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SPOILER Angelman's Dark Times content viewing extravaganza

Discussion in 'Star Wars: Rebels' started by Angelman, May 29, 2021.

  1. Angelman

    Angelman Servant of the Whills -- Slave to the Muses
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    Hi all!

    Due to the unexpected success of my PT&TCW extravaganza thread

    (https://thecantina.starwarsnewsnet.com/index.php?threads/angelman’s-pt-clone-wars-viewing-extravaganza.58229/ ), I’ve decide to continue the chronicles of me and my gf’s current SW chronological mega-marathon. Next up is the period between the PT & OT, where we will review S:ASWS & SW:Rebels. Should this, too, prove a worthwhile undertaking for all y’all peploids of the Cantina, I’ll probably come back and do the Kenobi & Andor & Bad Batch shows at some point as well (although we’re not waiting for those shows to air at this point).


    First off, Solo :D


    Solo: A Star Wars Story
    Prologue (Corellia): Essential. 13 BBY. In media res opening and main character introduction (very Riders of the Lost Ark-like in feel and what it accomplishes). We are treated to the underbelly of Corellia where street urchins survive by doing crime for Lady Proxima. Han & Qi’ra escapes, almost; Qi’ra is captured along with Han’s dice, and Han must go it alone.
    There are so much great stuff going on here, and I hope we get to see more street life on Corellia stories at some point. And, using the dice as the emotional hook is genius. And, I don’t care what people say, the way Han gets his surname is brilliant!

    Act 1 (Mimban & Vandor): Essential. 10 BBY. Boom! Battle of Mimban! Becket’s crew is introduced exclusively through show-don’t-tell techniques. Han is too smart for his own good and ends up in the pit with “the Beast”. Hilarious introduction of Chewbacca and a fantastic show-don’t-tell set-up of their entire relationship in one funny and clever scene. A short, quiet moment follows that has more emotion and warmth than the entire PT put together, and boom! We’re off with the main plot! The train heist is an intense 13-minute action sequence where every moment advances the story and characters; masterful action writing, this! The job goes badly, everyone’s worse for wear, and two crewmembers died… Han & Chewie HAS to join Becket’s crew now. After surviving their meeting with Dryden Vos, the gang goes to see Lando about a ship.
    A whole lot of storytelling is crammed into this 48-minute act, and none of it is forced, none of it relies on heavy-handed exposition, none of it is boring.

    Act 2 (Kessel): Essential. The second try at the big job. Kessel is interesting; it has flavor, emotional impact, and story-craft weight to it. Qi'ra gut-punch-returns the dice to Han (brilliant!). Everything grows steadily worse, until the band flees by cover of a slave uprising; L3-37 sadly dies. This entire escape-to-the-Falcon scene is a Tour the Force of action sequence brilliance; it has great action with some butt-kicking camera work, and it pulls the heartstrings hard. The scene of Chewie carrying Lando carrying L3-37 onboard the Falcon? Yeah… right in the heart. And of course, this being the 2nd Act, everything goes to poop from there. The band escapes Kessel (Lando being too distraught to fly the Falcon, which gives Han his chance), only to run into the Imps. And then we make the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs (or whatever it is) with the help of L3-37’s navigational databank. The stakes and tension keep ramping up and ramping up, and when they finally escape the maelstrom, you’re exhausted with worry and excitement. Oh, and Becket hurt his thumbs…
    Puh! What a ride this film is!

    Act 3 (Savareen): Essential. Plot twist, the bad buys are the good guys, and the supposed good guys were the badies all along. Still, a deal is a deal and someone has to fix things with Dryden Vos. Becket bows out, and Han conceives of one of the most insane triple-cross plots in all of Star Wars; never tell this guy the odds, that’s for sure! Amazingly, things go more or less well for or space pirate, and then he even shoots first. But Qi’ra breaks his heart and flies to Dathomir to se a Maul about a kick-butt sequel plot.
    I originally had some reservations about Han helping to fund the proto-Rebellion, seeing as he doesn’t give a damn about them in ANH, but I’ve come to terms with the writing here. This is a different Han, and he doesn’t begin to turn bitter until Qi’ra – after all he’s done to save her and be with her (the needy man-baby that Han is) – betrays Han for the Crimson Dawn. I’m like it! Han becomes a MUCH more complex character with this movie to inform the OT Han.

