Star Wars Rebels: Gathering Forces (S1Ep8)- Review

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Hello, everyone, hope you had a wonderful holiday. I did, but I was out of town dealing with snow and shoddy WIFI so this review is coming at you just a bit late, so without further ado lets take a look at the winter finale of Rebels, an episode called Gathering Forces.

 

RECAP

Immediately following the events of “Empire Day”, Ezra is still a bundle of raw nerves with Tseebo on board and although Sabine questions Ezra’s reaction (or lack there of) to the info that Tseebo may have information about his parents but Ezra still does not seem to be interested in the Rodian or whatever knowledge he holds. Luckily, attention is diverted from Ezra when the crew realizes that the Empire has tagged the Phantom with a tracking beacon.

Kanan decides to use this opportunity to distract the Empire long enough for the crew to get Tseebo and his vital information on the Empire to the safety of Hera’s contact known as Fulcrum.

Kanan takes Ezra knowing that the Inquisitor (who took the bait and followed the Phantom) would be able to sense them both on the ship and the two discuss Ezra’s overwhelming feelings of anger and fear. Kanan discusses Ezra’s previous inability to connect with the Frynocks and asks Ezra what he is afraid of pondering this Ezra replies that he doesn’t know. Kanan pushes him further reminding him that his fear kept him from connecting with the creatures. Finally, Ezra admits that he is afraid of the truth, he uses the Force to contact Tseebo and tell him he is forgiven, and Ezra is finally able to connect with the Frylocks having let go of his fear.

Back at the Ghost, Hera is ready to hand Tseebo off to Fulcrum for hiding a Tseebo asks if he will ever see Ezra again he also informs her that the only reason he had downloading so much Imperial information was his search for Mira and Ephraim Bridger. She asks Tseebo to tell her what info he collected on the Bridgers and she agrees to relay it to Ezra.

Kanan and Ezra prepare for battle when the Inquisitor and his forces arrive. Only for the Imperial forces to be quickly dispatched by an army of Frylocks, yet the Inquisitor remains impervious. Kanan goes after the Inquisitor only to be easily dispatched. Ezra retrieves Kanan’s lightsaber and goes after the baddie himself, only to be quickly disarmed and thrown over a cliff edge. The Inquisitor begins monologuing, getting into Ezra’s head, assuring the boy that everyone he loves will die. Ezra opens himself to the force and uses his fear and anger to connect with a giant Frynock and commands it to attack the Inquisitor as Kanan fearfully watches nearby. Ezra collapses and Kanan rushes to the boy’s side, collecting both the boy and his lightsaber and fending off a last ditch effort from the Inquisitor, he manages to get back to the Phantom.

In the safety of the Phantom Kanan speaks to a panicked Ezra who tells his master “he doesn’t feel right.” Kanan admits that he has failed Ezra and that the boys fear and anger has left him vulnerable to the dark side.

The two return to the Ghost and where Hera rushes to tell Ezra the news she has about his parents only to be interrupted by Kanan informing her that the boy needed some time to himself. Sabine instead approaches the boy with a holodisk she recovered from his house, containing a picture of Mira and Ephraim, which appears to cheer Ezra up. Sabine then wished him a happy birthday before leaving Ezra to enjoy his gift.

MY TWO CENTS

Maybe it was the fact that it took me a few weeks past airdate to watch the episode, or perhaps it’s that I won’t see a new episode until January but I have to say I was a little underwhelmed. I had hoped for so much more given that we were left with this great cliffhanger of an enthusiastic, “Omg what happened to Ezra’s parents!” Only to have this episodes cliffhanger be a way less enthusiastic, “Omg, what happened to Ezra’s parents…”

Not to say this episode didn’t have any interesting plot development. Personally, from day one I had been wondering how long it would take until we started glimpsing Ezra going Dark Side. This kid has a lot of pent-up anger and mistrust after all (and well, we all remember what happened to that Anakin guy.) Yet, I had still hoped for something a little more- well more.

The Inquisitor still appears to be taking his lines straight from the Dark Side handbook of overused dialog (i.e. I can teach you to harness your anger and fear, the dark side will always be stronger, blah blah).

To be honest, I really don’t feel like this episode did anything beyond what Empire Day (a superb episode mind you) had already said or set into motion. It mostly felt like filler and repetitive filler at that. I have hope for January though. I know that we have to be leading to something good with the Mira and Ephraim Bridger story or I don’t feel like the writer’s would be drawing it out this long. I have many speculative theories about where that is going (most of them crazy and nonsensical) but any answers one way or another will have to wait until next year.

Star Wars Rebels returns from holiday hiatus on January 5th. Until then have a wonderful holiday and we will see you then.

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