[This is a review of Star Wars Rebels season 1, episode 7. There will be SPOILERS.]
Star Wars Rebels has given us our first ever "to be continued" episode with Ezra revealing some dark truths about his past. 'Empire Day' brings with it the show's most electric characters in an episode that will have you wanting more.
Seeing the Advanced Tie-Fighter on display (as part of 'Empire Day') was pretty cool, as was getting to see the schematics for the Tie-Bomber and new Walker models that are featured in The Empire Strikes Back. This celebration marks the 15th-year that the Empire has been in power, but for Ezra, this marks a much darker chapter in his life.
It was a nice twist to learn that Ezra and the Galactic Empire were birthed on the same day. His parents too, were greatly affected by this event, as we visit his old house on Lothal. Like their son, Ezra's parents were freedom fighters, perhaps giving voice to an early incarnation of the Rebel Alliance. The Rodian Tseebo hints at more secrets from the past, claiming that he knows what happened to Ezra's family. Do you think that his mother and father could be force sensitive too? Maybe one of them was a part of the Jedi Order? Hopefully we wont have to wait long to find out.
Ending this episode on a cliffhanger instantly gives 'Empire Day' a more dynamic feel, but it also sheds light on some weaknesses. The most significant of these issues is time. Rebels feels like it needs another thirty-minutes to stretch it legs, with the first half-hour not delving out enough of the goods. In a television landscape where animated programs are locked into this time frame, there's nothing that can be done, but in a perfect world, Rebels would excel to even greater heights if it ran for an hour each week.
With that being said, Rebels continues to be an engaging action-adventurer, bridging the gap between The Clone Wars and the upcoming highly anticipated Force Awakens directed by J.J. Abrams. Rebels has captured that old Star Wars mentality by just having fun. Sure, there are some somber moments, but this franchise doesn't seem concerned with midi-chlorian counts and other such nonsense. Creators Dave Filoni, Carrie Beck, and Simon Kinberg have gotten back to basics. How do you think the showrunners have handled this new journey into the Star Wars universe?
Next week's adventure will most likely take place immediately following the events of 'Empire Day', so what do you think are heroes are in for? Another duel between the Inquisitor and Kanan would be nice. Also, the fight scene at the very end had a Luke vs. Vader feel to it, while the Inquisitor was trying to get a lock-on to their ship. Surely this reviewer is not the only one who was waiting for a "the force is strong with this one" quote to come out.
Ezra and his new friends must find a way to escape the clutches of the Empire once again. Keep watching to see how it all plays out.
Star Wars Rebels continues with 'Gathering Forces' next Monday @9pm on Disney XD. Check out a behind the scenes look below: