And Hera’s speech. Those parts are tied.
Shay: That speech was definitely amazing!! We had already heard a lot of it through the trailers for this season, but her determination to show the Rebel Alliance that this chance was worth taking was so great. I love how they’re not simply accepting that Hera’s a flat, “Rebel-leader-plus-mom-figure” at this point. I think she’s still got a lot of struggles to work through, even though they won’t be as front-and-center as those of some of the other members of the crew. She’s having to realize that the Alliance isn’t perfect, and many times she’s going to disagree with them and will probably even have to take things into her own hands when it gets in the way of what she believes is right. It’s a lot like the the Battle of Scarif. We still don’t know exactly how that went down, but we know that Admiral Raddus and all the others who went there, including Hera probably, weren’t technically supposed to, but they did it anyway. We saw some of her struggle in that way through these episodes, where she was told to leave the conversation and later worried that they didn’t trust her judgement.
Shay: On the other side, I laughed so many times throughout both of these episodes, and that actually surprised me a lot! Not that I was expecting them to be super dark or heavy or anything, but just because it catches you off-guard so much. Here they are in really a very dire situation, and we’ve got a lot of jokes about Ezra going through the vents, Seevor horrified at what he sounds like, and then Ezra cracking a joke when the poor guy got incinerated!!
What did you think of the humor in these episodes? In some places, even though it was very funny and I loved it, I kinda felt a little bad for laughing because of what was actually going on, like Zeb repeatedly beating Seevor up to keep him quiet, and like I said before, when he actually met his end.
Audrey: I’m glad they put some humor in to balance out all the fighting and other things going on. The whole scene when Seevor falls backwards was framed really oddly to me though, and kind of worries me, but other than that, the other funny moments were well thought out.
Shay: These episodes were actually a lot more “hopeful” than I thought they would be… I don’t want to say “light-hearted”, but that’s actually the closest word I can think of to what I was feeling from them…
The last several episodes before these weren’t too terribly heavy, but they were much more so than these, what with seeing just how bad Lothal has gotten, and the ones before that, with Saw and then with what was going on with Mandalore.
When these episodes finished up, it really felt like things could be looking up for the Rebels, and I found myself wanting to believe it could all go OK. But I’m afraid they’re just setting us up with false security, and then the second half of this season is gonna come rushing in with everything going downhill really fast.
I wonder if they’re setting it for for the characters to feel that way, too, though. Especially with that very last scene in “Crawler Commanders”, where Hera calls in to tell them they’re bringing the attack force to try to help Lothal; everyone is smiling, and especially for Ezra, things are finally starting to look up. I wonder if they’re going to be in for a very hard truth on just how desperate the situation is next episode?
Audrey: Can they even pull off destroying the TIE factory? I don’t know if that would count as a major victory or not, since they can’t have one until Rogue One. From what we’ve seen in the trailers, it’s not going to go very well. But even if it fails, I did love seeing them so hopeful and happy for a moment, especially Ezra. He’s had to wait so long for this!
Shay: Ah, I know! And after last season, too, when everything seemed so dark and it looked like it was all falling apart so fast. In just a few episodes it’s like everything has turned around, and it both warms and break my heart to see them all like this. Ezra’s so excited that his home will finally get some help from the Rebellion, Kanan and Hera seem to have a promising future to their relationship, Sabine’s family problems and the occupation on Mandalore have all been resolved, and Zeb’s just happy to be there and support everyone. I honestly have no clue what Chopper is feeling, but he seems pretty positive right now too, so that’s pretty major.
But then I remember that part from the opening crawl of A New Hope, and I start to worry.
I personally think being able to do that much damage to the Empire, especially on a planet like Lothal, which seems to be really instrumental to their plan for some reason, would be a pretty big victory…
Shay: Ok, so now lets talk some specifics on these episodes.
“Kindred” was the first appearance of a new character pulled from Legends, Ruhk! This guy was Thrawn’s personal assassin in the Old EU, and he’s carried that same occupation over into his role in New Canon and in Rebels specifically. He’s also a Noghri, which is a race we’ve never seen on-screen before. And of course we can’t forget that he’s voiced by Warwick Davis, which a lot of Star Wars fans should know as Wicket!
What did you think about Ruhk and the way he was portrayed here? Do you think he’s a legitimate threat to the Rebels, and they should be really aware of him? Or will he turn out to be more like the Fifth Brother was, and look and seem creepy, but not end up actually doing any damage?
Audrey: He is pretty creepy looking. And his voice is creepy sounding too. I definitely think he’s a threat for the Rebels, they’ve never had an experienced assassin hunting them before. Ezra was losing that short brawl before he Force-pushed him away. He’s got a lot of cool gadgets and weapons. I think he may have been part of the group that went to wipe out all the Lasat, because seemed to single Zeb out a lot and has a Bo-rifle.
