Star Wars Rebels: Brothers of the Broken Horn
November 5, 2015 10:20 AM - Season 2, Episode 4 - Subscribe

Seeking a brief respite from the training demands of being a padewan, soldier, and crew member of the Ghost, Ezra takes an unannounced trip to respond to a distress beacon signaling from the ship of a well known smuggler. Instead of the smuggler he expected, Ezra encounters Hondo Ohnaka, a pirate and familiar face to viewers of The Clone Wars. Also, Chopper tries to shoot people.

  • Featured on the back of Hondo's jacket is his old pirate gang symbol, a design that can be seen on a host of flags suspended in a scene from the The Force Awakens trailer.
  • Posters in the background on the Nixus Hub 218 station include: the Imperial Navy stating, "The Shape of Freedom" and "Protecting the galaxy with strength and justice;" a financial or business poster urging consumers to "DIVERSIFY - Grow your network," an ad for blue milk, and a call to "Leave it in Hyperdrive" a message paid for by the Corporation for Interplanetary Commerce."
  • Ezra's favor to Vizago originated at the end of Season One when he was hunting for information to Kanan's whereabouts.
  • The character of Garel was previously seen in "Droids in Distress," in Season One.
  • The music Hondo is listening to when Ezra encounters him is the same music playing in his pirate den in the first season of The Clone Wars.
  • The music heard during Azmorigan's introduction is a play on Jabba's theme from Return of the Jedi, which is fitting as Azmorigan's design is based on an early Jabba the Hutt design.
posted by Atreides (13 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The AV Club reviewer savaged this, but I thought it was a light but fun episode. The action sequence was good, and flailing-gun-shooting Chopper is the best Chopper.
posted by drezdn at 10:43 AM on November 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

I haven't had a chance to read that review, either, but it looks like's review (by their leading paragraph), isn't that kind either.

I'm like you, I actually enjoyed the episode, and it's added continuity that the galaxy before the Empire, the people and its stories, have become old and faded memories. Hondo and his pirate gang in Clone Wars, even at their lowest, were still a pretty tough nut to crack and resilient in their capacity to recover whatever the circumstances. In a similar vein to the Clones, Hondo's time has passed. He's a refugee of that past in the present, trying to reclaim that old glory, and generally failing entirely to do so. The Clones almost go out in a blaze of glory and would have, victims of the new reality, but were saved (similarly like Hondo) by our heroes.

The bleeding over of The Clone Wars into Rebels isn't a bad thing. Is it completely necessary? Not at all, but it serves a definite thematic service of relating how things have changed in the generation since the fall of the Republic (or I should say, the fall of the free Republic). The reality that Luke Skywalker is going to inherit in just a few years is a much different one than existed for good or bad.

Hondo's anachronistic existence also offers the idea that life choices are far more limiting in the galaxy now. Perhaps Ezra might have become a space pirate at some point, but the opportunity to do so doesn't exist now, thanks to the Empire. On a grander scheme, the Empire's influence on the galaxy has been one to subjugate and control, stripping a certain liberty of freedom of many things from the galaxy's denizens.

On other topics, I found Ezra's search of the empty vessel far more suspenseful than last week's search of the empty space station. Ezra definitely has been benefiting from his training with Kanan by his combat abilities in the cockpit of Vizago's vessel when he's fighting off the droids, deftly blocking laser bolts, acrobatically navigating the space, and using the force with a competence that simply didn't exist last season. He's much closer to becoming a Jedi now, even if he gets his bottom handed to himself by the Seventh Sister previously.

Chopper. Yes. Was he somehow responsible for that dude being jettisoned into space? I can't recall without rewatching the scene, but him grabbing two blasters and tearing up the floor on one wheel wildly shooting both was probably as close as possible to the violet madman that he is currently trapped inside his astromech shell.

I was delighted to hear James Wong's voice, if not the character, at least. He's good stuffs, that man.
posted by Atreides at 12:26 PM on November 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


(I haven't watched it yet, but last weeks previews left me wondering how Vogons fit into this week's episode.)
posted by Seamus at 1:38 PM on November 5, 2015 [2 favorites]

Luke Skywalker has just defeated the Emperor on Endor when Vogons obliterate the entire star wars universe to make room for a new intragalactic expressway.
posted by selfnoise at 1:51 PM on November 5, 2015 [3 favorites]

If I my EU correctly, preventing that was why the Emperor was building the Death Star in the first place.
posted by drezdn at 2:02 PM on November 5, 2015

and flailing-gun-shooting Chopper is the best Chopper.

