Yesterday in the Nerd Verse… Jan 12, 2015

Biggest news of the day: a brand-new trailer for Age of Ultron has debuted during the college football championship. It’s delicious. I might have to start building my own Hulkbuster.

 

I’m not sure how we missed this, but Tony Stark’s transparent phone seen in shots of The Avengers 2: Age of Ultron … is real. It won’t be released to the public, since such technology is reserved for billionaire, genius playboy philanthropists, but it will be an actual functional Samsung device. Source: International Business Times.

 

The final season of Parks and Recreation debuts tonight!

 

In other TV news, an introductory trailer has been released for iZombie, debuting on The CW March 17th, 2015 and based off the 2010 Vertigo series of the same name.

 

Okay, so don’t freak out, but Greg Capullo has posted some concept art for Batman: Endgame, including a drawing with Batman’s left hand replaced by a blade. As sweet as that sounds, hopefully Bruce Wayne does not go all Rick Grimes on us soon. Source: Twitter.

 

The Simpsons paid tribute to Charlie Hedbo in very classy fashion. Source: Time

 

Martin Luthor King Jr.’s biopic, Selma, is doing something pretty cool. Check out the link below for select cities that are giving away free tickets to the movie for 7th-9th grade students. Don’t be sad if your city if not among the list, because more will be announced tomorrow. Source: Selmamovie.com.

 

The final season of Boardwalk Empire is out on home video today. This show had one of the greatest finales in recent memory, and neatly wrapped everything up by the series’ end. Link: Amazon.

 

Gotham will be coming to the circus! The Flying Graysons have been confirmed to appear on the show after some behind the scenes photos surfaced. I wonder if this means the appearance of Tony Zucco. Source: Ben McKenzie’s LiveJournal.

 

Still butt-hurt about the new lightsaber from Star Wars: Episode VII? Sucks for you! This fan has taken the time to show the world why this crossgaurd design is superior to the traditional one.

 

Mark your calendars, because The Late Show starring Stephen Colbert will debut on September 8th. Source: TV.com.

 

Telltale Games (the ones behind story-driven games like The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us and Game of Thrones) will soon be making a new, original game as part of their expansion, which includes Borderlands and Minecraft titles. I’m personally happy to see a creative (and affordable) change in the market – proving that not all games need to be “epic” to  be enjoyable. Source: IGN.

 

Lando is back! Original Star Wars star Billy Dee Williams will reprise his role as Lando Calrissian in next week’s episode of Star Wars Rebels. Taylor has been reviewing the series thus far and has given it high praises, so if you’re on the fence about it, Lando’s appearance may give you the push you need to see it. Source: EW.

Best of 2014: TV

Another year is in the books, and we here at Hush Comics couldn’t pass at the chance to rank our favorites of this year’s releases in all types of mediums. Some of the winners will surprise you; heck, some of the results surprised  us. The results are completely subjective, and therefore were chosen with infallible logic. We would love to hear your opinions on what we have chosen, or if you thought we missed anything. This should be a fun review before we gear up for 2015.

hush best of 2014
Click on the link to take you to the “Best of 2014” homepage.

This year’s nominations are…

Best New Series

  • Constantine (NBC)
  • The Flash (The CW)
  • Gotham (FOX)
  • How to Get Away With Murder (ABC)
  • Last Week Tonight With John Oliver (HBO)

Results here.

Best Series

  • Arrow (The CW)
  • Game of Thrones (HBO)
  • Orange is the New Black (Netflix)
  • Sons of Anarchy (FX)
  • The Walking Dead (AMC)

Results here.

Best Animated Series

  • Archer (FX)
  • Bob’s Burgers (FOX)
  • ChoZen (FX)
  • Legend of Korra (Nickelodeon)
  • Star Wars Rebels (Disney XD)

Results here.

Best Sitcoms

  • Big Bang Theory
  • Brooklyn 9-9
  • Community
  • How I Met Your Mother
  • Parks and Recreations

Results here.

Best Character

  • Carol (The Walking Dead)
  • Felicity (Arrow)
  • The Inquisitor (Star Wars Rebels)
  • Jax (Sons of Anarchy)
  • Troy and Abed (Community)

Results here.

Best Anime

  • Attack on Titan
  • Kill la Kill
  • Parasyte
  • Psycho-Pass
  • Sword Art Online

Results here.