Shay: That’s a really interesting point, and something I hadn’t thought of before! Obviously he did seem to have something going on about Zeb in particular, so I wonder if it could be a personal thing between himself and that race, like with Kallus, or maybe something where those two groups have never gotten along, kinda like the Elves and Dwarves in Middle-Earth?
Audrey: I feel like I’ve heard something about Noghri and Lasat before, but I can’t remember where.
Shay: They seem to have a similar sort of culture, based on just the little bit we know of the New Canon version of the Noghri…
Shay: We also saw Pryce again in these episodes! I feel like that woman is standing on a very slippery slope right now, in a balance between being able to hang on to everything she’s fought her way to having and losing it all to Thrawn’s plans… She always thought she was the one in charge and had brought Thrawn in to help her, but now it’s beginning to appear that he’s the one calling the shots. Especially in the way it looked like she was being sent out into the field to greet Ruhk and start tracking the Rebels, while Thrawn got to just sit in his office.
Audrey: She and Rukh did not get along well. The first time they’re working together, and they’re already arguing and snapping at each other about who let who get away.
Shay: I just had a thought: I wonder if Thrawn is doing all this on purpose?? Perhaps he’s bringing in his own guys, knowing full-well how Pryce will respond, in order to show how she’s not really running things in the most productive way for the Empire, and to kinda get her out of the way so he can do what he really wants to? Knowing what we do of the way Thrawn thinks and plans all this stuff out, it definitely seems like he would already know how the two would get along and have a plan for it.
Audrey: That is such a Thrawn thing to do. I know he definitely can’t be working for the Empire at the end of this season, but I wonder if Price isn’t so prominent that she would have to go just because we don’t see her later.
Shay: Next thing up: #Kanera!
Ok, so I know we’ve already discussed this a little together, but there has been a lot of stuff between Kanan and Hera going on lately, and there still is, but “Kindred” finally got us some stuff we’d been waiting for a very long time on.
What do you think of where their relationship is headed, and how it looks like it’s finally getting some resolution?
Audrey: I do not have a very good feeling about where it’s going to lead. One of the reasons Mr. Dave decided to finally get around to addressing it was probably because he knew he could make fans feel more if Kanan doesn’t have a place to stay through the Original Trilogy.
But even though it will probably make things that might happen later harder, I am very happy we are at least getting some happy moments.
Shay: I’m both very happy and very worried about it… You’re right, it only makes sense that they’re finally getting around to it now just to make it hit us all the harder when it doesn’t end well for Kanan, but I’m drawing a little bit of hope from the fact that Han and Leia got their happy ending (well, for about 30 years, anyway…)
And finally including some moments between those two actually served to lighten these episodes up quite a bit. Especially with their scene right before Hera leaves. I had thought that if they resolved anything between them, it would be when things were already pretty bad, much like Han and Leia’s scene at the end of TESB, when he’s about to be carbon-frozen. And while I think we might still get something like that between them, it was really sweet to do it the way they did, and remind everyone that even with as dark as things are looking, there’s still some moments of light in there. The way the rest of the crew, and even Ryder, started smiling when they saw what was going on just really made me grin.
Audrey: I’ve forgiven Ryder for ruining it the first time, he even tried to be polite and said “s’cuse me”.
Shay: Yeah, I think I have to forgive him too…. And I have to forgive Zeb, because his grin over that was really cute…
I feel like Ryder and everyone else have been kinda watching them this whole time, knowing something was coming, but just waiting for it to actually happen. The way he said “Excuse me” made it sound like he’d been standing there for a bit.
Shay: And finally…. the Loth-wolves!!
We’ve all been begging for more of those guys, but every time we get them back we just end up with more questions!! Like why is that one calling on Kanan? And why does it keep referring to him by his real name?? And how in the galaxy did they travel halfway across the planet like that??? So many questions!!
We knew it was going to start getting “weird”, and I know a lot of people, including myself, kinda worried about that, but right now I’m just intrigued. I really want to know what’s going on here, and I’m really excited to find out more!
Audrey: All the wall designs are really mysterious too. I found Yoda in one of them, but I have no idea what any of it means.
Shay: I know, right?! I wonder if this is connected to how Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan are able to “become One with the Force at will”, as well know they are able to “teleport” as Force Ghosts. Though that actually is pretty different, as they’re more or less just a presence within the Force, whereas these wolves seem to actually be living beings.
The wall designs to indeed seem to be telling a story, and I’ve seen people already speculating on who the different individuals they portray could be. I guess it’s also possible that they’re just random people and Jedi (or Force-users).
Something that really interested me about all this was the fact that not only the Jedi, but also Zeb, Sabine, and Ryder were able to be transported, and they didn’t have to be knocked out, like when Sabine and Ezra rode on the wolf in “Flight of the Defender”. I wonder how that works? I definitely can not wait till we get to find out more!
What did you think of these episodes? Do you have any thoughts, theories, or speculations on what’s up with the Loth-wolves? What do you think of Thrawn’s recent moves against the Rebellion? Let me know in the comments!