Star Wars Rebels: A Princess of Lothal
January 21, 2016 6:28 AM - Season 2, Episode 10 - Subscribe

Rebels returns for the back half of its second season with a princess from Alderaan sent to Lothal to deliver much needed supplies and aid to the rebel movement.

  • The outfit young Princess Leia wears in the episode is based on an early Ralph McQuarrie concept art of Leia created for the original Star Wars.
  • The clasp holding Leia's hair together is based on shapes seen on Bail Organa's wardrobe in Revenge of the Sith.
  • The gravity lock is essentially a portable tractor beam that anchors a starship in place.
  • The Hammerhead Corvettes seen in the episode were inspired by designs seen in Knights of the Old Republic video game.
  • Leia's participation in the episode is what would later constitute an alleged "mercy mission" in the eyes of Darth Vader, referenced in Star Wars.
posted by Atreides (14 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Between this and "Lost Stars" it seems The Powers That Be are working harder to develop Leia's story before "A New Hope."
posted by drezdn at 11:15 AM on January 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

Before the Prequels, I don't think anyone really thought about Pre-ANH outside of centuries or millennia before. But, courtesy of the Prequels, not only do we have a starting point to the begin writing about the Star Wars universe, but it also created a thirty year gap and human curiosity abhors a vacuum.

With Disney's decision to run with Rebels, as opposed to continuing Clone Wars, which probably had at least two or three more seasons before hitting Revenge of the Sith, it has pretty much made it a point that we will learn about the folks in the Original Trilogy before the events of the Original Trilogy. I don't doubt that at some point we will encounter Han and Chewie, even if peripherally. In Marvel's Star Wars, we've now gotten two issues which showed us a young Luke Skywalker via Obi-Wan's role as his protector from afar.

The real interesting thing is that a lot of our heroes in the Original Trilogy operated or dwelled in the fringes of society, the exact area a rebel movement against the Empire would also operate. In a way, it makes such things less of a contrivance, even if the stories undoubtedly could be told without their appearances. We know Leia was a rebel before her capture in the opening of A New Hope, so in a small resistance, it's only a matter of time that she would appear.

Her appearance last night, I thought, was done well enough. I think I would have preferred her to be part of a two or three episode arc, rather than a one episode, to allow us more opportunity to enjoy her presence. I found it kind of amusing that Ezra tried to show off for her, though I have to believe she's at least a year or two older than him (which granted, is much better than a nine or ten year old crushing on an older teenager).

I'm also curious about Kanan's ability to slice through the legs of the AT-AT. It's a contrast against Luke's take down at the Battle of Hoth and I can't decide if it's the difference between a much better trained Jedi or a bolstering of the cutting power of a lightsaber.

This was, at least, another competent episode of Rebels. I wasn't "wowed" but I definitely enjoyed it.
posted by Atreides at 12:11 PM on January 21, 2016 [2 favorites]

When Leia showed up, my first thought was that she is too old.
I need a better understanding of the Rebels timeline.
posted by Seamus at 5:40 PM on January 21, 2016

Per Wookkiepedia, this occurs three years before A New Hope.
So I guess she is supposed to be 16. But she doesn't come across that way.
posted by Seamus at 5:54 PM on January 21, 2016

I really liked Leia's take-charge attitude. I was amused by Ezra being unhappy about it. I did laugh at the end when she told him, "You have my permission."
posted by ob1quixote at 9:14 PM on January 21, 2016

Something Rebels is doing quite nicely is showing a credible uprising in terms of limited resources and materiel.

The scheme to provide under the table support without out and out becoming an enemy of the empire is great.
Also if you have Alderaan becoming the de facto supplier of Rebel hardware but with this veneer of innocence, then over time as that fiction becomes less and less convincing the empire find themselves needing to do something dramatic to make an example of Alderaan... I wonder what they might do.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 4:01 AM on January 22, 2016

Just this guy, reading the phrase "without out and out" just about broke my brain this morning, but I agree. The potrayel of a nascent rebellion trying to keep things under wraps was pretty good. Those are details that shows often gloss over.
posted by Seamus at 5:24 AM on January 22, 2016

Sorry, what I meant was that the Alderaan strategy to outwit the empire by supplying hardware (albeit outdated) in a roundabout way to the stout outlaw outfit throughout the outer rim (or thereabout) to outfox the empire without out and out outing outsider handouts (and therefore avoiding outcry) outrivals the alternative where they drop them off directly outside the hideout and end up on the outs with the Empire and suffering the fallout of a shootout when outnumbered by the imperial military clout.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 7:06 AM on January 22, 2016 [7 favorites]

I like the portrayal of Leia as really young but weirdly grown up. It fits well with the disparity we later see in leadership and maturity between her and Luke.
posted by French Fry at 7:09 AM on January 22, 2016 [2 favorites]

I watched the episode last night. It super annoys me that I've already paid for the entire season through iTunes but they still make me wait until after it's aired on Disney XD before I can watch it.

