Can you believe the first season of Star Wars Rebels is almost over? “Rebel Resolve” is the penultimate episode, and while it didn’t quite match the intensity we saw in “Call to Action,” it definitely continued to push ahead. The rebels suffered a blow in the last episode and must decide whether they will focus their efforts on rescuing Kanan from the Imperials. It seems like a simple decision, but it’s the whole “one for the sake of many” argument. The Empire expects the rebels to make a rescue attempt, and if they’re all captured, what was the point of Kanan’s sacrifice?
It’s a question each member of the crew of Ghost must deal with, but none struggle as much as Hera. She and Kanan are friends and teammates, sure, but they also have borderline romantic feelings for each other (Chopper interrupts the pair when they’re about to lock lips in “The Machine in the Ghost” short). You can hear the pain in Hera’s voice – excellently provided by Vanessa Marshall – as she talks with Fulcrum and realizes she shouldn’t go after Kanan even though she really wants to. Marshall conveyed the very difficult position Hera is in with her voice, and the animators added to it with Hera’s expressions and posture – so much of it played out in her eyes.
Beyond showing the difficult position Hera’s in, the conversation with Fulcrum showed the destruction of the communications tower and the attention it received wasn’t necessarily a good thing. By staying under the radar, the rebels may be able to accomplish more, but the events in the last episode put the Ghost on the Empire’s list in a big way. And not just the Ghost but insurgent activities in general. Fulcrum chastised Hera. Side note: Man, I really hope we learn Fulcrum is Ahsoka Tano. And that Fulcrum scolds Hera more for changing her mind so quickly and risking her team to go after Kanan despite all the warnings.
Ezra is on the opposite end of the spectrum. Kanan is their friend, and his teacher. He doesn’t see the other side (or doesn’t care about it) and only focuses on the fact that they’ve left one of their own behind. He’s so determined to find Kanan that he recruits Sabine, Chopper, and Zeb to go behind Hera’s back to get information from Vizago. Taylor Gray did a fantastic job here communicating a mix of confidence and trepidation with Ezra’s lines – especially when Ezra told Vizago his and Kanan’s secret. By the way, I really don’t see the bargain ending well but don’t expect it to come back into play until next season.
I’m not a fan of Sabine and Zeb letting Ezra reveal that secret. I know the stakes are high. I know Ezra is desperate and emotional. But that’s an awfully big cat to let out of the bag, and I don’t think Kanan would approve.
Chopper was rather determined, too. I realize droids aren’t supposed to have emotion, but Chopper visited Kanan’s empty room and was clearly on board with doing whatever was necessary to discover where Kanan was being kept prisoner. It was more than mere loyalty. He’s often a grumpy little droid (and I love that about him), but his actions in this episode made me think of R2-D2.
And Chopper was such the hero! Everyone had a part to play between learning about the courier droid, performing recon, preparing Chopper for the mission, and retrieving him, but Chopper stole the show. He stayed behind in the AT-ST during the first attempt to find Kanan because he thought he could figure it out, and then he tolerated being repainted and willingly walked into the line of fire on the next attempt. He rolled into the Imperial cruiser like it was nothing and made a bold escape that showed how much he trusts Hera’s piloting skills. It was a real moment in the sun for Chopper.
Then, of course, he tempered his bravery by knocking the poor Imperial courier droid out the hatch when he learned Zeb wanted to keep it. Typical Chopper. I’m just going to assume Chopper knew the courier droid had some sort of tracking device in its rusty innards. That was my concern as soon as they brought it on board Ghost.
The rebels use the information Chopper obtained to learn where Kanan’s headed, and it’s not exactly a prime tourist destination. He’s being taken to Mustafar. We see both Tarkin and the Inquisitor interrogating and torturing Kanan to no avail. The torture was so intense Tarkin warned the Inquisitor, “The Jedi is no good to me dead.” First of all, Kanan doesn’t know anything about other rebel contacts. Hera’s in charge of those activities. Secondly, he wouldn’t give it up anyway.
If they’re taking him to Mustafar and the planet is known as the place where Jedi go to die, it makes you wonder if that’s Darth Vader’s preferred location to execute Jedi survivors. Since Vader was in the first episodes of Rebels, it would be fitting to see him return for the finale.
Other than the plot, the visuals were top notch in “Rebel Resolve.” I mentioned Hera’s facial expressions earlier, but the animators also made some magic happen with the action scenes. There was the AT-ST pursuit and Hera rescuing the group in Phantom, and then there was Chopper’s escape from the cruiser. So well done. The music was on point as well, and I swear I heard the notes from “Binary Sunset” in there.
The two-part episode wraps up next week with the season finale. Unlike previous episodes, the finale will not be available early on Watch Disney XD so my review will be posted later than normal.
What did you think of “Rebel Resolve?” Let me know in the comments.