Rebels Review: S3E1 “Steps into Shadow”

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Lewis: Ok, so we saw this episode of Rebels at the Star Wars Celebration Europe panel, but in all honesty I couldn’t remember a lot of the details from that screening… Now though, season 3 has officially kicked off and it starts with a bit of a bang.

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Ben: I wouldn’t say it was the most exciting episode of the show, that may just be because I had already seen it, but it is definitely one of the most interesting episodes in terms of the lore.

Lewis: No it definitely wasn’t the most exciting, but it did throw us straight back into the action, rather than dithering about. And “interesting” is probably the most apt word to describe it- we are introduced to one of the most loved villains of the Star Wars EU (or legends), as well as a completely new character voiced by none other than Tom Baker.

Ben: Dave Filoni does seem determined to keep the legends alive through Rebels. The episode gave us a lot of things to talk about, starting with the much stronger Ezra with his brand new green lightsaber…

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Lewis: He’s also very good at picking and choosing the best parts of those stories to include, rather than just throwing needless references into the show. All the elements he brings in are important to the plot and character development.
Anyway, yes, a more mature Ezra and his green lightsaber (which has a very similar design to Luke and Obi-Wan’s hilts by the way). One thing they highlighted in particular this episode was that he was happy to kill stormtroopers with no hesitation at all now.

Ben: I suppose that would be a result of using the Sith holocron that he has kept. It will be interesting to see how it develops now that Kanan is back in the picture.

Lewis: Will Ezra get a grip on his emotions and stick to the light side or will he be even more corrupted over time?

Ben: There are a few theories floating about that Maul is the first Knight of Ren, and we know he is involved this series so we could see Ezra turn from the light side. You never know, Ezra could be Snoke.

Lewis: I could definitely buy Maul being the first Knight of Ren, and maybe have Ezra be involved in that order too (possibly played by Benicio Del Toro in episode 8), but I can’t see him being Snoke. I do like that Maul theory though…

Ben: I like the idea of Ezra turning, I think it would be a fresh approach to the show and the characters. The loss of Ezra and the fallout surrounding it would be a really interesting story line.reb_ia_15848-copy1-625x352

Lewis: I hope they’re heading down that route too, although that’d probably mean Kanan will either die or go missing permanently. Anyway, shall we talk about what happened this episode?

Ben: I think we should, so it all kicks off straight away with the Ezra leading the group in a mission to save Hondo Ohnaka.

Lewis: Yes, and his Ugnaught friend whose name escapes me- this prison break is in exchange for information about Republic starfighters that may be of some use to the Rebellion.

Ben: The Ugnaught panics and screws everything up, and so Ezra steps up and we see a demonstration of his darker powers, as he takes control of the AT-ST driver.

Lewis: Remember, that’s something we haven’t really seen before in Star Wars I mean, we’ve seen mind tricks and what not, but we haven’t actually seen someone controlling someone’s actions

Ben: It was quite impressive, and a little disturbing to see Ezra not even bat an eye while doing it. So after the fairly successful prison break the Rebels make their escape, and Ezra gets a bit of a talking to about the botched escape plan.

Lewis: Yeah, but also a promotion for some reason? Which sees a fair bit of responsibility placed on him as he’s supposed to lead a recon mission to scout the location of the Starfighters.

Ben: The promotion does come a bit out of the blue for me.

Lewis: It is out of the blue, but I suppose it sets up the plot of the rest of the episode as well as showing that Ezra has grown up a bit.

Ben: I think that is one criticism of Rebels, a lot of things just magically happen. We get that Ezra is growing up but it seemed so out of place.

Lewis: Anyway, when they’re back at base we get reintroduced to Kanan who’s, understandably, a little broken up after the events of last season’s finale.

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Ben: I can imagine you would be after being blinded by a guy you thought was dead and then thought was helping you out and then revealed that he was going to betray you all along.

Lewis: I think it’s reasonable that he’d be upset, yeah.
I’ll be honest, Kanan has always been my favourite character in Rebels, and the path they’re putting him on is probably the most interesting plotline they’re giving us at the moment for me.

Ben: I am really enjoying it aswell, I want to see more of the Bendu. I like the grey mystic area in which it resides. Also I want more Tom Baker.

