– Spoiler Review –
Hype was certainly building up for the Star Wars Rebels finale “Fire Across the Galaxy:” Who is Fulcrum? Can the rebels rescue Kanan? How big a part would Vader play? And most importantly, who will fall? Despite its normal run time feeling a little short with all that takes place, it’s safe to say “Fire” lived up to the hype…and then some.
It seems the TIE Fighter Zeb and Ezra stole back in “Fighter Flight” had more importance than we all realized: Hera recruits the slowly evolving piece of art to aide their rescue attempt of Kanan aboard Tarkin’s Star Destroyer above Mustafar. From the moment Sabine’s TIE sets off the EMP blast aboard the Destroyer to Vader’s landing on Lothal, “Fire” does not let up nor does it disappoint. The Imperials seem more competent: boxing in the rebels rather quickly and forcing Ezra to break off from the group to find Kanan; Tarkin actually evacuates a doomed ship; and stormtroopers actually jump away from explosives for once.
But for every moment of Imperial competence, the rebels have two. Hera’s command of her group is laudable, Sabine’s acrobatics and EMP idea are awesome to watch, while the murder-happy Chopper manages to call in the cavalry to rescue everyone else in the nick of time. If there’s any doubt the entire crew, not just the Jedi, are important to their cell, this entire season and “Fire” should more than squash those thoughts. I just hope with our character roster expanding we don’t lose the focus on the non-Jedi crew going forward.
The Inquisitor continues his interrogation of Kanan, forcing Kanan’s fear of failing his Master Billaba and the Jedi to the surface by discussing (in as vague detail as we get in A New Dawn) their last moments together during Order 66. Kanan starts to let that mentality seep in, which hampers him going into the the duel with the Inquisitor. Once Ezra joins and is quickly dispatched and thought dead, Kanan looks to give up. The glee on the Inquisitor’s face in that moment was chilling, but once Kanan became in tune with the Force and shut out fear, it was obvious the tide of the battle had turned.
All season long the Inquisitor has owned Kanan in their duels and the exact opposite finally happened here. Kanan’s use of Ezra’s blaster add-on really spiced up their duel, which included tons of cool moves and impressive tactics in a very short amount of time. To finish the duel, Kanan places his blades in the center of the Inquisitor’s spinning saber, breaking it in half and forcing his opponent from the catwalks. Kanan’s grim determination almost made me believe he would kill the Inquisitor, but the Inquisitor’s greatest fear, failing his master, is most certainly worse than death. We were all wondering who would fall and it turned out to be the Inquisitor, who’d rather die than face Darth Vader. Who can blame him? Still it was a surprise and his choice to die instead of live with failure proves he was and would never be a Sith, who hold immortality as their highest goal; To them, death is not an option and it was for the Inquisitor.
AHSOKA TANO LIVES! I don’t normally yell or write in all caps for reviews, but I just couldn’t help it with Fulcrum’s reveal. Ahsoka’s exit from the Jedi Order ranks high on my personal list of emotionally strong and memorable moments from Star Wars as a whole and seeing her alive and well, older and in-charge of the fledgling Rebel Alliance, was as close to pure joy as one can get. Sure, her reveal was spoiled a few weeks prior, but even with that knowledge the moment was just as powerful had I not known. Of course her appearance raises tons of questions: Are Bail and her of equal standing in Rebel leadership? Does she know about Vader’s true identity? Did Bail trust her enough to tell her about Leia’s true mother, and even if he didn’t, what has Ahsoka told Leia about Padme, if anything? About Anakin? Has she even met Leia? And of course her continued survival brings us back to wondering if she’ll live or die, the big question which dogged her for the entirety of The Clone Wars. But if there’s one thing Filoni proved by having her leave the Order, there’s always a third option. In the meantime though, I’m ready (see: dying) to hear the tale of how she became Fulcrum and what she’s all done since she walked down the steps of the Jedi Temple, nearly breaking my heart.
Vader, who was teased in the lead-up really only had a cameo appearance much like his hologram scene added to Spark of Rebellion. And even though he didn’t speak a word, he was still damn intimidating and scary with the new look and having him around means things won’t go so easy for the rebels anymore. On the opposite side of intimidating was the reunion of Hera and Kanan, whose embrace still leaves their relationship status a little up in the air. There’s definitely more than friendship there, but whether it’s still beyond friends or something they tried before is where things are left open for interpretation. And for now, I’m completely okay with that.
Here are a few other things:
- Being on Twitter last night with fellow fans was quite the treat. Besides all the unanimous praise for the episode, I did notice some people were calling out the length of the episode compared to everything that happens and I totally agree: “Fire” felt too short for a finale as packed as it was. A couple extra minutes at the very least could’ve helped the episode. It was still an extremely solid half-hour, though it felt a little rushed at times.
- Ahsoka said goodbye to the Jedi Order March 2, 2013…two years to the day Ahsoka reappeared for the first time since (minus her brief cameo in the “Lost Missions” Yoda arc). How cool/planned out was that?
- The opening scene with Sabine referenced her short, which was one of four and make up an entire ‘episode’ for the first season of Rebels. You won’t need to have watched her short to enjoy the moment in “Fire,” but it certainly rewards viewers who have/will watch it. Spark of Rebellion was two episodes long, add in the four shorts and the rest of the season, and it’s the total 16 episodes we were promised.
- The Rebels Recon this week is full of goodies and well worth a watch. The cast discusses their favorite moments from the season and what they look forward to in the next, Filoni teases S2 content including a new squadron, he discusses more about Ahsoka and her new digs and sabers, and everyone promises more background for all our characters. Oh, and more episodes next season!
- There are already action figures coming for Ahsoka and Vader from Rebels, while USAToday also has an interview with Ashley Eckstein and Filoni about Ahsoka’s return.
- I’m surprised they didn’t mention the fate of Ezra’s parents. Mayhaps a reunion is in order in S2?
- I don’t think we’ll see the Inquisitor return to the show—it’s pretty safe to say he can’t come back like Maul did—but I wouldn’t be surprised if we eventually got some comic/novel background for him.
- “That’s not regulation.” “I kind of like it.” Had to be funniest exchange of the episode.
- The lightsaber duel already ranks high on my list of all-time favorites.
- They brought in a full orchestra for the score and Kevin Kiner’s solid work this season sounds exceptionally better because of it.
“Fire Across the Galaxy” was the season finale we wanted, needed, and totally deserved. From old faces returning, to Kanan and Ezra’s battle with the Inquisitor, to the ingenuity of the Ghost crew, the finale had everything and then some. It sets a big precedent for the series moving forward (and closer to A New Hope) and season two feels light-years away now. But if it can capitalize on the strength of “Fire,” it’ll be well worth the wait.
+ Ahsoka Tano returns
+ Kanan connecting deep with the Force
+ First step into a larger world
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”
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“