Anyway, I enjoyed the episode. I guess Kanan jumping and slicing the walker's legs might have been a bit OP, but at the same time it was kind of awesome. And yeah, Luke had basically zero training at the battle of Hoth. Kanan has had at least some training from a proper Jedi master in his past.

I'm very much enjoying the continued art/design references to the McQuarrie concept art. It tickles my inner fanboy.
posted by Fleebnork at 7:16 AM on January 22, 2016 [3 favorites]

My wife asserted that the empire must have learned from this episode and reinforced the armor on the AT-ATs.
posted by Seamus at 7:26 AM on January 22, 2016 [5 favorites]

So I guess she is supposed to be 16. But she doesn't come across that way.

Above, drezdn mentioned Lost Stars by Claudia Gray, which is a somewhat lengthy young adult novel (still quite a fun read). There is a scene in the book where young Imperial cadets in their teens attend an Imperial gala, where they encounter Princess Leia. She's described, despite being young, as quite confident in a ball room full of power brokers and so on. If I had my copy with me, I'd quote it (perhaps I'll do that later this weekend), but they are definitely establishing (perhaps really, re-establishing) that Leia, prior to A New Hope was definitely a capable woman.

One thing I ended up loving was they remained true to Carrie Fisher's height, which isn't all that obvious except when the main actors are all standing around each other. She's actually quite short (5'1")! It appeared the animated version of Leia didn't gain much in the way of inches, either, which was a nice thoughtful adherence to Fisher's stature.

The scheme to provide under the table support without out and out becoming an enemy of the empire is great.
Also if you have Alderaan becoming the de facto supplier of Rebel hardware but with this veneer of innocence, then over time as that fiction becomes less and less convincing the empire find themselves needing to do something dramatic to make an example of Alderaan... I wonder what they might do.

This underlines part of Jonathan Vast's argument at the Weekly Standard that the Empire wasn't quite so evil. Alderaan was aiding and abetting terrorism against the government and was, despite Leia's protestations, a proper military target.
posted by Atreides at 8:19 AM on January 22, 2016 [2 favorites]

I'm shocked, shocked that the Weekly Standard would come out in favor of the Empire. I look forward to their sympathetic reassessment of Voldemort.
posted by leotrotsky at 2:48 PM on January 23, 2016 [3 favorites]

Here's that excerpt from Lost Stars on Leia:

[Context: Ciena and Thane are both in the last year of their time at the Imperial Academy on Coruscant - where both naively still believe the Empire to be a force for good in the galaxy. Both, due to their superior performance in the academy, have been invited to an Imperial ball held for the who's who of Coruscant and Imperial politics. This takes place before the events of A New Hope, either a year or less or so, so perhaps a couple years ahead of Rebels.]
"Look," Jude whispered, pulling Ciena aside at what was either the best or worst possible time. "It's the junior senator from Alderaan - Leia Organa, the princess!"

Ciena stood on tiptoe, eager to see someone so famous. She got a single glimpse of the princess, who was wearing a slim white gown, her long hair intricately braided. Then the crowds closed around Senator Organa again, hiding her from their sight."

"Can you believe it?" Jude said as they joined the procession into the ballroom.
"It makes sense that she'd be here." Yet Ciena found it intimidating that a girl almost exactly her age could already hold a place in the Imperial Senate, could be so poised, sophisticated, important.
"I meant it's surprising that she came to any official function, given her speech in the Senate yesterday."
Ciena remembered then: Princess Leia had announced, on her father's behalf, impending "mercy missions" to planets the Organas claimed to be negatively affected by Imperial policies. " That was ridiculous," she muttered. "Pure grandstanding. Missions like that can't be necessary; the Empire would help the people on its own. That's what the Empire is for!"
Then also:
Thane got to brag, "I even danced with the princess from Alderaan. Nash is going to choke when he hears that. He's had a crush on her since he was nine."
"Princess Leia? What was she like?"
"Even shorter than you," Thane replied, which got him a not-very-hard kick to the shin. He mimed pain even as he continued, more seriously, "I don't know. It was only a dance, and she wasn't even paying that much attention. She wasn't being rude; it was more like she was distracted. I guess someone like her must have a lot on her mind."
posted by Atreides at 1:23 PM on January 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

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