Tag: Dave Filoni

The Elven Padawan: From Erebor to Echo Base – #19 – Updates on Animation

It’s time to discuss all the amazing news coming from Lucasfilm animation as only two fangirls can! Please welcome Grace back to the studio as she and Shay talk about everyone’s favorite cartoons in a galaxy far, far away!

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brOTPs 4ever: The Best Fictional Friendships

My fangirl friends and I spend a good deal of time talking about our favorite ships, or how much we love the father-son relationship between Tony Stark and Peter Parker, but today I’m here to talk about a different kind of relationship: the best friend kind. I feel like this kind of awesome relationship can get a little overlooked in the middle of all the other kinds of relationships. Not that I don’t love talking about the other kinds of dynamics, but friendships are really important and deserve more attention. In a way, any healthy relationship could be considered a BrOTP (the fandom term for a best-friend pairing,) in that they all involve teamwork and loving another person. And whether characters were immediately kindred spirits or unlikely comrades, every friendship requires hard work, but every friendship is worth it.

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New Star Wars Animated Series to Begin this Fall!

As the ashes of Star Wars Rebels settle, a new animated series featuring the talent of fan-favorite actors from The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, Oscar Isaac and Gwendoline Christie, along with newcomers Christopher Sean, Suzie McGrath, Scott Lawrence, Myrna Velasco, Josh Brener, Donald Faison, Bobby Moynihan, Jim Rash, and Rachel Butera, and helmed by Star Wars animation veteran, Dave Filoni, is about to rise!

Continue reading “New Star Wars Animated Series to Begin this Fall!”

Brand-New Clips From Mid-Season Premiere of Star Wars Rebels Have Been Dropped!!

Two new clips from next week’s mid-season premiere of Star Wars: Rebels, featuring previously unseen moments of the crew preparing for a major mission, have been released!!

Continue reading “Brand-New Clips From Mid-Season Premiere of Star Wars Rebels Have Been Dropped!!”

It’s HERE! New trailer for the last season of Star Wars Rebels!!

A brand-new trailer for the final few episodes of the very last season of Star Wars Rebels has just dropped, and it sure packs a punch!!

Continue reading “It’s HERE! New trailer for the last season of Star Wars Rebels!!”

New Star Wars Rebels episode titles, descriptions, and air dates!!

More information concerning the last run of episodes of Star Wars Rebels season 4 has been revealed!!

*On 1/16/2018, Lucasfilm publicist, Tracy Cannobbio, let everyone know via Twitter that the U.S. airdates for the second half of Star Wars Rebels would be officially announced soon, as much of what has been going around is false info. Therefore, the details in this article may or may not be true.

Continue reading “New Star Wars Rebels episode titles, descriptions, and air dates!!”

How to Survive Rebels Hiatus

*This article contains spoiler-ish things for Star Wars Rebels season four: proceed at your own risk.*

“Noooooooo!” I wanted to yell at the TV, as the end credits rolled for the Star Wars Rebels mid-season finale, “Rebel Assault”. That episode had me on the edge of my seat the entire time, and then ended with several huge cliffhangers. What’s going to happen to Hera? What has Kanan come to realize? Are the Rebels ever going to be able to launch a successful strike on Lothal? And most importantly: How am I going to survive mid-season break?! If you’re asking similar questions, here are some things I came up with that will (hopefully) help the time go by faster.

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1. Fangirl/Fanboy with others

I do this nearly everyday, and it’s one of my favorite things to do! I could do it forever, but unfortunately there are very few people who enjoy carrying on a conversation about Rebels for more than two minutes. If you can find a group to talk with, whether it’s on social media, the comments section on here, or in real life, I guarantee that you will learn so much and find details you’ve never thought of. You’ll also have a place to share your ideas and thoughts. Another great thing is then you can all suffer together. 😄

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2. Use your Interests 

Get out your pencils, markers, paint, and make some fan art! Maybe art isn’t your thing. Write some fan fiction, or a poem. Make up a song that reminds you of one of the characters. Create a cosplay. Make some Rebels themed crafts. Act out an episode with your friends or siblings. Be creative!

3. Have a Rebels Marathon 

The journey of Rebels has been amazing! We’ve come so far since the beginning; the characters, the plot, the galaxy. Sometimes I can hardly believe it’s the same show when I look back on how much has changed. It’s fun to go back and watch all 68 episodes that have been released so far. (That’s approximately 23 hours!) Since many things this season have mirrored season one, you’ll see the parallels and all the pieces that are now falling into place. It also gives you a chance to look for hints of things that may happen, such as why the Empire is on Lothal. So far, I have only made it to the episode “Out of Darkness”, but there’s still weeks of break left. I’ve been noticing details I’ve never seen, and I’m enjoying revisiting old times before the crew had this much responsibility and weight on them.

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4. Theorize       

I don’t know about you, but it is going to take me all of this break to really process everything that has happened so far, particularly with the Loth-Wolves. I have no idea what is going on, but maybe if I think about it enough, I’ll have a somewhat reasonable theory by the time Rebels starts up again. We should also get a mid-season trailer in a few weeks that will provide us with some new information to make predictions around. It never hurts to watch the trailer several times, pausing it to find any small details.

5. Convince Someone Else to Watch It 

There are some people who have never heard of Star Wars Rebels, some who decided that they didn’t like it too early and should give it another try, and some who just don’t think it’s worth watching. They’re missing out, so to help convince them, I have made a list of ten reasons they should watch Rebels:

1. It’s the formation of the Rebel Alliance. It begins with six individuals, and as it continues you see different Rebel cells join together to form the group we see in A New Hope.

2.  Space Family! Kanan, Hera, Chopper, Zeb, Sabine, and Ezra are each extremely different from each other, but work together just like actual families do. They’re always there for each other. Hera and Kanan are the authorities; Zeb, Sabine, and Ezra are the kids; and Chopper is like a mom’s favorite cat. It’s something we haven’t seen anywhere else in Star Wars and I love it!

3. It has strong lessons. Characters struggle with responsibility, trusting others, holding onto hope, choosing the right way to fight, overcoming their past, and many other things. As they learn, the stories stick with you, and you learn right along with them.

4. Amazing Character Development. Take Sabine, for example. She started off as a young teenager who was hurt by her family and didn’t always think through her actions. Now, she’s grown up, freed her family, and has led several successful missions. Agent Kallus’ journey from an Imperial Agent to Rebel Officer was not one I expected, nor thought I’d care about, but he is now one of my favorite characters. They push these characters to their limits and places you never thought they’d go.

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5. Thrawn. This does not need any further explanation.

6. Returning Characters. We’ve had Lando, Leia, Obi-Wan, Bail Organa, Mon Mothma, Wedge Antilles, Hobbie, Maul, R2-D2, C-3PO, and Darth Vader all make appearances. If you’re a fan of Star Wars: The Clone Wars series, we’ve also had Hondo Ohnaka, Saw Gerrara, Clone Commander Wolffe, Gregor, Captain Rex, Bo-Katan Kryze, and of course Ahsoka Tano. If you’re one of those people who think Clone Wars is waaay better than Rebels, you should still watch it, because it finishes many plot lines Clone Wars was unable to.

7. There’s so Much at Stake. What if Sabine had never gotten Wedge and Hobbie out of Skystrike Academy? What if Hera hadn’t helped Mon Mothma escape to the meeting at Dantooine? Or if those two huge kyber crystals had reached their destinations? The decisions characters make in this show do affect the galaxy and how later things play out, and them making different choices would drastically change many things later.

8. It’s not just a “Kids Show”. Yes, Rebels doesn’t have many things shows for older people contain. You know why? Because those are things like language, over-done violence, and other not-so-great content. Those are not what make a story good. Rebels does have some intense moments. People do die, or take other hard losses. But beyond that, Rebels has the good-against-evil theme, adventure, and imperfect heroes that make it a great show.

9. It’s Funny. There’s some great humor in Rebels. Even when they’re in life threatening situations, they’re still able to keep their cool. Whether it’s Ezra doing one of his impersonations, Chopper causing trouble, or Kanan making a joke right after nearly dying, there’s always something that makes me laugh.

10. Everything is Important. There are no filler episodes in Rebels; each one has at least one thing important to the story. Take “The Wynkahthu Job” for example: It may seem like just a silly Hondo episode, but they stole proton bombs, which were more than likely used by Y-Wings in “Zero Hour”. Or the episode “Fighter Flight” from season one. This is a really goofy episode where Zeb and Ezra steal a TIE fighter while on a supply run. It seemed like a filler episode at the time, but the TIE fighter was a very important part of the season finale.

