The latest episode of Rebels delved into Zeb’s backstory, as well as giving some new insight into Lasat culture. By the end of the first season, I’d say that we knew the least about Sabine’s character, with Zeb coming in second (okay Chopper perhaps should be given a nod here). We know that learning more about our heroes has been deemed a major focal point in this season’s narrative and we’ve been getting information in bits and pieces. Legends of the Lasat also delved into yet another way of viewing the Force, as well as a return to Wild Space. Everybody’s favorite not quite good, not quite bad space pirate also returned to help/hurt the Crew of the Ghost. Read on for more after the jump and beware of SPOILERS …
The story kicks off with our rebel crew touching down on Nixus Hub 218. One of Ezra’s “contacts” has tipped off the insurgents to an Imperial transfer of refugees. Upon arrival, it turns out that the refugees are two members of Zeb’s species, the Lasat. Zeb is shocked to find that he is not in fact the last remaining of his race in the galaxy. The crew makes short work of the stormtroopers leading the prisoners off their transport. One of the Lasat, Gron, looks as though he’d be formiddable in battle. The other, known as Chava the Wise, is carrying a shaman-like staff with a mystical looking crystal on the top. We already knew that Zeb was a member of the Lasan Honor Guard, though here we learn he was actually the Captain of this group. Zeb makes it clear that he’s not interested in discussing this revelation any further.
It turns out that Ezra’s “contact” is none other than Hondo Ohnaka, much to the chagrin of the rest of the crew. Like his previous appearance earlier this season, Hondo comes through with some very funny one-liners. When asked why he hadn’t warned the crew about the Empire’s involvement in the refugee information, Hondo casually mentions that he sold the refugees to the Imperials, knowing that the heroes would save them. However, upon asking for his finder’s fee, Ezra hits him back in true rogue fashion, saying that he was never going to get it. In another funny moment, Hondo laughs and states how proud he is of his “student” and that his learning curve is steep. It’s mentioned that the two refugee Lasat are seeking a new world for the Lasat, called Lirasan in an ancient prophecy, one which Zeb seems to have a disturbing lack of faith in.
As the rebels make way for the Ghost, Hondo comms the Imperials, giving them the drop on the crew. During the ensuing firefight, Hondo closes off several doors, hindering the stormtroopers’ advance. This lands him in hot water when a couple troopers come across him at an access panel. We also see Gron refusing to fight, saying that the Lasat’s way is no longer the one of the warrior. This clearly does not sit well with Zeb.
Safely on board the Ghost, Chava gives more details on her and Gron’s quest. Despite having the name of the planet they are looking for, she doesn’t know where it’s located in the galaxy. We also learn that this prophecy has come forth via the Ashla, which she calls the spirit of the galaxy. After Ezra notes that the Ashla sounds like the Force, Kanan mentions that the Force is known by many names throughout the galaxy. The prophecy of Lirisan is connected with the fate of the Three, comprised of the Child, the Warrior and the Fool. Zeb naturally fancies himself as the Warrior in this equation. According to the prophecy, the Child must save the Warrior and the Fool.
As Chava begins chanting in hopes of finding Lirisan through the Ashla, Zeb heads to his quarters with Ezra in tow. We get to witness a private discussion between the two, where Zeb actually opens up a bit. It’s learned that Zeb was personally responsible for protecting the royal family. Although they held out against the Empire for quite a while, Zeb lost consciousness when a bomb exploded in the palace. When he awoke, Lasan had already fallen. Bridger is able to inspire some belief in the Lasat’s prophecy and Zeb goes to join in on the ceremony with his two comrades.
During the ceremony, Zeb rearranges the configuration of his bo-rifle, mimicking the way the ancients of his people used it. It appears that in combination with Chava’s staff, the bo-rifle accesses the Force in a way that we hadn’t yet seen. It’s able to pinpoint a spot on a galactic map that Chopper projected, beyond the Outer Rim, in Wild Space.
The Ghost makes way for the system with the Imperials in pursuit. On board and an Imperial light cruiser led by Agent Kallus and Admiral Konstantine, Hondo reveals that he had a tracking device installed on the communicator he used to contact Ezra.
Hera has to bring the Ghost out of hyperspace when it encounters the dangerous gravity field of an imploded star system. Chava realizes that this also part of the prophecy. The Imperials also emerge nearby and close in on the rebel ship. Zeb seems to think that he understands the prophecy, Hondo’s the Fool, Kallus is the Warrior and he’s the Child. However, Chava puts a new spin on it, declaring that every person is all of them at different times.
Zeb’s faith kicks into full drive at this moment. Understanding that the way to Lirisan can only be completed by going through the imploded star cluster, Zeb uses his bo-rifle in the same manner as the ancient Lasat did. Kallus sends out two TIE fighters that are quickly destroyed. The same energy from the Ashla as earlier sprouts forth from Zeb’s bo-rifle. Kanan and Ezra seem to recognize the Force in use here each lay a head on Zeb’s shoulder, also focusing their connection to the energy field. The Ghost is covered in waves of multi-colored light and successfully navigates its way through the cluster, after the mystical energy sent the ship through hyperspace. Kallus had been forced to turn back, before his ship fell apart.
