Star Wars Rebels: “Empire Day” Season 1 Episode 7 Review

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An action-packed entry for Rebels gives the crew of the Ghost some intel that could be used to take on the Empire in an effective manner. That’s an exciting prospect considering the rebels of Rebels have had little to do with the Rebellion thus far.

One thing I want to just get out of the way is that I’ve had my fill with Lothal. One of the best things about Clone Wars was how it expanded the galaxy with a plethora of interesting planets and locales. Rebels has seriously lacked in this area. It’d be great if we could move on and explore some other worlds once this two-parter is over.

Otherwise, Empire Day was easily one of the best of these first seven episodes. With the dynamics of the Ghost established, now is the perfect time to start fleshing out these characters’ backstories. First up, Ezra.

Kanan tries to train him to no avail, Ezra claiming that the Imperial “holiday” Empire Day is bringing back some bad memories. While in a cafe, several Imperial troopers question a patron. Ezra recognizes the man they’re really looking for, shown on their Imperial iPads, as a friend of his parents.

But the crew of the Ghost have bigger plans for Empire Day. When a new TIE fighter is unveiled at the parade, Kanan, Sabine, and Zeb naturally plan to blow it up. Sabine really started to come into her own this week, getting moments of both comedy and awesomeness. With the ship blown, both Agent Kallus and and the Inquisitor reveal themselves in the crowd.

Ezra leads them to his old home to hide for the night, where they find his parents’ friend. Sabine manages to figure out that he’s holding Empire secrets. The holograms had a lot of nice easter eggs for fans that can name every Imperial vehicle seen in the original trilogy (AT-ATs!). What’s exciting is that Sabine seems to indicate they could find weaknesses in the Empire’s military efforts. Could these specs be the key to starting a truly capable Rebellion to oppose the Empire?

The attempted escape off of Lothal was great. Starting with Sabine refusing to stop for a military heavy Imperial roadblock, it gave way to a great chase between two speeder bikes, Kallus’ transport, and the Rebels’. Kallus of course gets out and hops onto the heroes’ vehicle, but the Ghost is right behind them, giving Zeb a brief chance to off his rival. He fails, naturally, as it’d be too soon to kill off such a great villain. But Kallus still had some fight left in him, forcing Kanan to bring out his lightsaber. Rebels has done an outstanding job of saving the vibrating hum of Kanan’s weapon, making it feel like an event whenever it’s ignited.

Just as everyone gets on the Ghost, the Inquisitor tails the ship with a group of TIE fighters. In the final moments before the startling “To be Continued…”, Ezra’s parents’ friend reveals he knows what happened to Ezra’s folks. It’s an enticing cliffhanger sure to keep us fans excited for next week.

Empire Day ranks pretty high among the seven Rebels episodes we’ve gotten so far. The action was great and Ezra’s backstory is definitely intriguing. It also helps that this episode made the best use of Sabine yet, a character destined to become a fan-favorite with her rebel spirit and Mandalorian armor. The cliffhanger mostly worked since we at least saw one of the show’s two main villains defeated before the chase went on only to be continued next week. What a long week it’ll be. Grade: A-

By Matt Dougherty


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