Onto: Best of 2014 – Music

Best of 2014: TV – Best Character

Another year is in the books, and we here at Hush Comics couldn’t pass at the chance to rank our favorites of this year’s releases in all types of mediums. Some of the winners will surprise you; heck, some of the results surprised  us. The results are completely subjective, and therefore were chosen with infallible logic. We would love to hear your opinions on what we have chosen, or if you thought we missed anything. This should be a fun review before we gear up for 2015.

hush best of 2014
Click on the link to take you to the “Best of 2014” homepage.

Best Characters on TV

  • Carol (The Walking Dead)
  • Felicity (Arrow)
  • The Inquisitor (Star Wars Rebels)
  • Jax (Sons of Anarchy)
  • Troy and Abed (Community)

WINNER – Troy and Abed (Community)

Yep, you read that correctly; Troy and Abed from Community are one. The connection these two have could send peanut butter and jelly to couples counseling. Before being canceled by the idiots at NBC, the same idiots that almost canceled Constantine not too long ago, Troy and Abed said goodbye to one another in one of the saddest moments of television I can remember. The series wasn’t over, but a part of the show’s spirit died a little when Troy boarded the Childish Tycoon with LeVar Burton and left Greendale. Gone are the pillow forts, Dreamatorium and tandem Halloween costumes. No one character is bigger than the show, but these two definitely were. – Sherif

Second Place – Carol (The Walking Dead)

Carol TWD Best of 2014 TV Series Character Runner Up 1

Carol Peletier on The Walking Dead is a one-woman arsenal.  She blew up Terminus by herself!  She gunned down Denise Crosby with no qualms!  She shot Lizzie with some qualms!  Carol has had the most character development in the series, and between the end of season four and the beginning of season five, it has become clear that this is not the same women whose husband beat her in season one.  But Carol also revealed her sensitive side (to Daryl, of course), proving that she is more than a machine, she is a human. – Adrian

Third Place – The Inquisitor (Star Wars Rebels)

The Inquisitor Best of 2014 TV Series Character Runner Up

So everyone is making a big deal about the three pronged broadsword-lightsaber wielded by the mysterious dark figure in the recently released Episode VII teaser trailer.  That’s fine and all, but if anyone should be making a big deal about any lightsaber it should be The Inquisitor’s lightsaber.  Have you seen that thing?!  No?!  Google it right now!  DO IT!  Better yet, watch Rebels and tape your eyelids open during any moment The Inquisitor is on screen.  Talk about a lethal and lovable character.  Here’s a list of words and phrases that describe The Inquisitor: awesome, scary, charming, charismatic, powerful, limber, has really cool outfits/gear, deep understanding of the force, cunning, has really sharp teeth, good posture, and deadly with a lightsaber.  In many fewer words The Inquisitor is bad-ass.  His actions in just a few short episode of Rebels has firmly placed him as one of the coolest force-sensitive bad guys among the stars.  That’s why we nominated him for best character of the year.  Be afraid rebels.  Be very afraid. – Taylor

RUNNER UP – Jax (Sons of Anarchy)

Jax Teller Best of 2014 TV Series Character Runner Up

From day one, Jackson “Jax” Teller has stay true to two things and two things only, his family, and his club. Although, he has constantly struggled with the angels and demons climbing up his shoulders, he would sooner meet the Reaper before allowing harm to come his “sons.” It has been poetic in nature to see Jax mature and grow through the years. Balancing between who he wants to be and who he truly is, regardless of where his character finished, his love was unwavering. No one through out the series has loved as hard as Jax, and it’s hard to believe anyone could ever match his level of love.  Jax was a bad man who loved hard, and followed his truths though thick and thin. – Evan

RUNNER UP – Felicity (Arrow)

