Star Wars Rebels Season 3: “Hera’s Heroes” Review


Rebels returns this week with a focus on Hera and her family ties. We go to Ryloth for the first time since The Clone Wars series, and Thrawn also makes his return to the show. What kind of impact did Thrawn have? Do we get more depth with Hera? Read below to find out!!!!!






What worked for me:


  • Grand Admiral Thrawn



So far, we have only received a glimpse of him from the season opener, but his presence alone was worth it. Legends fans will be happy to see Thrawn in action in this episode and no, I don’t mean in a Kung-Fu kind of way. I mean in the analyzing of the culture’s art sort of way. We get to see Thrawn in his full element and he indeed has a grander plan at work. He is calm, cool, and collected…for the most part. What I loved the most about this episode is seeing Thrawn show some emotion.



He’s respectful to Hera and the culture she had lived in. He even looses his cool at the officer who disrespects the culture/art of the Twi’leks. I wasn’t expecting that from him so soon and we get to see that Thrawn is a lot more complicated than I remember him being. To be fair, I have only read the comic book adaptations of the Timothy Zahn “Thrawn Trilogy”…so go easy on me.



  • Revisiting Ryloth



In the past, I have been HIGHLY critical of Rebels and the fact the show didn’t really go anywhere but Lothal. Season 2 remedied this for the most part and I am thankful that Season 3 is continuing this. I loved Ryloth from The Clone Wars series and I loved seeing it again here in Rebels. Obviously, this Rebels series can’t show off the more exotic parts of the Planet due to budget/time, but it didn’t matter to me. Hera’s home was a design that fell in line with all the other Galaxy’s palace structures. Keeping these structures different, but familiar, is a constant challenge in Star Wars. I think the show succeeded in that in this episode.



  • Scout Troopers



Normally, this would be a part of my “Quick Hitters” section, but I got a kick out of seeing this armor again. The more this show can reveal of what Empire has to offer only adds to the enjoyment of it. For the most part, I think this show has done a great job of balancing new and old armor/vehicles. The more the merrier.



What didn’t work for me:


  • The plot



Now, I understand that Thrawn has to be used a certain way in the first place. My main issue was with Hera’s motivation. She risks her life, her father’s AND her crew for a…family heirloom? She even brings this point up to Ezra when she is captured, saying it wasn’t smart. It felt out of character for someone who is a captain/leader of the Ghost. They could have found a different way to bring Thrawn back in or a better motivation for the Rebels to infiltrate Hera and Cham’s old home. Granted, this is more of a nitpick than anything.




Quick hitters:


  • The beasts that you see in this episode originated from the Ewok film The Battle for Endor. They became canon in The Clone Wars series, shown as originating from Ryloth. (I love this Ewok film to death, btw).




  • Chopper gets emotional looking at the old Y-Wing in which he was shot down, but I thought to myself…it wouldn’t look like the ANH version because Chopper was shot down in the Clone Wars. Did I miss something? See below.


crashed-y-wing b_y_wing_fighter



Four episodes in, Rebels is starting off stronger than the previous one. The smaller episodes seem better structured and more concise. Even with a weak plot, I really liked this episode. I come away just wanting more Thrawn. I know this won’t happen, but I would love an episode focused on him and not the rebels, showing more of who he is and how deadly he can be. There is that novel we are getting this April, but I’m a greedy man. I want it all.


You can follow me on Twitter @Hermann22
You can follow my Star Wars podcast @Blastercanonpod



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22 thoughts on “Star Wars Rebels Season 3: “Hera’s Heroes” Review

  • October 16, 2016 at 11:07 pm

    I want to know what happened to the Stormtrooper who managed to infiltrate the Ghost in his speeder bike? Zeb knocked him out and gave his suit to Ezra – and Hera and Ezra ended up using that speeder and suit to make it past the city gates later on. It’s a small thing but I would love to know that. Also, I want to know how important Ryloth is to the Empire. If I’m not mistaken I thought I heard Cham Syndulla or someone from his crew say the Empire was mining for something… but they never said what they were mining for. The family heirloom thing wasn’t so bad to me. Not only did it explain a little bit of Twi’lek culture, but how that would allow Thrawn to wise up to Hera – someone he was not expecting to show up for the heirloom. I assume had Hera not arrived, Thrawn would have learned more of her from Cham before they killed him. Hera coming instead intrigued Thrawn even more – knowing that she is a part of a Rebel cell.

  • October 16, 2016 at 11:21 pm

    I love the direction they are taking season 3 and believe they have learned from their mistake in the empty plotted fillers of S2. Thrawn is a fantastic villian and now non eu readers will get a chance to appreciate the man.
    Oh and I’m still on board for the whole Ezra becoming Snoke theory. I think his casual unrestrained turning to the dark is moving along brilliantly.

    • October 17, 2016 at 8:22 am

      It still felt a bit like plot filler, but at least this episode gave Thrawn some motives to his action. Heck, it had Thrawn in it.

      • October 18, 2016 at 6:45 pm

        And, truth be told, I found this one bit of deduction-based-on-art more convincing than ANYTHING in the Zhan trilogy.

  • October 16, 2016 at 11:50 pm

    the only solution to the Y-wing is, that they dismantled it just like the other ones, for the exact same parts. But mostly, it’s because of the design copyright.

    I am now interested in seeing the battle for endor. Seems enough interesting, with those creatures.

    • October 17, 2016 at 2:31 pm

      I’ll bet those panels fetch a pretty penny on the black market. They have to be valuable if they were completely removed from the Y-Wings at desolation station, too. They’re bombers, so they probably had some special composite to give them a bit of extra protection.

  • October 17, 2016 at 1:52 am

    Hera’s motivation in collecting the heirloom was her connection to her family, her dead Mum in particular. Still weak though, particularly as we’ve only really gotten one Hera specific episode previously, the one about Cham.

    • October 17, 2016 at 4:38 pm

      and the one where she was the first person to fly a B-Wing

  • October 17, 2016 at 2:51 am

    I got this idea for an episode… One of the rebels will dress up like an Imperial… they’ll sneak into somewhere, probably get captured, and miraculously escape…

    • October 17, 2016 at 2:32 pm

      they could also blow some stuff up in the process, chopper can get sassy at some point, Ezra cocky and the crew will defeat an insignificant imperial officer while the main nemesis waits till mid season finale to step in

      • October 18, 2016 at 6:49 pm

        I love it. Just one studio note – make sure NOTHING in the episode affects ANYTHING else in the rest of the season – our characters don’t grow or change at all, and we reset to the status quo by minute 22. Aaaaaaand…GREENLIT!

  • October 17, 2016 at 5:02 am

    They gave Thrawn a tick, and it’s one that is completely antithetical to his character. Other than that, they hit the character on the head and it was fun to watch him in action.

    • October 17, 2016 at 7:02 am

      what was the tick?

      • October 18, 2016 at 2:46 am

        He lost control of his anger. Enter plot device for how the Rebels will defeat him later in the season.

        • October 18, 2016 at 3:53 am

          ah yes, that was a little jarring.

          • October 19, 2016 at 12:30 am

            It’s a plot device. And I get that in the books he never really had a weakness. In the end he was surprised by what he believed was a subservient race and killed. Perhaps he never bothered to analyze the Noghri like he did his other adversaries. But this one just seems. Well, dumb.

  • October 17, 2016 at 7:44 am

    Can someone explain the y-wing differences to me?

    • October 17, 2016 at 7:59 am

      I do think that they put that version of a Y-wing into use before the end of the clone wars because I remember in episode 1 this season they mentioned the bombers they were stealing were from that era, and chopper was even hesitant about getting in one.
      I’m not sure how close the end of clone wars got to revenge of the sith, but somewhere in that time span they upgraded y-wings I guess

    • October 17, 2016 at 2:34 pm

      I think they are the exact same ships used during the Clone Wars and the extra paneling was removed at some point for some unknown reason (probably value of the material, or weight reduction for better atmospheric flight).

      • October 17, 2016 at 10:36 pm

        They are the same ships, with minor variations such as whether or not they had a separate gunner seat. The storyline in much of the EU was that the paneling was purely cosmetic, so the Rebel ground crews, along with many other groups, quit bothering to put it back on after repairs. It just got in the way, added to repair times, and did nothing to protect the fighter.

  • October 18, 2016 at 4:40 pm

    This initially seemed like it was going to be a “filler” episode. I was thinking to myself, “Okay, here we go again… into the ‘blah’ middle of the season with a background story on Hera, that will only be mildly entertaining.” But then Thrawn showed up and made it fun to watch. I was pleasantly surprised.

  • October 18, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    “but I thought to myself…it wouldn’t look like the ANH version because Chopper was shot down in the Clone Wars.”
    Same fighter, armor plating removed. Particularly crashed, it’s like a skeletal husk of what a Y/W is “supposed” to look like to Chopper.

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