[This is a review of Star Wars Rebels season 1, episode 2. There will be SPOILERS.]
Star Wars Rebels shines the spotlight on Zeb in this week’s episode, entitled ‘Droids in Distress’. Alongside our rag-tag group of misfits, some familiar faces from both the prequel and original trilogies make a welcomed cameo.
C-3PO and R2-D2 are easily one of the more popular duos in all of science fiction. Their escapades are well known, with R2 being the headstrong, but brilliant astromech droid and Threepio… Well, he does his best and is usually good for a laugh. Per the norm, the gold protocol droid has no idea what “secret mission” R2 is working on. Their banter is always a joy to watch, whether it’s in a live-action film, or in animated form. Since Anthony Daniels continues to do voice-over work for his legendary role, Threepio always feels authentic.
The next cameo featured Bail Organa, who was played by Jimmy Smits (Sons of Anarchy) in the prequel trilogy. His claim to fame is that he’s Princess Leia’s adopted father. It’s still too early to know how much of a presence the droids and Senator Organa will play on this series, but hopefully this will not be the last time we see them. After all, these are some of the key individuals responsible for the formation of the Rebel Alliance. We’ll just have to wait and see.
With all of these surprise appearances from old friends, it’s easy to forget that we’re still learning about this new crew led by Kanan Jarrus (Freddie Prinze Jr.). Rebels doesn’t seem like it’s in any hurry, as ‘Droids in Distress’ gives us a closer look at the intimidating Lasat honor guard, Zeb Orrelios. Fans of Nickelodeon’s hit series The Legend of Korra will know the voice of Steve Blum well, as he deftly gave life to the villain Amon in Korra’s first season. Zeb may not be a villain in Rebels, but Blum projects that same fierceness necessary to convey the complex inner workings of a tough guy who’s also vulnerable. That’s no easy task.
Zeb’s exciting Bo-Rifle dual with Agent Kallus was fun to watch, as the troubled Lasat tries to defend his people’s honor. It seems the only way to get a weapon like Zeb’s is to become an honor guard. Since Kallus is a villainous coward, he acquired his by less than honorable means. The Imperial agent is a menacing foe, but The Inquisitor is the bad guy we’re all wanting to see (after he was teased in the two-part premiere). Perhaps they’re saving him for later in the season?
With the focus of this week’s outing on Zeb, Bail Organa, and the droids, there wasn’t much time for Ezra to train with Kanan in the Jedi arts. Ezra did get in a nice force-push, which ended up saving Zeb’s life. According to Kanan, the young padawan’s training will begin “tomorrow,” or the next episode we assume.
With three episodes in the books for Disney XD’s new venture into the Star Wars Universe, how do you like the show so far? Does it capture the spirit of the original trilogy, or does it feel too much like the prequels? Stay tuned to see what adventures await.
Star Wars Rebels continues with ‘Fighter Flight’ next Monday @8pm on Disney XD.