[Review] Star Wars Rebels: ‘Wings of the Master’

Yesterday, Disney X.D. aired a new episode of Star Wars Rebels and it was written by Stephen Melching (writer from award-winning series Star Wars The Clone Wars), Stephen was not the only member of the TCW team to be in this episode, there was also Dee Bradley Baker voicing Captain Rex and the return of Corey Burton in Star Wars! Corey voiced Cad Bane, Count Dooku and a dozens of characters in TCW, in this rebels episode, he voiced Quarrie and an imperial officer.

It’s very Star Wars-y to start with a battle (ex: Episode IV A New Hope, Episode III Revenge of the Sith, TCW 05×17 Sabotage) and Wings of the Master starts with a little space battle! What I liked about it is the rebels lost this battle which don’t happen a lot, it’s usually a rebels victory. Of course at the end of the episode they return to attack the Imperial blockade and they won but a defeat from time to time show that the rebels are facing some real troubles. Speaking of space battles, I think that Star Wars Rebels needs to do some improvement on them. Their space battles have a slow pace, it’s very static comparing to the space battles we have in the movies and in TCW. Hopefully as we go further in the series, the space battles will be improved.

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The episode was centered on Hera Syndulla, it’s important to have episodes centered on female characters, the last female character centered episode in Rebels was in season 1 with Out of Darkness which was a long time ago but it seems with season 2 there are more episodes like this (next week’s episode is also a female character centered episode with Sabine Wren!). TCW had a lot of female character centered episodes and it’s good to see that Rebels is following this path with season 2, female characters are as important as male characters. With this episode, we finally got some bigger background on Hera’s story – why she became a pilot. The scene where she revealed it was well shot and had a great dialogue pronounced by Vanessa Marshall. It was nice to get a reference to TCW when she talked about the Ryloth battle. I really loved this line “Even when … things are at their worst, I feel like I’m at my best.” Hera also got a higher rank in this episode – she became the leader of the Phoenix squadron! I’m really looking forward to see her leading this squadron of A-Wings into battle!

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We were introduced to a new character this week – Quarrie (the name is to pay tribute to Ralph McQuarrie). He was an interesting and fun character (it was him who brought the comic relief in the episode), I really hope we’ll see him again in future episodes. Since, we mentioned about McQuarrie, I think it’s a good time to talk about this. Rebels is inspired a lot by McQuarrie’s work and picks designs from his work – like the protocol droid and this time the astromech droid and other stuff. However, when you look at McQuarrie’s originals drawings and Star Wars (the saga in general) and how it is, you see McQuarrie’s concept arts gave some basis for the visuals in Star Wars but between his work and the final SW visuals there has been a lot of changes. The protocol droids he designed were to me not Star Wars-y and including them in Rebels was not a good move especially as they used it a lot while C-3PO’s protocol droid design was used just for C-3PO. My point is it seems that Disney likes base their work on McQuarrie’s concept arts while it’d be more interesting to base it on Star Wars itself as it’s a SW canon content. (I’m not saying that they shouldn’t be inspired by McQuarrie’s work but there’s a limit between inspiration and take as it is McQuarrie’s designs.)

Ezra, Ezra, Ezra, I was disappointed by him after being a more interesting character since the beginning of season 2, he came back to the annoying and not funny character from season 1, trying to fool around with Chopper for trivial things that really didn’t need to be in the episode. I really can’t explain what happened here but he was not the center of the episode so it’s not really important.

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This episode brought a famous starfighter from Return of the Jedi – the B-WING! This episode gave us the origins of this fighter called at the time of Rebels the Blade wing. In the movie, we just saw this starfighter but didn’t get a real look at its abilities and with Rebels, we got to know what the B-wing is capable of and it’s a very very powerful starfighter! I really liked the orange painting on this prototype. It was interesting to see the audience being introduced to it and see Hera testing it, taking time to show us the ship. Hera also got to wear a rebel pilot helmet, I hope we can see her more with it in other episodes. Hera owned this episode and it was amazing! One last thing, I’d like to add about pilots was that in this episode we finally got other designs of A-Wing pilots and not just the same pilot from The Siege of Lothal! Some concept arts from season 2 showed there were also female pilots so I’m hoping that we’ll get to see them in the upcoming episodes too!

9/10 An amazing episode, Hera-centered episodes should happen more often because she’s one of the most interesting characters of this series!

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