This article contains spoilers for Star Wars Rebels Season 3, Episode 10
Proving the old adage that sometimes “it’s not what you know but who you know,” the latest episode of Star Wars Rebels feels like a return to form after a few weeks of (let’s face it) less than fully engaging stories.
“An Inside Man” serves up plenty of action (you’re right, Ryder: I never thought I’d see Imperial Walkers firing on each other, either—and did the speeder chase at the beginning remind anyone else of Marty pushing the DeLorean up to 88 mph in Back to the Future?), including another classic “let’s disguise ourselves as Stormtroopers” sequence that evokes a lot of the fun of the saga’s first one, way back in Star Wars: A New Hope. This episode also advances some critical character arcs, reassuring me, at least, that Rebels’ third season is done treading water.
So what questions am I left asking myself until the next new episode?
1) Will we see TIE Defenders in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story?
Okay, this isn’t so much a “big” question as a geeky one. But given that we already know about some new vehicles winging their way to the silver screen in Rogue One (such as the way cool Rebel U-Wing Fighter), is it too much to hope that we’ll get to see the results of Grand Admiral Thrawn’s special project in action, too?
I know many of you Star Wars video gamers out there already have, since the ship isn’t, strictly speaking, a new one; it’s been around since LucasArts’ 1994 Star Wars: TIE Fighter. And I’m sure I could probably find an answer to my question online right now, if I weren’t also trying to avoid learning too many of Rogue One‘s secrets in advance. For now, I’ll just hope we see these high-powered, personally shielded craft in operation, whether in live-action or animation. And I hope we’ll find out the “in-universe” reason these ships are, apparently, no longer the threat Hera and the others feared they would be by the time of the Battle of Yavin.
2) Does the Rebellion “vet” its “Fulcrums”?
Well, time for me to eat Pervian blood crow: I was apparently one of the only fans who failed to figure out, in “The Antilles Extraction,” that Agent Kallus had become a new “Fulcrum.” It just goes to show – fannish enthusiasm can sometimes keep you from seeing the obvious.
What I don’t see now, though, is why Hera and the others greet Kallus’ revelation in “An Inside Man” with continuing skepticism. I appreciate the fact that they’ve had good reason to fear and hate this guy. (Kanan’s “rebuke” of Ezra’s Force push against Kallus – “I was gonna do that!” – is my favorite moment from the episode.) But Kallus did know the code phrase, and he did deliver valuable, actionable intelligence. And I can’t believe a rebellion masterminded by Senator Bail Organa would let any of its “Fulcrums” (Fulcra?) act completely independently. Unless I’m overlooking some key clue (again), I think there’s no reason to believe Kallus is anything but what he claims to be: our heroes’ new “inside man.”
3) Does Grand Admiral Thrawn know Kallus is Fulcrum?
Was Qui-Gon Jinn a Jedi Knight? Do tauntauns smell bad on the outside? Is “Jedi Rocks” inferior to “Lapti Nek”? (The correct answer to that last one, by the way, is, “Yes.”)
Are you kidding? Of course Thrawn knows Kallus is the mole within Imperial ranks. The bigger question, I suppose, is what Thrawn will do about it. Whatever action he takes, it’s not likely to be pretty, if the way he dispatched of poor Mr. Sumar is any indication:
While I feel bad for kindly old Mr. Sumar, I’m glad we’re again seeing Thrawn’s malevolence. When we last saw the Grand Admiral, in “Iron Squadron,” he stayed too much in the shadows, murmuring and muttering vaguely threatening remarks but not doing anything dastardly. In “An Inside Man,” he’s much more the villain he was seen to be in “Hera’s Heroes“: cold, calculating, capable of wielding intimidation and cruelty like precision surgical instruments. I think we’re again building up to some dramatic – and potentially devastating – showdown that, whatever the outcome, will take its place among the great confrontations in Star Wars lore.
What did you think of “An Inside Man”? Let’s talk in the comments below!
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