Star Wars Rebels has been a show that time after time again, it proves it’s a worthy contribution to the Star Wars canon with the latest episode, Wings of the Master doing just that. This action packed episode centers on The Ghost’s pilot, Hera Syndulla, played by the wonderful Vanessa Marshall, giving us insight into her past. Not only does this episode give the origins of one of our favorite characters, but a classic ship seen during the climactic battle of Return of the Jedi.
The fifth episode in the second season (not including The Siege of Lothal) starts as The Ghost, a Corellian corvette and a squad of A-wings are in hyperspace when they receive a holographic message from an Ibaarian citizen, saying they are in need of food. The Ghost along with Phoenix Squadron, arrive at the planet only to be intercepted by an Imperial blockade at the command of the ruthless Agent Kallus of the Imperial Security Bureau. The A-wings and The Ghost engage multiple TIE fighters in an attempt to protect the Corellian corvette which is carrying the supplies for the people on the planet below. Most of the A-wings get destroyed and the prototype Star Destroyers penetrate the corvette’s defenses, taking the ship down. Hera orders the remaining pilots to fall back and regroup. Once they are reunited with Commander Sato and the rest of the rebel cell, they start to bounce around ideas. Hera tells him that if she can use the rest of their fleet, she will be able to get past the blockade. Captain Rex reveals that he has been in communication of an engineer claiming to have built a starfighter equipped with heavy artillery, designed to make it through blockades however, he only talks in person. Hera, Zeb, and Sabine board The Phantom to visit this engineer. As they enter the atmosphere of the planet he resides on, their power cuts out. Hera, being the amazing pilot she is, navigates through the treacherous rock pillars, successfully landing on the engineer’s pad. The Phantom took quite a deal of damage from the landing and isn’t able to fly. We then see the engineer exiting his garage asking who they are, to which the rebels reply and tell him that Captain Rex sent them to see his new ship. The engineer, Quarie, a small Mon Calamarian, leads them in and shows him the prototype of his creation. The ship resembles a B-Wing and has an orange paint job. Hera asks Quarie when she will get to fly the craft and he is opposed to her flying his masterpiece. He wants the perfect pilot to operate his work. Hera and Quarie start fixing The Phantom when the short alien asks the Twi’lek why she is a pilot. The pilot of The Ghost replies saying as a child the Clone Wars had spread to her home planet Ryloth. Her mother would keep Hera safe and hide her away but she would look out and watch as the Republic starfighters fought to liberate her planet. She feels a calling to the sky and she feels at her best when she is in a dangerous situation. She left her family to go fly, fight for freedom, and help those in need. Quarie sees this and allows Hera to pilot the B-Wing. Initially, the power on the B-Wing cuts out immediately only to return seconds later. She has a successful test run but wants more fire power on the craft. Meanwhile, Kanan and Ezra prepare the rest of the rebel fleet to try to get past the blockade. This time, The Ghost will carry the supplies. While this is happening, Sabine starts to make weapon modifications to the B-wing. Sabine comes back and tells the rest of the crew that the weapons used all the power, making the hyperdrive unfunctional. Quarrie tells them that he installed his last one onto The Phantom which starts Hera to think. The show cuts back to Kanan and Ezra, along with the rest of the rebel fleet as they approach the blockade. They engage the enemy and just as hope seems lost, the B-Wing flies in with The Phantom docked on top. The hyperdrive carried both vehicles through space. Zeb and Quarie are left in The Phantom while Hera pilots and Sabine mans the weapons. They approach a prototype Star Destroyer and Sabine uses the advanced weaponry on the craft to take one down creating a path for Kanan and Ezra to drop off the supplies to the suffering citizens. Once they regroup, Commander Sato, by the request of Kanan, appoints Hera as Phoenix Leader.
This week’s episode of Rebels was very fun and entertaining. It’s nice to see the origin of vehicles such as the B-wing get their own backstory. As Pablo Hidalgo stated in Rebels Recon, the X-wings and Y-wings aren’t with this rebel cell and it’s not until Return of the Jedi when the whole Alliance comes together, which is the reason why A-wings and B-wings are only seen in that film. Star Wars Rebels is a truly a love letter to Ralph McQuarrie and his concept art for the original trilogy, and the Mon Calamarian, Quarrie in this episode is named after him. I love seeing these nods to McQuarrie and the original trilogy and it makes the show more enjoyable for me. Some people think that Rebels is too childish but for a Disney XD show it’s pretty sophisticated and can get very dark. Wings of the Master is definitely a more light hearted episode yet it is still very enjoyable. It has some well done battles in space, a story that entertains, nods to other things within the Star Wars universe, and gives us a better understanding of the ships seen in The Original Trilogy. I feel that this episode was a bit rushed having to fit within the 22 minutes given. I think the show would benefit greatly to have it run twice as long. As of now, this episode doesn’t seem to have an impact of the overarch of the show, however Rebels shows us time and time again that throwaway events are often resurfaced in a future episode. Because of all the positives I discussed, however with the episode feeling rushed I will give this an 8/10. It’s not essential to watch but it is very fun and entertaining.