Felicity Smoak Best of 2014 TV Series Character Runner Up 4

Everyone loves Felicity. Sometimes I think fans like her more than they do Oliver. Hell, if it was just Felicity with her own show I would be all over that. Sometimes I fantasize she’s the Oracle and I get my Birds of Prey show. I mean, the show keeps highlighting the clock tower, Laurel is becoming Black Canary, so maybe we can redeem the Huntress and have a fucking awesome kickass female fronted superhero show.Also, I’m sorry but I have to talk about her fashion. Her dresses… I want them! Or rather I want her tailor. Anyway, I digress. I think the other aspect that so many fans are drawn too is the alternative to a strong female character. I like a woman who can kick ass along with everyone else, but that’s not me. I am the woman behind a computer who uses my words to fight, which is just as valuable if more than a pair of fists. For Felicity, her power is not what’s under her dress, nor in the shape of her fist but rather her mind and her intelligence. And that’s why so many of us want her with Oliver, because she the sidekick the one who saves him through her ingenuity. Not to mention she’s a role model for all the girl programmers out there who want to do what she does. The more we see these smart savvy women in media the more women will feel comfortable pursuing their dreams.  – Jené

Next Category: Best Anime

Best of 2014: TV – Best Animated Series

Another year is in the books, and we here at Hush Comics couldn’t pass at the chance to rank our favorites of this year’s releases in all types of mediums. Some of the winners will surprise you; heck, some of the results surprised  us. The results are completely subjective, and therefore were chosen with infallible logic. We would love to hear your opinions on what we have chosen, or if you thought we missed anything. This should be a fun review before we gear up for 2015.

hush best of 2014
Click on the link to take you to the “Best of 2014” homepage.

Best Animated TV Series

  • Archer (FX)
  • Bob’s Burgers (FOX)
  • ChoZen (FX)
  • Legend of Korra (Nickelodeon)
  • Star Wars Rebels (Disney XD)

WINNER – Bob’s Burgers (FOX)

“Hello and welcome to Bob’s Burgers. The burger of the day is the “child molester”—it comes with candy.” — Louise Belcher. I freaking love this cartoon. It has become something special that my mother and I get excited about watching together whenever I’m in town. I have to restrain myself from watching it without her while I’m away at school. I usually give in to temptation. The dialogue is witty, the characters complex and beautifully quirky, and the dynamics between them both hilarious and heartwarming. I can never pick a favorite character from this show; it changes constantly. Bob never fails to make me laugh with his frustration over his family and the town. I love Linda’s Queens accent (“Can I get you some cwaffe?) and quirky love for her family. I love Tina’s dry humor and pubescent shenanigans. Gene’s complete disregard for tact makes me laugh constantly and Louise is a fearless leader with some of the best lines in the show. If you haven’t seen Bob’s Burgers, you’re missing out. – Charlotte

Second Place – The Legend of Korra (Nickelodeon)

legend of korra -best-of-2014-tv-series-animated-runner-up

This year has certainly been kind to Korra. Season 3 and 4 (both aired in 2014) have been the highlights of the entire series. Season one was a decent start, although many would agree that it was not what it could have been, and the only lore for season two was the insight into the Avatar universe history (it definitely wasn’t all the mind numbing love drama). However, this year was packed full of interesting villains and challenging obstacles. The re-introduction of an air bending nation, and thus the freeing of four deranged and dangerous benders left us all awed. The fight scenes alone should have won everyone over, but if that wasn’t enough, there was lava bending, the return of Toph, new characters, crazy death scenes, a gay avatar, and a weapon of mass-destruction! If you haven’t watched Legend  of Korra at all, this year’s seasons are the ones to catch up on. Hopefully they keep going, and translate this momentum into the next avatar. – Sara

Third Place – Archer (FX)

archer-best-of-2014-tv-series-animated-runner-up

Now referred to as Archer Vice, the group at ISIS starts the season trying to unload a whole lot of cocaine in Miami. It turns out, to no surprise, that Mallory, the always diabolically hilarious Jessica Walters, isn’t exactly on the up and up with the legality of ISIS. The season revolves around the group attempting to unload the cocaine. This season has a lot of really fun episodes plots, people go to rehab, some are captured by police in Columbia and have to make their way through the jungle, revolutions, clones and country music! The cast is as funny as ever and the comedy is, as always, some of the best on television. Now I patiently await the arrival of Season 6. – Scott

RUNNER UP – Chozen (FX)

chozen best of 2014 animated tv show runner up

Gay white rapper released from prison attempts to resurrect rap career. Okay, so when you say it like that, I can see why it got canceled after its first and only season. To me, though, this show was about much more than rockin that spot between yo butts and yo nuts. It was about respecting yourself, and having fun with what you do. Really though, this show was just the right amount of ridiculousness; it wasn’t afraid to make fun of real issues, and damn sure wasn’t afraid to make fun of itself. I haven’t laughed this hard at a show since Ugly Americans. – Sherif

