Star Wars Rebels: Season 4 Episode 15+16: Family Reunion - and Farewell
What is it ? : Ezra is in the turret of the Ghost with the picture of him and his parents, and he is talking to them, he tells them how he has found a new family, and that everything which is about to happen is because of what they started. Hera overhears, and tells him that they are bringing her up. Governor Pryce is brought to them by Kallus, who Pryce berates about having given up a promising career. Under threat from the Loth Wolves, she agrees to take the Rebels to the Dome using her codes, declaring that it won't make a difference.
They take two Imperial Patrol Transports to the Dome, with Pryce using her codes to give them landing permission, and fight their way to the command centre, cutting communications within the base, and using Melch as a distraction to seize control. They issue order 13, commanding all Imperial forces to return to the dome and prepare for evacuation from the planet.
Back at the Rebel encampment, Wolffe, Mart Mattin and Citrago Vizago are preparing the Ghost to rescue the Rebels from the Dome, when they are ambushed by Rukh, who knocks them unconscious and steals an Imperial Patrol Transport, using it's communications systems to inform Thrawn of the situation. Thrawn tells Rukh to enter the Dome and disable it's shield systems.
The Rebels prepare the dome for launch, to take it and all the Imperial forces it now contains from Lothal, planning to detonate it once it is clear of the planet. But they detect Thrawn's Star Destroyer escorted by two others taking position overhead, so if they launch now they will hit the Destroyer and the explosion will kill everyone in the capital city.
Thrawn demands that Ezra hand himself over, or he will open fire on the city killing thousands, they discover that Rukh has disabled the shields, and to give them time to get the shields back under their control, Ezra sneaks out of the control room while Sabine distracts everyone, takes one of the Patrol Transports and heads to Thrawn's Star Destroyer.
As he boards the destroyer, Stormtroopers disarm him, putting him in binders and taking him to Thrawn. Thrawn discusses the Jedi and how they always clouded their decisions with their moral code, not making the decisions they needed to make to win. He tells Ezra that Lothals destruction was not planned, but is now certain, and that he has tried to rescue some of the art and culture of the world including the works of Sabine. Ezra tells him that he never created the art, never earned it, and doesn't deserve it or Lothal, but Thrawn points out that none of that matters since he has the power to take it.
Back at the Rebel base, Vizago, Wolffe and Mart awaken, and realise that Rukh is gone and has likely warned Thrawn, Mart tells the others that Ezra gave him a special mission if that occured, and they must go into orbit and send out a signal for help on Frequency Zero, which Wolffe tells him no one uses any more, asking who they are calling for help from. But Mart tells him that he wouldn't believe him if he told him.
Thrawn escorts Ezra to a chamber where the remains of the Jedi Temple have been rebuilt, and a Hologram of the Emperor awaits them, clad in white with his appearance looking younger and unscarred from his battle with the Jedi.
Palpatine dismissed Thrawn, and speaks to Ezra, apologising for not being there in person, but he is busy running the galaxy. Ezra tells him he knows who he is and what he is, but Palpatine feigns bemusement at Ezra's lack of gratitude over the effort he has made in bringing the Temple here. But Ezra condemns the Emperor for destroying the Temple, imprisoning his people, and murdering his parents.
An apologetic Palpatine responds that it was Ezra who chose to destroy the Temple. He adds that the actions of the rebels require a firm hand to ensure there is order on Lothal. As for his parents, Palpatine offers Ezra "what might have been and what yet may be." Palpatine gestures for Ezra to enter the structure. Ezra sees a light at the end of the structure and hears his mother Mira calling for him. The Emperor tells Ezra that his parents are waiting for him to open the door and rejoin them. He tempts Ezra with the offer of taking up the "life that he deserves."
Aboard the Dome, Hondo, Rex, Gregor, Melch, Zeb and Kallus are trying to retake the Shield controls, fighting with Rukh and some Death Troopers as well as the normal Stormtroopers. Rukh and Zeb fall into the generator pit, and both Melch and Gregor are hit by blaster fire, but Kallus reaches the controls and can reactivate the shields. Zeb bends some metal steps around Rukh's ankle, trapping him in the pit as the energy for the shields builds killing him. Rex grieves over a dying Gregor, who is glad to have been involved in a battle that they chose to be part of. Likewise Hondo grieves over Melch, but soon changes his high opinion of the Ugnaught when he realises that he isn't that badly wounded, telling him he is lucky to be part of Ohnaka's gang.
The shields spring back into life in the nick of time, as Thrawn's fleet opens fire on the city beneath.
