SWNN REVIEW: Star Wars Rebels – The Call

ezra connects with pergill 2

The latest episode of Rebels has plenty of action, some fleshing out of the Mining Guild that was mentioned in The Empire Stikes Back and more signs of Ezra’s special ability in the Force. Though the would be Jedi initially struggled to make a meaningful connection through the Force with other living beings, we see that not only does he have a special talent for connected empathically with other creatures through the Force, but that he is incredibly gifted in this sense. It’s become increasingly clear that though less experienced than his master in the ways of the Force, Ezra has a higher ceiling. Read on after the jump and as always, if you haven’t seen the episode yet, beware of SPOILERS

Our adventure begins with the crew of the Ghost on a mission to retrieve much needed fuel for Phoenix fleet. The ship is flying in the middle of the asteroid belt, following on a tip of Mining Guild activity in the area. The organization that was introduced in passing conversation during TESB, is not actually part of the Imperial machine, yet is clearly happy to profit from a close working relationship. The Guild has been mining an effective fuel for space vessels called Clouzon 36 and the Ghost’s crew has intel that they have a large shipment of the substance scheduled for transfer into Imperial hands very soon.

It seems that our heroes have been engaged in a locate and swipe search for the Guild’s gas refinery for longer than expected, as the Ghost is now running on fumes. Refusing to abandon the mission, Hera diverts energy from thermal heating to keep the ship running. Ezra suddenlys hears strange noises coming from space and feels a sadness through the Force. Not long after mentioning this to the crew, we see a herd of Purgills approaching the freighter. The Purrgills are basically gigantic space-faring whale/catfish hybrids.

space whales in belt

The cluster of space creatures quickly begin traversing the Ghost’s flight path, impacting with the hull and wreaking havoc on ship systems. Ezra suggests that they follow the flow and direction of the herd. Hera adjusts course accordingly and it’s once again smooth sailing. Getting an up close view of the one of the creatures through the viewport, Ezra touches the transparisteel and reaches out via the Force.

flying with the pergills

However, this moment is short-lived. The young padawan senses something making the Purrgils upset and two green-yellow tinted TIE fighters come into focus. Sabine mentions that they appear to be modified and doesn’t think they are Imperials, Kanan disagrees due to the fact that they have begun firing on the Ghost. We see that Sabine was correct when a Rodian is shown at the controls of one of the ships. The TIEs don’t seem to be very maneuverable or particularly well piloted, resulting in Kanan and Ezra making short work of them manning the gun turrets.

TIE destroyed


The Purrgil change course and the crew discover that they are, oddly enough, heading in the direction the modified TIEs came from. Puzzled by this, Hera decides to follow the creatures. She and Ezra have a brief discussion in which Hera recalls hearing stories as a child of such space-travelling species inspiring civilizations to travel through hyperspace to far-off destinations. She remembers shrugging this off as only tall-tale legends. Their pursuit of the Purrgils eventually leads them to a planetoid which has a large crater which contains a pool, oozing Clouzon 36 gas. The crater also houses the Mining Guild’s refinery and the crew ponders the reason that the Purrgils wanted to come here.

gas pool

They decide that due to the refinery’s defenses which include another several modified TIEs and some turbo-laser cannons, they need to come up with a clever plan. A scoop and steal mission won’t work, as the Ghost is dangerously low on fuel and lacks the necessary juice to carry out such a gambit. Sabine comes up with an explosive (naturally) idea. They can drop charges into the Clouzon 36 gas pool, enabling the Ghost to land during the confusion and then they can swipe the fuel shipment intended for the Empire. However, Ezra isn’t so sure about this plan, clearly concerned about the safety of the Purrgils.

On Kanan’s advice, Ezra, Sabine, Chopper and himself glide through the upper atmosphere of the mining base towards the refinery platform. During the descent, Ezra once again tries to connect with one of the Purrgils through the Force, even briefly touching one. Sabine hangs onto Chopper who utilizes his rocket booster to land, while Kanan uses a Force push to cushion his fall. Ezra meanwhile has trouble mimicking this ability and Kanan manages to use the Force to collect him before he falls too far beneath the catwalk.

gliding in atmospher

It turns out that the TIEs from earlier were sent to take out the Purrgil herd, who’ve apparently been interfering with operations. The refinery boss, Yushyn, orders his Rodian cohorts to take care of the rebels. A firefight ensues, with the Ghost still hiding on an asteroid. A revelation suddenly hits Ezra and he understands that the Purrgil have some connection to the gas. Concerned for the creatures, he speaks out against blowing up the gas. Kanan trusts his padawan’s instincts and a new plan is formulated. Ezra will cover the rest of the team with a liberated cannon, while Kanan and company go for the fuel shipment. After a safe path is temporarily cleared, the Ghost lands on the platform.

