Star Wars Rebels is back after a week off, and it returns with a very special guest star. Lando Calrissian ropes the crew of Ghost into his latest scheme, and yes, Billy Dee Williams provides the scoundrel’s voice. If I had to use a couple of words to describe this episode, I’d lean towards silly and fun. Lando’s constant cracks and jokes meant that nothing felt too serious. While it was a blast to see the familiar face in a time period when he’s on his way up in the galaxy, he was a little too much. Too suave, too cocky – his personality was exaggerated and it didn’t need to be quite so heavy-handed.
Lando encounters the rebels through a game of sabacc with Zeb (Steve Blum). Zeb feels so sure he has a winning hand that he bets Chopper and loses him. Poor Chopper! Hera (Vanessa Marshall) thankfully gives Zeb grief for it, but he shouldn’t have put Chopper on the line at all. I have strong feelings for Chopper so Zeb’s actions made me give him serious dagger eyes.
Anyway, Lando hires Ghost to get goods past the Imperial blockade and into Lothal. Kanan (Freddie Prinze, Jr.) negotiates the deal, which annoyed me. How dare he make a deal without Hera? She chooses the missions, the Ghost is her ship. Come on, Kanan. Happily, we saw Hera put him in his place and Kanan got his comeuppance later when he had to sit in the pilot’s seat. He realized how amazing Hera is at her job. So there, Kanan. So. There.
Things go slightly awry because Lando doesn’t reveal his entire plan to acquire his cargo. No one watching is shocked by this. He trades Hera for a mysterious box, and again, Hera rocks and Kanan fumbles. She rolls with Lando’s plan and uses a serving tray a la Rapunzel with a frying pan in Tangled to save herself. Have I mentioned how awesome Hera is? Because she is very awesome.
The developments we see with Hera and with Chopper in this episode are what make it special and make it stand above just being the “comedy relief” episode. It did serve that purpose and marked quite the change in tone from “Path of the Jedi,” but that’s okay. As I’ve mentioned before, shows can have both light and dark, both humor and serious notes. Balance is neat. “Idiot’s Array” does have substance though because it wasn’t all about Lando’s smooth personality.
Let’s touch on Lando’s smooth moves before discussing Hera and Chopper. When we first meet Lando in The Empire Strikes Back, he makes an impression by immediately flirting with Princess Leia. Between Han’s description of the character and that moment, we assume Lando is a ladies’ man. We see him continue to be suave for the rest of the original trilogy. That personality trait was on full display in Star Wars Rebels. It wasn’t the only side of Lando we saw – we see his cunning, his smarts, and his entrepreneurial skills – but it was the most emphasized side and it got old. I didn’t need to see Lando flirt with Sabine (Tiya Sircar). His swagger was turned up to 20, and it would have been fine at 11.
Back to Hera. We’ve seen Hera show her skills before, but this episode saw her reminding the crew (well, mainly Zeb and Kanan) that she’s valuable. Ghost is hers, Chopper is hers, and she calls the shots. She doesn’t tolerate any of Lando’s sly compliments, and she tells Kanan how to evade the Imperials on their tail. In short, she kicks ass.
Chopper does the same. Kudos to the animation team on Rebels for making this little droid so very human. We know when he’s annoyed, we know when he’s being sassy, and we know when he’s proud of himself. The scene in which he refused an order from Kanan because he belonged to Lando at the time was priceless, and I adore how Chopper showed his anger at Zeb and Kanan by being extra nice to Lando. He made me laugh out loud several times. He also reminded the crew they should be more appreciative of him by stealing fuel from Lando.
Ezra (Taylor Gray) and Kanan had a nice interaction too when Azmorigan (James Hong) and his thugs surprised them on Lothal. We see the true genius of Ezra’s lightsaber because hey, it can be used as a blaster too. In case you’re wondering, yes, it’s already available as a toy. Kanan admits he has to stop underestimating Ezra, and the moment ties into the “appreciate your friends” theme of the episode.
I enjoyed seeing Lando at this point. He’s already got his head in the mining game and the puffer pig is an example of how he thinks outside the box. Since he’s trying to work on Lothal, I have a hunch this isn’t the last we’ll see of him on Rebels.
What did you think of “Idiot’s Array?” Head to the comments and share your thoughts or hit me up on Twitter.