SWNN Review: Star Wars Rebels – The Honorable Ones!

standed on the moon

Some may argue that Star Wars Rebels has been stuffed like a Thanksgiving turkey with filler episodes this season. While that may be the case from a certain point of view, it’s not necessarily 100 % accurate. It’s been pointed out on a number of occasions that much like season 1, so-called one off adventures may actually end up having resounding payoffs when the dust settles at the end. This may play out in a big way or perhaps on a smaller scale than last year. One thing’s for sure, character development has been a key theme throughout. This episode certainly had some important character building. Whether the results of this will have powerful repercussions in the finale remains to be seen. Some have dubbed this another filler edition, a distinction in which I firmly disagree with. Read on for more after the jump and as always, if you haven’t seen the latest episode yet, beware of SPOILERS



The episode starts out with the crew of the Ghost approaching a ring of Imperial construction stations in orbit around Geonosis. Our rebels are looking for fresh intel concerning rumored Imperial weapons being built. Ezra is struck by the fact that he doesn’t sense any life. The crew initially can’t quite believe this as it’s noted that there should be billions of the “bugs” that are native to the desert planet. However, the Ghost’s scanners support what Ezra senses.


geonosis station


Landing to look further into a possible weapon being developed as well as to investigate the mystery of the missing Geonosians, Zeb gets the feeling that the abandoned station may have a trap waiting in the wings. The Lasat’s worries are quickly confirmed when Kallus appears with a squad of stormtroopers. During the ensuing firefight, Zeb gets separated from the main battle, dueling the ISB agent.

During the confusion, the rest of the crew are able to escape aboard the Ghost, while Zeb heads for an escape pod. The idea is for Zeb to rendevous with the rest after escaping the facility via the pod. However, Kallus once again appears and throws a wrench into the plan, engaging Zeb in close quarters. During the tussle, Kallus is knocked into the controls and the pod ends up crashing into a cave on one of Geonosis’s moons.


stranded with the enemy


The two enemies come to inside a cold cavern with Kallus sporting a broken leg. Zeb is able to salvage a small heater as well as a transponder, albeit a damaged one, from the pod. Kallus assures the Lasat that the Empire will locate them, though Zeb tells him that’s not going to happen. He also lets the Imperial agent know that he won’t be able to get his hands on his weapon. When the Lasat is shocked to not discover the desert environment he was expecting, Kallus informs him that they are on one of Geonosis’s moons. They hear the foreboding howling of some creature off in the distance.


The two engage in a very opinionated discussion where both list the merits of either the Rebellion or the Empire. During this discussion, neither is able to see eye to eye, Zeb does however fix the transponder to send out a signal that can reach any vessel. The unlikely pair soon find themselves facing the very real prospect of freezing to death in the icy cavern when the small heater stops working, due to the cold. Zeb managaes to find a meteorite that produces heat. After giving it to the Imperial agent, he begins trying unsuccessfully to ascend the ice-ridden walls of the cavern, repeatedly falling down. This seems to amuse Kallus, almost inducing another bout of fisticuffs between the two.


brothers in arms


They are interrupted by the appearance of the massive creature that they’d heard earlier. Just as it seems the creature has gotten the best of Zeb, Kallus comes to his aid and they are able to chase it off. It appears that the Imperial officer has come to the conclusion that his chances of survival are better with the two working in concert.


This still doesn’t stop their semi-heated exchange of words. When Kallus begins to talk about the order of life, that the strong survive, Zeb asks if that can be applied to Geonosis. In response, Kallus states that he doesn’t know what happened on the planet and adds that he’s never inquired about it. During their discussion, Zeb lets it be known that he’ll never forget what the Empire did to his world. It’s revealed that the Imperial’s modified Bo-rifle was not in fact taken as a trophy, but instead given to him by a defeated opponent via an honored Lasat tradition. Kallus’s cold veneer seems to crack a bit and he shares a story about an uprising on Onderon, where a Lasat mercenary killed every last man in his unit, including those injured by an explosion that already had them neutralized. Zeb seems ashamed to hear this and says that not all Lasat are like this, to which Kallus expresses the same sentiment regarding Imperials.


zeb kallus sharing a heater


Kallus recommends trying to escape by climbing up the pillars in the cavern instead of the walls. With the unlikely ally hanging onto his back, the Lasat scales the pillars. Before they can make much progress, the creature returns, this time with a few hunting partners. Zeb is able to fling Kallus through the hole in the ceiling and as he reaches the top, he finds himself face to face with Kallus’s Bo-rifle. The ISB agent chooses to fire on the creature who’s right behind Zeb, however.


