The rebels look to move a stolen Imperial hyperdrive and flight data recorder off Lothal, while the mystery of the loth-wolves deepens. Desperate to contact Rebel command, the Ghost crew pirates a mining vehicle with long range communications gear, but the Empire arrives to spoil their plans.
What I thought
The series of double-billing episodes continues this week with probably the first two-parters that really would have worked as standalone episodes. There's certainly no 'planet of the week' sort of stuff this season with Rebels as episode 7 starts not long after last week's finished with the Rebels looking for the hyperdrive they stashed. Sure, everywhere looks similar to me on Lothal but they ARE STOOD RIGHT NEXT TO THE ROCK they hid it behind last week. We all know it's there! lol. It takes a Lothal cat to show them where it is, although quite why Ezra says he's not sure where they stashed it "because it was dark" I don't know. It wasn't dark! Anyhow, the Empire is just up the road, where Governor Pryce is recovering what's left of the TIE Defender Elite craft. Thrawn is on hand to give her the news that he's dispatching his agent to help find the hyperdrive; enter Rukh! Why he uses him in this episode and not at anytime before is head scratching as these two are supposed to be a duo from what I know of Thrawn in the books. Anyhow, this episode is a great debut from Rukh with his nifty ape like running, awesome fighting skills and unique voice. I'm very much reminded of Darth Maul's debut with Rukh; the "my apprentice is on his way", the revealing, the flirting attack on Rebels, and a speeder bike, which is what Maul arrived on in A Phantom Menace. Throughly enjoyed seeing Rukh and feel he could truly be a real thorn in the Rebel's side.
Most of episode one though is about Kanan/Ezra and the Lothal Wolves, which help lead them to safety through caves in a rather cryptic but magical series of scenes. The cave paintings, the growling of the two 'bodyguard' wolves has you wondering if they are friend or foe. Then there's the connection with Kanan and Ezra, the revelation that Kanan suspects more going on Lothal regarding the Empire and their journey across the entire planet by way of some force/Narnia/teleport!
In the second episode, the Lothal gang intercept and takeover a MASSIVE mining craft that's literally destroying the land in order to take resources from it. This land vehicle (although it might fly?) is spectacular in every way, from the outside due to it's vast size, right into the rooms inside which are rustic, cold, dark, steam-filled and as dirty as you'd expect in such a heavy-duty mining vehicle. There's a bit of further head scratching by me in this episode as to why they sent Sabine to take out a couple sentry droids, then seized the bridge and then didn't bother to take out any of the other mining guards etc until they had to later on? The captain on the mining vessel was funny although how they kept allowing him to shout out for so long i don't know! Zeb's battle with the mining guard with that electric whip was awesome although quite how Kanan came around so quickly from being taken down by the whip ...? Well, it's cartoon huh? Further comedy provided by the returning Cikatro Vizago in this episode really helped make it super enjoyable for me.
You can't help but feel now like this season is really building up to something big, much like last season. Sadly, the rug is about to be pulled from beneath our feet again, as there's only one more episode before a long mid-season gap :( That so destroys the tension!
Rating: 8/10 - Fantastic debut by Rukh, cryptic magical stuff with Lothal Wolves and a visual splendour with the mining craft makes this a highly enjoyable double-bill.
What I liked
- Great visual debut for Rukh
- A welcome back from the comical and lovable Cikatro Vizago.
- Intrigue and mystery with the Lothal Wolves and what else the Empire is up to there.
- Fantastic scenes on the Mining Vessel.
- Kanan/Hera kiss and reaction by the gang.
What I didn't like
- Not a lot to dislike, aside from more needing more Thrawn/Rukh in second episode, although this wasn't a classic two-parter anyway.
- The whole debating will they/won't they with Hera at Rebel HQ seemed a waste of time as we all sort of knew how that would go down.