    Epilogue (Numidian Prime): Alright. Han wins the Millennium Falcon in a game of sabacc.
    Ok, this one feels a bit odd in the movie, but… it is actually important that it is here. First of all, this moment will feel odd wherever it was placed, and not showing it would feel equally odd, so you have a catch 22 no matter what you do. Secondly, we need Han to have the Falcon at the end of this film, to give some kind of closure to S:ASWS and to prevent this from having to be resolved at the beginning of the next one, which would have been even odder and necessarily taken up a lot of useless space in the sequel. Nope, it has to be here and it’s done in a fun way, so; cool.

    Conclusion: This is a superb Star Wars film; and that’s a hill I’m willing to die on.


    --- Double Post Merged, May 29, 2021, Original Post Date: May 29, 2021 ---


    Next up, Rebels. I've tried to add a little more structure to the show by dividing it into acts and such. Rebels aren't fit for the self-contained arcs structure of TCW, but I've tried to do a little bit of that sort of thing anyway. (It is possible one COULD divide some scattered episodes into overarching arcs -- especially the Force & Inquisitor-heavy ones -- but I haven't done so this time around and instead just stuck to the usual episode order)

    SW: Rebels Season 1
    Season 1, Prologue – Show introductions


    Prologue Shorts + Spark of Rebellion
    SW:R 101A – The Machine in the Ghost
    : Alright. Ghost crew & ship introduced in an in media res TIE pursuit. Clever intros and excitement!
    SW:R 101B – Art Attack: Alright. Sabine decorates some TIEs and taunt some Stormtroopers. A bit dumb, but short and fun so it doesn’t ruin the larger piece.
    SW:R 101C – Entanglement: Alright. Zeb teaches some Stormtroopers a lesson about bullying. Unimportant but fun.
    SW:R 101D – Property of Ezra Bridger: Alright. Ezra observes Ghost downing a TIE, goes to help (and pick-pocket) the TIE pilot, and demonstrates Jedi reflexes to escape when the pilot opens fire. Solid introduction.
    SW:R 101 – Spark of Rebellion Part 1: Alright. Ezra is drawn to Kanan and observes the Ghost crew engaging in some quality rebelling, and the boy gets entangled in the mess. The Ghost crew trades stolen good with Vizago for info on enslaved Wookiees, and goes after the Imp. Gozanti slave ship. Boom! A Star Destroyer appears. Very fine getting-the-gang-together episode, but ultimately not terribly important (beyond the introductions aspect).
    SW:R 102 – Spark of Rebellion Part 2: Alright. It’s a trap! Imp Gozanti have no slaves. Fleeing, Zeb leaves Ezra on the Star Destroyer. Ghost crew returns to save him, and Ezra learns real Intel on the Wookiee slaves. Kanan brandish his Jedi weapon. ISB Agent Kallus notifies the Grand Inquisitor.
    Conclusion: This introduction achieves a lot of things, and in sleek and clever ways to boot. There’s some quality writing at work, and every season 1 plot, arc, and conflict is set up right here. That said, if you know SW:Rebels by heart, there’s no real need to watch these introductions again.


    Season 1, Act 1 – Additional set-ups and introductions

    Five Random Episodes (not an actual arc, just “loose” stories to set stuff up)
    SW:R 103 – Droids in Distress
    : Alright. The gang steal crates off Minister Tua to sell to Vizago. Turns out the crates contain horrible disruptor weapons used to exterminate the Lasat people, and Kallus was the Imp to give the order. Ezra saves the day by instinctive Force Pushing and everyone escapes. R2D2 & C3PO are along for the ride, too. A relatively lighthearted episode with some VERY dire implications; genocide exposition softened by fun banter and comedic timing. Not bad.
    SW:R 104 – Fighter Flight: Alright. Hera grows tired of Zeb & Ezra arguing and sends them on a fool’s errand. They learn to cooperate, steal a TIE, rescue some farmers (these come back in season 4!), and build rapport. Cool team-work and the uber-violent Zeb is quite funny! On the surface, a throw-away filler episode, but this one actually sets up a lot of minor plot points and arcs for later.
    SW:R 105 – Rise of the Old Master: Essential. Apparently, Jedi Master Luminara Unduli somehow survived Order 66. Kanan & Ezra goes on a rescue mission to a prison on Stygeon Prime, but it’s a trap. Unduli IS dead and the Grand Inquisitor used her corpse to lure Kanan & Ezra in (Jesus Christ!). Luckily, they escape by the skin of their teeth. A very dark episode which demonstrates character vulnerabilities and backstories in a great way, ramping up the stakes and adding much context to the show. It’s a bit heavy on the convenient miscommunications-to-create-needless-conflict thing, but a great episode nonetheless. Also, the Inquisitors are the worst!
    SW:R 106 – Breaking Rank: Alright. Ezra infiltrates Lothal’s Imp Academy to learn location of a kyber crystal. He meets Jai Kell & Zare Leonis, plus the Grand Inquisitor. A cool worldbuilding episode, although the training course thing isn’t very interesting to re-watch. I also noticed some excellent “camera work” in this one, which is weird for an animation.
    SW:R 107 – Out of Darkness: Meh. Sabine is pissy for not being let in on all the Rebel secrets. Acting on Fulcrum’s Intel, Hera takes Sabine with on a mission to an Anaxes asteroid to pick up some supplies. Things go pear-shaped and Hera & Sabine bonds over hardship. Sabine is extremely annoying in this one and the premise of the episode’s resolution (H&S bonding) hinges on a conflict (pissy Sabine) that is neither set up earlier or will ever become a thing in SW:Rebels again. Shoddy work, this...


    Season 1, Act 2 – Escalations and Complications

    The Tseebo Arc

    SW:R 108 – Empire Day
    : Alright. Finding Ezra’s parents’ old friend, Tseebo the Rodian, hiding in the ruins of the Bridger family’s home, the gang learn what happened to Ezra’s folks. Also, Tseebo stores important Intel in his brain implant thingy. Kallus & the Grand Inquisitor hunts them throughout. To be continued… More backstory that ups the stakes considerably.
    SW:R 109 – Gathering Forces: Essential. Kallus and Grand Inq continues to pursue the gang. Ezra flies into anger upon learning that Tseebo failed his parents. Tseebo help everyone escape, but the Grand Inq tracks them through hyperspace. Kanan & Ezra takes the tracker and leads Kallus & Grand Inq to the Anaxes asteroid, away from the Ghost. Ezra & Kanan face off against the Grand Inq, but Ezra taps into the Dark Side to summon the big mama-Fyrnock to save the day.
    Conclusion: Great and powerful story that advances character arcs, adds more context, and leans dark. Cool stuff.

    Two self-contained, non-arc Episodes
    SW:R 110 – Path of the Jedi
    : Essential. Concerned with Ezra using the Dark Side last episode, Kanan brings the boy to Lothal’s Jedi Temple for testing. Much drama ensues as both experiences “Luke in the Degobah cave”-type visions and tests. Both characters grown and learn, and Ezra builds himself a lightsaber. An absolutely fantastic episode, this.
    SW:R 111 – Idiot’s Array: Alright. Lando wins Chopper in a game of Sabacc and Ghost crew are forced to do Lando a favor to get Chopper back. They all trick Azmorgian out of some puffer pigs and smuggle them past Imp blockades. A very funny episode wherein Hera really shines.

    The Trayvis Arc
    SW:R 112 – Vision of Hope
    : Essential. Lothal’s “Senator in Exile,” Trayvis, is setting up a secret meeting of rebels. Ezra contacts Zare Leonis, now a spy within the Empire, who confirms that it’s all a trap with Trayvis as bait. Ghost crew rescues Trayvis from the trap, but the self-proclaimed rebel senator is secretly working with the Empire. An exciting and tense episode, with some great visuals and well-written plot.
    SW:R 113 – Call to Action: Essential. Using the attention Trayvis orchestrated, Ghost crew plans to broadcast a message of truth and rebellion. Meanwhile, Tarkin arrives on Lothal to handle the local rebel problem. Tarkin assumes command as the Grand Inq straight-up murders the officers he’s replacing (again, Jesus Christ!). Figuring out that the rebels seek access to the city’s comms tower, Tarkin prepares a trap. Ghost crew infiltrates the tower and send their message of hope, but Kanan is captured and Tarkin destroys the tower.
    Conclusion: An excellent little arc, displaying exciting cat-and-mouse action as the Imps and rebels tries to out-smart one another. Great character work and very strong drama.