Even if you decide in the end you don’t enjoy the adventures of the Ghost crew as much as I do, at least you gave them a chance, and became knowledgeable in another part of the Star Wars galaxy.

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6. Read “A New Dawn”

A New Dawn is the story of how Kanan ended up joining Hera as the first member of her crew. It has lots of action, and made me realize just how long and hard Hera has worked to help build the Rebellion.  It also shows that Kanan has come a long way from when he had given up any connection to his Jedi past. If you haven’t read it, and want some Rebels back story, then this would be a good thing to do over break.

7. Watch Rebels Recon and Check out the Episode Guides

After each episode, at StarWars.com you can find a behind-the-scenes video called Rebels Recon. Each one has interviews with the cast and crew, answers to questions people have asked, Chopper antics, and a clip for the next episode at the end. (Unless it’s the one right before break. No, of course I’m not still bitter about that.) They also release an episode guide, which has a breakdown of the episode, concept art, behind-the-scenes facts, and my favorite, a piece of music from the episode.

8. Go See Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Ok, so this one is kind of obvious, but thinking about a different part of the Star Wars fandom will help get your mind off the Rebels‘ cliffhangers. Also, it will more than likely leave off with another cliffhanger that we have to wait two years to resolve, so the ending to “Rebel Assault” won’t seem as bad in comparison. I know some people may not get to see The Last Jedi for a little while, so I hope changing some of these examples will help that time go faster too. (Like having a Star Wars movie marathon or convincing someone they should watch Star Wars. Yes, some people have actually never seen Star Wars.)

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9. Enjoy the Time Before the End

We only have seven episodes of Rebels left, ever, guys.  It’s going to be over so fast and who knows what is going to go down in these last episodes? At least we have some time to reflect on the journey and prepare for what ever they’ve got planned. If what we’ve seen from Rebels in the past is anything to go by, the final chapter isn’t going to be without losses of some kind, but it’s also going to be exciting and finish the story for these heroes in an amazing way.


This article was written by Audrey L., Staff Blogger for The Elven Padawan, and first appeared on ElvenPadawan.com


How are you planning on surviving Rebels Hiatus? What are you looking forward to the most in the second half? Let us know in the comments!

Star Wars Rebels: “Rebel Assault”: episode review

Welcome to this final Star Wars Rebels review of the year from The Elven Padawan!

That’s right, this Monday’s episode, “Rebel Assault”, led us right into the mid-season hiatus screaming and yelling. Well, maybe not literally, but it definitely was a major cliffhanger to end on! Shay and Audrey once again give you their big thoughts on this episode, which aired in the U.S. on Disney XD on November 13, 2017.

This episode gave finally gave us that long-awaited attack on Lothal by the Rebels, but things didn’t go as anyone was hoping. Instead, it quickly morphed into a battle for survival in the Imperial-occupied streets of Lothal, as Hera tried to make her way to safety after her attack goes horribly wrong. As usual, this review is full of SPOILERS! so continue forward at your own risk!

I hope you enjoy this review from The Elven Padawan, and be looking for more when Star Wars Rebels resumes its fourth and final season in early 2018.


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Shay: So starting off, this was definitely a very Hera-based episode. She really got her moments to shine in here, and it was actually a lot different from the episodes focused on her that we’ve gotten in the past. I enjoyed it myself, and we’ll talk about that in a minute, but I’ve seen some people who are a little annoyed with it. Because they really advertised that, after the first several episodes, this season would really focus mainly on Ezra and tying up his story, while some people feel that it’s actually been focusing more on Kanan and Hera.
What did you think about the flip here to centering in on her?

Audrey: We haven’t really seen a ton of Hera this season. I felt like before, Ezra and Sabine were getting a little too much screen time, so I was excited that we got some Hera action in this one. I think all the others’ stories are going to end up influencing Ezra’s, so in a way it’s still about him and his desire to help Lothal.

Shay: That’s been pretty much my thoughts as well. I mean, yes, they are putting a lot of focus on Kanan right now, and on his and Hera’s relationship. But in my opinion, that is all going to go back to Ezra. Whatever happens to those guys really determines where Ezra goes from here, from whether or not each of them survives, to what they choose to do with their lives from here on out if they do… honestly, whatever happens between Kanan and Hera is going to really affect him as well, because it will lead them to make certain choices about their lives, and the way all these characters are tied together as a family means that no one’s choices only have consequences for that individual, they affect all of them, together.

