Star Wars Rebels is back with another great, non-filler episode entitled Through Imperial Eyes. And while I may not be quite as high on it as some of my online colleagues, I definitely think it was another worthy addition to season three (and then some) and expanded upon multiple storylines as we barrel through to the season finale. We are finally getting the version and Grand Admiral Thrawn we’ve all wanted since the announcement he would be joining the Rebels fray, and I must say he looks primed and ready to wreck some Rebels (and traitors). You know the drill, ***SPOILERS*** after the image, so proceed with caution if you haven’t watched the episode yet for whatever reason….
OK, this will be a pretty quick recap then I’ll dive into some thoughts and speculation. The gist of the episode is that Ezra allows himself to be captured above Lothal (rather clumsily I might admit) in an attempt to extract Agent Kallus from the Empire. He tells Kallus that the Ghost crew suspects he is close to being found out as the secret double agent planted deep within Imperial ranks and the time is now to get him out. AP-5 and Chopper accompany Ezra, again in Imperial disguises (they really paint Chopper a lot, don’t they?…) so that they can radio to Kanan and Rex while they’re en route to extract the crew. They are also in Imperial disguises, the Stormtrooper armor they stole earlier in the series. We also learn early on that Grand Admiral Thrawn is on his way to see the situation of things for himself.
What ensues is a pretty entertaining game of cat-and-mouse, during which Kallus frames another Imperial officer – Lieutenant Lyste – as the Rebel agent known as Fulcrum. You may remember Lyste as the buffoon who allowed Princess Leia to dupe him in season two, definitely not the sharpest tool in the shed…. Also during the course of the episode we are (re)introduced to Wulff Yularen, formerly an Admiral in the Republic Navy, now head of ISB (essentially the Empire’s version of the FBI). Seeing that his superior officer is on the case, Kallus continues forward with helping Ezra escape the Star Destroyer, the Chimaera, along with AP-5, Chopper, and himself.
Long story short, Kallus’ frame job works and Lyste is on the hook for allowing the Rebel prisoner and extraction crew to escape. Kallus elects to stay behind, saying he can do more good within the Empire than he can working hand-in-hand every day with the Rebels. The episode wraps up with Thrawn and Colonel Yularen having a private meeting, with Thrawn informing the Colonel that Kallus is in fact Fulcrum, setting into motion the events that will most likely end season three of the show.
Overall it was a pretty good, if not great, episode, and as I mentioned above it certainly moves the plot forward. Here are some things I really liked about Through Imperial Eyes:
- Thrawn – finally, we are seeing the Grand Admiral Thrawn we all so desperately hoped for when we first see him in Rebels and the new canon. He’s cunning, thorough, and multiple steps above everyone – including the Imperials. I can’t wait to see how this storyline is wrapped up at the end of the season, as it’s been a slow burn but is looking like it may have all been worth it.
- Thrawn’s workout – it was really cool to see Thrawn ‘working out’ on some Sentry Droids for sport, and he was pretty much wrecking them. One other thing to note about this sequence, is his safe-word is RUHK, which was also the name of his Noghri bodyguard in the original (now non-canon) Zahn novels. Also of note, Ruhk ended up killing him, so there’s that. Having said that, I really hope that Thrawn’s story doesn’t end this season on Rebels, it would be such a waste of an amazing character.
- Thrawn’s office and artifacts – there are quite a few awesome relics in Thrawn’s office, some of them we haven’t yet seen. One of note is Commander Gree’s helmet from The Clone Wars and Revenge of the Sith. Last we saw him Yoda lopped off his head on Kashyyyk, at least the helmet survived…. In addition to those, we realize one of the main giveaways that the prisoner they were holding (and that Kallus let escape) was a member of Phoenix Squadron and most likely Ezra Bridger was Sabine’s art of a Loth-cat on the helmet he was captured with. Thrawn loves art, and I’m not sure why the Ghost crew keeps making dumb mistakes when it comes to this…. Also in his office is the map of star systems he’s narrowed down Phoenix Squadron’s base too, and it’s quickly erased and replaced by Kallus and Ezra – which I think anyone with a brain could guess this was pretty much the dumbest move possible, more on that below….
- Welcome back Colonel – it was cool to see ISB Colonel Wulff Yularen make his return to the Star Wars animated universe! When we last saw him he was the Republic Admiral heading up Anakin Skywalker’s cruiser, now he’s ascended into the role we first saw him in (even though most would never know it), ISB Chief. Yes, he was seen in A New Hope and aboard the Death Star when it blew. See::::
- AP-5 – he didn’t really do much, he’s just freaking awesome so I’m including him. There, I did it.
- The first person perspective – I loved it, I just wish they could’ve done the whole episode in it. I get why they didn’t, but man it was a really cool device and departure from what we’re used to. It worked really well.
And here is some stuff that was just ok……:
- Ezra – ugh, just when we think we are getting a darker, broodier Ezra in this season we’ve seen the story group do a complete 180. As season three has progressed (and we’ve gotten further away from Maul…) we’ve watched Ezra go back to pretty much being the joker of the crew, a normal kid. Problem is… HE’S NOT A NORMAL KID!!! Ugh, they were so close to selling us on this new Ezra, and after this episode I think we are back to more-or-less where we were….. I still have hope he’ll be involved in the Maul/Kenobi story somehow, and Maul always brings out the better character in Ezra, so I’m not completely giving up, but still. Come. On.
- Removing Attolon from Thrawn’s map? Really?? – dumb, dumb, dumb. Of course Grand Admiral Thrawn, the most brilliant tactician the Empire has to offer has that freaking map memorized to the n’th degree. And of course if you REMOVE an entire planet he’s gonna know, which means he knows exactly what system Phoenix Squadron is on at this point. Stoops.
Again, it was a very good episode, just not quite as good as the last few. Having said that we are full speed ahead toward the end of season three, and I don’t expect a completely happy ending here. This feels like we may be prepping for an Empire Strikes Back style end to the season, if not a full-on cliffhanger. Yes, please, bring that on! Got any idea who might kick the bucket, vote here! In the meantime check the always charming And Gutierrez and the omniscient Pablo Hidalgo in this week’s edition of Rebels Recon from the official Star Wars site!