    Season 1, Act 3 – Resolutions

    Showdown on Mustafar Arc – Series Finale
    SW:R 114 – Rebel Resolve
    : Alright. Fulcrum tells Hera to lead her cell into hiding. Ezra refuses and gets Intel from Vizago (now owing him one) that since the comms tower is down the Imps are relying on courier droids*. Meanwhile, after failing to extract info on the Galactic Rebellion from Kanan through torture, Tarkin ships Kanan off to Mustafar. Chopper, disguised as an Imp courier droid infiltrates the Imp ships and learn about Kanan’s fate. Another solid episode, setting up an even better one.
    *This episode demonstrates one of the great strengths of this show; the cohesive writing where beats and events comes back to shape later stories. Instead of each episode/arc being self-contained, here they keep informing episodes and arcs to come. The comms-are-down-so-Imps-use-courier-droids story beat is just one example of this; the writing in this show is great and consistent, allowing an actual story to develop and transpire as seasons move on.
    SW:R 115 – Fire Across the Galaxy: Essential. The gang goes to Mustafar, sneaks onboard Tarkin’s Star Destroyer (Sovereign), using the TIE stolen in Ep.4 as a distraction. Ezra frees Kanan but the two encounters the Grand Inq in the Sovereign’s hyperspace chamber. Ezra is knocked out, but Kanan kick’s the Grand Inq’s butt. Hanging off a bridge, the Grand Inq warns Kanan that he has unleashed something far worse than death (Vader’s attention?) and falls to his death. Chopper saves the day by calling in Rebel reinforcements (Bail Organa & Fulcrum). Onboard the Ghost, Fulcrum is revealed to be Ashoka Tano. Finally, on Lothal, Darth Vader himself arrives to deal with the local incursion…
    Conclusion: Very exciting and tense stuff. Just straight-up awesome Star Wars.


    Afterthoughts: Rebels season 1 is some solid stuff, and it’s even better upon re-watch, I find. If you remember the show well, however, you could skip the first half, - minus episode 105 (Rise of the Old Master) which is a must-see – and jump right into the plot kicking into high gear with the Tseebo arc. But doing so could cause you might miss out on some great set-ups that are paid of later, some as late as in season 4. I had a blast revisiting this season.
     
    #1 Angelman, May 29, 2021
    Last edited: May 29, 2021
    • Great Post Great Post x 2
  2. MandoChip

    MandoChip Hate me later. Work now.
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    Another great thread @Angelman, I love this stuff.

    She needs to play Jedi: Fallen Order! I'd recommend playing on easy if you're just in it for the story.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  3. Angelman

    Angelman Servant of the Whills -- Slave to the Muses
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    I'm not much of a video gamer, but we did play J:FO (on easy) and liked it A LOT! The story was quite cool and powerful (and we absolutely need a live-action visit to Dathomir!).

    I found the game play absolutely infuriating, though. Every time -- EVERY SINGLE TIME -- the story ramped up the tension and tightened the tale, you were forced down some stupid slide-leap-wallrun-swing-wallrun-swing-slide obstacle course that completely killed the moment when you inevitably failed 3 or 4 or 17 times.

    But yeah, I loved the story and would definitely want to play a sequel as well :)
     
    #3 Angelman, May 29, 2021
    Last edited: May 30, 2021
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  4. Angelman

    Angelman Servant of the Whills -- Slave to the Muses
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    Let's do SW:R season 2 as well :) (The rest will have to wait for a while)


