Star Wars Rebels: “Brothers of the Broken Horn” Season 2 Episode 5 Review

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So Star Wars Rebels season two is sort of doubling as Star Wars: The Clone Wars season seven. Does anyone out there take any real issue with that? No? Good, then we’re on the same page.

Hondo’s appearance on Rebels comes so soon after Rex’s, and even Ahsoka’s, but unlike season one’s occasionally off-putting onslaught of original trilogy characters, there are missing pieces to the puzzles of all Clone Wars characters. Having Rebels dance around these mysteries is great fun, even if we have to sit through a repetitive arc for one of this show’s own chief characters.

It’s not so much that I don’t buy Ezra running away from home or stopping to resolve an issue between criminals, but the resolution here feels like a lesson Ezra already learned. Are we really meant to believe that in the stress of training with Kanan, training with Rex, and cleaning parts of the Ghost, Ezra would consider joining Hondo? It’s just not there in the meat of the episode, but his final conversation with Kanan acts like it is.

But look, character development for Ezra is hardly the reason for this episode’s existence. “Brothers of the Broken Horn” is a vehicle to bring Hondo back. Would it have been a better episode overall if Ezra had a more thoughtful progression? Yes, but it’s fine. For just this week, Rebels is allowed to be The Hondo Show.

Without Jim Cummings back as the voice of the pirate, things just wouldn’t have been the same. He’s been perfect from his first episode back in season one of Clone Wars. Right from Ezra’s first meeting with him on the bridge of Vizago’s ship, it’s clear the performance has carried over. Hondo gets excited when Ezra lies and says he’s Lando Calrissian. Having Hondo think it’s two smugglers having a good ol’ time on a job, while Ezra barely manages to keep it together, was a lot of fun. But when a delivery goes sour, Ezra uses the Force to save Hondo from dying. The pirate’s respect for the Jedi bleeds through and the partnership takes on a whole new meaning. Even if Hondo ditches Ezra aboard Vizago’s ship.

But once Ezra catches back up, finding Hondo trying to sell to the crew of the Ghost, their final few moments really work. First, Hondo tells Ezra he is unmistakably a Jedi, which honestly feels like great confirmation than any other character has given him. Then, we see Hondo just shuffle off alone, back to having no one around him. Knowing his history as a fairly respected pirate leader with a formidable crew makes this feel incredibly sad. Rex and Ahsoka are in similar positions, with the clones and Jedi mostly gone. Here’s to hoping for a larger Clone Wars reunion to give Hondo a better life down the road. Considering how true to the character this episode was, he’s welcome back any time. Grade: B

Some Other Notes:

  • Hondo believes at least to some degree that Obi Wan is his friend (assuming that was the Jedi he was talking about, but who else would it be?). Something tells me that after all his years of solitude, if Ben Kenobi were to meet Hondo, he would greet him as an old friend. After all, Hondo’s last appearance on Clone Wars had him fighting beside Obi Wan to defeat Darth Maul and Savage Oppress. Whether Obi Wan ever would, or even should, show up on Rebels is still a bit of a debate. But if it does happen, he’s got a lot of old faces to meet.
  • Another character I’d love to see Hondo meet, which seems inevitable now, is Lando. Actually, they could totally star in their own spinoff.
  • Has Chopper ever actually been more effective than he was here?
  • Rebels looks to be going right down the line as far as individual character development for season two. The two clone episodes forced Kanan to trust. Last week’s episode had Zeb proving his worth. Now this week with Ezra. The next two episodes look to focus pretty heavily on Hera and Sabine, which is very welcome, especially since Sabine is still the most under-developed member of the crew.
  • I can’t decide whether I like how much Kanan and Hera treat Ezra like their son. It’s a little presumptuous and creepy, but occasionally endearing.

By Matt Dougherty

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