During the battle, Ezra ended up getting flung onto one of the Purrgils. Having lost his helmet, he losing consciousness due to lack of air. He briefly comes to and finds himself looking directly into the eye of one of the space whales and finally connects fully with it. Understanding quickly seeps into his mind, the Purrgils rely on the gas for food and fuel for travel. Both he and the Purrgils agree to help each other.

refinery firefight

While all this is going on, the tide has turned in the battle on the refinery base. Our crew are caught in the crosshairs of the Mining Guild operatives. Immediately after being ordered to surrender, Ezra appears with the herd, riding on his new Purrgil friend. They make short work of the defense force and Yushyn is cornered and eventually consumed by the creatures. With the defenses nullified, the Ghost is able to destroy the refinery and fly away.

pergill hyperspace travel 2

As the crew are settling back in aboard the Ghost, they witness an amazing sight. The Purrgils’ tails glow with energy and then one by one they jump into hyperspace. It turns out that some legends are true after-all.


The Light Side

Space Creatures.

I’ve always been a huge fan of the idea that there are some species which actually are able to exist in space. Similar creatures have been seen on Doctor Who. Although some may roll their eyes at this concept, I think they have a place in space fantasy. We’ve also seen a kind of space worm in TESB, so Star Wars has precedent for space-faring life.

mining boss demise

Mining Guild being fleshed out.

One of the great things about having a unified story on many fronts is getting to see stories featuring elements that are merely mentioned in other parts of the cannon. Who would’ve known that we’d actually get to learn more about the function of an obscure organization from the original trilogy.

refinery defenses

Not just filler.

It seems quite clear now that season 2 is following a similar blueprint to that of season 1. There have been those that have bemoaned the amount of one-off side adventures this season. While this line of thinking is understandable, a longer season means more of such stories. Still, even the episodes which didn’t seem to play a major part in the larger narrative of the first season, often came into play in an important way later on. The TIE fighter, fruit seeking episode being a prime example. I have a feeling that a lot of the seemingly side plot elements will play key roles later on. For instance, methinks that Ketsu Onyo and the Purrgills have not been heard from for the last time. I could definitely see them being part of a “save they day” moment towards the end of the season. Sure, some of these minor adventures may not seem all that exciting, while waiting for Darth Maul, Sith-like shrines, Jedi Temple Guards and Ahsoka v. Vader. However, when viewed as a whole season, I think the pacing of the narrative will come across clearer.

ezra and pergill connect

Ezra’s power.

I really like the setup of Ezra being carried out. As I mentioned, he’s becoming stronger and stronger in his ability to connect to other lifeforms via the Force. We saw that play an important role with the Fyrnocks in season 1, as well as this one. He was able to follow a Loth-cat to Ryder Azzadi and now has established a relationship with the Purrgils. Now the question is whether or not he follows a benevolent path with this talent, as in this story or a darker one, a la the Fyrnock queen.

ezra and pergill fleet

The Dark Side

Lightsabers are too effective.

We all know the power packed inside lightsabers, yet I find it frustrating that we’re seeing them easily sheer through AT-ATs and TIE fighters, even modified ones. I know that Rebels Recon mentioned the fact that the modifications to the TIEs weakened the vessels’ structure, but still … come on. We saw in the PT how difficult it was for a lightsaber to cut through blast doors.

mining guild TIES


Parting Shots

Ezra’s leadership and Force potential continue to be set up well by the writers. We’ve seen hints of darkness and attachment at times, so a fall would be totally believable, yet perhaps abrupt. Something major would have to happen to tip him over the edge.

There still has been no movement on the base front, though the rebels are being sent on meaningful missions. I like that they are highlighting the fact that as a rebel organization, it’s not easy to get necessary resources, such as fuel. Stressing just how outmatched the rebels are, gives extra weight to the David and Goliath blow of destroying the Death Star in A New Hope.

refinery destruction

In the real world, mankind has found inspiration for plenty of inventions by looking towards nature and wildlife. It was neat to see the same concept applied in the Star Wars universe, that the Purrgils played a role in inspiring hyperspace travel.

This episode not only served as some nice character development, but was also just a fun adventure. The action kicked off right away and at no point did I feel the plot dragged along.

What did you think of the episode? Is Ezra becoming too powerful, too fast? Did you enjoy the space whales or is that not your kind of thing? Sound off in the comments below or at the Cantina.


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37 thoughts on “SWNN REVIEW: Star Wars Rebels – The Call

  • February 16, 2016 at 12:20 am

    The moment I saw the preview for this episode, my first thought was “Space Whales?!” Not tryna be critical, but this was definitely one of the more “smh” plot elements in the series. I had a good laugh though lol

  • February 16, 2016 at 12:45 am

    I’m surprised “The Dark Side” doesn’t mention the fact that Ezra and Kanan seem to exist in space without suits on. The show mentioned something about atmosphere, but that seems a bit suspect existing around an asteroid. Asteroids barely have gravity, let alone atmospheres. To see Ezra hitching a ride into space without a suit on was fairly cringe inducing.

