– Spoiler Review –
Star Wars Rebels Season 2 returns with “A Princess on Lothal,” an episode set shortly after the heartfelt midseason finale, “Legacy.” The Princess referred to in the title is none other than Leia, who has come on Bail Organa’s behalf to bring more ships to the battered Phoenix Squadron. While not as emotional as “Legacy,” “Princess” brings back the humor, action, a strong use of the entire crew, and also helps Ezra move on from the revelation about his parents.
Princess Leia was handled really, really well in this episode, no matter how one feels about Julie Dolan’s voice acting (it’s not my favorite, but I like what she brought to the character). While not completely a member of the rebellion, which hasn’t even officially formed yet, she seems to have the whole “bring ships for aid and somehow rebels steal them under the Imperial’s noses” shtick down rather well, even if her latest run to Lothal has some hiccups along the way. In a way I would’ve liked the episode to have Leia spend more time interacting with more Imperials, considering the little we did get was not only interesting to see how she handled all the duplicity, but also fun to watch her throw her authority around to befuddle Lieutenant Lyste (who was a Supply Master in S1’s “Fighter Flight”) and the stormtroopers. Despite her already present headstrong nature, Leia isn’t quite sure of herself yet either, something she shows when her plan falls apart after Lyste gets a little too protective of Leia’s delivery ships since he knows they have a habit of falling into rebel hands. Throughout the episode she gets many impressive moments, but two stood out the most to me, both of which help certain members of the crew in different ways, and are easily two of my favorite parts from the episode.
The first one is how she talks to Ezra, who is understandably still feeling a little gloomy about learning of his parent’s deaths. After the crew is all reunited once Hera, Sabine, and Zeb return to rescue Kanan, Ezra, Chopper, and Ryder Azadi (the ex-governor of Lothal who was in prison with the Bridgers) in the nick of time, members of the crew who haven’t seen Ezra since he learned the news offer him their sympathies. Much like we’re the viewers watching the lives of these characters, Leia functions as an audience surrogate in that moment, watching and listening from afar, realizing she’s stepped into a very personal and emotional moment for these people she’s helping. She asks Kanan about Ezra and he thinks the more mature, but similarly aged (I believe they’re only months apart in age) Leia could offer advice as a friend since they both deal with a lot of responsibility at their age (Space Dad asks girl the same age as Space Son to help reach out to the kid in a way he can’t, essentially). Their talk not only hit an emotional chord with me, but the music is what makes the moment something so much more: Ezra’s theme and Leia’s theme are molded and weaved together in a heartfelt dance by Kevin Kiner, which you can hear in full at StarWars.com’s episode guide. Leia reveals she knows Ezra because she, much like his parents and many other citizens of the Empire, heard his broadcast (before Tarkin so rudely cut it off) and thinks they are similar in that they both want to fight for those who can’t fight for themselves, no matter their stations in life. It’s a great, but short conversation, hitting at the right time for Ezra…while maybe helping Leia remember why she’s still fighting too.
Leia’s next big moment is showing her leadership capabilities and unending sense of hope (something still present in Leia even with the dire events for her in The Force Awakens) when the Ghost crew needs them most. With the gravlocks holding Leia’s ships down and the two AT-AT’s guarding them, the crew finds themselves out of options and out of hope when it comes to securing the ships and escaping with their lives. But she won’t let me focus on what they believe is an impossible situation, but instead prompts them to keep thinking on how to attack the problem. Nearly everyone finds a new solution to attack the Imperial defenses, including Ryder, who had previously wanted to just leave without getting involved. Leia soon gets to see the team in action, including Kanan’s Jedi skills when he takes an AT-AT out with his lightsaber (in a much cooler way than Luke does in The Empire Strikes Back), Ezra’s still in progress Jedi powers, and Hera’s wonderful flying by harassing the AT-ATs.
Here are a few other things:
- Zeb punching Kanan and Ezra to make things look believable was funny, but it was absolutely hilarious how Steve Blum delivered Zeb’s line, “How’s your face?” and how the animation team gave Zeb that mischievous smile.
- Speaking of humor, nearly everyone has a one-liner or two, including the stromtroopers and nearly every moment is legitimately humorous.
- Princess Leia’s action figure variety is looking up, thanks to Hasbro launching a figured based on her Rebels appearance in the fall!
- Nice little moment when Leia paraphrases a famous Vader (and Anakin in The Clone Wars) line by saying, “That is impressive. Well, mostly.”
- Now that Leia knows Kanan and Ezra are Jedi (though it seems like she knew before meeting them here), it begs the question if she ever tells Luke about them (though as far as canon has revealed so far, it doesn’t seem like she does) and if she chooses not too, why? I’m slightly afraid of the answer.
- In case you’re curious where the season will go from here, don’t forget to check out the midseason trailer!
The crew of the Ghost finds a new ally in Princess Leia while Phoenix Squadron is resupplied with ships after their losses on Garel. Ezra’s emotional baggage seems to have been lifted at the moment and everyone looks to be getting back to normal….for now. “A Princess on Lothal,” was a solid return for the series as it heads into the season’s final episodes.
+ Princess Leia being, well, Princess Leia
+ Leia and Ezra’s talk
+ Team reuniting after the split
STAR WARS REBELS REVIEWS:
Season One: Spark of Rebellion | Ep. 2: “Droids In Distress” | Ep.3: “Fighter Flight” | Ep.4: “Rise of the Old Masters” | Ep.5: “Breaking Ranks” | Ep.6: “Out of Darkness” | Ep.7: “Empire Day” | Ep.8: “Gathering Forces” | Ep.9: “Path of the Jedi” | Ep.10: “Idiot’s Array” | Ep.11: “Vision of Hope” | Ep.12: “Call to Action” | Ep.13: “Rebel Resolve” | Ep.14: “Fire Across the Galaxy“
Season Two: The Siege of Lothal | Ep. 2: “The Lost Commanders” | Ep. 3: “Relics of the Old Republic” | Ep. 4: “Always Two There Are” | Ep. 5: “Brothers of the Broken Horn” | Ep. 6: “Wings of the Master” | Ep. 7: “Blood Sisters” | Ep. 8: “Stealth Strike” | Ep. 9: “The Future of the Force” | Ep. 10: “Legacy” | Ep. 12: “The Protector of Concord Dawn” | Ep. 13: “Legends of the Lasat” | Ep. 14: “The Call” | Ep. 15: “Homecoming” | Ep. 16: “The Honorable Ones” | Ep. 17: “Shroud of Darkness” | Ep. 18: “The Forgotten Droid” | Ep. 19: “The Mystery of Chopper Base” | Ep. 20: “Twilight of the Apprentice“
Season Three: Step Into Shadows