It feels sacrilegious to say this but, I think I like Chopper more than R2D2.
posted by Fizz at 2:20 PM on November 5, 2015 [4 favorites]

Chopper is like R2's sassierpants cousin and I love it. I could watch a whole episode of Chopper and Hera sniping at each other while repairing the ship. He was the best part of an other-wise bland episode. I'm hoping for more ensemble stories in the coming weeks. Ezra is probably my least favorite of the crew, although I understand why they're focusing on him as a character.
posted by zenzicube at 4:43 PM on November 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

There seems to be this obsession in Star Wars to make the universe a smaller place.
It annoys me no end.

Lando should have been just some gambler and hustler making a living in the Galaxy until Han drags him into the rebellion, now we learn he knew these guys from way back, who know Vaders apprentice, and Obi Wan's old pirate frenemy? Also R2 and C3pio showed up last season.

"The Galactic Empire's territory at its peak consisted of some one and a half million member and conquered worlds, as well as sixty-nine million colonies, protectorates and puppet states spread throughout the entire galaxy, stretching from the borders of the Deep Core to at least Wild Space."
So how come there are only 30 people in it?

I'm fine with Ashoka knowing Kanaan and Ezra. It makes sense that Jedi would seek each other out, by why does yoda need to know Chewbacca?
It's also ok to have the Rebels know Bail Organa I guess because he was supposedly instrumental in the early rebellion, so you've got those believable links to anchor it so spread out a bit, trust in your universe, invent some characters or planets.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 5:09 AM on November 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

It's also ok to have the Rebels know Bail Organa I guess because he was supposedly instrumental in the early rebellion, so you've got those believable links to anchor it so spread out a bit, trust in your universe, invent some characters or planets.

The irony in your statement is that every Clone WarS character pulled into Rebels were original creations with the exception of Vader/Anakin. In the previous show, the creators did exactly that (for the most part), and it might be telling that they were not quite ready to leave their creations behind when Disney axed Clone Wars and requested a new show.

In general, this is a very valid criticism with its heaviest weight being leveled against the Prequel Trilogy (I mean, in Attack of the Clones Sebulba just happens to be in a transport flying by during the chase scene. C-3PO, ignore Han, please tell me the odds on that one?

I do think Rebels has a little bit more leeway, but I don't want them to overdo it. Right now the Rebels are operating in the Outer Rim and are generally forced to operate in the fringes of society, which happen to be the same fringes that someone like Lando or Hondo would be expected to work and dwell within. Smaller community, higher the chances that someone will run into someone else. This episode, to be charitable, drew upon that with the appearance of Azmorigan at the end. (The non charitable read would be they were lazy - but, they wouldn't have had the added element of Ezra's deception being seen through, either).

The worse violation would definitely have to be R2 and C-3PO appearing in "Droids in Distress" which was a generally bland episode unto itself. One reason they set Rebels when they did, initially four to five years before A New Hope was to completely hit hard the feelers and love for the Original Trilogy. To that extent, they will definitely draw upon familiar faces that pop up in that trilogy, and undoubtedly, take the opportunity to try and tell some of the backstory behind those characters; i.e., what was Lando doing before he became the supervisor of Cloud City?
posted by Atreides at 7:14 AM on November 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

R2D2 is Riggs from Lethal Weapon while Chopper is Murtaugh.
posted by drezdn at 7:26 AM on November 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

Despite any weaknesses, this episode seemed better than the last based solely on the conflict not seeming like it should have had any greater weight or tension. It was fun.
The kid liked it.

I think there is going to be a R2/Chopper fight to the death at some point. There has to be, right? (I had to look up why Chopper is called chopper. I didn't have to look any further than the title of the Wookieepedia page. And I sighed. I know the SW universe doesn't have paper, but it does have writing, and they had to retcon Latin script into the universe. That's the only way his real designation, C1-10P, makes any sense as a basis for the name Chopper.)
posted by Seamus at 11:34 AM on November 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

And the times he chopped those other droids to death.

I think there is going to be a R2/Chopper fight to the death at some point.

There's more bad blood between the two of them than Taylor Swift and Katy Perry. My secret dream though is that an even more worn down Chopper shocks a First Order trooper in the background of The Force Awakens.
posted by drezdn at 1:33 PM on November 6, 2015

That's the only way his real designation, C1-10P, makes any sense as a basis for the name Chopper.

Surely Chopper's name is a translator's flourish.
posted by chrchr at 3:12 PM on November 6, 2015

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