This article contains spoilers for Star Wars Rebels Season 3, Episode 4
Yet more characters from the original Star Wars trilogy join the Rebellion this week.
Wedge Antillies is the big addition—he’ll become the only rebel other than Luke Skywalker to survive both Death Star battles—but “Hobbie” (skeptical at Hoth of two fighters’ chances against a Star Destroyer) is along for the ride too, as is the ill-fated “Rake,” this week’s Star Wars redshirt.
“The Antilles Extraction” let Rebels animators show off just how good they’ve gotten at paying homage to the original trilogy’s battle action in designing their own daring space dogfight sequences.
It also delivered a great payoff from last season’s Kallus and Zeb team-up, “The Honorable Ones.” And, as usual, it left some intriguing questions unanswered:
1) Who is the new Fulcrum?
This episode revealed that “Fulcrum” was not a code name reserved for Ahsoka Tano alone. I felt sad right along with Ezra when he learned that any number of covert rebel operatives use that call sign. But I quickly moved on to wonder whether the Fulcrum with whom the Ghost crew now works is a Star Wars character we already know. Who might some likely candidates be? I briefly considered Bail Organa, but he’s already worked with our heroes openly—why would he revert to secrecy now? Perhaps this current Fulcrum is another member of the Antilles family, either Senator Bail Antilles (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace) or Captain Antilles, master of the Tantive IV (Star Wars: A New Hope)? Either one, or some Antilles we haven’t met yet, would have an obvious interest in helping relative (son?) Wedge get out of Skystrike Academy. Of course, Fulcrum might be a character we’ve never seen before – or, perhaps, one like Grand Admiral Thrawn, who’s only been part of the “Legends” (Expanded Universe) until now. We don’t have much evidence to go on right now (especially considering Fulcrum’s voice modulation), but it’s exciting to speculate about the universe-building potential in revealing his (or her? or its?) identity.
2) Did Sabine actually kill Governor Pryce?
Intellectually, I understand that, in a series entitled Star Wars, people are going to die. Intellectually, I understand that the “good guys” sometimes kill the “bad guys.” All the same, Sabine’s electrocution and apparent killing of Governor Pryce caught me off-guard (just as Ezra’s dispatching of the Stormtroopers in the season 3 premiere, “Steps into Shadow,” did). When I think about Sabine Wren, I still think of her primarily as a graffiti artist who merrily causes mayhem with spray paint and glorified glitter bombs. I tend to forget she’s a skilled fighter who can do serious, even lethal, damage when the rebel cause requires it. She took serious charge of the situation in Skystrike Academy (anticipating Princess Leia’s similar moves on the Death Star). I wonder if her visually darker look will stick, as a sign that, from now on, we’ll see her taking more direct and more often deadly action. Are her days of “tie-dyeing” TIE fighters gone for good?
3) How much of Ezra’s restlessness was the Dark Side’s doing?
As Kanan encouraged Ezra to, in effect, pray a Jedi version of the Serenity Prayer while Sabine was extracting Wedge, Hobbie and Rake (alas, poor Rake, we hardly knew thee), I couldn’t help thinking of Yoda’s rebuke of Luke in The Empire Strikes Back: “Adventure! Excitement! A Jedi craves not these things.” Was Ezra motivated only by concern and affection for Sabine, or was his restlessness during her mission more evidence of residual influence from his use of the Sith holocron? Ezra submitted to Kanan this time – but he yet again seemed a lot like impatient and impulsive Anakin Skywalker as he did so, and we all know what happened to Anakin!
What did you like most about “The Antilles Extraction,” and what questions did it leave with you? Let’s talk in the comments below!