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Star Wars: Rebels Feels Like A Saturday Morning Cartoon

Marshall Lemon | 21 Oct 2014 08:00
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The bad news is that Rebels still insists on cramming unnecessary plot points into each episode that could've been better spent highlighting something more interesting. Specifically, Ezra bumps into an old friend of his parents who's being pressured by the Empire to sell his farm. After refusing them for one final time, Stormtroopers arrest him and blow up his house before returning to base. When Ezra realizes what's happened, he insists on using the stolen TIE Fighter to organize an impromptu rescue.

We're only a few episodes in, and this is already a recurring problem for Rebels: When you only have a 22-minute time slot it's crucial to focus on something. Rebels could have done a great filler episode about an outrageous fruit caper, or a great filler episode of Ezra finding a connection to his parents. When you try to do both, it lessens the impact of each plot point and generally creates a muddled mess. Not to mention these characters don't end up adding anything to Ezra's backstory; they could have been Hutts smuggling rare fruits to the planet instead and little of significance would have changed.

On top of that, forcing this particular side plot creates all kinds of inconsistencies. Why exactly is the Empire interested in a moisture farm? Why risk blowing up the farm afterwards if the land is so valuable? Why is your prisoner transport pulling double-duty as a fruit shipping convoy? And once you've rescued your parent's friends, why are you fleeing the scene when they have no home or livelihood to return to, and probably ended up with an Imperial bounty on their heads? Shouldn't you at least make sure they have somewhere to go so the Empire can't find them again?

The good news is that the episode is so silly to begin with that you can largely suspend your disbelief and enjoy the proceedings. Everything from Zeb piloting the TIE Fighter with his feet to Ezra blocking blaster fire with a fruit shield is so goofy and fun that it's hard not to be charmed. Not every episode needs to take this route, but as a light-hearted break from the commonplace, it's perfectly welcome. Rebels only needed to go a little farther with its cartoon logic to reach perfection, but as it stands, this is a fun diversion all the same.

Bottom Line: "Fighter Flight" is the closest Rebels has come to acting like a Saturday morning cartoon, and that's a good thing. Its silly premise builds to a ridiculous fight sequence and some long-overdue banter between Ezra and Zeb. Rebels is still trying to force unnecessary side plots into the mix, but thankfully the episode is enjoyable enough that you can suffer through it.

Recommended: This is the good kind of filler episode. Here's hoping it sets the tone for filler episodes to come.

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