Friday, April 10, 2015

Opinion: Rebels Season One Top Ten Moments: #6: Tarkin Executes Aresko & Grint

By Ciaran Duggan & Dominic Jones,

Today we continue our countdown of the Top Ten moments from Season One of Star Wars Rebels, as chosen by SWU readers!  Today we look at a major turning point in this season in "Call to Action,"

The arrival of Tarkin on the series was a real turning point.  Throughout the first half of the season, Aresko and Grint had represented the more comical aspect of the Empire.  They were still threatening, and their humor was nothing like battle droid humor in the first few seasons of The Clone Wars, but they never posed a real threat to our heroes.  Even Agent Kallus and The Inquisitor were beginning to be outmatched by the crew of The Ghost.

Enter Tarkin.  The future Death Star commander and only Grand Moff whipped the Imperials on Lothal into shape by sending a chilling message to Kallus, The Inquisitor and Minister Tua by having The Inquisitor execute Aresko and Grint in front of them in his office.  This moment set the tone for the rest of the season and possibly the rest of the series.  One can only imagine the impact this moment left on the surviving members of the Empire on Lothal and you can bet that having Tarkin and Darth Vader around for Season two means this is just the beginning. 

People who have branded Star Wars: Rebels a kids show may well have to revise that statement after they watch this scene. Enter, Governor Tarkin. The cold and rather merciless execution of Taskmaster Aresko and Grint symbolically showcased a shift in the empire’s disposition, as well as attitude towards our rebel heroes. No longer, would incompetent and empty-headed imperial officers be the ones tasked to capture our heroes. Instead, prudent and shrewd-minded individuals, such as Tarkin, would lead the chase.

The sequence certainly demonstrated the shifting tone of the series. Governor Tarkin personified this switch in focus and tone. The scene sold this extremely well as a result of merely viewing the reactions of Agent Kallus and the Lothal Senator, the covert message underpinning Tarkin’s execution of Grint and Aresko was to make a point to the Inquisitor, Kallus and the Senator that there can be no more mistakes and swift, just punishment will be enacted to those who fail. An hugely unforgettable moment in the series.

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