The crew was knocked unconscious during the journey through the cluster. Upon awakening, they witness Lirisan before them in the viewscreen. Zeb heads down with both Chava and Gron. He’s gone for awhile and informs the crew when he returns that he’s no longer one of only a few remaining Lasat. Lirisan turns out to be the original homeworld of the Lasat and their are millions of them residing on the planet.
Hera remarks that now that the Ghost has successfully made it’s way through the cluster, it has navigational records of the way to safely pass through the phenomenon. Should Zeb and company run into any other Lasat, they’ll be able to guide them home.
The Light Side
Another aspect and way of viewing the Force.
I’ve always been a huge fan of the mysticism of the Force and a huge proponent of showing that the Jedi and Sith ways are only two philosophies regarding it. Dave Filoni and Pablo Hidalgo have always come across as like-minded on this subject and they’d already shown so in The Clone Wars. That series introduced us to several other Force-wielding entities and orders. The Force beings on Mortis, the Force Priestesses from the Force planet and the Dagoyan Masters are of note. I liked the idea of the Force going by many names in different cultures across the galaxy. Kanan’s mention of this opens up the possibility for more of this in the future. Here’s hoping that we’ll get an episode delving into Ahsoka training with different Force groups, with different methods of interaction with the life energy.
Over my many years of loving space fantasy and sci-fi, the idea of a civilization learning of ancient roots on another planet has always been fascinating. I like the idea that these civilizations decided to branch out into the stars, yet are still around, though perhaps slightly different than their “space cousins”. The Stargate franchise had the ancients. Farscape had Humans, Sebaceans and Interons all sharing a common ancestor and Battlestar Galactica featured the search for Earth as the long-lost origin point of the humanity’s colonies. Plus, Lasat culture just became even more interesting after this episode, so it’d be cool to explore it more. Sure, this could have happened via Zeb, but this will likely be more interesting.
Hondo, ’nuff said.
The space pirate is two for two when it comes to actually making me laugh out loud during an episode. Rebels has kept him true to his TCW character in that he’s not inherently a good or bad guy. He’s certainly someone who looks out for his own interests, yet has his own moral code. Star Wars is best when it captures a balance of serious moments, with some well timed humor. Hondo’s character always seems to capture this mix perfectly.
The Dark Side
Staff’s powers perhaps a bit too convenient.
While I like getting another view of the Force, in addition to another name for it, (wonder if they’ll ever use the Bogan as a nod to George Lucas’s original name for it) I can’t help but think the end result could’ve been pulled off a bit better. Surely, this is in part due to the time factor. After all, there’s only 22 minutes to set up the story, drive it along and then resolve it. We don’t need everything explained when it comes to the mystical nature of the Force. It’s better when they vaguely do so. Still, I wish they had delved into the Ashla a bit more. Perhaps they will in the future.
Kallus no longer an imposing villain.
Of course the rebels have to have a bad guy to defeat, yet I’m wondering if perhaps Kallus has run his course. He certainly seemed to carry some menace during the early stages of season 1, especially during his bo-rifle battle with Zeb. Lately though, especially so in this episode, he just didn’t even come across as a threat. At no point did it feel as though our crew were truly in any danger. Perhaps he’ll be a casualty on the Imperial side by the time this season ends.
The second half of season 2 is slowly starting to ramp up, though it still feels as if it’s yet to go into full gear. Whenever the over-arching plot seems to be ramping up, the breaks are lightly tapped and we get one-off episodes like this. Any show always has a difficult balancing act when trying to balance larger, recurring plot threads with a self-contained storyline. That being said, the one-offs have been very entertaining and continue to have that true “Star Wars” feel.
The tricky thing about this show is that a lot of the so-called “fluff” episodes may actually feature important things that will return later on and have a huge impact on the overall story. Season 1 certainly came through on this front, noting both role the TIE fighter episode and the Fyrnocks played later on during important episodes.
If for nothing else than more Force mythology being explored, as well as some Lasat culture building and Hondo Ohnaka, I enjoyed this one a lot.
We also got some more nice character development regarding both Zeb and Ezra. For a lot of the show’s year and a half run, Zeb has been just sarcastic muscle. It was nice to get some insight into his psyche and the amount of pressure he places upon himself to protect those he loves. Ezra has really grown into a leader in his own respect. Whereas last season, he was often the target for good-natured teasing, it’s come in smaller doses than it had previously. Case in point for leadership role growing is the fact that someone as hard-headed as Zeb Orellios was inspired by his words of encouragement. Ezra also trumped Hondo and has even surprised him, also not an easy task.
What did you think of the episode? Do you want to learn more about Lasat culture? What did you make of the Force/Ashla aspects introduced? Are you ready for some more Hondo? What’s your stance so far on season 2 as a whole? Sound off in the comments below or at the Cantina.