The final issue of Marvel’s Darth Vader series wraps up both ongoing storylines. First, the Dark Lord of the Sith confronts Cylo-V once more. This time, however, Darth Vader makes certain the cybernetic expert won’t be able to escape by moving his consciousness to another cloned host body. Once victorious, Vader returns to the Emperor and receives a surprise.
“Hera’s Heroes” returns the crew of the Ghost to Hera‘s (Vanessa Marshall) home planet of Ryloth where the local Rebels have seen their fortunes worsen since a new Imperial commander has arrived. The episode is notable for both introducing Scout Troopers to the series, and playing on the long-running gag of Ezra (Taylor Gray) still collecting Imperial helmets, and for offering the first interaction between one of our heroes and Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen) when Hera and Ezra are captured while attempting to retrieve a sacred artifact from her home.
Another classic Star Wars character makes their first appearance in Star Wars Rebels in “The Antilles Extraction.” After an Imperial ambush leaves the Rebellion shorthanded in both ships and pilots, Sabine (Tiya Sircar) goes undercover at the Imperial Academy as word has reached the Rebellion that a handful of young pilots are looking to leave the Empire. Befriending Hobbie (Trevor Devall), Rake (Corey Burton), and Wedge Antilles (Nathan Kress), Sabine attempts to get all three pilots to the Rebellion. Sadly, her plan runs into a snag thanks to the timely arrival of Arihnda Pryce (Mary Elizabeth McGlynn) and Agent Kallus (David Oyelowo) who have arrived to ferret out the very traitors Sabine is intent on rescuing. And, as Sabine notes, Pryce proves to be a much more cunning adversary than Kallus ever was.
Following the events of the last issue in which Luke, Leia, Han Solo, and Chewbacca were able to successfully steal a Star Destroyer from under the Empire’s nose, Star Wars #23 is a goofy follow-up issue whose focus is split on the crew working to make repairs to the starship while Han and Leia devolve into petulant children arguing who exactly is the ship’s new Captain. Somehow a race across the length of the Star Destroyer (in which both parties cheat) becomes the only way to solve the impasse.
Set a few years after the events of “Twilight of the Apprentice,” Star Wars Rebels begins its Third Season with an older Ezra (Taylor Gray) leading missions for the Rebellion, a blinded Kanan (Freddie Prinze Jr.) spending most of his days in seclusion, and the Empire bringing in new resources to deal with the Rebel threat by enlisting the assistance of Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen). For the first time in the series the Rebels will be pitted against an Imperial officer willing to play the long game and not fall for the Rebels’ usual tricks. Since we’ve seen him last Ezra hasn’t grown any less reckless but he has grown more powerful in the Force thanks to the Sith Holocron which he’s kept secret from his master and shipmates but the changes in his demeanor haven’t gone unnoticed by his friends.