The latest episode of Star Wars Rebels seems to lift an important story point from this summer’s gargantuan Guardians of the Galaxy film. During this episode, which sees the crew of the Ghost smuggling weapons from the Empire in an attempt to earn a quick profit that would help in sustaining their little operation, there is a moment where Zeb, the resident brutish alien, comes face to face with an Imperial soldier who ordered the massacre of his race. They fight, and Zeb, despite his rage, is bested in the fight, much the way vengeance-fueled Drax was bested by Ronin halfway through Guardians.
This story point is more integral to overall plot this time, whereas Drax’s subplot served merely to add a backstory to that character. When the crew learns that these plasma rifles they were smuggling were contributing factors in the massacre of Zeb’s race,they agree to destroy the cache instead selling it. It might sound relatively simple as far as moral dilemmas go, but it works nonetheless.
Zeb’s defeat also gives Ezra the chance to shine and be a hero, as he Force-pushes Kalluh, the Imperial soldier with whom Zeb is determined to defeat away from Zeb so Kanan could save his life and drag him away from the battle. In the battle’s coda, Kanan says that he will indeed teach Ezra to hone and focus his skills with the Force.
What most people might remember about Droids in Distress, however, is the return of C-3P0 and R2-D2 to Star Wars, but seeing them here makes this galaxy feel a bit smaller, especially since we are just starting to learn about new characters. The droids’ role in the episode is interesting, as they seem to be working with the Empire to deliver the weapons. As it turns out, they were actually working with Bail Organa, and since R2 recorded the entire adventure, Organa’s interest in the Ghost crew has been peaked. Perhaps his involvement will lead to the formation of the Rebellion that we remember form the original episode.
Despite some familiar (yet no less fantastic) action scenes throughout the episode, starting with a Star Destroyer chase lifted from The Empire Strikes Back, to a planet-bound battle with some proto-AT-ST walkers, the episode doesn’t quite have as strong a story as the pilot, but perhaps it has a stronger story than Guardians of the Galaxy, depending on who you ask.
My rating: 3.8/5