– Spoiler Review –
While “Wings of the Master” is another bottle episode, having Star Wars Rebels finally focus on the under-utilized Hera Syndulla makes it far better than last weeks (which I did enjoy) and proves once and for all (again) that she’s just as interesting as people who can levitate things with their minds/swing fancy lazer-swords around.
Hera is the heart and soul of the Ghost, so it’s only right we get to finally see what makes her own heart and soul tick. As her home planet crumbled around her thanks to the Clone Wars, young Hera often found herself looking to the sky and having an inexplicable pull to be “up there.” Hera focused her talents on combat initially, but she chose to also help those in need, putting her down the path to where she is now. And while in “Wings” it might be the first time she reveals being in the cockpit of a ship is where she feels the most in control, I think us viewers have all known that for awhile now! Another great aspect of the episode for Hera was how Kanan took on the motivating mantle, switching their roles around for once (and rightfully so), showing how their relationship works both ways and she doesn’t always have to be the one doting. To cement her new-found importance, Hera’s promoted to Phoenix Squadron’s leader by episode’s end, driving her further up the rebel’s ranks as her skills and leadership get the recognition they deserve (both in-universe and on the show!). The big question that comes from her promotion: will this cause her to slowly be distanced from the Ghost‘s group and what would the fallout of such an action be on her and the crew?
Throughout “Wings,” Hera goes through quite the emotional gauntlet: from the devastation she feels over the initial failure against Agent Kallus’ blockade, exposing part of her history and desire for flying to a stranger, and the pure joy she experiences while piloting an experimental craft. Thankfully, Vanessa Marshall knows how to knock it all out of the park and the animation team is right there with her, matching and enhancing her splendid vocal performance. Whether it’s the small nuggets of information on her past and motivations, piloting skills, or excellent voice performance, Hera is easily as entertaining as any other member of the crew and then some. Here’s hoping for more of a focus on her as the season continues.
Quarrie, the eccentric Mon Calamarian shacked up on the dangerous Shantipole, was an enjoyable aspect of the episode. The idea of hiding out on the planet thought worst for piloting is a insanely genius one, as the Empire wouldn’t bother searching such a place (though it’s always willing to throw its troopers into even worse situations) and if any craft he builds survives the planet, it’ll survive anything else thrown at it. His reluctance to let Hera pilot the Blade Wing, or B-wing, he’s created is understandable, as he doesn’t want to give it to just any pilot, and her opening up to him is all he needs to hear from her to allow her to fly it. Quarrie’s reveal about not being a pilot himself was pretty hilarious, though it makes one wonder how he got the B-wing put together, as he had to have some help at some point gathering parts and other miscellany. But the question of how the rebels get more B-wings is answered in “Wings,” as Bail Organa has found someone willing to help produce the craft in much larger quantities (which seems likely to be ones that’ll ditch the powerful beam weapon used by Hera to take out the blockade in favor of a hyperdrive).
Here are a few other things:
- The Rebels Recon at StarWars.com had a very interesting nugget of info in regards to why we don’t see A-wings and B-wings at the first Death Star attack: the group at Yavin simply didn’t have them, but at Endor everyone’s teamed up and those parts of the Rebel fleet who had them joined those who didn’t. Simple, but insightful.
- And, as I questioned a few reviews ago regarding their whereabouts, Gregor and Wolffe’s fates are revealed: they stayed behind. As Pablo Hidalgo, story group member and walking Star Wars encyclopedia extraordinaire puts it, “…if you look at their mental states, maybe these aren’t the troopers you want…” I second that, but I’m wondering why this wasn’t included in a throwaway line or something a few episodes ago.
- As of this writing the Trivia Gallery at the official site isn’t working for me, but I imagine there’s an image in there mentioning how Quarrie is a nod to Ralph McQuarrie, the concept artist we owe the look of Star Wars to.
- Shantipole, the planet which Quarrie is hiding, borrows its name from the Legends project which gave birth to the B-wing, headed by another Mon Cala everyone is familiar with: Ackbar. So the name of the project and a species behind building the ship stay the same.
- Kallus continues to simply live up to his namesake, which is slightly disappointing.
- Wonder how Rex and Quarrie met…
- Hopefully next week can do for Sabine what “Wings” did for Hera, though Sabine has been a little more prominent so far this season.
Hera takes center stage and it helps elevate “Wings of the Master” into something special, reminding viewers that even with all The Clone Wars characters running around, the original cast of Star Wars Rebels is what this show is all about.
+ Hera in the spotlight
+ B-wing’s birth
+ Vanessa Marshall’s performance
– Kallus continues to be evil for evil’s sake/can’t win
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. 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”
Season Three: Step Into Shadows