RUNNER UP – Star Wars Rebels (Disney XD)

Star Wars Rebels Best of 2014 TV Series Animated Runner Up

It’s been a big year for Star Wars.  Drawing ever closer to the un-quantifiably anticipated Episode VII film release, Disney is working hard to rekindle the original spark that set the late 70’s ablaze with adventures of a galaxy far, far away.  More than working hard, Disney is working smart!  Instead of immediately bombarding the world with superfluous content, they took nearly two years to bring us something that would do justice to the universe so many of us love and cherish.  Mission accomplished.  Star Wars Rebels is an animated series that explore the events that take place between Episode III and Episode IV through the eyes of a small band of rebels.  This band will eventually team up with other impactful figures of the age to form the Rebel Alliance.  Because I promised myself I wouldn’t gush, I’ll only say this: as a die-hard fan of the franchise, I’m very pleased with how this series has started.  The plot is meaningful and events are rooted in core Star Wars themes.  The series starts up again early 2015 and a second season is already in the works.  If you want to be a part of the thrill ride that is certain to continue for years to come, be sure to add Rebels to your queue. – Taylor

Next Category: Best TV Sitcoms

Star Wars Rebels – “Gathering Forces” S1E9

01_ezra-cover

Rebels faced another big test this week in delivering the second half of its very first two part episode.  For me, this episode would make or break the rest of the season.  Well fan boys & girls let me say… Star Wars Rebels has unequivocally been “made.”  I loved, loved, loved “Gathering Forces!!”  I’ll tell you all the reasons why.

We picked up right where we left off.  The rebels are running from Imperial forces in The Ghost, attempting to get their new ally and Imperial defector, Tseebo, to safety.  I have to give it up the Imperials this time.  Not only did they send way more than the standard FOUR TIE fighters after their quarry, they dropped two Star Destroyers on the fleeing heroes.  A-plus effort troopers!  Lucky for Hera, Tseebo’s more than just baggage; he helps the rebels make a narrow getaway.

Always calm and collected, the Inquisitor chases the rebels across the galaxy
Always calm and collected, the Inquisitor chases the rebels across the galaxy

In the midst of the commotion we get more background on Tseebo’s relationship with Ezra.  After Ezra’s parents were abducted, he was left in the care of Tseebo who (apparently) abandoned him and did nothing to try and save his parents.  Ezra is convinced that his parents are dead.  This aspect is left lingering at the end of the episode, which is a guarantee that this will come up again in a big way.

Speeding through hyperspace, Kanan senses a disturbance in The Force – he doesn’t feel like they’ve made a clean escape.  Tseebo confirms as much and shares the specs of a new tracking device developed by the Empire.  It can actively track a ship through hyperspace – so cool!!!  And yes, you guessed it, the rebels have been hit with one all thanks to The Inquisitor.  Kanan devises a plan to draw the pursuing Inquisitor and Imperials away with Ezra, so that the others can get Tseebo into safe hands.  I really applaud the use of sweet sci-fi tech here.  It’s not forced and it weaves very seamlessly into the story.  It kept me engaged and anxious.

He man not look it, but Tseebo has got it together!
He man not look it, but Tseebo has got it together!

Kana and Ezra take the tracking device and use The Ghost’s dropship, The Phantom, to peel off from the main ship in mid hyperspace flight.  The following scene of The Phantom perilously and uncontrollably exiting hyperspace was sweeeeet!!!  I’m a little confused about how a faster-than-light object naturally decelerates in the presence of a frictionless vacuum, but then again, I don’t really understand faster-than-light travel in the first place, so I’ll let this slide.  Kanan and Ezra are headed back to the abandoned asteroid base that we first witnessed in episode 7.  I’ll lay on more applause for Weisman and his team for tying past episodes together in a meaningful way.  It’s apparent that the Rebels creative team is (and has been) deliberate and strategic with the happenings of prior episodes.  Practically ALL my grievances with continuity and random events of this season were addressed this episode; even the situation with Fulcrum!

If this is what the dark side is all about, then sign me up!
If this is what the dark side is all about, then sign me up!

