[This is a review of the Star Wars Rebels season 2 premiere. There will be SPOILERS.]
In its season 2 premiere (according to Lucasfilm), Star Wars Rebels proves that time does not heal all wounds. For Kanan, this reality is especially true when the crew of the Ghost meets up with a few old Clone Troopers on a backwater planet named Seelos.
After their close encounter with Darth Vader in the thrilling one-hour special 'The Siege of Lothal,' Hera and Ahsoka Tano realize the rebels are not only going to need new allies in their fight against The Empire, but also a new base of operations. Thankfully, the former apprentice of Anakin Skywalker knows just the soldiers to help with such an endeavor.
For fans of the Clone Wars saga on Cartoon Network, you will surely remember Captain Rex who fought alongside Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Ahsoka in the war against the Separatist armies. While the years may have changed his features, the old soldier has lost none of his bravado. Cleverly outfitting an outdated Republic vehicle into a base of operations was genius. The battle-hardened Commander Wolffe and senile Gregor make this troupe one of the more entertaining ensembles in the Star Wars Universe.
The drama that makes this episode so entertaining is Kanan's constant reluctance to trust these "lost commanders." While speaking to Kanan, Ezra learns about the dark truth of Order 66 that has haunted the former padawan since he was a boy. If you've read Marvel Comic's series on Kanan, then you've seen exactly what he had to endure at the hands of the manipulated Clones. In their defense, Rex and his group all had their implants removed, which would have otherwise caused them to kill the Jedi they had once served. Looking back to the Clone Wars, there was a trooper named CT-5555, or "fives" for short, who learned of the Emperor's plans, but was sadly too late to help. Rex carries on Fives' legacy by refusing to help the empire.
Dark memories aside, there were also some funny sequences involving Zeb being used as live bait for the Clone's food. The hunt for the Joopa was a brilliantly animated scene, led by the crazed Gregor with Kanan and Ezra lending a hand. It's good to see that even when in doubt, Kanan stayed true to his team. Ezra's words to Rex about learning from a great Jedi were moving, as Kanan becomes more of a father/big brother figure to Ezra with each passing episode.
Away from the planet Seelos, Ahsoka is on her own mission after her encounter with Vader. When leaving the crew, she simply says that there are "questions that need answering," but what exactly does that mean? Is there any chance that she knows Vader is Anakin? Perhaps this is assuming too much, but it seems likely that she and Vader will fight at some point in the near future. Either way, it's a relief that executive producer Dave Filoni decided to bring her back into the fold. The universe wouldn't be the same without her.
'The Lost Commanders' was another solid entry into the Rebels library, but it would have been nice to see the ladies get a little more screen time. Fortunately, Filoni has promised that Sabine and Hera will have their own arcs this season, so we won't have to wait long to see them in action. If you watched the action-packed season 2 trailer from this year's New York Comic-Con, then you saw Sabine coming into contact with what looked like Mandalorians. Learning more about her backstory should make for some great episodes.
What did you think of this episode of Star Wars Rebels season 2, and where do you think Ahsoka went to search for answers? Stay tuned to see what happens next.
Star Wars Rebels continues with 'Relics of the Old republic' next Wednesday @9:30pm on Disney XD. Watch a behind the scenes look at 'The Lost Commanders' below: