Star Wars Rebels: “Call to Action” Season 1 Episode 12 Review

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Up to this point, Star Wars Rebels has done little to raise the stakes, instead having the crew of the Ghost carry out various missions. The only real progression we’ve had has been with Ezra’s journey to become a Jedi. Well, the arrival of a pretty big Star Wars villain changed all that.

The opening shots of “Call to Action” mirrored the arrival of just about any major villain in the original Star Wars films. I half expected Darth Vader himself to walk out of the shuttle, but I’ll certainly take Grand Moff Tarkin! In the least publicized appearance by a major character, Tarkin’s arrival comes as a great surprise. But he’s not as happy to be there as I am that he is.

Tarkin immediately scolds Agent Kallus and the Inquisitor for not being able to bring in the rebel cell. Suddenly, it becomes the Empire’s number one priority.

But the crew of the Ghost apparently aren’t the only rebels around. In an effort to unite them, Kanan plans to take over an Imperial communications tower that can reach several nearby systems. The plan is practically suicide, but in true Star Wars fashion, that doesn’t stop them.

From here, “Call to Action” returns to the formula of the crew seemingly pulling off the impossible to narrowly escape from the Empire. Except, one of them doesn’t. Allowing the rest of the crew to get away, Kanan stays back to fight the Inquisitor, allowing the show to continue its winning streak with subdued, yet powerful lightsaber duels. But he’s not yet strong enough to defeat his enemy, surrendering to Tarkin. Still, this allows Ezra to send out a message of hope to all of Lothal and its neighboring systems. He just manages to get the full thing out before Tarkin has the tower destroyed.

So in an Empire Strikes Back type ending, Kanan has been captured, and Hera and Ezra agree that this fight isn’t over. As Rebels‘ first season draws near to a close, this was an appropriate raising of the stakes. If the crew of the Ghost are joined by more nearby rebel cells, the season may just end with the first battle of the Galactic Civil War. Either way, there’s real drama now, which brings Rebels to where it should be. Grade: B+

Other Transmissions from the Outer Rim:

– Tarkin references knowing Jedi in the flesh. Clone Wars fans know this to be true, as we last saw him in court prosecuting Ahsoka. If Fulcrum turns out to be Ahsoka like I think she will, a not-so-happy reunion could occur. How freaking awesome would that be?!

– So would other local rebel cells in the Outer Rim include Bail Organa? I’m ready.

– I am so sick of Lothal. What fun is Star Wars if you’re not going to visit other planets?

– Freddie Prinze Jr. was particularly on-point this week. He’s done a great job building Kanan this season to bring us to his dramatic moments this episode. Very impressed.

 

By Matt Dougherty

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