Warning: This review contains spoilers for the Star Wars Rebels episode “Brothers of the Broken Horn.” Jump into hyperspace and away from this page if you haven’t watched the episode yet.
The cancellation of Star Wars: The Clone Wars stung. It still does. I miss that series all the time, but Star Wars Rebels has taken up the Star Wars animated series mantle with style and heart. And bonus: characters from The Clone Wars are making appearances. “Brothers of the Broken Horn” brought back the always charming and almost never trustworthy Hondo Ohnaka (Jim Cummings). The episode had more of a lighthearted tone than anything else that’s aired this season so far, but it still featured an important lesson and some character development for Ezra.
Hondo was the obvious star of the episode, and we’ll get back to the Hondo factor in a moment, but how about Ezra and Chopper? It’s no secret that the droid is basically my favorite, but he really stepped up to be Ezra’s sidekick. He helped Ezra train again, he was smart enough to put the Phantom on autopilot so Hondo couldn’t steal the shuttle, and he took Azmorigan out of the picture in spectacularly cool fashion. Chopper regularly proves his worth, but he shined the brightest in this episode and for the first time, I saw him as Ezra’s pal or maybe more like Ezra’s coach. It was a fun dynamic.
And Ezra. Man, he’s become quite the petulant teenager. He felt overwhelmed by the expectations placed upon him from Kanan, Rex, and Hera and dealt with it by running away. As mentioned, he’s a teenager. He’s going to make rash decisions. I get that. However, given the stakes and that two very powerful and scary Inquisitors are after him and the crew, would he really take off without permission and without even leaving a note? That was a level of irresponsible I don’t see Ezra hitting. It was out of character—even for an upset kid.
His disobedience led him to Vizago’s ship and to Hondo. As always, the pirate was so charming and likable that it was hard not to believe everything he said. I’m aware of Hondo’s history, but I still bought his story and rationalized it with a “Aww, he’s finally changed his ways” thought. He’s such a delight to have around that I instantly forgave him after learning about his deception. He’s greedy, sure, but he’s not necessarily evil or violent. He just wants money. I hope we see Hondo return again and again because Cummings is so very wonderful at bringing Hondo to life. I especially want to see an encounter between him and Ahsoka.
“Brothers of the Broken Horn” was a caper episode that sort of stood apart. Sort of. The power generators Vizago had were tied to a mission from the Rebel Alliance; that probably made Hera slightly less angry with Ezra for running off (Ezra really did deserve more of a stern talking to though). Ezra’s run-in with Hondo made him more grateful for his rebel family and lifestyle. Though I’m curious about what Ezra would be like as a space pirate Jedi, it was nice to see him take a moment to appreciate what he has.
Without the presence of Hondo, this episode wouldn’t have been as interesting. Hondo has such an appealing personality—definitely more so than Vizago—that even people who don’t know him from The Clone Wars were likely charmed. Bringing Hondo into the picture was a smart choice and better than introducing a random new face.
“Oh, the stories I could tell–so many of them true.” – Hondo
“You lied to me. I knew I liked you.” – Hondo
What’s your take on “Brothers of the Broken Horn?” Share your opinions in the comments or come talk to me on Twitter.