More than just creating a diversion for the main mission, Kanan intends to use his time on the planet to teach Ezra more about The Force.  Instead of avoiding the “shadow-beasts” that nearly killed Hera and Sabine, Kanan wants Ezra to connect with these creatures.  A touching and masterfully delivered Master-Padawan moment ensues.  This sequence is the second best one of the entire show thus far.  The single best sequence (so far) happens right afterward!  The Inquisitor and his troops take the bait and follow Kanan to the base.  Inquisitor vs. Kanan round 2 takes place, with The Inquisitor taking the upper hand.  The Inquisitor is so flippin’ stylish and menacing that I can hardly stand it.  Consider me an Inquisitor groupie at this point.  With Kanan unable to hang, Ezra is left as the last line of defense.  In quintessential Star Wars fashion, The Inquisitor goads Ezra into harnessing his dark potential.  This plays out in the most stark and impressive show of Ezra’s untapped abilities.  We witness firsthand how powerful Ezra can be and what’s possible if his abilities are left unchecked and subject to the dark side!  This moment was defining for Rebels and has really boosted my confidence (and enjoyment) of the show.

Ezra's dark side potential personified - a shocking representation
Ezra’s dark side potential personified – a shocking representation.

It’s no surprise that Kanan and Ezra are able to elude capture from the clutches of the evil Empire yet again – they’re top class escape artists after all!  As the episode wraps up, viewers are left with just the right amount of questions and intrigue.  What will happen to Tseebo?  What really happened to Ezra’s parents?  What does Ezra’s brush with the dark side mean for his future?  I’ve doubted the Rebel’s production team’s ability to deliver continuity – this is mostly the fault of their predecessor series, The Clone Wars – but after “Gathering Forces” I’m convinced that this band of Disney TV makers knows what they’re doing.

We're sad too Ezra.  We have to wait a whole month for more Rebels
We’re sad too Ezra. We have to wait a whole month for more Rebels.

Star Wars Rebels gets a Hutt-sized A+ this week.  “Gathering Forces” is hands-down, the best episode of the series so far.  It wasn’t just great compared to the other episodes, it was great relative to some of the best moments of classic Star Wars.  It was super-cool, believable (for sci-fi) and most importantly, it felt like Star Wars.  The only bad thing about any of this is that the series will be taking a break for the holidays.  We’ll all have to wait until January for the adventure to continue.  Until then we’ll all have to practice Master Yoda’s timeless lesson of patience… Patience young Padawan…

Star Wars Rebels – “Empire Day” S1E8

Sabotage

Star Wars Rebels has reached a pivotal point.  All the basics have been covered.  Who are the rebels?  How do they work as a team?  What are their biggest strengths and weaknesses?  What challenges lie ahead?  We now know the answer to those questions.  So, now begins the true test for Rebels.  Where will Weisman and his team take this series from here?  It’s a defining time for Rebels.  This week’s episode, “Empire Day,” did a lot to give me confidence that the direction this show is headed is a good one.

The Empire may be evil, but they've got style!
The Empire may be evil, but they’ve got style! 

Before the beginning of the episode I thought to myself, “I wonder how Ezra’s Jedi training is progressing?”  Almost as if bending to my exact desires, the opening sequence brought us Kanan instructing Ezra in the ways of The Force.  This scene was well done.  Kanan is turning out to be an excellent mentor.  His insight to The Force is impressive and watching him use that insight in action is consistently cool.

As the training continues it’s obvious that Ezra is struggling and distracted.  We learn that this day in particular is “Empire Day.”  Empire Day is an Imperial celebratory occasion that marks the day the Imperial Empire was established throughout the galaxy.  It is the 15th Empire Day on record, meaning (finally) we have a bit of time-reference.  15 years have passed since Order 66 and the downfall of the Old Republic – a good amount of time has passed since Episode III!

Empire Day is a tough day for Ezra
Empire Day is a tough day for Ezra

What better day to rebel than Empire Day?!  Our heroes feel the same way.  They’ve picked up a new mission to sabotage a brand new type of TIE fighter to be presented at the Empire Day parade on Lothal.  This new line of TIE is similar to Darth Vader’s TIE Advanced X1 – it looks sweet!  It’s almost a shame that the rebels have to blow it to bits.  Watching Kanan and crew carry out their mission jogged my memory of the plot in the episode prior – who is giving the rebels their missions?  The name we got last episode was Fulcrum.  I held out all episode long hoping there would be some mention of what happened to him.  I’m very frustrated to say that I did not get my wish.  I’ve said it before and I’ll continue saying it until it’s fixed: The primary hurdle in making Rebels great (as opposed to just “good”) is continuity!!!  So far the continuity has been decent, though verging on mediocre.  So much is to be gained by simply stringing these episodes together in a clear and simple fashion.

