Thrawn’s development has been frustrating. Every time we see Thrawn the rebels get away, but don’t worry it was all part of his plan. Thrawn’s patience sets him apart from other villains, but it can feel like a cop out when used too much. I think they found the right balance with Thrawn in this episode though. Thrawn’s sparring match with the droids added a new layer to his character by establishing that he is also a physical threat. In addition, making the override code for the droids "Ruhk" was great way to pay tribute to the Thrawn trilogy. Ruhk was the name of Thrawn's Noghri bodyguard in the books. Thrawn’s patience in this episode makes sense and doesn’t feel artificial. Using instead of exposing Kallus is exactly what Thrawn should do. I really enjoyed the cat and mouse game between Thrawn and Kallus. Thrawn has the upper hand in the end, but they avoided making Kallus look incompetent. They both had their moments. Kallus and Ezra attempted to meet up with Kanan and Rex so they could escape, but they were intercepted by Pryce. Pryce might be the stealth MVP of the season. I loved how she shot Kanan without hesitation and her fight with Rex was another highlight. Having the manipulated Lyste defeat Pryce was the perfect way to end the scene. The rebels escaped but Kallus stayed behind and made it look like Lyste was Fulcrum. Of course, Thrawn knew better than that. He determined that the artwork on Ezra’s helmet was Sabine’s (thanks Sabine) and that Kallus is the real Fulcrum. Thrawn’s final line that Fulcrum will be far more useful to the Empire than Kallus ever was highlights the Empire’s disregard for its people and was the perfect note to end the episode on. “Through Imperial Eyes” is one of the season’s most entertaining episodes.

   

What Worked

  • Kallus and the Imperials takes center stage
  • One of Thrawn’s best appearances
  • Yularen’s return
  • The cat and mouse game between Thrawn and Kallus

What Didn’t Work

  • Didn’t address Sabine’s departure
  • Did we really need Ezra in this episode?
External Links:
Added: March 4, 2017
Category: Star Wars Rebels
Reviewer: Mike Taber
Score:
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