Warning: This review contains spoilers for the Star Wars Rebels episode “Wings of the Master.” Jump into hyperspace and away from this page if you haven’t watched the episode yet.
The latest episode of Star Wars Rebels was all about the Ghost‘s insanely skilled pilot Hera Syndulla (Vanessa Marshall). Unsurprisingly, it focused on her flying chops as Zeb, Sabine, and she traveled to meet a shipbuilder named Quarrie (Corey Burton). He presented Hera with a beast of a ship to test: the B-wing. I can’t admit to being one of the many people in love with this ship (I’m all about the X-wing), but it was an enjoyable jaunt to learn about its origin and connection to Hera. But in some ways, the ship got more development than Hera.
Don’t get me wrong. Hera is the bee’s knees. She’s the heart of the crew and of the series, really. She carried this episode and without her, the mission would have failed. Beyond that, the B-wing might not have made it out of the testing phase. However, this episode had the opportunity to go deeper into her character—she had to be wrecked after the failed mission and destroyed blockade runner–and though we definitely learned more about her, the exploration was a touch superficial and focused on her badass flying skills (which are nothing to sneeze at) rather than the whys and hows of Hera.
Her speech to Quarrie about why she flies was intensely moving. Marshall nailed every note and word of it and made it ring with emotion. Thinking about Hera, daughter of freedom fighter Cham Syndulla, looking to the skies on Ryloth makes my heart swell. Hearing those lines from Hera gave me more of a connection to her, and I’ll be thinking about how passionately she explained her love of the skies to Quarrie every time I see her fly (so, basically all the time). But that speech was as far as it went. Granted, she had to get to work testing the ship in order to get back to the fleet–time wasn’t her friend–but there was room for more. Still, I was ridiculously proud of her for taking care of business and getting that promotion. Goodness knows she deserved the hell out of it. Her brave and elegant piloting combined with Kevin Kiner’s very Rocketeer-esque music made “Wings of the Master” soar.
The gruff Quarrie was an interesting character. His name is a lovely homage to Ralph McQuarrie, appropriate since the B-wing sprung from McQuarrie’s concept art. The Mon Calamari ship designer was gruff and grumpy for no real reason. He was hesitant to hand over the keys to his prototype to Hera. That mostly made sense. However, as he pointed out, not many pilots have successfully landed on the planet. The fact that Hera managed to do so should have established her cred. And then, after she proved herself, Quarrie had the nerve to doubt Sabine.
Grumpiness aside, Quarrie’s work was beautiful and it was touching to see the pride on his face. The B-wing had quite the test run and learning about its history makes me appreciate the odd-looking ship more. And how about the design and lighting on Shantipole? It was simply gorgeous.
“You’re co-irritating me.” – Kanan
“I don’t get many visitors. Most of them crash.” – Quarrie
“Even when there are explosions all around me, things are at their worst–I feel like I’m at my best.” – Hera