Thursday, 21 January 2016

Star Wars Rebels 'A Princess On Lothal' Review

This review WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS for the episode to be discussed, if you do not want certain plot points or story spoilt please do not read further.

With the first half of the second season having Agent Kallus chasing our rebel heroes around the galaxy to little effect it began to look like the only threat to the crew of the Ghost might have been the Inquisitors.  Luckily the first episode of the second half of the season shows just how competent and organised the Imperial Army can actually be.

With the losses suffered in the mid-season finale Senator Organa decides to send some extra ships to the rebels to help them in their fight against the empire.  The ships are being brought to Lothal by none other than Organa's adoptive daughter and future hero to the rebellion, Princess Leia.

Expecting to be able to bring the ships to Lothal and simply hand them over to the rebels Leia is surprised when the Imperial beef up security and seize the vessels.  Leia is then put in the tricky situation of trying to get the rebels the ships they desperately need, whilst maintaining her cover as a member of the Imperial Senate.

What ensues in a fun episode where Ezra and Kanan imitate imperials, Princess Leia pretend to be kidnapped, the crew of the Ghost pretend to capture Ezra and Kanan, Leia fakes an escape and a prisoner rescue.  There's a lot of things going on, a lot of plans and trickery, and whilst it might be easy to dismiss this as a throw away episode, but the way the writers use Leia shows us a side of the character we've never seen before, her before she was an open rebel and working in the shadows.

It's also a good episode for Ezra, where he is still given time to mourn for his parents, and process their loss after finding out they were dead in the last episode.  His loss doesn't overtake the episode, it doesn't slow things down, instead it gives the episode a little depth that it otherwise lacked.

With the rest of the season promising to delve deeper into the Jedi/Sith lore, and to raise more connections to The Force Awakens (Ezra holding a green cross-guard sabre being a particularly stand out moment from the trailer), but the inclusion of Leia and the focus on the conflict between the rebels and the empire are a welcome connection to other aspects of the new film, and makes a more personal connection with the character appearing in both.


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