Right now, I’m really liking how it’s being balanced between all the characters. I’m glad it’s coming back to focus on the Ghost crew family unit and their interactions with each other, instead of each of them off on their individual adventures. We get a couple episodes of Sabine-focused story, then on Ezra and Sabine, then one with Ezra and Kanan, then one with Hera, but ultimately they’re done in a way that ties whatever happens to one or two of the crew to everyone else, and they’re balanced out so no one individual, or duo, gets too much screen time while the others just kinda tag along.

Audrey: Every time someone called Hera “General” in this episode, I wanted to go “Yes! General Syndulla!”

Shay: Oh yeah!!
So, I think everyone probably has already picked up on how much I love Hera, so for me personally, it was so amazing to see her get this focus, which was literally an entire episode showing us why she ends up as such a legend in the Rebellion. Not only is she crazy good at flying, but this was the first time we got to see her doing a lot of ground fighting, unless you count some parts in A New Dawn. It was really cool to see her doing all that sneaking around, trying to stay away from Ruhk and help Mart, and eventually going hand-to-hand with Thrawn’s assassin.
We’d never seen her fight like that, and it reminded me of a few things: first off, she was born for this war. It’s like Thrawn said back in season 3, he studies it, but she was forged by it. And also, it reminded me that she is not invincible. It’s sometimes really easy to see Hera as being this perfect, invincible pillar of strength all the time, but sometimes there are places where she’s really in trouble. I’m not trying to say she’s weak or can’t take care of herself or anything like that, but when she was fighting Ruhk hand-to-hand, it reminded me of how easily something actually could happen to her. Especially when he picked her up and threw her back down. He actually *lifted her completely off the ground and threw her across the street*. We’ve known for a little while now that she has to survive at least to Rogue One, and now we know she gets at least as far as Return of the Jedi, but I was really starting to get worried for her!! She’s not totally “unbreakable”.

Audrey: The first time she faced Rukh, when she got away, (go Chopper!), I thought that was it, that Rukh wasn’t going to take her. I wasn’t really expecting her to actually get taken. It was painful to watch Hera get thrown around like that; I especially hated the end when Pryce stunned her and took her away. Other than the very beginning, this episode didn’t have any victories for the Rebels, they lost a lot in it. Which is why it bugs me that I saw somewhere that someone said something along the lines of, “… but no real losses, nope, not on Rebels.” They lost nearly an entire squadron, they failed to destroy the factory, and two pilots were taken prisoner! Those are real losses, a “real loss” doesn’t mean a main character has to die.

Shay: Ug, I just wanted to punch Pryce then!! She’s been even more annoying that usual lately, but when she caught Hera and then says, “Such a small victory,” then stuns her right out, it made me so mad!! She just had such disdain in her voice; even Tarkin and the Grand Inquisitor knew that catching Kanan in season one was really helpful to taking out that Rebel cell. I was like, “Do you know who this woman is?! Do you know that she’s literally the main reason you’ve been chasing these people across the galaxy for this long, and why Thrawn is getting fed up with you right now???” I mean, I didn’t want to see Hera captured at all, but it made me like Pryce even less than I already did when she didn’t even have respect for how hard to catch Hera has been. When Thrawn got her in season three he knew right off exactly who she was and what was up with her, and you can tell he’s pretty impressed with how well she’s thwarted all his plans so far, or has at least escaped and kept her family safe.

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And I know what you mean there, too. I’m seeing people who seem to be getting bored with it already because “nothing big has happened”. I don’t know how they can say that, honestly. Yes, we haven’t seen any main characters die yet. Yes, there are a lot of mysteries that we still don’t have a lot of clues to. But that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been big already! Just the fact that they’re finally dealing with the Kanera is huge, since they’ve been teasing their relationship since A New Dawn and the first Rebels character shorts.

