The penultimate episode of the first season of Star Wars Rebels begins, like many of the episodes this season, with an action scene meant to please fans of the original trilogy, wherein a memorable moment or situation from those films is revisited (or, since this takes place before those films, “previsited”) in a different context. “Rebels Resolve” opens with our heroes taking control of an Imperial Walker, and it’s no accident that we see Zeb (the stand in for the Wookie character) being placed in a similar situation that Chewie found himself in during the forest battle on Endor in Return of the Jedi. The rebels must abandon their captured walker fairly quickly however, without ever having gained the intelligence they need to find where Kanan is being held.
When their mysterious contact Fulcrum implores that the crew go into hiding after having sent their message (last episode) that got a lot of attention – not all of it good – Ezra convinces the Ghost crew to work behind Hera’s back and take steps that might lead to locating Kanan. After making contact with the crimelord Vizago (introduced early in the season) the rebels learn that surface-to-ship communications are being handled by courier droids.
Though the theme of of dissension in a group hasn’t really been tackled before in Star Wars, this show is a aimed at children and is beholden to a very limited running time, so the conflict that is set up between Hera and the rest of the group after they lied to her is not the dominant aspect of the plot, but it’s actually handled quite well just the same, and the episode has a good sense of pacing and purpose and is able to get right back to the action. This time, that action is carried by the unsung hero of the group, Chopper.
Yes, Chopper turns out to be quite the asset, and he’s bit more ruthless than we imagined. The crew play the switcharoo game, replacing one of the Empire’s couriers with Chopper. After hacking for the necessary information about Kanan aboard an orbiting ship, Chopper forces himself – along with four stormtroopers – out the airlock. He probably doesn’t feel too bad about it either!
One of the most surprising aspects about Star Wars has been the fact that droids all have distinct personalities, particularly the ones that resemble buckets or trash cans, like R2-D2. Chopper is stubborn and has an attitude. R2 is helpful if a bit too clever for his own good. And the courier droid that the rebels snag from the Empire: well, he’s got a personality too. He makes himself useful even on board the enemy ship. Losing him at the end of the episode was one of the biggest losses of the season. He was a real bright spot.
Kanan is not rescued in this episode (they’re saving that for the finale) but the rebels learn that he’s being held aboard Tarkin’s Star Destroyer which is stationed at Mustafar. We also see that his interrogation is being handled by the Inquisitor.
Yes: the pieces for a rousing finale are all in place…
My rating: 4.5/5