Aboard the Star Destroyer, Ezra is tempted by the image of his parents, but says he felt them die, the Emperor undoes his binders, telling Ezra that he knows there are infinite paths and possibilities, and that he can choose to be with his parents. Ezra's hand hovers over the controls to open the doorway, but he tells his parents that they will always be part of him, and uses the force to pull the temple down around him.
The Emperors hologram flickers between the false image he has been projecting, and his true form, and Ezra tells him he has a new family and doesn't need anything from him. The Emperor summons guards, and three royal guardsmen race into the room subduing Ezra and lifting him into the air. As more Stormtroopers enter, Ezra pulls the rocks from the temple towards the guards smashing them out of his way.
Vizago, Mart and Wolffe are aboard the Ghost, racing back into Lothals atmosphere, amazed at the massive creatures escorting them, huge Purgil fly alongside them, and begin attacking the Star Destroyers hovering over Lothal. Their massive bodies smash the hulls of the Star Destroyers, and Thrawn watches as his vessel becomes entwined in their tentacles. Ezra enters the bridge of the Star Destroyer, he tells Thrawn that he has lost but the Grand Admiral thinks that it is only a momentary lapse. But tentacles grab through the bridge windows capturing Thrawn. Thrawn warns that whatever happens next will happen to both of them; Ezra says it should be that way as the Purgil tentacles begin to glow blue. Hera and Sabine realise the Purgil are about to jump to hyperspace, and call for Ezra, but he tells them he must see this through to the end.
Thrawn growls in pain and rage. Ezra tells the other rebels that it is up to them and to remember that the Force will always be with them. The purrgil disappear with the Chimaera into hyperspace as the Spectres, the other rebels, and Pryce watch in shock.
With the skies clear, Hera launches the dome as planned, and the Ghost comes and collects them all. Once safely airborne, Sabine activates the detonators she has planted inside the Dome while adding, "For Kanan and Ezra." The Dome's engines explode. Defiant to the end, Pryce proudly stands alone in the command center as she is consumed by the blast.
Hera tries to plot all the hyperspace trajectories along Ezra's last known course, when Chopper projects a hologram of Ezra. He explains that there were several paths ahead in front of him. While Ezra admits that this was not his preferred path, he says he had to do it because that was something Kanan taught him. He tells Zeb he can have the top bunk back for now. Ezra tells Hera that he left a meiloorun fruit in her cabin, assuming that they are still her favorite. He tells Sabine not to forget, he's counting on her, and he adds that they were the best family he could wish for and he looks forward to come home one day, ending the message.
Rex warns them the Empire won't let them keep the planet without a fight, and Kallus hopes that the Rebel Alliance will send help now they've won their victory. But Zeb tells him that they fought this battle without the Alliance, and they don't need them, and as the people of Lothal cheer the victory, Hera tells them if the Empire wants a fight, they'll be ready.
Sabine stands atop Ezra's tower, looking out upon a reborn Lothal, a shining beautiful place. A Republic Shuttle flies overhead, escorted by X-Wing starfighters.
"The attack we all anticipated never came. The once invincible Empire had begun to fracture. The small Rebellion had become bold. And with the decisive victory at the Battle of Endor, the Emperor's reign of terror came to an end."
We see Zeb and Kallus on board a Nebulon-B frigate, where they are met by Gron and Chava.
"After the war, Zeb took Kallus along the secret hyperspace path to the planet Lira San. It was then Kallus realized he hadn't destroyed the Lasat people, and that they were thriving on this new world. A world where he was welcomed as one of them."
We see Hera flying the Ghost high above a planet, a small green haired human looking child is seated in the co-pilots seat, being entertained by Chopper.
"Hera fought in the battle of Endor, as did Commander Rex. By that time, there had been a new member added to the crew of the Ghost. Spectre-seven, Jacen Syndulla. Born to fly, just like his mother. And well, we all know what his father was like."
We see Sabine on a speeder bike flying into the city, Loth Wolves running alongside her, being watched by a Loth Cat. In the city she stands in a tower, a large mural of Kanan, Ezra, Sabine, Zeb, Hera and Chopper standing together, surrounded by Loth Cats and Loth Wolves dominates the room opposite the entrance.
"As for me, I used to think that Ezra was counting on me to protect Lothal, the planet and the people he cared for so much. But one day, I realized there was more to it. There was something else I was meant to do. Ezra's out there somewhere, and it's time to bring him home."
Sabine turns from the mural, towards the doorway where an older Ahsoka Tano stands, wearing robes and holding a staff, silently the two leave as the show fades to black with the Star Wars theme rousingly playing over the end credits.
