– Spoiler Review –
Star Wars Rebels‘ mid-season finale, “Legacy,” is an interesting episode: it’s certainly more introspective and emotional than most finales on TV these days, but it has some tonal inconsistencies as it wraps up the hanging story thread regarding Ezra’s parents and deals with diminishing the Rebellion’s sense of safety as the Empire forces them to flee yet another base.
The fate of Ezra’s parents has been a plot-point unresolved since the first season’s two-part mid-season finale and frankly I was beginning to believe it wasn’t going to be resolved anytime soon. But Rebels has been spectacular on revisiting material from previous episodes (like the stolen and stashed TIE Fighter from “Fighter Flight” reappearing in the S1 finale) and the answer to Ephraim and Mira Bridger’s fates was far more emotional and surprising than I originally expected. Tseebo, an old friend of the Bridgers whom the Ghost crew rescued from the Empire in S1, revealed to Hera what he knew of their fates and it’s only until “Legacy” we learn what he knew: they were taken to an Imperial prison and were still alive. Hera brought Kanan in and they researched and asked around without any luck, deciding to hold off telling Ezra until they had something concrete to tell him regarding his parents. While Kanan and Hera have been Space Dad and Space Mom to the Ghost‘s family, this episode really brings back those monikers in a big way, especially Kanan’s Space Dad status.
Ezra only learns about Kanan and Hera’s efforts because he reveals to them his latest Force-vision, which involves a white Loth-cat and his parents. Convinced they are alive, he pushes hard to get the crew together and off of Garel, which ends up not being a moment too soon. The Empire, thanks to the Seventh Sister’s probe droid and Agent Kallus double-checking her info, has arrived on Garel to destroy the rebels for good. Ezra, desperate to begin his search for his parents back on Lothal, taps into some raw emotions when using the Force, beating out Agent Kallus and ready to charge into battle with the Inquisitors if he has too. Kanan thankfully shoots a door lock and cuts Ezra off from certain death, but instead of chastising him or berating him for being so rash, Kanan tries to relate to him and help him through this emotional time. Kanan went through a similar period when he survived Order 66 (shown in the Kanan comic arc, “The Last Padawan”) and his way of dealing with Ezra’s emotions here could’ve saved a lot of people had the Jedi of old acted differently, as Anakin could’ve confided all his feelings to Obi-Wan instead of hiding them for fear of being expelled.
These two make it off Garel, Chopper in tow, and return to Lothal to track down a mysterious stranger Ezra sees in a second vision. After a loth-cat chase across the city, Ezra and Kanan find the stranger hiding out in the mounds of Lothal, and after a few blaster shots, Ezra reveals his identity and so too does the stranger: Ryder Azadi. It turns out Azadi was the governor of Lothal until he was arrested for aiding and abetting the Bridger’s rebellious propaganda and he’s been in jail with them ever since…until only a few days before when they organized a prison break. What spured the Bridgers to finally take such bold action? Ezra’s message to the people of Lothal, heard in S1’s “Call to Action,” reached them in their cells and inspired them to take action again. Unfortunately in the breakout, Ezra’s parents perished, but not before getting everyone else out alive and well. The whole scene where this is revealed is about as emotional as this show has ever gotten and even writing about it now makes me sad just thinking about it. Taylor Grey gets to flex his voice acting muscles a bit throughout this whole episode, but he completely sells Ezra’s tears, understanding, and acceptance of his parent’s deaths with aplomb. And Kanan goes full Space Dad, embracing his Space Child after they hear the news (and even Chopper puts a claw on Ezra’s knee!). There’s a lot of great back and forth with compliments and thank yous between Ezra and Kanan all episode, furthering their unique bond in this darkest of times.
From Ezra’s obsession to finding his parents, the attack by the Empire and ensuing in-atmosphere battle, a humorous chase after a loth-cat, to an emotional gut-punch of an ending, the tone jumps around a little too much in “Legacy.” It feels like there are at least two different episodes within it, as we have the introspective journey Ezra takes to find out what happened to his parents and there’s an epic battle on and above Garel that leaves the fleet scattered and broken. Overall it doesn’t impact the ending with Ezra learning his parents are dead, but it does seem a little off as we have to adjust to different tones throughout. But, as I’ve felt the danger the crew and rebel fleet faced was diminished too quickly at the start of the season following “The Siege of Lothal,” it’s nice to have them on the run again, the Imperials slightly more competent, and the rebel fleet no longer endangering a populated planet’s populace by hiding there.
Here are a few other things:
- If you want to see more about the fandoms love for calling Hera and Kanan Space Dad and Space Mom of their Space Family, my top recommendation is Pep-No!’s Tumblr. There’s a celebration of all the feels you’ll experience watching this Space Family grow together and so much more insight it’ll be hard to stop visiting…so don’t stop visiting!
- I haven’t mentioned Kevin Kiner as much as I should, but his score has been outstanding this whole season and the piece at the end as Ezra sees his parents one last time in the Force, and how Lothal looked before the Empire took over, hit all the feels.
- StarWars.com’s episode guide holds the latest Rebels Recon, which reveals a short look at the next episode in January, how having Ezra’s parents dead makes his journey different than Luke’s, and teases what’s yet to come in the rest of the season, including the duel we all know has to come: Ahsoka and Vader.
- I feel like last week’s episode, “The Future of the Force,” would’ve functioned better as a mid-season finale, considering its foreboding and cliffhanger-ish ending, but at least “Legacy” leaves the crew fractured and on the run again.
- Kallus seems to have respect or at least tolerance for the Inquisitors, while the Admiral reminds me a lot of the officers aboard the Death Star and their lack of faith in the dark side’s sorcerer’s ways.
- Sabine calling Chopper and Zeb the delinquents of the family was the funniest part of the episode.
- Giving the Phantom a hyperdrive has really opened up the story opportunities.
- Interestingly enough, we’ve yet to see the current Lothal governor, Pryce, but we get to see the ex-governor first. However, Pryce did appear in the YA series Servants of the Empire, which followed Zare Leonis’ story concurrent with the show.
Despite the tone jumping around, “Legacy” serves up a whole heaping chunk of emotions, wrapping up the fate of Ezra’s parents and pushing the rebel fleet back on the run again, giving us a unique mid-season finale for Star Wars Rebels.
+ The Bridger’s fates revealed
+ Emotionally strong ending
+ Fleet split up and on the run again
– Tone jumps a little too much
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. 11 “A Princess on Lothal” | 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