Well… It only took four episodes into season 1 before Rebels hit a snag in the hyperspace lane. “Fighter Flight” was riddled with numerous short comings and overall was unimportant. Let’s recap and highlight what went wrong this week.
The episode starts out with Ezra attempting some Jedi training. This would have been great if it was under the instruction of Kanan – you know, because he did promise to train Ezra in the very first episode. Instead what we get is Ezra struggling to telepathically lift a bowl while being teased by Chopper. Chopper remains hilarious – I’ve come to enjoy all the screen time he receives – but, ultimately the opening sequence and the following roommate spat between Zeb and Ezra provide only mildly funny viewing pleasure. What the heck is Kanan doing anyway that he never has time for Jedi training? Every time he’s been on screen lately he’s just moving boxes or playing Dejarik with Chopper. Real important stuff there, Kanan. Get on with the Jedi training already!!
After Zeb and Ezra do enough damage throughout The Ghost, Hera kicks them off and sends them on a supply run. This is where we hit snag number two and three. In the three episodes prior, the planet Lothal has been featured in every single one. It comes at little surprise, but with much disappointment that Lothal is the main setting for this episode too. I have a two major issues with this. (1) Why do the rebels continue going back to Imperial occupied Lothal when they are considered wanted criminals by said Empire?!?! That’s the equivalent of repeatedly slapping a 1000 pound lion in the face with a 12 oz ribeye and waiting to see what happens. Not too bright of our rebels. (2) This screams of missed opportunity! Weisman and team have all this creative mojo and they’re squandering it! If I were creative lead of this show I would have the rebels land on a new planet every episode! There are so many unexplored systems out that fans would love to see in living color! Need I remind Weisman that this is PRE-Death Star era – meaning that Alderaan is still very much in one piece! I digress…
Ezra and Zeb continue to bicker as they make their way into town for supplies. This seemingly unimportant infighting eventually stirs up enough trouble to catch the attention of a nearby Imperial patrol. This results in Zeb stealing a TIE fighter and causing a bunch of collateral damage. Bringing me to the next shortcoming. So far Rebels has been much too Zeb and Ezra focused. Fans have been given the opportunity to glance into the heart of what makes both characters tick. It was great the first few times, but it’s starting to get old. Hera and Sabine have been severely neglected thus far and it’s causing concern for me. It seems obvious that season 1 of any show should present a diverse cast with dynamic backgrounds and motivations, so that any fan can find something to appreciate and hang onto as the show moves forward. I didn’t feel like I was watching Star Wars Rebels this week; more like I was watching “The Ezra and Zeb show.”
By the end of the episode Zeb and Ezra put the TIE fighter to good use by pitting it against harassing Imperials. During this good deed we witness Ezra risking himself to help others. This is very uncharacteristic of him. It’s good to see that his character is slowly developing and changing. He also makes note of having parents. PARENTS?!?! From the first time we met Ezra he was a loner, living by himself in some far off, isolated tower. This new insight indicates there’s an added depth to Ezra’s character and background that we haven’t seen yet. Maybe there is a bigger reason he enjoys collecting Stormtrooper helmets?… I hope this comes into play as the series continues. It’d be such a shame to see another opportunity so critically wasted.
Hush Comics gives Fighter Flight a C this week for failure to bring anything new to the show. There are several key encounters on the horizon and could really kick things into gear. Ezra’s Jedi training is sure to start soon, the formation of the rebel alliance is beginning, and… where the flip is The Inquisitor?! Much is left to be desired this week, but surely the journey will improve soon!