STAR WARS REBELS: "One of our TIE fighters is missing!"

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Episode 103: “Fighter Flight”

[photos: Disney XD]

Due to the machinations of Chopper, Ezra and Zeb get themselves in a little tussle aboard the Ghost (Ezra and Zeb share sleeping quarters and Chopper removes the bolts from Ezra’s bunk, causing it to collapse on Zeb). Hera kicks them both off the ship for a supply run on Lothal (and a little peace and quiet for everyone else).

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As is their custom, they come in to direct conflict with the Empire fairly quickly, this time over a crate of exotic meilorun fruit (a personal request of Hera’s). The two of them get separated and Zeb soon finds himself into the cockpit of a stolen TIE fighter. He uses the TIE fighter to rescue Ezra from pursuing stormtroopers, which would be a perfect plan if Zeb actually knew how to operate the ship correctly. They flee the city from a very tepid Imperial response (as in there appears to be zero real pursuit).

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Meanwhile, some Lothans are being evicted from their farms by the Empire (they look like moisture farms, but we’re not given any explanation as to what kind of farms they are; the one depicted looks like Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen’s). They include an acquaintance of Ezra’s, Morad Sumar. The farmers refuse to sell, so the Empire packs them into prisoner transports, heading off to parts unknown. In their hot TIE fighter, Ezra and Zeb see a column of smoke rising from Sumar’s farm and they go to help. They bluff their way close to the Imperial convoy, but the head Imperial mucky-muck sees through their ruse fairly quickly.

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Ezra lands on the transport to free the prisoners while Zeb runs interference in the TIE fighter.  They free the prisoners, and escape with their skins and one meilorun fruit intact. The two ditch the TIE fighter and head back to the Ghost, which promptly departs Lothal, presumably to go steal something from somewhere else.

Throughout the episode, Ezra has various inklings of the Force that manifest to help him and Zeb escape.

The now standard “greater rebellion through theft” action plan continues apace.  Three episodes, three thefts…I think I know what’s going to happen in the 4th episode! Just kidding…it looks like the next episode involves a prison break…which we’ve already experienced this season, too!

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I was hoping when this show was announced that it would be less like Star Wars: Ewoks and Star Wars: Droids from back in the 1980’s, which were firmly aimed at children, and more like Star Wars: The Clone Wars. I mean that in the sense that I wanted the stories to mean something substantial in the greater Star Wars canon. Three episodes in and it definitely feels more like the former and less like the latter.

This is easily the slightest episode so far. Some would say “lightest”, but you can still be light-hearted with a purpose, which I don’t necessarily feel this was.  It feels like a filler episode.  The stakes I was hoping would be raised after last episode actually were LESSENED by this episode.  The most serious aspect of the show, the eviction of the farmers, is given no closure at all and the consequences of the rebels’ actions in freeing the farmers are blithely ignored as the Ghost heads back out into space.

Sabine continues to be the most under-utilized member of the team. She’s a Mandalorian, for Pete’s sake!  A master of physical combat! So what does she do?  She spends most of this episode making graffiti on the Ghost.  Then why the hell did they make her Mandalorian?

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The one thing I unabashedly like about this episode was the game of Dejarik that Kanan played on the Ghost while Zeb and Ezra were out. For the uninitiated, Dejarik is the game that R2-D2 and Chewbacca play on the Millennium Falcon where C-3PO tells R2-D2 to “let the Wookiee win”. The animators here, rather than cleaning it up, make it look just like the old vintage Claymation look of the game from the first film.

Woodchuck sez, “Check it out.”

[Star Wars Rebels web site at StarWars.com]      [Previous Recap – “Familiar Faces, Familiar Plots”]

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