Star Wars Rebels is back with another season three episode, this one titled ‘Hera’s Heroes’. We are just about at the point in the season where in the past the Rebels producers have given us a filler episode or two, but not this time. Hera’s Heroes was a banger, and my second favorite episode of season three so far. To be clear, **SPOILERS** will follow, so I’ll leave an image for space so you can jet if need-be….
OK, so we start out with good old Cham Syndulla (Hera’s father, Clone Wars veteran and hero, and leader of the rebel movement on Ryloth) informing Hera that their old home has been taken over by the Empire. Hera reminisces abut an old family heirloom (a Kalikori) left behind there, and decides to fetch it in honor of her mother who passed away some years ago. Ezra agrees to accompany her and long-story-short, they get into some shit and fall straight into Grand Admiral Thrawn’s trap. There is some great interaction between not only Hera and Thrawn, but also Thrawn and his commanding officer, Captain Slavin (more on the latter below). In the end, Slavin agrees to trade Hera and Ezra for Cham, and of course Chopper saves the day. Everyone escapes on the Ghost (more on that below as well), and Thrawn has his prize – Hera’s family heirloom. He loves art, and he is playing the long game here in regards to the Rebels. While they think they escape cleanly in the end, they lost this round, most likely worse than they know.
Everything, honestly. But if we want particulars, here there are: Thrawn – That dude is so smart, and Mikkelson’s voice portrayal of him is sooooo good, like really good. They’ve done a great job of taking the old EU/Zahn aspects of what the OG fans loved about Thrawn and have translated them very well to the screen. He is always the smarted person in the room, and he knows it. He loves art, and that will be the way he ensnares the crew of the Ghost in the end. I don’t see any way possible that the entire crew of the Ghost survives season three, but Joe and I will touch more on that in the coming months as the season evolves. Hera – I love it when Hera seems vulnerable, because it doesn’t happen often. This whole episode was about family for Hera – new and old – and it was great to see a softer side of her. Chopper – I love Chopper, and I loved his very personal reaction to seeing the Y-Wing he crashed on Ryloth in during the Clone Wars, and subsequently came into Hera’s posession. Kanan – Even though it was a small part of the episode, it was AWESOME seeing Kanan coming into his own again in regards to his new Force powers. And let’s face it, seeing him turn the rocket around on the AT-ST was freaking amazing!!! Cham Syndulla – we saw a better side of Cham than we did in his brief appearance last season, and it was more in line with his persona from the canon novel Lords of the Sith. I like that Cham, a lot. Way better than last season’s selfish prick Cham. Thrawn v Slavin – Holy hell I loved when Thrawn lost it for a minute on Slavin for essentially being a small-minded idiot who doesn’t appreciate art. It was great to see Thrawn come unhinged, even for a brief moment, and I feel like we are going to get a great taste of that side of him moving forward – and I can’t wait! Lastly, the first on-screen appearance of a Scout Bike Trooper was rad, too, and yeah Ezra, you’re still too short for a Stormtrooper…….
Honestly, everything worked pretty well. If I had to nitpick, the only thing I would point out is that it seemed out of character for Hera to risk not only her crew, but possibly the Rebellion in general to go back to her old home for a personal heirloom, but I’m gonna let that slide. It was well worth it to see a softer side of her, and as I mentioned above I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Overall, I give this episode two thumbs way up and can’t wait to watch it again. Now get to it, and May The Force Be With You, Always.