On Monday night, Star Wars Rebels came to an end as it finished its four-year run on a high note with its final two episodes, “A Fool’s Hope” and “Family Reunion and Farewell.”
The episodes were a fitting conclusion for the show, as it brought together many familiar faces from the show’s run and focused in on an event that has been four seasons in the making: the Battle of Lothal.
You can read my review of the second episode here, but for now let’s take a look at the first of those episodes, “A Fool’s Hope.” There are obviously ***full spoilers ahead*** so be warned.
At the beginning of the episode, we see Hera on a recruiting mission with Rex, meeting up with Gregor, Wolffe, Ketsu, Hondo, and Melch and recruiting them for their cause – which isn’t a Rebellion mission but rather a mission for Ezra, to liberate Lothal. Back on Lothal, Ezra senses that Thrawn is being sent back to the planet and that the time to act is now, so they enact their plan. Ryder Azadi contacts Arihnda Pryce and offers the rebels in exchange for amnesty, and Pryce arrives at the Rebel camp with plenty of stormtroopers. Ezra, Sabine, and Zeb lead the rebel defenses, as Ezra confronts Rukh, Zeb heroically grabs a turret and begins blasting transports, and Sabine takes to the air to kick some butt. They’re eventually captured, but it’s at that moment that Hera arrives. The Ghost had emerged out of hyperspace and powered down undetected, and Hondo helped them attach to an incoming transport and get through undetected. Successfully into the planet’s atmosphere, the Ghost arrives and begins blasting the Imperials (with Hondo and Melch in the turrets) while providing reinforcements, as Rex, Gregor, Wolffe, and Kallus join the ground fight.
The rebels are still outnumbered, so Ezra orders them into the cave. Pryce and Rukh believe they have the rebels trapped, but Rukh soon discovers that Ezra has a surprise: the Loth-wolves. The wolves pounce and attack the stormtroopers, creating mass chaos and successfully defeating the Imperials. Pryce is taken captive, and the rebels prep for their upcoming assault on the city.
In many ways this episode is simply setting up the events of “Family Reunion and Farewell,” but it stands well on its own too. We see the first part of Ezra’s plan to liberate Lothal, and it results in one of the largest fight scenes we’ve had in Rebels. Ezra, Sabine, Zeb, and Chopper all get heroic moments to shine during the defense of the camp, while Hera pulls off a pretty sweet move with the Ghost, twirling to take out a transport (the same move seen in the Solo trailer). Additionally, Hondo’s plan for getting the crew onto Lothal is awesome, putting the Ghost in dangerously-close proximity to a hyperspace lane – and its made even better by Hondo trying to count how many times he’s been struck by an incoming ship this way.
We also get a fantastic shot of Ezra igniting his lightsaber in the dark of the cave with the wolves behind him, ready to help, and then of course we see the wolves tear apart the Imperial troopers.
The best part of this episode, though, is the fact that it brings together so many familiar faces from the show’s run to aid in the liberation of Lothal. And it’s not like they’re joining the Rebellion; rather, they’re there for Ezra. At the beginning of the series, Ezra was a boy with no family and no belonging. But throughout the show he has met several people and has befriended them, and now at the end we see those people unite together to rally behind Ezra and risk their lives for this mission that is so dear to the young Jedi’s heart. There’s obviously the other members of the Ghost crew – Sabine, Zeb, Hera, and Chopper – but there are so many others too: Rex, Kallus, Gregor, Wolffe, Ketsu, Hondo, Melch, Ryder, Vizago, Mart, Jai, and others. Plus, of course, the Loth-wolves show up and assist Ezra too. The boy with no family at the beginning of the show now has a small army of people willing to journey across the galaxy to fight with him. To see all of them brought together – in such a great fight sequence – is pretty great.
My grade: 9.7