– Spoiler Review –
Viewers who have been clamoring for Sabine to have more screen time get their wish in this week’s episode “Out of Darkness.” Hera and Sabine, stranded on an asteroid base, talk out their differences regarding Hera’s mysterious source while dealing with a bit of a pest problem in another entertaining episode of Star Wars Rebels where the characters continue to impress.
Sabine and Hera acted as surrogates for the audience and the show’s creators this week respectively (so it seemed to me) as the two characters discussed the future of the Ghost and her crew’s mission. In the lead up to Rebels, a lot of panels (see: all of them) were full of questions regarding the show’s overall plan: would it reach right into A New Hope?; would the Ghost crew team up with the larger rebellion?; why is it set on some backwater planet called Lothal? Whomever these questions were posed to, the answer were always the same: trust us, there’s a bigger plan in play, we don’t want to say too much and spoil it for you.
Sabine starts asking questions after the risks have gotten higher on several missions, including the one “Out of Darkness” drops us into in medias res, as she’s wondering who Hera’s mysterious contact Fulcrum is and how he gets his intel for their missions. She also wants to know if what they’re doing is bigger than just some random strikes against the Empire, that they’ll amount to something besides an annoyance; Hence why she sounds like the viewers. Hera responds, almost shaking it into Sabine, with the same answer Filoni and crew had: have faith, this is bigger than little Lothal, bigger than what you’d expect.
I’m not particularly worried either way, as episodes like this one and “Fighter Flight” have proven Rebels can focus on its characters and be both entertaining and informative on our crew without worrying about a bigger plan. And for every “Fighter Flight,” there seems to be a “Rise of the Old Masters” or “Breaking Ranks” which include hints of the bigger plot, explore the characters, and are just as entertaining.
The most important thing about “Darkness” was the first real focus on Sabine. She’s taken the biggest backseat through the series so far, but has nearly stole several episodes. There’s a lot of mystery surrounding her and we finally get to peel back a layer or two of the artistic demolition expert as she hashes things out with Hera. What we learn isn’t much, sure, but it’s a welcomed amount: attended the Imperial academy on Mandalore until differences in opinion (see: BIG differences in opinion) caused her to flee. The fears that pushed her to flee have begun to surface again with the Ghost‘s recent missions, as it seems they’re taking unnecessary risks just like the Empire was forcing her to take without any real purpose.
The discussion between Hera and Sabine that frames the entire episode was engaging, as it gives us a peak into the way the crew goes about missions and their implicit trust of Fulcrum. It’s interesting to note Hera begins to say “we” know what we’re doing, but corrects herself to eventually say “Kanan” knows what he’s doing, implying he’s behind all the major decisions. Hera is given missions by Fulcrum and she defers to Kanan to choose which ones to undertake, as per an earlier conversation between Sabine, Hera, and Kanan. Of course now, the big question is: who is Fulcrum? I know I won’t be the first to assume Bail Organa, but as the scene in “Droids in Distress” implies, his meeting with the crew then seemed to be the first and Hera makes it seem like she’s met Fulcrum before in person. There’s been promises we’ll see some familiar EU/Legends faces on the show, so I’m betting on someone more like Garm Bel Iblis, best known for helping start the Alliance. Or Fulcrum could be a Bothan (my biggest wish). But we’ll see.
The rest of the episode was full of fun moments, like the antics with Zeb, Ezra, and Chopper, the “kids” of the group. Chopper actually seems to be the biggest instigator so far throughout the series and I’m loving that change in astromech attitude from what we always saw with R2. The adventure Sabine and Hera have on the asteroid, dealing with the fyrnocks (the mynock’s bad cousins) brought back the explosives first seen in the S5 Droid arc of The Clone Wars, rhydonium, responsible for that series’ best explosion. Their plan to stack the explosives in waves as the creatures attack under the cover of darkness was solid and showed just how well the two female characters have no problems holding their own. More scenes of the ladies taking care of business will always be welcomed.
Here are a few other things:
- The shield generators seen on Hoth make an appearance here at the asteroid base (see photo above).
- Fulcrum was the name of the earliest enemies on Chuck, one of my all time favorite TV series.
- Are those space waffles Zeb eats before Chopper throws Ezra on the plate and splatteres them all over Zeb’s face? Update: the official site’s episode guide confirms they are space waffles. Rejoice!
- Very surprised Hera didn’t double check Zeb, Chopper, and Ezra’s work aboard the Phantom. But then we wouldn’t have had an episode, would we? Just seems out of place for her, though.
- Tiya Sircar promises dark things to be revealed for Sabine and talks about the recording process in this interview at IGN.com.
“Out of Darkness” brought some of Sabine’s history out of darkness, as well as gave her (us) a bigger look at how her team selects their missions. Fulcrum, who or what he is, and most likely representing the eventual Alliance, introduces a giant and interesting mystery to the series, one I’m sure we’ll be touching on sooner rather than later. But in the mean time, more entertaining butt-kicking sessions with our two new favorite female characters in Star Wars, Hera and Sabine, please.
+ More Sabine, please
+ Hera and Sabine getting business done
+ Hera and Sabine functioning as surrogates for audience and creators
– Surprised Hera didn’t double check Phantom diagnostic
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.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. 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“