Annlyel takes a retrospective look at Dave Filoni’s stellar second season Star Wars: Rebels to select her top five episodes
The first season of Star Wars: Rebels made me intrigued about the show, the second season made me a fan. So, on that note, here’s a look at the five episodes (and particular moments) that made Season 2 stand out.
1. Episode 2: The Siege of Lothal: Part 2
Darth Vader was revealed at the very end of Season 1 and the writers made sure to let us know that he would play a role in Season 2. The great thing was, they didn’t wait long to do so. In the second part of the one-hour season premiere our Jedi, Kanan, and Ezra, come face to face with one of the most powerful Force-wielders of all time, Darth Vader himself.
It’s a thrilling moment as they are ultimately overwhelmed by his power. And then later during that same episode, we get to see Darth Vader be the incredible pilot that he is as he takes on the Rebel fleet singlehandedly. But that’s not even the best part! As Ahsoka and Kanan use the Force to distract their attacker, Ahsoka feels Vader’s mind and realizes in a horrifying instant that the masked Sith lord is actually her former Jedi master. It’s a shocking realization that is only the precursor to what would truly become an epic showdown later in the season.
2. Episode 7: Wings of the Master
Straying away from the Jedi, Force-filled side of the story, Wings of the Master gives us time to understand Hera’s character (plus her sweet piloting skills) in a greater light in this fascinating episode that sees Syndulla having to retrieve a powerful fighter for the Rebellion. There are a lot of elements to love about this episode; the near-perilous crash, the humor, the eventual prevail of the Rebellion against the Empire (again), but mainly, I love this episode for the moment Hera speaks about her love for flying.
Like Poe Dameron, she’s at her best when she’s behind the controls of a ship, flying far above the solid ground and taking Imperials down one by one. It gave us greater insight into who she is as a character and I appreciated that.
3. Episode 14: Legends of the Lasat
Garrazeb “Zeb” Orrelios grew on me over time. I didn’t like him at first, not at all, but as I realized there was a heart of gold beneath that gruff exterior it wasn’t long before he would become one of the reasons why I love Star Wars: Rebels.
Like the previous episode that I highlighted which focused on giving us a better understanding of Hera Syndulla’s character, Legends of the Lasat was designed to give us a crash course on Zeb and his backstory. This episode fascinates me for one very important reason. It reveals that there are a LOT of secrets nestled within the Star Wars galaxy. As Zeb uses the power of an ancient Lasat staff to steer the Ghost through a deadly nebula, there is a realization that there are a lot of different stories that can be told without ever having to broach the history of the Skywalkers or the current story. Fascinating stuff.
4. Episode 18: Shrouds of Darkness
Every time the Lothal Jedi Temple comes into play in one of the series’ episodes I’m sitting at attention and ready for the show. This episode is thrilling for a number of reasons: it highlights the yellow-bladed-lightsaber-wielding Jedi Temple Guards with a surprise in store as we learn that the Grand Inquisitor from the previous episode was a Jedi Temple Guard. (Woah.) Ezra comes into contact with Jedi Master Yoda, giving us greater insight into the failings of the Jedi, a sentiment echoed in The Last Jedi by Luke Skywalker when he harangues the Jedi for failing to stop Darth Sidious. And Ahsoka Tano finds herself tormented by Anakin/Darth Vader’s ghost, of sorts, delivering one of the most emotional moments of the series. (I feel sorry for Ahsoka.)
All of this added with Darth Vader’s presence toward the end of the episode and it becomes very clear, this series is getting somewhere and I loved every moment of it.
5. Episode 23: Twilight of the Apprentice: Part 2
I’ve watched the last two episodes of Season 2 four times because it truly is that good and this episode, in particular, is Star Wars perfection. The action, the stakes, the drama, the suspense, the surprises, the conclusion, every bit of this episode reeks Star Wars brilliance.
To try to name a favorite moment in this episode almost seems sacrilegious but there are several moments that manage to stand out, such as Maul’s betrayal/Kanan’s blinding injury, Kanan’s epic defeat of Maul, Ezra’s confrontation with the Sith Holocron, and last but definitely not least, Ahsoka’s showdown with Vader. I also love that the episode foreshadows a moment from the thrilling episode in Season 4, A World Between Worlds, with a tease at Ahsoka’s fate. I don’t know exactly why, but the last three times I’ve seen this episode I have found myself teary-eyed with appreciation. This is an amazing television series, one of the best I’ve ever seen, and this episode epitomizes why.
I would like to add some honorable mentions because there are some other fantastic episodes that deserve some recognition such Always Two There Are, which first introduces us to the new Sith Inquisitors. Legacy, the heartbreaking episode that features the story of Ezra’s parents’ death. The Call, a thrilling episode that highlights the Purrgil, a unique creature that would play a rather interesting role in the final episode of the series. (😭) And last but not least, The Honorable Ones which highlights an unsuspected friendship between Zeb and Agent Kallus as they find themselves trapped on an ice moon of Geonosis. This friendship would become an important piece to Kallus’s story later down the line.
Next up, Season 3.
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Annlyel James is a prolific Staff Writer for Future of the Force. She is passionate about Star Wars and Marvel but loves a wide variety of movie genres. Aside from her role with Future of the Force she also writes for her own blog: annlyelonline. Follow her on Twitter @annlyeljames where she channels the Force frequently!