And here’s something I’m thinking people aren’t picking up on: how is their failure here going to contribute to other things that may happen soon?
Yes, Rebel pilots do die frequently on here. So maybe people are a bit desensitized to what it means for Hera to have lost almost her entire squadron. But keep in mind that the Alliance didn’t want to let her have this mission in the first place. In their eyes, there are much bigger things to worry about right now than just a TIE Defender factory on a little Outer Rim planet. They’re starting to hear rumors of a superweapon, they’ve just found out about Protocol 13, and Saw is really starting to get out of hand. They’re already lost a lot to Thrawn, and they don’t want to continue trying to do things that will just cause them to loose even more resources.
While they did say “yes” to Hera in the end, it was because she begged them, and they finally became convinced that she could do the job. But now they’ve lost a ton of ships, and we know from earlier storylines like “Steps into Shadow” just how hard it is to get more. We know they’ve lost a bunch of good pilots, which is not only saddening because those were individual people and the Rebellion values the lives of everyone, but also because fresh pilots are hard to find and train. We know that from “The Antilles Extraction”. And we also know what a great leader and fighter Hera is, and how they’re finally starting to realize that, and now they’ve lost her, too.
It’s really starting to make a lot of sense how the Rebellion doesn’t want to send people out to Scarif in Rogue One, but beyond just that, I’m a bit worried about how they might respond to any other future tragedies that Hera may ask for help on once she’s able to escape.

Honestly, I’m almost starting to think the reason that she wasn’t there at the meeting with Jyn and Bodhi was because they’re making her have some “cool off time” because of all the trouble she’s been causing lately.

Audrey: And it’s not her fault that they failed either! She got them through the blockaid, and got rid of Skerris, although she did have a bit of help from the Imperials shooting towards their own disobedient pilot. I try not to cheer when characters die, but I was so ready for that guy to be gone.

Shay: Yes, finally! He was such a pain. Why can’t anyone in the Empire just listen to Thrawn when he tells them stuff? I mean really, his track record should show that every. single. stinking. time. this happens, who ever is not listening dies, and he goes on the win the day anyway!
Of course I wouldn’t have to Empire to actually win, but really, if they would actually just work with each other, and especially with Thrawn, they would have crushed the Rebellion within about 5 years.

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I hope you enjoyed this review of “Rebel Assault”! Did you have a favorite shot or line from this episode? (Some of those views from the space battle were just plan epic!) Are there any parts of the episode you’d like to discuss with me? Let me know in the comments, I always love chatting with you guys!

Star Wars Rebels: “Kindred” and “Crawler Commanders”: episode review

Welcome back to another Star Wars: Rebels review from The Elven Padawan!
Shay and Audrey return once again to give you their thoughts and reactions from the two most recent episodes of this final season of the hit show: “Kindred” and “Crawler Commanders”, both of which aired in the U.S. on Disney XD on November 6, 2017.
These episodes saw the Ghost crew continue their efforts alongside the Lothal rebels as they encountered new enemies and began to discover more about the larger forces at play behind the battle for this seemingly-insignificant world. Things are beginning to move forward for the Rebels as they face new revelations and mysteries, triumphs and challenges, both in the battle and on a personal level. This episode review is full of MAJOR SPOILERS, so read on at your own risk!!
I hope you enjoy what we have to say, and be looking forward for The Elven Padawan’s final review for this half of season 4 after the mid-season finale, “Rebel Assault”, airs next week on Monday, October 13, 2017.

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Even more questions begin to rise about the connections between the mysterious creatures on Lothal, the Force, and the Jedi of the Ghost crew. Source: StarWars.com
Shay: So starting right out, what was your big initial reaction to this set of new episodes? Favorite moment, line, scene, ya know?
And I already have a feeling a lot of ours are gonna be very similar…
Audrey: They were both really good! I loved seeing more wolves, Hera trying to convince the Rebels to launch an attack, and that Kanera part! My favorite line was probably Ezra’s entire impersonation attempt.
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.

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Hera is upset when the Alliance doesn’t seem to be taking her warnings on the danger of the TIE Defender, and the need to help Lothal, seriously enough. Source: StarWars.com

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.

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Desperate to get a transmission through to Hera and the Rebellion on Yavin 4, the crew hijacks a Mining Guild crawler and meets its very interesting captain, Seevor. Source: StarWars.com

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…

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The Rebels look forward to the future in hope, as Hera tells them the the Rebel Alliance is planning an attack on the Empire stationed on Lothal. Source: StarWars.com

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…

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Ezra battles Thrawn’s assassin, Ruhk, as he and Jai Kell try to escape from the Imperial forces. Source: StarWars.com

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.

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Governer Pryce is beginning to have things slip out of her control, and she does not like it. Source: StarWars.com

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.

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Kanan and Hera share a moment together as Hera prepares to leave for Yavin 4. Source: StarWars.com

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!

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The mysteries of the Loth-wolves deepen as they take the Rebels deep into the caves of Lothal, and seeming to walk across space, transport them halfway across the planet. Source: StarWars.com

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!

Star Wars Rebels: “The Occupation” & “Flight of the Defender”: episode review

Welcome back to The Elven Padawan’s reviews of Star Wars Rebels‘ fourth and final season!

Shay and Audrey are back to review the latest two episodes from season four, “The Occupation” and “Flight of the Defender”, both of which aired in the U.S. on Disney XD on October 30th, 3017.

These episodes saw our favorite Rebel team return to the place where it all got started, Ezra Bridger’s home planet of Lothal. Currently under Imperial occupation and being used to manufacture countless war-machines as testaments of the Empire’s might, Lothal has changed a lot since we last saw it, and Shay and Audrey share their reactions to that, as well as to the new hints these episodes gave on some mysterious creatures who seemingly will play a big part in this story, as well as where the series is taking us overall. There are plenty of SPOILERS for the current episodes of the fourth season here, so read at your own risk!!

I hope you enjoy this review, and be looking forward to The Elven Padawan’s reviews for the rest of the season, including “Kindred” and “Crawler Commanders”, two new episodes that will be airing this coming Monday. You can also get caught up on Shay and Audrey’s past reviews for Star Wars Rebels season 4 episodes here: “Heroes of Mandalore” and “In the Name of the Rebellion”.


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The Ghost crew is back to fighting the Empire on Lothal! But so many things are different now…. Source: StarWars.com

Shay: Before we even get going on the details of these two episodes, I was wondering if you had any initial thoughts or reactions, things that really stood out to you, from them?

 

Audrey: I spent pretty much the whole day after I watched them thinking about Loth-Wolves and “Dume.” I also realized how many things mirror past episodes, mostly from season one, only with the stakes much higher.

Shay: I did the same when it came to those wolves! There was a lot of very intriguing stuff there, and I’m really impatient to find out what they meant by it all….
I’m also realizing just how right Mr. Dave was when he said everything since the beginning has been all thought-out and nothing was filler, that it all had a purpose. It all makes so much sense now that we’re here and the end and it’s all tying together.
I also was thinking about how strong Ezra’s ties to his home were, as opposed to Pryce, who is also from Lothal, and couldn’t care less about how the Empire is destroying it.
Audrey: Lothal is so sad looking! It’s changed so much. I forgot how long it’s been since we’ve really seen much of it. I think the only episode on Lothal last year was “An Inside Man”.

 

Shay: When Vizago’s ship first went into the atmosphere and we got a good look at the surface of the planet, I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach. It was so natural before, something we don’t get a whole lot of in Star Wars, and seeing it the way they’ve done it now makes me want to cry.

Something that also struck me really hard about it was how much it reminded me of Dathomir, for some reason. And Dathomir is such a dead, desolate world, everything about it seems so dark and heavy.

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Lothal….
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and Dathomir… Source: StarWars.com
Audrey: I think Ezra handled it pretty well though; if that was my planet that entire parts of where burning, I don’t even know how I would handle it.
When Mon Mothma told him he could go, Ezra made it sound like he wasn’t coming back to the Rebellion, so at least that provides a good way he doesn’t have to meet Luke in between now and ESB. I love how Hera immediately said they were all going.

 

Shay: He did very well not letting his anger get a hold on him, and instead using those feelings to make him more determined to get rid of the Empire. I love seeing how much our little Blueberry has grown!

That’s a very good point, and something I want to touch on for a moment: Ezra seems like he’s decided that he’s staying on Lothal. Now, we know Ezra has said things in the past that he’s regretted later, and he often makes rash decisions. Do you think this could turn into one of those, where he eventually sees that, like Hera believes, the only way to free one planet is to get the entire Empire out of the way? Because Ezra at this point seems to be taking much of the same mentality as Cham does, and wanting to try to free his people first, when that’s really pretty impossible. What do you think about all this?

