Star Wars Rebels is back with another season, and the first episode sure did kick it off with a bang (actually, with lots of bangs). “The Siege of Lothal” didn’t do much for introducing new characters or major plot points, but it did seamlessly transition from last season’s finale and helped us get a sense of where this season is going. Oh, and it had lots of explosions, but that’s nothing new for the series, right? (spoilers ahead!)
We last left off with our rag-tag group of heroes joining the Rebel forces in an attempt to overthrow the Galactic Empire. Personally, I liked it better when the team worked solo, but I’m not going to complain about them getting some help on their missions. This allows the show to explore larger possibilities and integrate deeper storylines. We could very well have the chance for more crossovers with the main storylines of the Star Wars films. We’ve already seen Lando Calrissian, Darth Vader, and C-3P0 and R2-D2; what other characters and features can we encounter in the future?
Speaking of Lando and Darth, I’m so happy to see these characters return for the Season 2 premiere. I’m very impressed that the show managed to get James Earl Jones and Billy Dee Williams to reprise their roles. I guess they’re really committed to doing justice for their characters, am I right?
The only problem I have with Vader’s involvement is that it seems out of place in this timeline. The time between the events of Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope is open for interpretation, unless you dig deep into the lore behind Star Wars. If you’ve played Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, then you would understand that Vader kept himself busy in that time period. So far, the show is indicating that Vader is going to be the main villain of the season, seeing as he has been tasked with hunting down Ahsoka. This feels off for me. Why can’t the show incorporate another villain like it did with the Inquisitor in Season 1? We’ve had enough Vader in the films and the games. He’s a great villain, but let’s see something else.
As usual, Ezra and Kanan steal the show. These two work very well with each other, demonstrating a strong father-son dynamic similar to that of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker. There’s one scene that I absolutely loved in this episode where the duo dons disguises and tries to sneak past a Stormtrooper. Ezra attempts to use the classic Jedi Mind Trick to make the trooper let him pass, but it doesn’t work, and he almost gets pummeled until Kanan steps in. It’s the small things that you have to appreciate in these kinds of shows.
Although Star Wars Rebels is rated Y7, it still makes some bold moves for a kids show. In the first season, we saw the Inquisitor behead two people, and then fall to his fiery death. In Season 2’s first episode, we actually watched Minister Tua die in an explosion. A little rough for people of this age group to handle. I give the show credit for pulling it off.
Probably my least favorite part of the episode was the ending. Ahsoka discovers that Vader was her former mentor, and Vader learns that Ahsoka is another Jedi who escaped Order 66. The Emperor orders Vader to track her down and eliminate her along with any other Jedi in the way (sorry Ezra and Kanan). This ties back into my original point: will Vader be the main villain of the season? Obviously he’s going to return since he’s been ordered to take out Ahsoka, but I’m curious about whether the show will bump him up into a regular character or if he will be temporarily replaced with a new villain. Only time will tell.
The Season 2 premiere was a fun hour, although, there were parts that felt like they dragged on, namely the battles. I’d put this episode on par with the first episode of Season 1. I just hope it keeps up the high quality performances and compelling storylines!
Final Grade: B
+ The part with Ezra trying to use the Jedi Mind Trick on the Stormtrooper was pretty funny.
+ It’s cool seeing James Earl Jones and Billy Dee Williams reprising their roles once again.
+ It was a big move for the show to kill off Minister Tua; for a kids program, Star Wars Rebels isn’t afraid to push boundaries.
– We almost know exactly what’s going to happen since this show takes place before Star Wars: A New Hope. There aren’t too many surprises regarding Vader and Ahsoka’s fates.
– The space battles look amazing, but they tend to drag out.
– This show’s plot is treading dangerously close to the timeline of the video game, Star Wars: the Force Unleashed. I don’t want the overall Star Wars timeline to be completely butchered due to continuity errors.
What did you think of the Season 2 premiere of Star Wars Rebels? Did you like it? How do you feel about Darth Vader taking over as the main baddie? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!