Lewis: They’ve done an interesting job of bringing in the middle-ground, which was previously occupied by the “Grey Jedi”
He was such a cool character, I loved the creature design and the gravitas Tom Baker gave to the role was awesome- I would bet on him being a major player in both Ezra and Kanan’s stories this season.

Ben: I think he needs to come back, it is such a waste if this is his only appearance. Could Kanan and Ezra leave the order entirely and practice under the Bendu’s teachings?

Lewis: I don’t know, I could see Kanan perhaps becoming less concerned with the Jedi order in its strictest sense, and maybe when he tries to pass this idea on to Ezra he begins to fall further from the light? I think the Bendu will most likely act as a mediator for Kanan, rather than Kanan going full Grey-Jedi.

Ben: I would quite like to see him develop as a character and potentially step away from the Jedi order- it is something we haven’t really seen before (other than the brief bits of Ahsoka from series 2)

Lewis: But what do you think of the Bendu in terms of his motivations? He seems like the kind of guy to just do something because he wants to see what’ll happen, which is a little worrying since he has that Holocron now…

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Ben: By the characters nature it is the embodiment of balance within the force, but that doesn’t really let us in on his motivations. You would like to think that in the name of balance he would work towards the Sith losing some of their power… then again he did seem pretty pleased with the Holocron.

Lewis: That’s the thing, if he’s truly balanced then he would likely have no allegiance towards Jedi or Sith- so he wouldn’t really care what happens to either of them. And yeah, that chuckle when Kanan gave him the Holocron was only a little bit menacing… Anyway, while Kanan is receiving some advice from the Bendu, Ezra and the others are all off to scout the salvage yard Hondo told them about

Ben: And the scouting mission very quickly becomes a salvage one.

Lewis: Where it quickly becomes apparent that maybe Ezra isn’t ready for this kind of responsibility just yet. While they are at the salvage station, the new villain of the series shows off his deductive skills and figures out exactly where they are and what they’re doing.

Ben: We haven’t spoken much about Thrawn, he seems impressive but he wasn’t interested in engaging with the Rebels on this occasion.

Lewis: He’s definitely menacing, and it’s nice to see them come up against a villain who isn’t all about the action (like the Inquisitors of the second season), but rather uses his intelligence to out-think them. It’s interesting to see that this faction of Rebels isn’t the only one out there, and Thrawn isn’t concerned with individual factions- he’s after the big catch

Ben: He is incredibly calculating and, pairing that with the ice cold voice, you can tell something big is going to happen.

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Lewis: Indeed, and I don’t think it’ll end very well for our merry band of Rebels. Do you think we might actually lose one or two of them this season?

Ben: I am not sure to be honest, it isn’t the sort of show to kill of the main characters; a few secondary ones may bite the dust though.

Lewis: But now that the characters are growing up (and the audience too), maybe they’ll venture into that area? I mean, we had something similar happen in the finale of season 2.

Ben: I suppose that is true, but the death in series 2 wasn’t of one of the main characters.

Lewis: It’s not even clear whether Ashoka is dead or not, I just feel like the stakes are being raised as time goes on- and if they want a good pay off they might have to kill someone…

Ben: I suppose you are right there; it would be the next step. But who would they kill off?

Lewis: I have no idea, and I don’t think I could say until later in the season. Anyway, as for what else happens in the episode, there’s not much else apart from Kanan and Ezra reconciling their differences and getting back to being master and apprentice.

Ben: They’re all made up now, but from what we see in the trailer it looks like we can expect further strain on the relationship caused by Maul.

Lewis: Indeed, which happens to be the subject of the next episode. I’m surprised they’re doing that in episode two/three, I thought Maul would come back much later in the season.

Ben: He’s a fairly important character again now, I would expect him to appear early, then again later in the series

Lewis: I’m sure next episode will be an interesting one at any rate- he’s always a good character. So all in all, what did you think of this one? A good start to the season?

Ben: Undoubtedly a good start. I can’t wait to see where season 3 takes us.

Lewis: It should be an interesting season, and hopefully the other members of the Ghost’s crew will get some good amounts of screen time too.

Ben: Let’s hope so, we know that there are more Mandalorians that will appear so Sabine will have an episode at least.

Lewis: Should be one to look forward to!

Thank you for reading, or if you didn’t read t

he piece thanks for reading what I’ve written here… I guess? Anyway, if you think we’re right, wrong, or even just plain stupid, please feel free to comment below- we’d love to hear your opinions on Rebels season three!