After finding shelter, Kallus almost seems to seek forgiveness from Zeb, stating that the massacre on Lasat wasn’t originally meant to go down that way. The Empire wanted to make an example of the world and Kallus was just following orders, noting that his actions were not personal.


blizzard palaver


When the Ghost appears, finally locating their comrade, Kallus rejects an offer from Zeb to leave with the rebels. Due to the survivor’s bond of sorts that has been built between the two, Zeb does not inform his crewmates of Kallus’s presence.


We later see Kallus just as he arrives back on his ship. He runs into Admiral Konstantine, who seems to show no joy in seeing his return. Kallus heads to his quarters, places the meteorite Zeb gave him down and then sits on his bunk. He becomes lost in thought, perhaps questioning his role in the galaxy after his encounter with the Lasat rebel.


soul searching


The Light Side 


Shades of Grey 


It’s nice to see, what appears to be a continuing theme in all media formats of the Star Wars canon, that things are not simply black and white. While Star Wars at it’s core is a battle of good vs. evil, things are not always that simple in real life. No matter what the theme, a good story should mirror things we can relate to in the real world. Seeing that both sides seem to think they are doing the right thing, makes the story feel more real. Three dimensional villains are vastly more interesting to watch than mustachio-twirling flat ones.


I like the idea that we have both purely evil villains and ones that are simply doing their jobs. It would also be interesting to see the flip side, where rebels do questionable things in the name of helping people. It could be argued that Cham Syndulla is someone who’s already towed that line.


kallus piggy back ride


References Galore 


The crew of the Ghost may not know it, but we do. They’re investigating signs of the Death Star’s construction. We had another reference to this in season 1 when they were trying to stop kyber crystal shipments. It seems that the promise of Rebels having a strong connection to the OT is really coming to fruition. There was also the mention of uprisings on Onderon, a nice callback to a planet that was featured in The Clone Wars, though that was against the Separatists. The people of that world always seem to be fighting against oppression, much like Ryloth. Rex also mentioned being involved in operations on Geonosis during the Clone Wars.


The mystery of the fate of the Geonosians is particularly interesting to those who have been reading the Darth Vader comics. We know what the Empire did there, though not in great detail. It’s been said that Geonosis and it’s fate will be revisited on Rebels. If you want a preview of that, check out some early editions of Vader.


sleeping with the enemy


Possible Defection 


Even though some didn’t seem to like the idea of humanizing Agent Kallus, I am all for it. We get to see that not every member of the Empire is just a heartless agent of evil. Also, hearing about all the intel our crew have been receiving and past successes by the rebels, there’s got to be more than one Imperial mole working with the cells. It would be cool to see an Imperial slowly turn first-hand. The key here is the fact that Kallus did still go back to the Empire, though with a seed of doubt planted in his mind. That he made switch sides on his own volition rather than just being captured by the Rebels, makes things more interesting.


rescue has arrived


The Dark Side 


Bonding Perhaps a Touch Too Quick


I’m gonna chalk this one up to the running time of a standard Rebels episode. I know the idea of two enemies being thrown into a situation where they are forced to work together is nothing new to shows of many a genre. These kinds of stories often end with not much changing, except perhaps a new-found understanding of one’s rival. Sometimes though, they end up profoundly changing a character dynamic profoundly. In this case, it could still go either way.


