Spoiler Warning: The following review contains spoilers for “Secret Cargo” and for previous episodes of “Star Wars Rebels” and “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.”
Throughout “Star Wars Rebels” we have gotten bits and pieces of the rebellion shaping into what it is in “A New Hope,” and this episode takes one giant step even closer. Hera, Ezra, Zeb and Chopper are sent on a mission to escort high value cargo to a rendezvous point on Dantooine, which turns out to be no other than Mon Mothma herself. The crew travels on the Ghost along with the help of Gold Squadron to the point and come across Imperial forces on the way. Admiral Thrawn makes a short appearance in the beginning, predicting the exact route that Hera and company will take in order to avoid contact through a star nebula.
The action this episode was terrific, with the entirety of it being focused on space combat and a chase through the star nebula which gave off vibes of the asteroid sequence in “The Empire Strikes Back.” We get to see the Tie Defender come into play, which we saw a prototype of earlier this season when the crew got a hold of its plans in a factory on Lothal. The final run out of the nebula was probably the highlight of the episode, specifically the animation of the nebula’s flames engulfing the two star destroyers once ignited by the Y-Wing’s proton torpedoes. A reminder for the stakes and desperate nature of the rebels came when Gold Five sacrificed herself for the Ghost after the Tie Defender had locked on to it. The episode ends with a shot of various factions of the rebel fleet coming together over Dantooine, many of whom would be present at the battle of Scarif in “Rogue One.”
The easter eggs and connections to the films were riddled all throughout this episode, the first being the Tie Defender’s pilot was Vult Skerris who was first seen earlier this season when Sabine was sent to retrieve Wedge at the Skystrike Academy. Genevieve O’Reilly also reprises her role as Mon Mothma this episode, she first played the character in cut scenes of Episode III but got a much larger role of course in “Rogue One.” Like previously mentioned, Gold Squadron makes an appearance, including its leader Jon Vander who also appears in Episode IV and “Rogue One,” the latter being thanks to unused footage in “A New Hope” which was digitized and worked on to fit in last year’s film. A few minor appearances also included Bail Organa and General Dodonna who we see watching Mon Mothma’s broadcast to the entire galaxy. Also the episode ends over Dantooine, which is the planet the rebel base is on before Yavin 4 and the one Princess Leia mentions to Grand Moff Tarkin in Episode IV.
“Star Wars Rebels” has continued with big episodes this second half of the season and it looks like it won’t be slowing down at all for the final three. It was awesome to see Mon Mothma again as she leaves the senate and negotiations in exchange to become a larger figurehead in the forming rebellion. Next week’s episode appears to be a short breather as the comical duo of Chopper and AP-5 go undercover in some sort of Imperial base. If you like what you read here and want more “Star Wars” in your life, then check out “Star Wars Rebels” when it airs next Saturday at 8:30 pm on Disney XD.