Thursday, February 4, 2016

Rebels Review: "Legends of the Lasat"

By: Dominic Jones

No one can ever accuse Star Wars Rebels of putting action before characters.  This week's episode, “Legends of the Lasat", showed us once again that the writers don’t feel the need to throw in a big chase sequence or shoot-out with stormtroopers in the last five minutes to give the episode weight.  Instead, the decision to open the episode with a big action sequence and then let the characters drive the action in the back half was a very Empire Strikes Back-esque move for the series,  and allowed for a life changing moment for Zeb to be given proper gravitas.

That being said, as "Legends of the Lasat" came to a close with Zeb and the others having re-discovered Lirasan, I found myself asking whether Star Wars Rebels has earned this moment?  And the answer is no. Despite being a principal character, Zeb's character development seems to have been on ice almost from the beginning of the series, with no real progression since he fought Kallus back in Season One's "Droids in Distress".  I really liked what the Story Group's Pablo Hidalgo said in Rebels Recon about this episode presenting the idea of what a happy ending for Zeb could look like, but this moment needed more build up.  We really needed to see Zeb coming to terms with what happened to his people and the fact that he is, more or less, the last of his kind (issues the show has somewhat glossed over)--before having this glimmer of hope.

I am curious to see how this will change Zeb.  The rediscovery of Lirasan obviously won’t change any of his experiences on Lasan, but it might change his outlook on life.  What I'm really interested in is how this will affect the dynamic with Agent Kallus.  It's always felt like Kallus has been able to hold responsibility for the horrific genocide of the Lasats over Zeb, giving Kallus the advantage.  Will this new information change that?  We know the characters are due for a reunion in three weeks time, so we'll likely find out then.

I enjoyed Zeb's skepticism about the accuracy of Chava's prophecy.  It made sense that, his character hardened by his experiences on Lasan and by his dealings with the Empire, Zeb would not be the type to cling to false hope.  I also liked the fact that he chose Ezra to open up to about his past--it really solidifies their bond and shows that they truly are like brothers.

It was interesting to see another culture's way of tapping into the Force when the Lasat did their chanting for the Ashla.  It is good to see Rebels continuing what The Clone Wars began with the Nightsisters and the Degoyan Masters, and the Lasat chanting was even reminiscent of Nightsister chanting.  Not that this means there's any connection between the cultures, but it does solidify and legitimize chanting and incantations as a means to tap into the Force.

I appreciated that Chava's prophecy was not as obvious as it initially seemed.  Making Zeb the child and Hondo the fool, set up a nice reveal--that Agent Kallus was the warrior in the prophecy.  However, the foretelling that that the child must save the warrior and the fool didn't really come to pass in this episode. Even by the most “from-a-certain-point-of-view” perspective it is hard to make the case that Zeb saved either Kallus or Hondo.  He did nothing to stop them from following The Ghost into the anomaly, a decision that seemed to be Kallus' alone.

Speaking of Kallus, I do feel he was used appropriately in this episode.  He was effective at tracking down the Rebels and presented a real threat to them.  He decision to pull back and not chase The Ghost into the anomaly was a sound tactical decision.  It rang true that he would believe that he would be able to watch his nemeses burn up from afar.  But then, in the words of Han Solo, never tell me the odds.

The visuals and the music were truly astounding this week.  From the moment we first saw the anomaly in the Season Two mid-season trailer, it was clear that this was something special.  And Kevin Kiner outdid himself this week with breathtaking compositions that conveyed a sense of wonder and hope, mixed with danger.

Overall, this episode felt like a bit of a step back after two strong weeks from Rebels.  Ultimately, more build up to the climactic moment was needed for its impact to reach full potential.  While there is lots of good in this episode, the principal development seemed to come too soon for this story arc, and as a result the episode comes up a little short.

Score: 7.5/10

You can follow me on Twitter: @DominicJ25

Check out my reviews of the rest Season Two here. 

This article is an opinion piece and represents the views of the writer, and not the entire Star Wars Underworld organization.

Follow The Star Wars Underworld on Twitter @TheSWU for more updates about this story and other breaking Star Wars news.


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