With things leaning towards Kallus possibly defecting, it felt that the sea-change in perception came across a bit too abrupt. I’m not saying this one needed to be a two-parter, but perhaps a montage that showed several days had passed might have worked better. I’m not sure that would have worked though, as the search area for both Rebellion and Empire was a small one.


geonosis ambush


Zeb’s Smarter than That 


I thought it was strange that Kallus would have to be the one to bring up the idea of climbing the pillars. Even though Zeb is often portrayed as the muscle of the crew and clearly not a nuclear physicist, he’s not an idiot (antics with Ezra aside).


geonosian moon creature


Parting Shots 


As I stated in the beginning, I’m shocked that this is being considered a filler episode by some. It’s definitely a potential game-changer. Not only did we get hints at a possible future defection, more about the Death Star’s construction was also put forth, in addition to some solid character development for both Zeb and Kallus.


On the Death Star front, though we’ve only had two references so far in two seasons, I suspect this is going to start becoming more and more a key plot point in the story going forward. Season 3 will probably visit this topic more heavily. The show is meant to lead nicely into Episode 4, after all.


pod to geonosis moon


For those who haven’t liked the pacing of this season, I feel you. Even though I think that a lot of the episodes will pay off in the end, I do think that the over-arching plot pieces could have been distributed more evenly. Any show in a serialized format, with such an extensive mythology, always has a difficult balancing act in keeping fans intrigued, while still handing out little pieces of the puzzle bit by bit. That being said, the last 5 episodes are shaping up to be a wild ride.


What did you think of this one? Do you like seeing the other side of Kallus? His possible defection? How do you see the Ghost’s crew’s involvement with the Death Star playing out? Are they doing a good job in fleshing out the character’s backstories? Sound off in the comments below or at the Cantina.



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39 thoughts on “SWNN Review: Star Wars Rebels – The Honorable Ones!

  • February 27, 2016 at 8:25 pm

    Synopses of the last 5 eps were up earlier today @ makingstarwars. Looks like Maul might be the ‘apprentice’ referred to in ‘Twilight of the Apprentice’ and not Ahsoka…it’s possible he could be the element that balances the big fight between Kanan, Ahsoka + Ezra vs. Inquisitors (2) + Vader…?

    • February 27, 2016 at 8:43 pm

      Or it can even indicate the beginning of Ezra becoming Maul’s new apprentice.

      • February 27, 2016 at 9:32 pm

        Gets Ahsoka off the hook anyway (probably) if Vader winds up taking down Maul…

        • February 27, 2016 at 11:33 pm

          I think Maul and Ashoka will take on Vader

          • February 27, 2016 at 11:46 pm

            Question is: Does Maul see Vader as an imposter, squatting in ‘his’ rightful seat as Sidious’ apprentice, OR – is he over the whole Sith thing altogether, and just a rogue element / gadfly at this point?

            (And are those Jedi Temple Guards w/ yellow sabers of the real variety, or spirits?)

          • February 28, 2016 at 3:38 am

            He probably hates Sidious now, since Sidious tried to kill him and murdered his “apprentice”.


          • February 28, 2016 at 7:39 pm

            maybe but when clone wars ends we see Maul at the mercy of Sidious. i can’t see Sidious letting him go after that. 15 years have passed since clone wars and ROTS so i really wonder how he s still alive

          • February 29, 2016 at 12:06 am

            That storyline was continued in the Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir comic. It was originally intended to be a season 6 arc. It’s canon as well, the only Dark Horse comic with that distinction. It’s an entertaining read with a couple important plot points involving both Maul and Mother Talzin.

          • March 1, 2016 at 3:56 am

            i didn’t know. thx for the precision. i will look for it in my country

        • February 28, 2016 at 5:35 am

          Vader vs Maul..now that’s something I never thought I’d see in action (outside of the EU) and it now being possibility..holy shit that gets me excited lol

    • February 27, 2016 at 9:46 pm

      Vader wants to use Ahsoka to find other surviving Jedis. He’s not planning to kill her.

    • February 27, 2016 at 9:50 pm

      It also seems like they will find a new rebel base…

  • February 27, 2016 at 8:42 pm

    Didn’t like how they conveniently wiped out the Geonoseans, but besides that it was ok.

  • February 27, 2016 at 10:01 pm

    i loved the references to Pitch Black in this episode, and it was a remake of an old movie about one alien and a human commander both enemies and lost on an unknow planet. don’t remember the name though

    • February 27, 2016 at 10:12 pm

      ‘Enemy Mine’ w/ Dennis Quaid / Lou Gossett Jr.