Audrey: I think if they can do some good for the people on Lothal, then Ezra won’t completely regret it. He might regret having everyone come with him if something happens. He said he’s had a long time to think about this, so it’s not his most rash decision, but he sure seemed to be questioning his choice while they were in the sewers.
Also, about only freeing one planet, it could be argued that some planets are suffering worse than others. Maybe the Empire doesn’t have a factory on a certain planet, or they’re not mining kyber from it. Some worlds won’t make it if they have to wait until the Rebellion is strong enough to take the Empire down completely.
Shay: I wonder, though, if something very bad does happen, could it result in him walking away entirely? Not turning Dark, but just walking away like Ahsoka? So he can have a chance to watch from a distance and figure things out for himself?
Audrey: It’s hard to picture Ezra watching from a distance, he’s so involved. But if something happened, it would change him a lot, like after Malachor. If he did step back, I feel like it wouldn’t be for very long, unless he completely gives up hope.
Shay: But do you think it’s a futile effort, that in the end they’ll realize that there’s no way to push the Empire off of just one planet at a time?
Audrey: That’s true, they definitely can’t win the entire war that way. They’re in a tough spot. It’s like what Mon Mothma said about this being a time of difficult choices.
Shay: I would like to know what all the others characters think about what they’re doing. It’s obvious that Lothal has a special place in all their hearts, and I know they talked about this in the Rebels Recon for these episodes. But I’m curious about whether the others have decided what they’re really planning to do in the long run or not. Like you mentioned before, Hera quickly said that the whole crew was going together, and it reminds us all again that they really are a family and all stick together when it comes to these situations. But do you think they know about Ezra’s implied decision to stay with Lothal for good? It seems that if he does that, he would have to leave not only the greater Rebellion, but his family on the Ghost as well, and unlike Sabine and Zeb, and even Hera, he doesn’t have any family anywhere else. He and Kanan are really alone aside from each other and the rest of the Ghost family. And we know Hera eventually goes back to the Alliance and is there for quite a few more years. So is that to be taken as a sign that something bad will happen and the survivors will go back to the Alliance alone, or just that they’ll have to make hard decisions and the family will have to break up while the war is going?
Audrey: As sad as breaking up the family would be, I’d like that better then something awful happening.
Shay: I will have to agree with you 100% on that…
Here’s an item that I totally loved in these episodes: all the connections! I know we touched on this a little before, but just wow. Puffer pigs, Vizago, references to Hondo Ohnaka and Lando Calrissian, Jai Kell, Baron Valen Rudor, the “Academy days”, Sabine’s symbol, escaping through the sewers…. and not to mention the whole “We just stole a TIE Fighter when we didn’t mean to” thing! These episodes were not only amazing call-backs to the earlier seasons, but showed just how much everything has changed since then.
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Return of the Puffer Pigs! Source: StarWars.com
Audrey: I love how “all the paths are coming together.” (So far, at least..) All the episodes that some people looked down on when the show started up are coming into play. I really don’t know how people can say this show is terrible.
Shay: I know! I do understand how some people kinda rolled their eyes at the first several episodes of the first season, even I did that. But people still hate on it because of those ones, and it’s grown so much from then! And we’re seeing all the time that what they’ve always said is absolutely true, there is no filler in this thing. Everything that has happened has been important and is now coming back to remind us of that, and even the entire show is coming to be connected to the rest of the series in such awesome ways.

Just look at what they’ve done with Jai! I really never expected to see him back again, even though I have wanted it really bad since first seeing the episode with him and Ezra in the Academy.

There is one thing that really throws me, however, and that’s why he was even on Lothal in the first place. After Ezra was able to help him escape from the Empire way back in season one, it was implied that the Rebellion helped him and his mom get into hiding somewhere, since they were pretty sure he was Force-sensitive and Project Harvester was still in full-swing then. But now we find him right back on Lothal and helping with Ryder’s rebel cell there.
Audrey: Maybe he felt like Ezra, that he needed to come back and help his people. Or maybe they found him a hiding place on Lothal, though that does seem like they would have gone for a less obvious choice.
Shay: You would have thought the Empire would have been able to hunt him down by now if he was nearby, especially if he was around Old Jho’s place a lot. Of course, he does look pretty different now, even Ezra didn’t recognize him…
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Jai Kell in the Imperial Academy, from the season one episode “Breaking Ranks”. Source: StarWars.com
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Jai Kell now, from the season four episode “The Occupation”. Source: StarWars.com
Audrey: We haven’t talked about a very important part! That Kanera moment!
Ok I actually don’t have many thoughts on it except how disappointed Kanan looked, but it still definitely needs to be mentioned.
Shay: Yes we have to talk about that!
Poor Kanan, I kinda feel bad for the guy… every time they start to get somewhere concerning their relationship something else has to get in the way.
Do you think we’re actually going to get some more resolution on this soon, or is it Mr. Dave teasing us and we’re gonna keep getting little “almost” things like this throughout the whole season? I don’t know what I’m going to do if I have to go all mid-season break wondering about it, but it really looks like that’s the way it’ll go!
Audrey: Mr. Dave loves to tease us so much, so I bet he waits until the finale or the episode right before to really resolve anything. Mid-season break is going to feel loooong.