    • February 16, 2016 at 12:49 am

      I thought about that, but after watching Pablo Hidalgo esentially poo-pooing the idea of applying actual scientific principles to the SW universe, I figured it’s space fantasy. We just have to accept some of these things at face value. Believe me though, the thought definitely caused an eyebrow raise. Just letting it go, increased my enjoyment of the story.

      • February 16, 2016 at 1:00 am

        science/star wars dont make me laugh!

      • February 16, 2016 at 3:07 am

        Yeah I guess. But Clone Wars did address this pretty well. Troopers and Jedi in space needed suits, and when battle droids smashed a ship canopy in space the unprotected troopers inside died an unpleasant death. Anyway, that one thing took me out of the story, much more than the whales.

    • February 16, 2016 at 1:36 am

      Did you watch ESB?

      • February 16, 2016 at 8:03 am

        In empire though they were inside the space slug. There was moisture In its stomach so I always assumed there was a membrane that vacume-sealed it’s gut. Star Wars dosnt need to be a science textbook, but a little consistency never hurt anyone

        • February 16, 2016 at 4:00 pm

          I think this is pretty consistent with what we saw in ESB. Star Wars isn’t hard sci-fi. It really is more space fantasy than science fiction. We should view through the same lens we view LotR and fairy tales.

          • February 16, 2016 at 6:28 pm

            Star Wars is not science fiction at all and it never was. How people get this wrong I will never understand, science fiction is a genre that focuses on speculative science and deals with the implications of technology on society. Star Wars is no more sci-fi than Master of the Universe, technology isn’t part of the story it’s just set dressing.

    • February 16, 2016 at 3:57 pm

      Ahhhh….explosive decompression is such a drag. Just let go….

      • February 16, 2016 at 6:43 pm

        This is one of the concepts that’s least well represented in science fiction. You wouldn’t actually instantly freeze to death from being exposed to the vacuum space where temperatures vary from -200 to 200 degrees Celsius nor would you explode as there is only a pressure difference of one atmosphere. And anyways it’s funny how people can accept all sorts of impossible technology, sound in space, and space faring religious cults that use magic, but the buck stops at the need for space suits on an asteroid in a series that’s not even science fiction. lols

  • February 16, 2016 at 6:02 am

    Fantasia 2000 with lightsabers.

  • February 16, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    Even though I kinda liked it its frustrating to see Ezra already tapping more into the force then Kanan seems. I mean how is it possible Kanan doesnt feel those wales when theyre in front of the Ghost. Also giving Ezra so much ok’s in decision making. It’s like Kanan is a guy who teached Ezra all these Jedi things but isn’t able to use them himself but is only ok with a lighsaber. It has been getting worse episode after episode. Also I don’t mind filler episodes, but a lot of these season two episodes just aren’t that good in my opinion. I loved the first one and offcourse you can’t keep it action and story going forward all the time, but I saw other people saying the same thing : Im not getting that kick I got out of rebels anymore. Now I just follow cause ..well it is Star Wars 😉

    • February 16, 2016 at 2:54 pm

      Connecting with animals, much like Anakin, is apparently *not* Kanan’s strength in the Force.

      • February 17, 2016 at 10:37 am

        I gave that as one example out of lots, that’s why I said “Kanan is a guy who teached Ezra all these Jedi things but isn’t able to use them himself but is only ok with a lighsaber” 😉 and even when you aren’t as connected to animals, when they are pretty much in front of your face and you don’t feel them, that is kinda weird, right ? Cmone give me that one Jeff 😉

        • February 17, 2016 at 3:02 pm

          That’s just the thing, though. I don’t think he taught Ezra how to do it, just helped Ezra understand what it was that was going on.

          Ezra had this gift before he met Kanan. Kanan is just able to help him hone his skills. Nothing more.

          • February 17, 2016 at 3:51 pm

            I get that part Jeff, and you are def right about it, but I am not talking about just this episode. After the last episode of Season One I would’ve thought Kanan would be way more Badass so to speak, but while knowing so much of the force he sure seems like he is the most weak Force user ever 😉 Your point about Ezra is def right, Im more talking bout Kanan’s Lack of Jedi Strenght in General 😉

          • February 17, 2016 at 3:55 pm

            Now there we can agree. Perhaps that is one of the effects of Kanan losing his master so early? Did you read the comic series? It did a nice job of showing the moment he is on his own. Or, perhaps there is still more to Kanan that remains to be seen? It is possible he has powers that he has yet to use around anyone else, or maybe even he has powers that he is not yet aware of, considering again the point I brought up above.

