After an explosive start with Sparks of Rebellion, it looks as though Star Wars Rebels is back with a bang… and with a first episode that introduces some familiar faces, it’s just what every Star Wars fan wants to see.
Right from the off, we’re confronted with images of the Ghost being chased down by an Imperial Star Destroyer, complete with incoming TIE fighters. Remind you of anything? It certainly should, as the complimenting music and visuals is almost straight from the original trilogy… albeit with a bit of a twist.
It’s an impressive sight that brings back wonderful memories. And it’s not long before the entire episode takes a trip down memory lane when we encounter some old friends…
Heading off on another ultra-secret mission, the crew of the Ghost are attempting to intercept the delivery of some ‘T7 Ion Disrupters’ – weapons which have long been banned. Of course, that doesn’t stop the Empire from getting their hands on them, and when Kanan is offered the job of stealing them to earn some credits, he jumps at the chance. After all, the crew’s got to eat.
It’s not long before the job starts to go awry, but it’s Zeb’s personal interest that really tugs at the heart strings. We soon learn that those elusive Ion Disruptors were used by the Empire to wipe out his entire race… and Zeb is understandably wary about selling them on. If you ask me, it’s the perfect follow up to the action-packed opening feature-length episode of Star Wars Rebels. And with a bit more backstory for Zeb, it gives you some idea why he’s quite so angry at the world. His motives for joining the rebellion couldn’t be clearer.
But that’s not to say this episode doesn’t dive straight into the action…
Kanan’s risky job involves boarding a public transport freighter from Lothal to the spaceport on Garel – the location of those hidden disruptors. And with a bit of Ocean’s Eleven hijinks, the Rebels are able to misdirect an Imperial officer into divulging the exact hangar where the weapons are kept… while sending her off on a wild goose chase.
It’s a clever ruse and a nice little setup for what’s to come… and it’s aboard the transport freighter that the Rebels bump into two familiar droids that now seem to be in the service of the Empire – R2-D2 and C-3PO.
It’s a cute little interaction between the Rebels and our original trilogy heroes… and while C-3PO continues to tie himself up in knots, it’s clear that the plucky droids have no idea that a rebel plan is unfolding in their midst.
After landing at Garel, it’s a straight-forward snatch and grab… that is, until the Empire is alerted to their presence. Of course, a gunfight breaks out in the hangar and the Empire soon turn on their own droids – blanketing the hangar with gunfire. Bumbling onto the Rebel ship, R2-D2 and C-3PO end up going along for the ride.
But when C-3PO alerts the Empire to their location, it looks as though a ‘rescue mission’ is about to turn into a rebel manhunt.
Heading off for their meeting with Vizago, it looks as though Kanan’s arms deal has turned sour when Imperial troops arrive… along with some heavy infantry in the form of two AT-DP’s.
What follows is an all-out battle. But the disruptors are almost secondary to the conflict at this stage. Agent Kallus is first on the scene, determined to capture the rebels that evaded him during the events of Star Wars Rebels: Spark of Rebellion. And when he breaks out a Bo-Rifle – the weapon of the Honor Guard of Zeb’s people – it’s clear that Zeb won’t be taking this lightly.
The action is intense but fitting, and with a plan that involves over-charging the disruptors in order to bring down those AT-DP’s, it brings about a resolution that sees Zeb just about make off with his life while the disruptors are destroyed for good. No more harm can be done by those illegal weapons.
And with Ezra saving the day with some impromptu Force powers, it’s clear that the rift between him and Zeb is about to be fixed for good. And we might even see Ezra start some actual Jedi training.
It’s a wonderful episode that certainly mixes the charm of the original and prequel trilogies… and it’s a promising start to the series.
Unfortunately, the episode isn’t perfect and raises one important question – if C-3PO was in the employ of Bail Organa all along, why did he alert the Empire to the Rebel’s presence? It seems like a bit of an oversight, unless there’s a higher reason for doing so.
But nonetheless, it was an entertaining and nostalgic episode. And I get the feeling there’s more where that came from.
What did you think of Droids in Distress? Which other classic Star Wars characters would you like to see? Let us know what you think in the comments below…