The second part of ‘In The Name of The Rebellion’, the story moves away from the collective Ghost crew to focus on Ezra (Taylor Gray) and Sabine (Tiya Sircar) as they learn more about the mysterious project the Empire is working on, as well as the true lengths that Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker) is willing to go to.
Whilst the first part of this story lacked a great deal of bang, the second half of the story manages to pack in action, intrigue, and tension as it forces the youngest members of the Ghost crew to infiltrate an Imperial shipment containing a deadly cargo; a giant Kyber Crystal. I knew going into the second part of this story that we would be getting some connections to Rogue One, Saw’s presence guaranteed this, but I wasn’t expecting it to cram in Kyber Crystals, kidnapped scientists, Death Troopers, and the mention of Krennic (played in Rogue One by Ben Mendelson).
With the first part of the story focusing so closely on the inner workings of the Rebellion it was a genuine surprise that the second part didn’t follow the same course. Whilst it would have been possible for Ezra to see how dark a path Saw was travelling by having them perform any kind of mission against the Empire, connecting it back into Saw’s ongoing story was an inspired choice.
How far you’re willing to go to achieve your ends became an important question in this episode, with Ezra and Sabine trying to rescue the captured scientists, but Saw willing to let them all die to deliver a blow to the Empire. From here on out I don’t see Ezra really questioning the methods of the Rebellion again, or at least not in the same way he did in the first part of the story. He’s learned what the other side of the fight is willing to do, the lengths that people like Saw are prepared to go to, and it frightens and appals him.
The confines of the Imperial transport also makes for an interesting location for the action of the episode, with firefights in tight confines and dark hallways, and an especially creative sequence where the Rebels take down a squad of Death Troopers in the smoke. The inclusion of the Death Troopers, whilst welcome, led to one jarring moment. In Rogue One the Death Troopers spoke with a strange garbled language, impossible to understand, yet here they were speaking normally, with the squad leader actually developing a personality over the course of the story. Whilst this wasn’t a bad thing in any way, it did throw me out of the episode for a moment as it was so different from Death Troopers we’d seen in the past.
It also struck me this episode how much closer to his film look Saw had developed. He’s not got his breathing problem yet, and still has both legs, so there’s still plenty of room for the series to use him again and explore his descent into near madness. Hopefully he will appear again before the end of the series, especially as his relationship with Ezra will be very different going forward.
A vast improvement on the previous episode, and one that acts as a great second part, yet also manages to work well as a stand alone episode.
Star Wars Rebels airs on Disney XD in the UK. Let us know what you think of the season!