Star Wars Rebels: Rebel Resolve
February 26, 2015 7:17 AM - Season 1, Episode 13 - Subscribe

The Jedi Kanan, captured and in the hands of Grand Moff Tarkin and the Inquisitor, is tortured in an attempt to learn more about his rebel compatriots. The crew of the Ghost strive to discover Kanan's location so a rescue can be plotted and find themselves forced to put Chopper on a dangerous mission to gather potential intelligence to Kanan's whereabouts. Meanwhile, Ezra's broadcast to the galaxy has had an effect and unbeknownst to the young Jedi in training, he is becoming a symbol of hope for those who dream of rebellion.

Trivia from Rebel Resolve!
  • The holographic info card on Kanan reveals he's wanted for a variety of crimes, including piloting without a license.
  • This was the first appearance of the Imperial Light Cruiser, a modified version of the former Jedi light cruiser that was seen in the Clone Wars, continuing the evolution of the craft from the Republic into the iconic ships of the Empire.
  • In joke amongst the crew of Rebels appears in the list of prisoners with the name, "Wookie Jam Crew."
  • Since Imperial crew members aren't clones (as they were in Clone Wars), to save time and money, they are all shown with their hats pulled down to conceal most of their features.
  • The smuggler Cikatro Vizago's vessel is shown in this episode, the Broken Horn
  • , a name it shares with his organization.
Star Wars Rebels can be seen on DisneyXD, WatchDisneyXD apps and online streaming retailers.
posted by Atreides (15 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I was waiting for you to post this.
Not because I have anything to say, but because I enjoy reading your synopses.
I usually think of something to say after I finish reading.

This episode really solidified the "Chopper is a psychopath" thing for me.
Even the kid sees it.
He opens an airlock on a ship and flushed three (or was it four) stormtroopers into space. He attempts to off another robot. It seems that this show is a little more A-team in the way they fight, except for chopper. That dude will kill anybody. What happened to his programming?
But, as my wife said, he sure has a hell of a lot more character than R2 ever had.
posted by Seamus at 9:28 AM on February 26, 2015 [4 favorites]

My husband's take:
Also - Chopper’s action figure (yeah, I thought it’d be funny to own the little sociopath) is more expensive than every other Rebels figure at $27 vs. $15-17 for the others.

EXCEPT the Inquisitor, who is also $27. Chopper is a Sith agent. QED
posted by telophase at 10:42 AM on February 26, 2015 [5 favorites]

I was glad to see Ezra begin to step out of the "whiny Luke" phase of his development. The one thing I'm not sure about is the exchange between Ezra and Hera concerning a rescue mission. Ezra says that Kanan would do anything for the crew. Hera was absolutely correct when she said that's exactly what he did when he sacrificed himself and it would be for nothing if they got captured attempting to rescue him. Ezra wins out by going behind her back, but I'm not so sure he should have. I guess in part it's the standard Star Wars tension between destiny and free will, but something about how this was handled bothered me for a reason I can't put my finger on.
posted by ob1quixote at 3:44 PM on February 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

I was telling a friend this morning that while Clone Wars took a season or two to start going dark, Rebels was already sauntering down that path in its rookie debut. Yes, kids, let's gather around and watch our hero be tortured!

We open up with Hera talking with the mysterious Fulcrum, where we learn that Ezra is becoming the Katniss Everdeen of the galaxy for his brave rebellious broadcast from the last episode. He is becoming a symbol of hope, and it may be expected, when one becomes a symbol, one starts to lose one's control over their life. This happens when Hera tries to stomp out any plans to find and rescue Kanan entirely out of the risk it poises to Ezra.

Ezra rejects this and plans his own strategy with the help of everyone else, absconding with the Spectre to meet with the nefarious Vizago, a less than trustworthy smuggler. In exchange for help on finding Kanan, Ezra makes a deal with Vizago to help him in the future. Did we mention Vizago has horns? Kind of like a devil? Well, don't worry, deals with the devil never go south. Ahem. Notably, we continue to see an Ezra who's more and more competent of his Jedi powers, but is he using them wisely? He exposed his powers, and Kanan's, out of an emotional need to rescue the captured Jedi "knight." Emotions and the Force will continue to be a dangerous intersection for Ezra as the moves on.