High Points : Well, where can I start, this finale brings everything together, from the Emperor making one last attempt to gain access to the World between Worlds, to Ezra's link with animals from the Loth Wolves to the Purgil, which has been a plot point they've been building on since the very first season. We get a reason why Ezra isn't a Jedi during the Galactic Civil War, why Lothal is liberated, but it's not a victory for the Rebellion, and where Thrawn is during the events of the movies.
The episode brings back almost everyone the Rebels encountered to help in this final battle and takes almost every plot point from throughout, and ties them all up into a fairly neat final resolution.
We also get a number of absolutely great moments, from the Emperors disguise as his old self, to the death of Gregor, and even a couple of good Hondo lines (who would have thought he'd turn out to be a hero). Even Governor Pryce gets to go out in a blaze of glory, defiant to the last, and poetically she dies the same way she killed Kanan.
And then there's the epilogue, we find out that the beardy Rebel in Return of the Jedi was indeed Rex, and that they all survived the Galactic Civil War, getting satisfying resolutions for the characters, followed by them teasing us with another final adventure to rescue Ezra, Ahsoka and Sabine, back on the road.
Low Points : While this is a very tidy finale, with no Deus Ex Machina coming out of nowhere (in fact the nearest to that, the Purgil, have actually been set up for 4 seasons), and no real hanging plots apart from Ezra and Thrawn's fates. I have to admit that it's not 100% satisfying, Ezra outsmarts Thrawn with something from so far in the past of the series that I'd totally forgotten it, rather than something which would have felt a little more earned. So it makes the finale feel a little empty, as while everything is neatly tied up, it's a little to planned and sterile, rather than having the emotional reward that I would have hoped for.
And my last low point of Rebels is: Jacen Syndulla. The Epilogue reveals that Hera and Kanan had a child named Jacen, so throughout the final 6 or so episodes, Hera's been pregnant (take that Padme, that's how you deal with loss, but don't die from "losing the will to live" during childbirth). But I have to ask how?
From everything we saw, Kanan and Hera finally got a moment to kiss tenderly just before she leaves Lothal with the Tie Defender flight recorder. They get moments between him rescuing her and his death when she returns to Lothal. We've definitely been led to believe their relationship has been a bit chaste, since they've been busy saving the galaxy. In fact Kanan berated Hera on a number of occasions about never thinking about the future, about their future. And now we're supposed to believe they were busy making a baby, but never had time for any discussions about their future. That their kiss and declaration of love for each other, was actually after they were having sex?
While it's a nice payoff for their relationship, that they loved each other and had a son together, it's not set up properly, and just comes out of nowhere.
So what do you really think ? : While I've got my criticisms of the finale, I honestly don't think it could have been done much better. As I've mentioned above on numerous occasions, the episode ties up almost every plot line. Really making Rebels as a whole a cohesive story, with all of the characters getting a tidy resolution.
While many of the minor characters don't get mentioned in the epilogue, it's easy to see that Vizago will prosper as a hero of Lothal, and Mart Mattin will return to the Rebel Alliance and take his part in the Galactic Civil War, as well as many others. But there is one character who I did want to find out what happened to him, Hondo Ohnaka. Did he return to piracy? Did he join the Rebellion? Did he retire to tells stories on Lothal (I could definitely see him as the new proprietor of Old Jho's bar). He's probably too old to take part in Resistance, so we may never hear of Hondo's fate, and I find that a sad thought.
Final Words : Well, that was Rebels.
Where Clone Wars just ended, and now has been brought back for a resolution, Rebels actually had an end, and that's it over. While we're teased with the prospect of one final adventure with Sabine and Ahsoka recovering Ezra from wherever he has ended up along with Thrawn, which would be great to see. I have a feeling that will be dealt with in books or comics rather than an animated movie (unless it turns out that's the whole point of the live action Star Wars television series "The Mandalorian", it'd be one hell of a twist if the title character was Sabine.
Rebels has been great, it's had that epic Star Wars feel which Clone Wars never managed for me. It dealt with spiritual concepts in a completely different way to any other Star Wars, and it was fun, the way Star Wars is supposed to be. To me, Rebels has really gotten the primal core of what Star Wars is supposed to be, and made great stories with it.
Well, that's me finished reviewing every episode of Rebels and Clone Wars. Resistance is still being made, and we've got new Clone Wars next year, with the Mandalorian and the Cassian Andor series to come. But for the moment, I'm done with Star Wars on TV.
So what next?
Well I've got plans for that.
Score : 9/10
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