Even More Thoughts on the Finale of “Rebels”…

Here we go. All my problems with the finale of the Star Wars: Rebels. Strap in, this might be a bumpy ride…

  • Timeline? Set-Up? Bueller? Bueller? I understand that, for whatever reason, it’s been determined by The Powers That Be that a lot of the expanded universe material (a lot of the expanded universe material) is to span extended periods of time, but…it’s honestly really annoying that it’s as vague as it is. I understand that they don’t want to fall into the trap that the old Expanded Universe had with everything being tied down to a specific date, but at the same time…when do these episodes take place? The season? Aside from vague references to “rotations” when they occasionally leave Lothal, time in Star Wars (and especially Rebels) is largely a shrug. I had to ask Pablo to make sense of it for myself–the episodes take place “within the same year” as the Battle of Yavin (so, sometime 1-0 BBY). Okay, wow, so that means we missed out on…the establishment of so much of the Rebel Alliance (including getting the X-wings, which is something a lot of us wanted to see). It’s already gone from the fairly ramshackle collection of ships seen in Season 3’s “Secret Cargo” to something more like the legitimate threat it is by Rogue One, where it has a civil government with ministries–and that’s all occurred off-screen. The execution of the plan itself seems fine, I guess, but how much time did they have to plan ahead? Was this all something that was set in motion when they first came to Lothal, or is it a backup only after losing those X-wings and without the backing of the full Rebel Alliance?
  • ReBelS iS a sHoW FoR kiDS.” I obviously don’t fully disagree with this–it’s a show produced for/by Disney XD, after all, and Lucas himself famously declared that Star Wars is “for kids.” But “A Fool’s Hope” really tooled with the idea of how kid-friendly the show is, in my opinion, with having the stormtroopers be so brutally attacked by the wolves. (Couple that with the fact that stormtroopers are killed so often and so horrifically by the show generally, including Ezra causing one to commit suicide way back in the Season 3 opener…yeah…) The “kids show” defence is one often used as an argument against gore in the show or killing off the main characters–the first point, sure, for the most part, but the second? Nah. That’s absolutely a cop-out thing to hide behind, and it didn’t save Kanan, did it? (My previous–and loud–advocating for main character death didn’t mean I expected or wanted a needless bloodbath; such things can only really work if they serve the story, as Kanan’s death arguably did.)
  • Everybody Loves Ezra. Seriously–when did everyone decide to fall in love with Ezra? I guess most of it is “We feel empowered because he’s a Jedi,” but some of it felt overexaggerated, like Hondo’s line. I get that Hondo is fond of Ezra, but “For that boy, there’s nothing I would not do”? Really? You had no trouble fucking Ezra and the rest of the Spectres over every other chance you had, hahaha. So much so that Ezra was distant and over Hondo’s bullshit the last time they got together.
  • Pryce. I liked Pryce in the Thrawn novel–honestly, I’d call it Pryce/Thrawn because she’s such a prominent part of the book. I felt she was framed in much the same way as Phasma has been recently, a survivor who (in the end) is just looking out for her own interests and her own path to power. I didn’t think she was actually that loyal to the Empire…maybe things have changed, or she’s like Phasma–she sticks with the Empire because they’re the best bet? I guess?
  • The Plan. Now that I think about it, I have grave problems with the execution of the plan. I know the Empire is evil and everything, and ostensibly the Capitol City dome is probably only staffed by Imperial troops of various kinds…but really, the plan is to trick them all into one place and blow them up? Madre de Dios.
  • Perrgill ex Machina. I don’t love this use of the perrgill, but…it’s really interesting. This is my smallest gripe. I do really feel like they’re reminiscent of the eagles in Tolkien’s work, though. I wonder if the leader is named Gwaihir?
  • Unanswered Questions and Unearned Happy Endings! “The attack we all anticipated never came.” Wait–what? Exsqueeze me? The Empire that has spent four seasons of a show hunting a crew of six around the galaxy, including putting their greatest tactical mind on the case…didn’t retaliate for the losses at Lothal? Let’s do some basic math, and see what the Spectre Rebels’ damage was, okay? Okay. (We’ll leave the amount of surface troops out of it for now, because I don’t know how many troops were garrisoned on Lothal.) If you count the ships in the blockade in “A Fool’s Hope”–let’s just keep this to the Star Destroyers–that’s five, if you add in Thrawn’s flagship the Chimaera, that’s six…let’s make it easy and leave it at six total, assuming that two ships from the blockade followed him down to the surface. According to the numbers from Wookieepedia, sourced from Ultimate Star Wars, an Imperial-class Star Destroyer has a whopping 46,785 personnel on board–do you see how ridiculous this is going to get? I doubt all the Imperials in orbit were killed, but the potential for Imperial casualties (injured and/or dead) numbers 280,710 people…and that’s just the Star Destroyers. Now, I’m not trying to say that the Imperial losses themselves are unrealistic–no, what remains unrealistic to me is that this is barely scratching the surface of potential Imperial losses that day…but I’m supposed to believe they did not retaliate? Suspension of disbelief isn’t even possible on this scale, at least not for me. The only thing that I can rationalize is that they did return, they just didn’t attack. They blockaded the planet from further out in the system, paranoid that the Lothalites might be able to destroy their ships again, and contained the situation well enough that the freedom of Lothal wasn’t widely known. (I’ll need to vet this further, but apparently Del {or someone in Battlefront II} makes reference to hoping Lothal is liberated, making me think this head-canon of mine is the case.) I don’t know if I can explain how taken out of the story that sentence made me, haha.
    • Kallus. This guy got off too easy. “He hadn’t destroyed the Lasat people”…or, at least, not all of them. Just the vast majority of them. Yuck.
    • Sabine and Ahsoka. Uh…so did Mandalore actually get fully liberated during the course of the series, just…almost entirely off-screen? That is lame if that is the case. Equally perplexing to me is Sabine…staying on Lothal, I guess? I hope that gets explored some more. Her going off with Ahsoka…eh, fine…but what’s up with Ahsoka? Did she come back and aid the Rebellion at all–the Rebellion she helped form? Or did she just…hangout somewhere? Again, need more answers here for me to make a judgment call, but it seems cheap to leave these threads open.
  • Jacen. I don’t really dislike anything about this, other than the name, which will surely be read as a coded “Fuck off” to angry Expanded Universe fans instead of the bone (I guess) it was intended to be. Also, he does look a little Oompa Loompa-ish, as my beautiful wife pointed out last night.
  • Rex. Blah, said what I wanted to say on that.

I want to end this by saying I loved Star Wars: Rebels. It has some of my favourite Star Wars moments, hands down. It also has a couple of my least favourite moments. This was really cathartic to write down.

As dismayed as this stuff left me feeling, I’d also say I’m optimistic for the future. I can’t wait to see what they give us next. 🙂

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