Thankfully for Hera's own character, she's smart enough to realize what's happened and tracks down the rest of the crew. Reluctantly, she falls in with the plan, which ends up being replacing an Imperial astromech unit with Chopper, who can then infiltrate an Imperial light cruiser, steal information as to Kanan's whereabouts.

Meanwhile, we cut to the interrogation of Kanan. Tarkin still reluctantly accepts that Kanan was trained as a Jedi, but allows the Inquisitor to apply his own methods. One nifty point is that the cell that Kanan is in AND the interrogation droid appear to be pretty much the same design of those from Star Wars when Leia was the prisoner of Vader. A third fascinating touch was the table that Kanan was strapped to, it seemed similar to the device that Han was tied to in Empire, and both men were tortured using electricity. And yes, a fourth for giggles moment concerned Tarkin's quote, "The Jedi is no good to me dead." This mirrors a quote from Boba Fett in Empire, when Han was being tortured, "He's no good to me dead." (At which point Vader responded, "He will not be permanently damaged," or something like that). So the torture scenes had a number of callbacks to the original trilogy.

One very fascinating, if potentially dark, matter is how much weight the writers are giving Tarkin's comment to Vader in Star Wars, when he tells Vader that the "Jedi are extinct," and that Vader is the last of their kind. If that remains Tarkin's god's honest belief, then he will either never consider Kanan a Jedi or...he will sincerely believe him dead within a few years.

Kanan, however, provides nothing that we are aware of to either the Inquisitor or Tarkin and Tarkin suggests sending him to Mustafar. If it sounded familiar, then you're right. That's the planet where Obi-wan and Anakin had their dramatic duel at the end of Revenge of the Sith, and it's also where Anakin massacred the Separatists. The Clone Wars, apparently, also took a visit there during that show, too. On Rebels, we are told, it's the place Jedi go to die. This is definitely kind of weighty, because this was the place where Anakin Skywalker symbolically died and was reborn as Darth Vader. It wouldn't be surprising if Vader viewed the planet as a place where Jedi should die, it was where he believed himself ultimately betrayed by his closest friend and mentor, after all.

Back at the farm, the gang successfully replaces the Imperial astromech droid with Chopper, courtesy of a paint job from Sabine. Chopper makes his way up to the Imperial cruiser aboard and proceeds to snatch intelligence before the secret is blown that he's not the droid the Imperials were looking for. At which point, as mentioned above, he starts his killing spree, jettisoning a handful of storm troopers to their deaths out an airlock and then later, coldly pushing the otherwise very promising Imperial droid out the open airlock of the Ghost to what probably should have been its death on the planet's surface below. The writers of the show have to had decided that Chopper has the personality of a psychopath and run with it for good humor.

The intelligence that Chopper gathered, however, points everyone to the aforementioned planet, Mustafar and a rather glum conclusion of the episode.

The direction and animation of the episode was good, notably with the opening sequence when the rebels attack one of the predecessors to the Imperial AT-STs in an attempt to gather information early on. What made the sequence work was the coherent spatial awareness that the director and animators managed to telegraph to the viewer, so we knew exactly where all the players were in the fight and kept it tightly organized. Likewise, there was a certain beauty to watching Chopper blast away from the cruiser to the Ghost which caused flashbacks to the "dance" sequence from Wall-E. Kanan's submissive position in the interrogation flickered back and forth, offering us views upward to him when he successfully resisted and placing him below his captors when they discussed what to do with him.

I also think, gradually, the animators are getting better at animating the body movements of their characters. This comes across as kind of disingenuous because the animators of Rebels are actually quite veteran based off their previous work on Clone Wars but what they really have tried to do in this show is animate the entire body at all times, especially when talking. They aren't content to have the character stand generally still and animate merely the head and face. They want to involve the shoulders and neck and upper body and hands and arms and so on and so on. I admire them, but for a lot of this season it's come across kind of clunky and awkward, most notably when we had Lando appear a couple episodes back. It seems as if everyone has a horrible slouching problem when they talk. I felt, though, it was slightly improving this episode. I also loved Hera's twi'lek tentacles bouncing and moving in reaction to her own head turns and gestures They could easily have just had them fall behind her back, but the movement provided more weight and presence to them they would have not otherwise had, incorporating them even more into Hera's character. They even are managing to animate the scruffy beard/goatee thing on Zeb.