    SW: Rebels Season 2
    Season 2, Act 1 – Re-starts & New Beginnings


    The Siege of Lothal Arc
    SW:R 201 – The Siege of Lothal Part 1
    : Alright. In media res, Ghost & Phoenix Squadron (which Ghost is now part of) steals containers off some Imp Gozanties, but an Imp Light Cruiser arrive to complicate things. On Lothal, Darth Vader leads efforts to root out rebels, and Ghost returns to help the locals. Senator Tua contacts Ghost and asks to be smuggled off-world in return for list of rebel sympathizers. Kallus intervenes and Tua dies; Vader observes from afar. Vader holo-contacts Kallus and is terrifyingly awesome. A cool set-up episode with some very strong writing (good lines and fun action).
    SW:R 202 – The Siege of Lothal Part 2: Alright. Kanan & Ezra are chased by Vader (who is just fantastic here). Sabine helps them get away. Ghost crew bargains with Lando to get them off Lothal. Eventually, they escape, but Ahsoka feels Anakin’s presence in a space battle with Vader. Vader holo-calls Palpy, informing the Emperor that he believes “Anakin’s apprentice” is alive and aiding the rebels (this is basically the “Son of Skywalker” holo-call redux). Palpy orders Vader to dispatch fresh Inquisitors to catch the bunch. Another strong episode with important story-points well made.


    Seelos AKA Return of the Clones Arc
    SW:R 203 – The Lost Commanders
    : Meh. Ahsoka sends the gang to find Rex while she investigates the Sith Lord problem. The old clones doesn’t want to get back in the fight, but the Kallus arrives to force their hand. A funny enough episode (and Gregor is proper insane!), but ultimately just a re-introduction of Rex with some dumb action to fill the time.
    SW:R 204 – Relics of the Old Republic: Alright. Kallus leads a walker assault. The gang aboard the clone walker hides in a huge sandstorm; Kanan & Ezra guides the rest through the force. A good episode with some interesting new problems to solve and strong character developments.


    Standalone 7th Sister & 5th Brother Introduction “Arc”
    SW:R 205 – Always Two There Are
    : Alright. Ezra, Zeb, Sabine, & Chopper goes to loot an old Republic medical base for supplies. 7th Sister & 5th Brother comes hunting. Ezra is captured and interrogated by 7th Sister who wants information on Ahsoka, while Sabine is captured by 5th Brother. Zeb & Chopper gets to save the day. A dark and intense episode (there’s so much torture in Rebels!), if a bit overwritten, especially with the constant comical reliefs.


    Season 2, Act 2 – Story Expansion and World-building
    (The S2 2nd Act is basically all fillers!)​


    Second Act Fillers “Arc”
    SW:R 206 – Brothers of the Broken Horn
    : Alright. Ezra joins Hondo on a pirate mission, but they’re lured into a trap by Asmordigan; Chopper saves the day. Ezra discovers Vizago being a prisoner on Hondo’s (previously Vizago’s) ship and helps Vizago regaining his ship (thereby paying off his debt). A filler episode for sure, but it’s so very, very funny (Hondo is the man!).
    SW:R 207 – Wings of the Master: Alright. The gang tries to be good Samaritans to the Ibaar people but gets interrupted by Kallus. Ezra, Chopper, & Kanan goes to gather more supplies while Hera leads the rest to check out a shipwright’s newest project. Turns out the shipwright, Quarrie the Mon Calamari, has built a prototype B-wing. Armed with a B-wing and fresh supplies, the gang comes together and saves the Ibaarians. Another filler episode. Nothing wrong with it, but no real reason to re-watch this one.
    SW:R 208 – Blood Sisters: Meh. Sabine, Chopper, & Ezra runs into bounty hunter problems. Turns out the hunter, Ketsu Onyo, is a former friend of Sabine’s; they both escaped the Imp Academy together. After some fighting, Imps show up and force everybody to team up. An uninteresting filler episode, although it introduces Ketsu Onyo, but it’s a very minor character.
    SW:R 209 – Stealth Strike: Alright. Ezra gets captured when an Interdictor Star Destroyer (first chronological appearance in SW?) cuts the gang off in space. Kanan, Chopper, & Rex goes to rescue Ezra, but the boy rescues himself. Much running about and people rescuing one another. Everyone escapes. Yet another, mid-season filler episode, although this one actually covers some important beats with the introduction of the Interdictors.
    SW:R 210 – The Future of the Force: Alright. 7th Sister & 5th Brother kidnaps some Force Sensitive children. Much baby-rescuing, running about, and lightsaber action. Again, we have yet-yet another mid-season filler, although one with some interesting context for the Inquisitors and their mission.
    Conclusion: You can safely skip these five episodes (unless you love Hondo, in which case 206 is a must-see).


