TV REVIEW: ‘Star Wars Rebels’ – ‘In the Name of the Rebellion’

Saw Gerrera returns to continue on the chase for the Empire's secret weapon, causing the Rebels to question if they are going far enough to accomplish their own goals.

| October 25, 2017

Spoiler Warning: The following review contains spoilers for “In the Name of the Rebellion” and previous episodes of “Star Wars Rebels.”

Image courtesy of Lucasfilm & Disney XD

The conflict between the Empire and Rebels has always been looked upon as a basic fight between good and evil, though with “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” and “Star Wars Rebels,” we learn it may not be as black and white as we thought. The character of Saw Gererra returns this episode and very much straddles the line between terrorist and freedom fighter. Reprising the character from “Rogue One” and last season is the very talented Forest Whitaker, who delivers a terrific performance as the original rebel. The episode is once again a two-parter like the premiere, which gives the story a lot of breathing room and more insight into what drives Saw.

In line with the serialized format for the season, the episode starts off with Ezra, Kanan, Sabine and Chopper rejoining the Ghost Crew after the events of last episode on Mandalore. We finally see Zeb and Rex, who give a warm welcome to the four on their new base of Yavin 4, which is of course the home of the Rebels in “Rogue One” and “A New Hope,” giving a hint as to how close we are getting to those films on the timeline. The Imperial defector Kallus also appears, sporting a new outfit that fits much better with his new friends than his old Imperial uniform. After a brief moment in meditation between Ezra and Kanan, a astromech droid projects a hologram of Saw Gerrera, who has some strong words to give Rebellion leader Mon Mothma. This turns into one of the most powerful moments the show has had, as Saw and his extremist views clash with Mon Mothma’s confident yet poised demeanor, which falters for a brief moment. Mon Mothma discusses how the man goes too far in dealing with the Empire and civilians, which corresponds to how even the Rebellion does not associate itself with Gerrera’s group of Partisans in “Rogue One.” During this discussion, we hear the alliance referred to as the ‘Alliance to Restore the Republic,’ the first time I believe we have heard its full name on screen.

After this altercation, the Ghost Crew set off on a mission for Mon Mothma to spike an Imperial relay to gain an upperhand for once, allowing them to go on future missions undetected. This part of the episode feels nostalgic for early seasons, as its only the original six on this mission, which hasn’t really happened since late in season two. This is welcome as we head further into the last season with the fates of our core characters really up in the air. After the mission goes awry with a surprise Star Destroyer showing up for inspection on the relay, Saw Gerrera comes just in time to rescue Ezra, Sabine and Chopper while blowing up the entire relay and cruiser as well. Their short moment of safety is broken though when Tie Fighters arrive, allowing Saw to take the three on his own mission as opposed to returning them to Hera, Kanan and Zeb on the Ghost.

Image courtesy of Lucasfilm & Disney XD

Saw takes the three to an Imperial station to be smuggled on to a cargo vessel supposedly holding a secret shipment for the Empire, leaving his second in command Edrio Two Tubes on the ship, another character featured in “Rogue One.” The group find a shipping container with Imperial prisoners, all of whom are power technicians claiming to be kidnapped after refusing to serve on a top-secret project for the Empire. With Chopper humorously leading the prisoner’s escape, Ezra is followed by Saw and Sabine to a locked door drawing him by a faint singing noise. This turns out to be a giant kyber crystal, a powerful conductor which is usually only associated with powering a Jedi’s lightsaber. Saw forces Ezra and Sabine to wait for the cargo ship to complete its hyperspace jump before making their escape, believing it will lead them to the super-weapon the kyber crystal is intended for. Arriving at only a Star Destroyer in empty space, Saw rigs the crystal to explode so that it can’t be used, along with the entire cargo ship and Imperial Destroyer. With Sabine and Ezra going their separate ways from Saw, they manage to barely escape the epic blast along with Chopper and the prisoners.

Image courtesy of Lucasfilm & Disney XD

This episode is certainly one of the best the series has put out, and Saw Gerrera plays a large part in that. Forest Whitaker plays a version of the character who quite hasn’t reached how insane he is in “Rogue One,” but still struggles in how far he goes to accomplish his goals against the Empire. He’s the first character to make the jump from animation to film in “Star Wars,” first appearing in a four part arc of “The Clone Wars,” and bringing him back to animation in “Rebels” has been exciting to watch. It’s interesting to think how drastically different his character might have been had his sister not died in “The Clone Wars,” an event which changed his outlook on how far he needs to go to protect those he cares about.

Part of what is so great in “Star Wars” is looking deeply into how it all connects, and there is no shortage of that in this episode, especially in regards to “Rogue One.” Guarding the kyber crystal are Death Troopers who are solely used in protecting high ranking officers such as Director Krennic and Grand Admiral Thrawn, and though this was not their first appearance in “Rebels,” they do finally feature their heavily modulated voices like we hear in “Rogue One.” When Saw does find the crystal, the one Death Trooper that escapes is able to contact the ships commander, warning him to alert Director Krennic, the antagonist of “Rogue One” and man in charge of overseeing the Death Star’s construction. One of the prisoners also mentions the cargo was being transported from Jehda, the Holy City in which kyber crystals are being mined and where Saw Gerrera ends up in “Rogue One.” Though Saw is hot on its trail, our heroes do not know and probably won’t find out the crystal’s use until “Rogue One,” where we see the rebels get their hands on the Death Star plans. If you need any more evidence on the crystals purpose, look no further than its color and explosion, which match perfectly with the Death Star’s laser. One more neat connection is Saw’s U-Wing, which bears the same black markings of his Partisans’ X-Wings on Jehda in “Rogue One.”

Image courtesy of Lucasfilm & Disney XD

After such a fun episode, I really hope we get to see Saw one last time before the series ends, which is possible given we still don’t know how he gets the prosthetic limbs and breathing apparatus in “Rogue One.” Saw adds a lot of interesting depth to the Rebellion, and though they may not reach his limits, they do realize they need to spur things on if they want to accomplish anything. Genevieve O’Reilly reprising her role as Mon Mothma is always welcome, and she does a great job at showing even her character has a weakness when faced with accusations from Saw. Next week’s episodes appears to be taking us back to Ezra’s home world of Lothal, which seems to have changed significantly since we last saw it. You can catch the two episodes when they debut next Monday at 9 p.m. on Disney XD.

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Category:Arts and Entertainment, Television

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