So I was lucky enough to be at the Rebels Panel this year at Star Wars Celebration and I got to see this episode back then. I watched it again this weekend and it’s still just as awesome as it was in July. I’m so excited Rebels is back, season 3 has great potential and it kicked off with a premiere that is in my top 5 episodes of the entire show.

Lets start with the opening sequence that started this season. They made it pretty clear from the word go this week that Ezra isn’t the same from where we left him last season. He’s got stronger in the force but maybe the wrong side. He starts by shooting Stormtroopers dead and not think twice about it, then slicing them down with a badass new green Lightsaber.  However my favorite shot from this episode was Ezra, with no remorse controlling the Walker and killing all the Imperials. Season 3 started dark and I think that’s a huge indicator of where this show is going.

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In this opening, we saw the rescue and return of Hondo. I’m a big fan of this character from the Clone Wars and I’ve loved him even more in his episodes on Rebels. This time he came with a pig sidekick and again Rebels showing it’s increase in the dark side, that little pig guy got blown to smithereens. I don’t know why but watching that pig blow up is hilarious every time. I expect we’ll see Hondo several more times this season and I’ll happily welcome him back.

We left Kanan last season in a bad way. Now we learn that it’s only got worse since we last saw the newly crowned Jedi Knight. The scenes with him and The Bendu were incredible. The Bendu is a fascinating new edition to the new Star Wars canon (I think The Bendu is originally from a Legends story) and now Kanan gave him the Sith Holocron, where will that take the character? I’m happy Kanan didn’t spend episodes away from the crew, we saw his development and now he’s back on the right path. I love seeing him have to use different way to use the force, now he’s blind and I’m sure we’re only scratching the surface of what they can do with that idea. Also the voice coming from the Holocron sounded very similar to Asajj Ventress….

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The big finale for this episode was the crew, led by Ezra, on a mission to get the Y-Wings we see in A New Hope. With the exception of one character, what I enjoyed about this mission, was how they manage to give everyone something to do. Watching all the Rebels working together is something I’ve liked from the beginning and it always makes for some great action scenes. Keeping the consistency, Ezra takes out the power and leaves all the Imperials to die. In the early goings of this show, Ezra could be a little whiny (in typical Star Wars fashion) but this new version of him is awesome. I like the new hair, I like they made him older and his improved Lightsaber skills, is going to create some mind blowing battles with the characters they have on this show now. And speaking of appearance changes, Kanan’s new beard is badass, he has to keep that.

Obviously, there’s something I’m missing because I’ve saved the best till last. Admiral Thrawn is back!! Like I said, I was in the room when this was revealed at Celebration and the room exploded. It’s so good to have him back in Canon and Dave Filoni is handling him perfectly. Thrawn’s introduction couldn’t have been better. He looked, sounded and acted in every way I wanted him to. Just like when Vader and Tarkin (Holy shit Tarkin and Thrawn spoke to each other, I geeked out hard in that scene) first came on the show, you immediately see a difference in the way Thrawn thinks from everyone else. Again though, like Vader, he can’t loose a strategic battle to the Rebels ever so it could cause some problems for the writers in the future. As for this first appearance, mission accomplished in bringing Thrawn back to Star Wars… I can’t wait for that Timothy Zahn novel next year!

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If I had one complaint this week, it would be the lack of Hera. She’s one of my favorites and I know this episode had a lot in it so I don’t know where they could have added her but I want to see more of Hera. Out of everyone on the crew, I feel she gets the least screen time and development. With the amount of episodes they have per season now, I hope we get more Hera in the upcoming weeks.

I thought this premiere was excellent. I’m so excited to see where season 3 is headed and it couldn’t have started better!

What did you think of the first episode back, for Star Wars Rebels?

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