The rebels have a new ally - Tseebo!
The rebels have a new ally – Tseebo!

In the midst of the rebel’s destructive scheming both Agent Kallus and The Inquisitor are on Lothal working an assignment.  Surprisingly enough, their mission has nothing to do with Ezra, Zeb or any of the rebels.  They’re looking for a Rodian named Tseebo.  What’s so important about a single Rodian that would warrant the attention of BOTH Kallus and The Inquisitor?!  More on that in a bit.

After successfully carrying out their mission the rebels search for a place to lay low.  Ezra offers to take them all to a location where they’ll be safe for a while.  We come to find that this place is Ezra’s old home.  We get major insight to Ezra’s past this episode.  He used to live here with both his parents who were outspoken anti-Imperialists.  “Used to” being the key words.  Ezra’s parents were abducted by the Empire for hosting a secret, rebel radio show on Lothal.  We also learn that Empire Day is Ezra’s birthday!  By way of chance (or perhaps The Force!!), on-the-run Tseebo has also chosen to hide in Ezra’s old home.  We learn that Tseebo was a good family friend of the Bridgers and that he has joined the intelligence branch of the Empire.  Only now he is on the run.  It’s unclear why he’s running, but that’s mostly because he’s a little unstable and incoherent due to the faulty cybernetic headpiece attached to his skull.  All this could be the lead into the defining event of Rebels.

Kanan defending his team from the persistent Agent Kallus
Kanan defending his team from the persistent Agent Kallus

With historic ties to Ezra and potential for obtaining valuable Imperial secrets, the rebels opt to help Tseebo escape off world.  An exciting chase takes place as Kallus, The Inquisitor and numerous Imperial troops team up to try and thwart the getaway.  I can’t get over how awesome The Inquisitor looks.  This week he dons a flight suit with a bad ass helmet and it took all I had to not drool all over the remote.

Darth Vader could pick up a few style tips from The Inquisitor!
Darth Vader could pick up a few style tips from The Inquisitor!

The extraction is just barely successful and the rebels shoot out into space.  But not before Tseebo encounters a brief moment of lucidity and realizes where he and who he is with.  He recognizes Ezra and excitedly exclaims that he knows what’s happened to his parents!  That’s where the episode ends – a true-blue cliffhanger!  What I like most about this is now Weisman is forced to deliver continuity.  Maybe this is a statement from the Rebels production team that they understand what this series needs and that they plan to deliver.  In any case the trajectory is positive.

“Empire Day” scores an A this week.  The entire episode felt deeply rooted in the themes of the original trilogy.  This was an episode that focused on a story and an upcoming journey.  It was accentuated with action and suspense and it left me wanting more.  We’re getting close to the home stretch for season 1 – fingers crossed for a worthy buildup and conclusion!

Star Wars Rebels – “Out of Darkness” S1E7

Wave of explosions

Coming into this week’s episode of Star Wars Rebels, I had low expectations.  Previews from last week showed a few of our rebel team “stuck” on a foreign planet and fending off attacks by local, dangerous creatures.  I was prepared for an action packed, but ultimately pointless episode.  Once again, Rebels pleasantly surprised me.  The episode was fairly action packed (as expected), but more importantly, the focus of the episode was centered on the greater plot – why are the rebels doing what they’re doing?  Who is handing out their missions?  How does the team feel about all this?  “Out of Darkness” addressed some of the bigger questions that have been hanging out there and it made for a great episode.

Hera's a good pilot... But could she hang with Han Solo?
Hera’s a good pilot… But could she hang with Han Solo? 