    Return to Lothal Arc
    SW:R 211 – Legacy
    : Alright. Ezra believes his parents might be alive. The gang returns to Lothal to look for them, finding only Ryder Azadi who exposes some backstory. Ezra has another vision of his parents. A character development episode for Ezra, it isn’t particularly important.
    SW:R 212 – A Princess on Lothal: Alright. Senator Bail Organa sends three cruisers to assist Lothal. Turns out his trusted agent is Leia. She helps them steal her ships for the rebellion. In some ways, this is another filler, but the episode gives us important insight into how the Rebellion works (and acquire ships), and Leis is very cool. The writing is a bit weak, though; in one scene it is established that stealing the ships is impossible, and in the next scene the gang steals the ships, with nothing really having changed…


    Concord Dawn “Arc” AKA Standalone Rebel Mission Episodes
    SW:R 213 – the Protector of Concord Dawn
    : Alright. Ghost crew flies to the Mandalorian world of Concord Dawn to negotiate safe passage for the Rebel Fleet through this supposed neutral territory. Turns out these Mandos, and their boss – Fenn Rau – are pro-Empire. Much fighting and arguing and negotiations and such. While a standalone, this is actually a pretty cool episode with some stellar character development for Sabine and additional exploration and expansion of Mandalorian stuff.


    Lasat, Purrgil, and Ryloth Filler “Arc”
    SW:R 214 – Legends of the Lasat
    : Meh. Ghost crew comes to the aid of some refugees, but finds them already captured by Imps. Actually, Hondo sold the refugees out – a few remaining Lasat – and soon enough he sells the gang out, too, but warns Ezra, allowing them to escape with the refugees. Hondo helps the Imps track Ghost. Aboard the Ghost, the Lasat priestess conducts a mumbo-jumbo ritual that shows the way to her people’s legendary secret homeworld, Lira San. More Imperial trouble (caused by Hondo) occurs, but Zeb does some space magic to lead the Ghost to Lira San. This episode, while better than I remembered it, is ultimately dumb, and the Lasat space magic is lazy and convenient. Nah, skip this one. (Spoiler, it never becomes important again).
    SW:R 215 – The Call: Alright. Ghost steals ship fuel from a Mining Guild asteroid refinery. Purrgil arrives and leads the gang to the refinery. Ghost crew battles the MG folk and gets help from the Purrgil, before seeing the beasts hyper-jump away. Not a bad episode, it has some interesting logistics issues (fuel) and introduces the Purrgils.
    SW:R 216 – Homecoming: Alright. Ghost crew seeks the Free Ryloth Movement’s help in bolstering their little Phoenix flotilla. The FRM is lead by Cham, Hera’s father, who betrays the rebels as he deems his goal the only one that matters. The gang tries several times to steal a fighter carrier ship, but Cham sabotages them each time. In the end, they get Cham to cooperate and the rebels win the day. An ok episode; Hera’s big exposition story.
    SW:R 217 – The Honorable Ones: Meh. Ghost arrives at Geonosis to investigate some Imp factory in orbit, and finds the entire planet wiped out. They’re ambushed by Kallus. Kallus & Zeb ends up in an escape pod and crash lands into an icy cave on the Bahryn moon. The two stubborn-headed brutes must learn to work together to escape the cold and space dinosaurs. This episode has some sweet sentiments, and it showcases what Zeb’s arc in SW:R is (yes, he definitely has an arc): Zeb’s journey is not one of personal discovery, but of relationships; that’s where he grows. Ultimately though, the episode is boring and largely important (except, it sets up Kallus’ change of heart as Zeb makes him see the Rebels with new eyes). No real need to watch this again.