            Time will tell! Personally, I like the pacing and feel like as a whole the story will look much differently. I honestly don’t get all the hate I am seeing about not “getting to it” fast enough.

          • February 17, 2016 at 4:05 pm

            Ha yes, well its not hate from my part, Its just I wish more people then Ezra would “grow” faster as characters. Kanan is a big example in my opinion. Yes I read the comic (Nerd 😉 ) and I would understand if this took places just a few years after the comic, but it’s not, so that bugs me, but as you are saying : We will see. Thanx for a normal discussion without cursing and such Jeff 😉

          • February 17, 2016 at 8:15 pm

            Surely! And I wasn’t calling you out for any hate, just saw it as a good place to gripe about it, really.

          • February 17, 2016 at 3:57 pm

            I don’t necessarily agree with him being labeled as the weakest ever. He has done some pretty amazing things in this show that we have yet to see Luke do until the comics came around.

  • February 16, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    It is becoming increasingly clearer that Ezra is not just an ordinary padawan. I don’t think they can simply kill him off at the end of SW:Rebels and erase him from the SW universe continuity. He has to have some connection to the new movie trilogy and I hope he does.

  • February 16, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    “Sure, some of these minor adventures may not seem all that exciting, while waiting for Darth Maul, Sith-like shrines, Jedi Temple Guards and Ahsoka v. Vader….”

    OR, to quote ‘Monty Python & the Holy Grail’: “GET ON WITH IT!!!”


  • February 16, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    The worst part of the episode was when they destroyed the mining station after stealing the fuel. First of all, they stole some fuel without the convenient excuse of stealing it from the Empire, killing several miners in the process. But then, having done so, and perfectly free to escape with it, they decided to destroy the mining station as they left, likely killing the remaining miners in the process. Murdering in cold blood, when those you’re murdering (from whom you’re *stealing*, let’s not forget) pose no threat whatsoever to you? This makes them the bad guys, doesn’t it?

    • February 16, 2016 at 4:58 pm

      Five years later these rebels did a terroristic attack at the empire’s new battle station, killing thousands of people working on the station, many of whom arguably were imperials just because of propaganda

      • February 16, 2016 at 7:17 pm

        To say nothing of the untold number of innocent contractors still building Death Star 2 when the Rebels went and destroyed that!!

        • February 16, 2016 at 9:13 pm

          well, what about that other movementthat came up 30 years later that left the peaceful ways of the new republic and threathened the peace of the galaxy?

    • February 16, 2016 at 8:00 pm

      There is big problem with your logic.

      Mining guild is obviously company tightly working with empire.

      In war factories and mining facilities are one of the main targets for bombardment. Like it or not destroying enemy resources is something which hurt your enemy. And in full scale war you must do that.

      • February 16, 2016 at 11:53 pm

        It is called Star Wars, not Star Safe-space.

  • February 16, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    Agreed on that lightsabers are too powerfull in this show. Maybe they could tone down the Forciness too. Other than that, pretty good show.

  • February 16, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    It quite funny how many people here say it nonsense how they can be in space without space suits. When it truth:

    “If you ever find yourself exposed to the near vacuum of space, so long as you don’t try to hold your breath, which would result in your lungs rupturing and thus pretty well guaranteed that the incident would be fatal, you’ll likely remain conscious for about 10-15 seconds, with perhaps half that being useful consciousness. After that, you’ll be fine as long as you’re placed back in a pressurized environment within about 90-180 seconds.”

    Yeah hollywood pretty much lied.What a surprise. What is surprise for me how many people actually thinks that Armageddon and it family are actually scientifically accurate.

    Moreover they obviously jumped in some artificially created atmosphere or shield.

    • February 16, 2016 at 7:03 pm

      Yeah except at the beginning of the episode they’re all shivering in the Ghost and then when Kanan and Ezra are outside in space at the end they’re perfectly okay…that was a bit annoying

      • February 16, 2016 at 7:11 pm

        Again in ship was probably moisture in space not so much. Perhaps you don’t know why i saying this. But moisture is incredibly important if you cold or not.

        Even on Earth exist cryotherapy:

        “Whole body cryotherapy (WBC) is currently being offered by clinicians as an alternative to cold water immersion or ice packs.[2] This treatment involves exposing individuals to extremely cold dry air (below -100 °C) for two to four minutes.”

        And they doing it nearly naked.
        Moreover in that moment they was probably full of adrenaline. Which suppressed cold. In ship they was probably in hours in same position so they focused on cold.

  • February 16, 2016 at 7:24 pm

    Thought they could’ve made the space whales look less like whales and more like something we have never seen before….it wasn’t very creative to make them look almost exactly like whales

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