    • February 27, 2016 at 10:35 pm

      and probably ten or so episodes of star trek. 😉

      • February 27, 2016 at 10:50 pm

        …or ‘Hell in the Pacific’ w/ Lee Marvin & Toshiro Mifune playing opposing / shipwrecked soldiers from US + Japan

  • February 27, 2016 at 10:33 pm

    the only problem i have with what they are doing with kallus is that it seems to be happening pretty fast. he’s been the most fanatical of the villains so far(outside of tarkin and vader), so his doubts seem a little of out left field. on the plus side anything to thin out the bad guy roster(and give us more of the inquisitors) is welcomed.:)

    • February 28, 2016 at 10:44 pm

      Agreed, he’s never seemed to have “honorable” be part of his personality until this episode. But I do like him a lot better as a more conflicted character than the straight up cartoon villain he was before.

  • February 28, 2016 at 3:22 am

    Loved it. Best stand-alone episode of season, possibly of series. Excellent character development. Looking forward to Kallus struggling with the light…

  • February 28, 2016 at 3:31 am

    I wish Rebels would start rolling out episodes in 4-episode arcs. It would fix some of that “too fast” character development you brought up.

    • February 28, 2016 at 5:44 pm

      Imagine the bitching about filler then. No thanks.

      • February 28, 2016 at 8:34 pm

        Hey, if they could use that time to actually put in some interesting, even mildly-important story, I don’t think anyone would mind.

  • February 28, 2016 at 9:44 am

    the rock that web found that they used to keep warm I suspect is from the Death Star they were trying to build. I think Kallus will have it analysed and it will lead him to the death star. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was him that informed the rebels of its existance.

    • February 28, 2016 at 7:33 pm

      yup, very nice theory. iwait when all will be connected.

  • February 28, 2016 at 9:45 am

    pretty sure the geonosians being wiped out is referenced in Tarkin. The emporer wanted then silenced

  • February 28, 2016 at 10:06 am

    I’m really not trying to be rude, but this article is so horribly written that I couldn’t even make it halfway through. I literally gave up from frustration. Whoever wrote this desperately needs a proofreader. It’s so poorly constructed that I nearly gave up on just the first two sentences alone. I’ll try to give the benefit of the doubt by blaming it on extreme sleep depravation. Like I said, I’m not meaning to be rude. I could care less if maybe a comma was or wasn’t used correctly, but the very first sentence is an incomplete sentence. The second sentence basically reads “While it may be the case that isn’t necessarily the case.” I mean come on guys! You can do better.

    • February 28, 2016 at 2:38 pm

      Thanks for the feedback. I normally go over the articles more carefully. However, you hit the nail on the head. I have been extremely sleep deprived of late. I went back through it and cleaned some things up. I appreciate the honest critique and will try to be more careful in the future. We value all of our readers and we don’t want to lose anybody due to a lack of attention to detail.

      • February 28, 2016 at 8:15 pm

        Thank you for the caring response. I absolutely meant no disrespect but felt compelled to comment. I do enjoy reading Star Wars news on this website and want the best for and from you guys since I have been following since it started.

  • February 28, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    My theory is that Kallus will be the one to tip the rebels off about the Death Star.

  • February 28, 2016 at 10:40 pm

    I was expecting this episode to be my least favorite of this half of the season, but I found it to be miles better than the Cham episode, which I found to be very disappointing. Though I must say I always thought that Kallus had more of a jerkish personality than was shown in this episode. While I like the possible future defection, it seemed like this episode portrayed him to be an honorable guy on the wrong side where as in all of the episodes before he seemed like an actual jerk, which seemed like a sudden change. But the episode was still really good.

  • February 29, 2016 at 1:47 am

    With all the talk of defection it occurred to me how much Kallus looks like General Madine from RotJ. With all his development in the EU now legends, perhaps Kallus and Madine are one and the same. He’s almost got the fake beard 🙂

      • February 29, 2016 at 5:52 pm

        Is Madine’s defection still canon? Even if so I could see Rebels using the defection story for Kallus and have him inspire otherwise to leave.

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