    Season 2, Act 3 – Climactic Finale
    (Interesting, contrary to typical Star Wars writing, S2 2nd Act does NOT leave our heroes/the plot at a low-point
    from which we must claw our way to victory. That’s a bit odd…)​


    Third Act Filler “Arc”
    SW:R 218 – Shroud of Darkness
    : Alright. After a run-in with 7th Sister & 5th Brother, Kanan, Ezra, & Ahsoka visits the Jedi Temple on Lothal, seeking Master Yoda’s guidance. Kanan gets Grand Inq exposition, Ahsoka is accused by Anakin of turning him into Darth Vader, and Ezra is told to go to Malachor. And then 7th & 5th arrive, with the ensuing fight destroying the Lothal temple. A decent episode with lots of set-up and exposition to cover tracks and push the story onwards.
    SW:R 219 – The Forgotten Droid: Alright. Chopper is left to guard Ghost while the gang does some undercover rebelling. Chopper gets distracted by a shiny Astromech-leg to replace his bad one, and stumbles into his own little adventure aboard a huge bulk freighter. There, he befriends the Imp protocol droid AP-5, thereby growing the crew. AP-5 reveals the location of an unknown world, Atollon, where the gang goes to set up a new base. A funny, yet slightly annoying episode, made all the better by AP-5 being very amusing.
    SW:R 220 – The Mystery of Chopper Base: Alright. Having established “Chopper Base” on Atollon, the gang discovers there’s a Krykna problem there. Much running and chasing. Ezra discovers that he cannot attune to these creatures, but Sabine realizes the Krykna shuns sensor markers; Krykna problem contained. This episode is excessively action oriented, frequently spending time on action beats that goes nowhere and achieves nothing (like when Sabine falls off a cliff for no story purpose and without any consequences). A big flashy fighting with much color and movement, like what TCW was often all about.


    Twilight of the Apprentice Arc
    CW 221 – Twilight of the Apprentices Part 1
    : Essential. Ezra, Kanan, & Ahsoka proceeds to Malachor where they find a Sith Temple, Maul, & 8th Brother. Maul befriends Ezra so they ca access the temple and recover a Sith Holocron together. Kanan & Ahsoka captures 8th Brother, but then 7th Sister & 5th Brother arrive, and soon everybody joins the party for a big melee. The Inqs withdrawn, Kanan wants to run, Ezra wants to continue; Maul warns everyone that Vader is coming…
    CW 222 – Twilight of the Apprentices Part 2: Essential. Maul & Ezra takes a lift to the temple apex; on the way, Maul lectures the boy on the strength of the Dark Side. Meanwhile, Kanan & Ashoka deals with 5th & 8th Brothers. Nearing the top, Maul feels Vader coming and sends Ezra ahead while he (Maul) takes on Kanan & Ahsoka; Kanan is blinded (but luckily, as ANH establishes, Jedi don’t need sight to fight). Ezra opens the temple and is offered Dark Side power but declines. Darth Vader arrives… Vader kick Ezra’s butt (destroying his lightsaber). Ahsoka vs. Vader; epic duel! Much drama as Ahsoka de-masks Vader and doors close just as the pair reengages. The Sith Temple is collapsing and everybody but Ahsoka, escapes. A very climactic ending to the season, emotional and tense, although it’s all a bit convoluted; they’ve written themselves into a corner where there’s too many characters and too many moving parts, and only this fetch-quest could tie it all together. That said, the ending IS very powerful.

    Conclusion: Shockingly, one could skip most of this season! Upon re-watching this show, you could probably just do Siege of Lothal (201-202), Always Two There Are (205), Shroud of Darkness (218), and Twilight of the Apprentices (221-222) and be no worse for where! (+specific fillers if you're into the clones or Hondo or Leia or whatever). That's... not great.

    Afterthoughts: Contrary to critic opinions, I find SW:R S2 weaker than S1. It’s longer, for one thing, with a small plot (i.e. losing Lothal to the Imps, introducing Inq Brothers & Sisters, and a climactic finale with Maul & Vader thrown into the mix) bulked up with filler episode after filler episode. Many are interesting in their own right (and some set up big future plot events), but the season fails to keep the pressure up and to tell a cohesive story like S1 did. In short, this season is loosely written and lacks direction. A + must be given for how incredibly powerful and frightening Vader is in this show; the way he moves, his poses, every shot; perfection!
     
    #4 Angelman, May 30, 2021
    Last edited: May 30, 2021
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