I think the show is on the right path and continue to look forward to future episodes.
posted by Atreides at 7:21 AM on February 27, 2015 [2 favorites]

Thanks, Atreides!

The Mustafar thing is likely to fix one of the major issues I have with the show.
Why the hell do they stay on Lothal when they are such a target for the Empire?
When no one is looking for the, sure, it's nice to have a base to work out of.
When the Empire knows you frequent the planet, GTFO and don't return for a while. Hit the empire somewhere else for a change.

I hope that after Mustafar they become more mobile.
posted by Seamus at 8:34 AM on February 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

I totally agree with the Lothal problem. We do know it's in the Outer Rim and the presumption is that the Empire has dedicated so little resources to it, that it's generally big enough for them to land and remain in the area without too much detection...but the more they draw the Empire's ire, the less plausible remaining on Lothal becomes. We do know they have tech to throw off the Empire's ability to track the Ghost, but still...
posted by Atreides at 11:02 AM on February 27, 2015

Chopper is psycho and Ive been bothered by the number of imperial deaths that no one seems to care about.
Something did seen different about the animation in this episode but I noticed that in a bad way - it was distracting.

I agree that it might be foolhardy of the cast to stay around Lothal, but I've enjoyed the opportunity to see one planet for long enough to get a good feel for it.
posted by bq at 7:56 PM on February 28, 2015

If that remains Tarkin's god's honest belief, then he will either never consider Kanan a Jedi or...he will sincerely believe him dead within a few years.

My suspicion is that Kanan will die, and Ezra will go Dark Side and end up as one of those red-suited guys we see in Return of the Jedi.

he starts his killing spree, jettisoning a handful of storm troopers to their deaths

Not necessarily, I think their suits are airtight, maybe. If so, the ship can always pick them up. Maybe.
posted by happyroach at 8:21 PM on February 28, 2015

Well, happyroach, Wookieepedia agrees with you.
"The body glove allowed for operation in warm or cold climates, however it could protect the trooper from almost any environment -- from total vacuum conditions to the very extremes in cold and heat for a very limited period of time."
posted by Seamus at 12:34 PM on March 1, 2015

Thanks for following up on the storm trooper armor. The idea of being safe in a vacuum had an inkling of a murmur in the back of my mind, but I didn't recall at all confidently. The next question was whether they had enough oxygen to survive on until rescue, as I doubt the light cruiser stopped to pick them up while in pursuit of the Ghost.
posted by Atreides at 1:02 PM on March 1, 2015

The show is hitting just the star wars tone I want to see, but it still sounds kinds of odd when they refer to each other by code name.
I think it would only be beneficial to drop the Spectre-x names. They sound weird.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 1:02 PM on March 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

It is distracting, though I wonder if it's supposed to be a callback to the call signs, such as Red 5 or Rogue 1?

Though, they probably need something to call each other so they're not overheard and sharing their identities to the eavesdroppers.
posted by Atreides at 6:24 PM on March 1, 2015

The code names are a problem from a signals intelligence perspective too because an eavesdropper could estimate the number of people in the cell. Better to use non-numeric code names.
posted by chrchr at 10:03 PM on October 20, 2015 [3 favorites]

Zeb seriously channeled his Jayne from Firefly in this one.
posted by drezdn at 11:28 AM on October 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

I'm sure the numeric codenames come from ANH.

All wings report in. — Red Ten standing by. — Red Seven standing by. — Red Three standing by. — Red Six standing by. — Red Nine standing by. — Red Two standing by. — Red Eleven standing by. — Red Five standing by.

. . . so if you want to think of it as a goof, it's at least a goof with pedigree
posted by chrchr at 8:14 PM on October 23, 2015

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