Compared to Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Rebels has been a small scale series. That’s not meant as an insult because, right out of the gate, Rebels became the cohesive and purposeful series that it took The Clone Wars a couple of years to become. It’s just that Rebels was content to keep the action small and the locations in a minor galactic neighborhood.
Now, everything has exploded both metaphorically and literally and the Rebels have found themselves in a much larger and more dangerous universe. It’s a change that is both catastrophic and welcome as the series has taken characters that we love and put them in an uncomfortable place.
It’s given the show such a wonderful opportunity for drama and conflict and has instantaneously made this new season a must watch (assuming that the opportunity isn’t squandered).
But let’s not talk about what might be, let’s talk about what is be. “The Siege of Lothal” finds our favorite rebels adjusting to the new reality of being a part of a small army in the fledgling Rebel Alliance. They’re uncomfortable being part of a larger group and some of them, Kanaan included, want to go back to being on their own even though they know it’s impossible.
Meanwhile, none other than Darth Vader himself with Jame Earl Freaking Jones along to provide the voice arrives to deal with the insurgency and the Rebels know that there is simply no way to beat him.
So, this was huge… cinematic and wonderful. “The Siege of Lothal” took the ball from the last season finale and ran with it giving us not only a great episode, but also an episode that fans were clamoring for and, in a world where it seems that episodic television holds back from giving fans what they want for stupid reasons, it was fun to see Rebels spoil their audience just for the heck of it.
Seeing Darth Vader – with James Earl Freaking Jones’ voice – in action again made me giddy. It was like seeing an old friend after so many years and the weight he brought to the episode was undeniable. Not only was this a welcome return for the character, but also such an amazing sequel to the events in The Clone Wars and Revenge of the Sith. I simply cannot wait for the inevitable confrontation between Vader and Asoka.
Rebels rocked it with this one. Not only was it a wonderful fan service, but it was just an outstanding start to the season. My only gripe – a minor and selfish one – is that it looks like Vader will not be a regular this season. I really wish that wasn’t the case, but like I said… selfish reasoning.
I’m definitely hooked for what comes next.