The episode wastes no time upping the octane level.  We enter to find Hera piloting The Ghost’s dropship, The Phantom, in a hair-raising escape from chasing Imperial TIE fighters.  Ezra and Sabine are nervously strapped in tight alongside Hera while she shows us her mad skills.  During the cat-and-mouse routine Hera confidently boasts, “There isn’t a pilot in the Imperial fleet that can outrun me!”  The first thing that hit me after Hera’s bragging was, “I wonder how she would fair against Han Solo?!”  For those of you who didn’t know, Han Solo used to be part of the Imperial military – initially trained as a TIE fighter pilot, but quickly promoted to Lieutenant due to his unmatched skills.  Hera blows the chasing TIEs to slag, but I wonder if the result would have been the same if Han Solo had been in one of those TIE cockpits.

At first glance this opening appears to be pointless action – we don’t even know why the rebels are being chased!  Everything becomes apparent when Sabine confronts Hera regarding the ever increasing danger that’s associated with their missions.  Sabine pushes Hera to tell her where their intel comes from and why they’re continually put in harm’s way.  Hera quickly shuts Sabine down and simply asks that Sabine trust her.  To know that all the rebels aren’t privy to key information adds much needed depth to this show.  It was also apparent that this would be a heavy Hera and Sabine episode, which is a good thing – it’s long overdue.

Today's forecast is sunny with a bit of asteroid-cover
Today’s forecast is sunny with a bit of asteroid-cover

Once all the rebels are reunited back on The Ghost they quickly prep for their next mission.  Sabine, not willing to continue blindly following orders, demands to know more about the mission.  Hera throws Sabine a bone and reveals that their information comes from a contact known as Fulcrum.  No one but Kanan and Hera have ever made contact with Fulcrum.  Sabine pressures Hera into arranging a meeting with the mysterious informant at the drop site of their next supply run.  Fulcrum, via encrypted radio communications, hesitantly agrees.

She's more than a pretty face with crazy-colored hair
She’s more than a pretty face with crazy-colored hair 

As the episode progresses we learn more about Sabine’s background and why she is so adamant to be in-the-loop.  Sabine is of Mandalorian descent, that much is known.  But if Boba Fett has taught us anything, it’s that Mandalorians rarely have allegiances beyond direct family and the highest bidder.  So what makes Sabine different?  As it turns out, Sabine, at one point was training to join the Imperial Army.  The Empire established a recruitment camp on Mandalore in an effort to add to its ranks; Sabine joined in.  After some questionable and uncomfortable assignments that left Sabine with a very bad taste in her mouth, she left her home to join the rebel band she’s with now.  We don’t get specifics, but it’s enough to really give some genuineness to Sabine.  This lady Mandalorian is sharp, deadly, sexy, and she’s not afraid to think for herself.  I really appreciated the internal strife she brought throughout the episode.  It really elevated the plot!

What can rip through steel and likes to eat rebels?... This guy!
What can rip through steel and likes to eat rebels?… This guy!

In The Phantom, Hera and Sabine touchdown on an isolated, asteroid-laden planet home to a deserted military base used during the clone wars.  This is where their supply drop and meeting with Fulcrum is to take place.  Thanks in full to Ezra, Zeb and Chopper’s horseplay, the damage suffered by The Phantom from the last mission was never fixed.  This resulted in all the fuel from The Phantom leaking out and stranding the two rebels – problem #1.  Shortly after realizing that they won’t be leaving anytime soon, Hera and Sabine make contact with some very unfriendly and creepy beasts – problem #2.  Unable to take refuge in The Phantom until help arrives – these vicious little monsters can rip through armored ship hull!! – the two lady rebels are forced to make a stand against wave after wave of the killer creatures.  Sabine formulates a solid strategy at keeping them alive just long enough for Kanan and The Ghost to come to the rescue.

Rebels to the rescue!
Rebels to the rescue!

The rebels make a safe getaway with the supplies, but it feels like we’re missing something… OH YEAH!  Where is Fulcrum?!?!  He was supposed to meet Hera and Sabine at the drop point, but never did.  Was he eaten?!  Did he bail at the onset of witnessing an army of the hungry critters?  Did he even intend to stay and wait?  All these are questions I had at the end of the episode and that’s a good thing!  I’m drawn in and I want to know more.  This is how it should be with a well formulated story.  The catch-22 here is that now expectations have been set.  If next episode rolls around and no thought or mention of Fulcrums status is provided, it will be a severe let down.

But as far as this week goes – “Out of Darkness” earns a B.  By concentrating on the overarching plot, dedicating screen time to lesser known rebels and keeping things exciting, viewers can enjoy this week’s episode of Star Wars Rebels.