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Star Wars Rebels

Secret Cargo (Star Wars Rebels - S03E18) - Animated Series

Series: Star Wars Rebels

Title: Secret Cargo

Season: Three

Episode: 18

Original Air Date: March 4, 2017

Runtime: 22 minutes

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

“This is our Rebellion.” SPOILERS. 

When Star Wars Rebels brings in an existing character from the films, it can feel like the writers are using that character to mask a weak or inconsequential story. Think about when Leia or R2-D2 and C-3PO showed up on Rebels. Bringing in an existing character like Princess Leia has to add more than “Hey, its Princess Leia. That’s cool.” Thankfully, Mon Mothma was a meaningful addition to the series. Genevieve O’Reilly returned to voice Mon Mothma and she was wonderful in this episode. She really is perfect as Mon Mothma. Introducing Mon Mothma could have felt like another forced cameo, but the addition of Mon Mothma worked beautifully in this episode. It allowed us to get to know Mon Mothma as a character and her appearance lead to one of the most important moments in the series.


The episode began with the Ghost crew waiting to meet up with and refuel another rebel transport. While they were waiting, the crew listened to an impassioned speech by Mon Mothma on the holonet. It was great speech, but did anyone else find it strange that the propaganda machine for the Empire would play a speech that they labeled treasonous and called out the Emperor? Oppressive regimes tend to silence dissent, not give it free airtime on the state-run news network. Anyway, an Imperial probe droid arrived. The Ghost destroyed the droid just as the rebel transport arrived, but it managed to contact the Empire before it was destroyed. Good job, Ezra. The rebel transport was being escorted by Gold Squadron and Gold leader himself, Dutch Vander. Okay, we’ve seen Wedge, Hobbie, and now Dutch. WHERE IS THE PORKINS EPISODE? We also met senatorial attaché Erskin Semaj, who I hope we never see again. While the ships were refueling, the Ghost crew had a chance to meet Gold squadron. A member of Gold squadron scolded the Ghost crew for their brash and overt tactics. She said that they are making it more dangerous for the rest of the rebellion. I’m glad that they showed that there are divisions within the rebellion because those divisions were on full display in Rogue One. With that being said, the stilted execution and dialogue in the scenes with the Ghost crew and Gold squadron left a lot to be desired. The Empire arrived and attacked the rebel ships. The female member of Gold squadron got knocked out and Ezra took her place because they have to force him into every episode. I get that Ezra is the main character, but he doesn’t have to be on screen at all times. Lately, he has been nothing more than a distraction. I’m sorry but Ezra just isn’t a very interesting character, his character development is all over the place, the writers don’t know what to do with him when Maul isn’t onscreen, and Taylor Gray is the obvious weak link in a talented cast.


The secret cargo that the rebel transport was carrying was actually Mon Mothma. She was forced to evacuate the transport and board the Ghost. The Ghost and the surviving ships from Gold squadron destroyed the Imperial cruiser and escaped. Mon Mothma explained to the Ghost crew that she is in the process of uniting the rebel cells scattered across the galaxy and needed to get to a meeting of the various cells. With the transport destroyed, Hera agreed to take her to the meeting aboard the Ghost. Mon Mothma also mentioned that she was well aware of Ezra, which further solidifies the fact that he can’t be involved with the rebel alliance much longer. Thrawn quickly figured out Hera’s plan to escape through the nebula. Governor Pryce volunteered to take a fleet and the new TIE Defenders to intercept the Ghost. It was a brief appearance, but I always enjoy seeing the strategic battle between Thrawn and Hera. What followed was a great scene between Mon Mothma and Hera. It allowed us to understand Mon Mothma’s worldview more clearly. Mon Mothma always believed that she could use the senate to oppose Palpatine, but she now understood that the fight could not be won there. She never wanted a war. The connection between Hera and Mon Mothma felt genuine as well. The animation on Rebels often leaves a lot to be desired, but the portion of the episode in the nebula was stunning. Hera taking the Ghost close enough to the star to destroy the Imperial TIE fighters is a highlight of the season. This was also the first time we saw the TIE Defender in action which was a lot of fun. Once they reached the other side of the nebula, the rebels were met by Governor Pryce’s fleet. The Y-Wings fired at the nebula which ignited the gas and the Imperial ship was engulfed in flames. That was a fun and creative way to end the standoff, and once again the animation in that scene looked great. Pryce has been a great addition to the series, but I was disappointed by her role in this episode. She was defeated with ease and really didn’t add anything to the episode. Wasting screen time and getting embarrassed by the rebels is Konstantine’s job. The Ghost escaped and took Mon Mothma to Dantooine(!!). The episode ended with Mon Mothma broadcasting a speech that called for the rebel cells to unite. The rebel fleet amassed above Dantooine. This was huge moment for the series. I’ve been waiting for the rebel fleet to come together and to see the rebel base on Dantooine. I’m thrilled that it finally happened. These are the kind of impactful and meaningful stories I want Star Wars Rebels to tell.


What Worked

  • Mon Mothma!
  • The Rebel Alliance assembles at Dantooine
  • The battle in and around the nebula

What Didn’t Work

  • Not the best showing for Governor Pryce
  • Forcing Ezra into the spotlight (again)
External Links:
Added: March 16, 2017
Category: Star Wars Rebels
Reviewer: Mike Taber
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