Before we go any further, this episode review will have spoilers in it. I can’t keep this quiet! Here’s a pic of Rex to avoid your eyes catching something just in case.
If you’re stopping here, I’ll be back to spoiler free next episode. Just know that Flight of the Defender is one of my favourite episodes of Rebels.
Ever since I got into the later levels of TIE Fighter on the PC in the late nineties I’ve been in love with the TIE Defender.
It was always the top dog (Missile Boat be damned), and really stood out amongst the TIE variants. So when I first saw one in Rebels I lost my shit. Never did I think that Disney and Lucasfilm would bring my favourite ship into new-canon. But they did! And now they’ve done it again!
If you’re a fan of the vehicles and vessels of Star Wars than Flight of the Defender will be an absolute treat for you. Elite TIE Defenders and twin-engined U-Wings are extremely interesting. This isn’t just using things from the films or old canon; it’s using them as a base to further fill out the world.
Looking back, Defenders were lacklustre performance wise.This Elite version is not only a real threat, and an improved animation model (budget be damned!), but will be what I think prompts the Rebels to get hold of X-Wings. That’s a big deal.
It also clears up a few things. The Defender doesn’t use Ion Cannons now. It shows us the missile mounts. It also puts the ship in the hands of a reasonable pilot and runs rings around TIE Interceptors! Good to see them too.
You can tell that I got very carried away watching this episode. My heart was all a flutter throughout. It could be the Defender flying around for 20 minutes and I’d have loved it. The story does seem more of a set up for later stories, so whilst it wasn’t as bad as E5 for treading water, it doesn’t add a lot bar me now knowing that Thrawn is either spectacularly brave or stupid to stand his ground against an advanced starfighter. I did like how he saw an opportunity in a bad situation. Always thinking that man.
It feels like Star Wars Rebels went out of its way to please me with this episode. The detail nerd in me is truly grateful. But I’d like to see some episodes with less setup and a bit more story now please.
You can find reviews for every single episode of Star Wars Rebels under TV up top!