 

Shay: Ug, I know!! I’m already feeling it, and it’s still weeks away!!

And now, because we haven’t actually talked about it yet…
THE LOTH-WOLF!
Just give me what you were thinking when it first came on and knocked Sabine out.
Audrey: First I was thinking “What just happened, how did it do that?” And I was a bit put-off, and felt like Ezra when he almost reached for his lightsaber. Definitely not how I imagined Sabine getting knocked out.
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Ezra and an unconscious Sabine take a ride on a mystical white Loth-wolf to escape the Empire. Source: StarWars.com

 

Shay: I’m not even sure if I was thinking clearly when I first saw it… I didn’t know what exactly was going to happen, but like you said, I definitely never imagined that happening to Sabine! I figured the wolf wasn’t going to out-right hurt them at that point, though, as it and the cat had seemed to be trying to keep up with them and help guide them for a while now.

What do you think about the wolf having that effect on Sabine, and actually seeming to have the ability to talk some? Do you think that was all through the Force, or was it something the wolf just naturally has the ability to do?
Audrey: I get why the wolf had to do that, Sabine can’t see it (it also seemed like she couldn’t see the white Loth-Cat earlier), and if Ezra told her to ride on something that she couldn’t see was there, even with the trust she has in Ezra, I don’t think she’d believe him…
I think the talking ability comes from the Force, because no other animals have talked, have they?

 

Shay: Not that I know of…

I think it was all through the Force as well, because it wouldn’t work for the wolf to just be invisible and her to still be able to ride on it… That just doesn’t seem like it would follow with the rules of how these things tend to go…
I wonder if it’s only Ezra that can see these animals, or if it’s all, or at least certain, Force users? We know Ezra could hear the purgill singing and it seemed like even Kanan was unable to hear that, and I don’t think it was ever fully confirmed whether he saw the white loth-cat before, when Ezra followed it to Ryder in season two.
Audrey: I think at least Kanan will be able to see them– Wait, what am I saying??He’ll be able to hear/touch them, because we know he gets to meet them later and that they have something to do with him directly.

 

Shay: That makes sense.

Here’s something else I noticed, too: do you think there’s a connection between the white Loth-wolf, the white Loth-cat, and the Convor-owl with the light markings? There seems to be a common thread through all of them and the way they seem to be watching over Ezra, Kanan, and even Ahsoka while she was around. 
Audrey: They each seem to be trying to help and protect them, like they’re trying to help make up for the fact that they’re some of the only Jedi, or near-Jedi, left.
Shay: I find it especially interesting that that one convor was on Malachor after Ahsoka disappeared, almost as if it were continuing to watch over her even though everyone else had given up on her, thinking she was dead.
It’s also interesting how each one seems attracted to a particular member of that group: the convor to Ahsoka, the loth-cat to Ezra, and the wolf possibly to Kanan. Each those animals really symbolize each of those characters, and seem to almost represent them, in some way, though we don’t know what it is yet.

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Audrey: I wonder what the dark colored wolves represent? The white ones are beautiful and majestic, their size makes them a little intimidating, but the dark ones that are growling at Ezra in that part in the trailer are just a tiny bit creepy to me. Also that part where you see their eyes coming out of the darkness. That’s going to be interesting.
Shay: I’m assuming those are just the “normal” ones, like how there are regular loth-cats and convorees that have regular coloration and don’t seem to have anything special about them.
Do you have any thoughts on what the wolf meant with the last thing it said to Ezra? If the closed captioning on the episode is to believed, it said “Dume”, which we can take as a reference to “Caleb Dume”, Kanan’s real name. No one has called Kanan that since Order 66, and the only reference we’ve have to it in Rebels was Maul seemingly pulling it from Hera while mind-probing her.
Audrey: It might have something to do with the revelation that Mr.Dave said Kanan was going to have.
I wonder if it will tie into his fate over all, or will just guide him on the right path?
Shay: I don’t know, but I certainly can’t wait to see how it all goes down!
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What did you think of these episodes? Do you have any predictions for what the wolf has in store for Kanan and Ezra? How do you plan to survive the mid-season break? Let me know in the comments!