star wars rebels

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It is a dark time for the Rebellion. Using his knowledge of Agent Kallus‘ (David Oyelowo) treachery, Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen) springs his trap and sends the fleet to Atollon as the Rebels prepare to attack Lothal. Using an Imperial blockage complete with Interdictors, Thrawn traps both Phoenix Squadron and General Dodonna‘s (Michael Bell) Massassi Group at Atollon as his forces push their advantage. In a last-ditch effort, Ezra (Taylor Gray) manages to escape the blockade and seek help from an old friend.

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The long-teased showdown between Maul (Sam Witwer) and Obi-Wan Kenobi (Stephen Stanton) finally arrives. Alerted to Maul’s plan by the Holocrons, Ezra (Taylor Gray) ignores orders to stay and help the Rebellion ready themselves for the fight to retake Lothal. Instead, Ezra and Chopper head to Tatooine in search of Maul, not realizing that the former Sith Lord is using Ezra to lead him to the Jedi Mater in exile. By the end of the episode Ezra will learn a valuable lesson about understanding and trusting his place in events, and Kenobi and Maul will square off for the last time.

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Star Wars Rebels has given us plenty battles between the Rebellion and the Empire. Predominantly focusing on a single cell operating out of Lothal, the show began to shift it’s focus in Season Two with the introduction of other Rebels and adventures away from Ezra‘s (Taylor Gray) homeworld. This thread bears fruit as the Ghost transports Senator Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly, the actress who also played the role in Rogue One) to a secret rendezvous in order to bring the Rebels together and, for the first time, see the beginnings of a larger Rebel Alliance take shape.

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Believing Fulcrum’s identity might have been discovered, Ezra (Taylor Gray) is sent in to extract Agent Kallus (David Oyelowo). Things get a little complicated, however, by the sudden arrival of Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen). Focusing primarily on Kallus, the episode showcases the man’s skill as a spy and Rebel saboteur as he deftly manipulates events to frame another Imperial officer for his crimes. However, there’s nothing Kallus can do to prevent Thrawn from surmising Ezra’s identity which leads to Kallus’ ruse falling apart and the true traitor standing exposed. Never one to relinquish the upper-hand, Thrawn chooses not to expose Kallus and instead allow Fulcrum to continue to serve the Rebellion (not realizing from this point on he’s actually serving the interests of the Empire).

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Following the events of “Trial of the Darksaber,” the latest episode of Star Wars Rebels takes Sabine (Tiya Sircar) back home to Mandalore. With Kanan (Freddie Prinze, Jr.), Ezra (Taylor Gray), and Fenn Rau (Kevin McKidd) in tow, Sabine’s mission is to reconnect with her disapproving mother (Sharmila Devar) and estranged family and attempt to get them to turn against the Empire. For the second episode in a row, Star Wars Rebels gives us a look into Sabine’s past and the troubled history that led her to joining the Rebellion.

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Over the course of three seasons Star Wars Rebels hasn’t given us too many episodes that highlight the team’s weapon specialist. Sure, we’ve been given glimpses into her past by the appearance of her former bounty-hunter partner, and heard mentions of her clan, but for the most part Sabine‘s (Tiya Sircar) past has remained undeveloped. The recovery of the Darksaber begins to rectify this as Sabine is challenged to take control of the legendary weapon and use it to unify the remnants of Madalore once more.

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The two-part episode “Ghosts of Geonosis” works to weave Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story more tightly together with an appearance by Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker). Heading back to Geonosis for information about how and why the Empire wiped out an entire race, the crew of the crew discover Gerrera and a lone surviving Geonosian. As we see in Rogue One, Saw is more determined and ruthless than the other Rebels introduced over the series. It will be interesting to see if we see more of this radical element of the Rebellion this season.

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Shared visions and unanswered questions bring Ezra (Taylor Gray) and Maul (Sam Witwer) back together on Atollon. Traveling to Dathomir, Maul uses the Force magic of the Nightsisters to complete the visions that were interrupted once before. It seems the answers to both their questions leads to Tatooine as the show teases the possibility of an appearance by Obi-Wan Kenobi and the first animated appearance of a young farm boy destined to bring down an Empire.

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After a few weeks of the show getting lost in various sidestories, “An Inside Man” gets back to basics with the Ghost‘s return to Lothal. Based on the intelligence provided by Morad (Liam O’Brien) about a hush-hush project, Ezra (Taylor Gray) and Kanan (Freddie Prinze, Jr.) sneak inside the factory to learn more. Sadly, the rebellious actions of Morad and his co-conspirators bite the Rebels in the ass and the most inconvenient time as Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen) arrives in order to investigate the recent sabotage of Imperial weapons and vehicles and punish those responsible.

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A forgettable episode in pretty much every respect, “Iron Squadron” introduces the crew of the Ghost to a trio of young Rebels defending their homeworld of Mykapo from the Empire. While the young members of Iron Squadron have been able to fight back a little Imperial presence, the Empire turning their attention to the sector has brought the Ghost in to evacuate the locals and attempt to talk some reason into Iron Squadron before they pick a fight they won’t survive. Although Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen) makes a token apperance here, the episode is largely disconnected from the bigger themes of the season. And with the focus of the episode being on (the far less interesting) Iron Squadron, the result is the weakest episode of the show’s Third Season.

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