Star Wars Rebels – S2E1/2 – The Siege of Lothal

With a double-length première episode Rebels comes flying right into the thick of the action. You might immediately be confused if you’re a stickler for the old canon, but with that being swept away it allows the Rebels team to show us a different takes on things.

Season 1 finished strongly, with our Lothal heroes coming into contact with the larger rebellion. But they’re successes mean they’ll no longer be chased down by mere local forces or anything as pitiful as an Inquisitor. No, the big guns are getting involved now, with a threat that will provide a monumental challenge.

It’s fantastic that James Earl Jones is providing the voice of Vader. The sense of legitimacy and authority he gives the character cannot be underestimated. Vader hasn’t been neutered for children; his ruthlessness is fully intact, and in an early confrontation he proves that he won’t be distracted or taken down easily. A lot of thought has clearly been put into his presentation too, his size, movement, and the imagery it creates being some of the strongest I’ve seen for the chosen one.
A Sith Lord versus two trainee Jedi doesn’t make for a fair fight, so Ezra and Kanan are going to have to severely up their game. Should make for an interesting story throughout the season.

What’s interesting is the differing opinions on the team regarding their new situation. With Hera fully involved and settling into a system of authority with ease, Kanan is struggling. He’s been part of such things before and it didn’t end well. They’re a more realistic adult couple, whose strong affection for each other ties in with an ability to challenge each’s ideas. Their possible future arguments will make for some fiery friction.

It’s been mentioned elsewhere that this season is going to Rebel’s ‘Empire Strikes Back’. I can’t see it even going that well. On one hand our heroes are part of a movement, but the enemy is ferocious. How can they possibly stand up to it?

The show has been successful on so many fronts that it makes the missteps all the more glaring. The lack of attention on Sabine was frustrating, so I hope that in amongst it all we get some time with her. Hera and Zeb could do with more time too, just to make them more than ‘I believe in it because I do’ and ‘brute comedy relief’.

There’s so much going on already; with mysteries, revelations and some thrilling battles in space and on the ground, this introduction to season 2 of Rebels is a strong one.

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