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'Star Wars Rebels' fan recap: Tarkin comes to town

Season 1 | Episode 13 | “Call to Action” | Aired Feb 9, 2015

The second I saw that Grand Moff Willhuff Tarkin was making his Star Wars Rebels debut, I had a feeling that the series was going to kick into high gear. In the last episode, Trayvis was revealed as an Imperial collaborator and our Rebels came face-to-face with Kallus and the Inquisitor, which means they’re definitely on the Empire’s radar—both as insurgents and potential Jedi.

Tarkin arrives on Lothal with all sorts of pomp and circumstance, evoking a ton of memories from the original trilogy. If there’s one thing the Empire does well, it’s grandeur. Plus, Tarkin’s Tarkiny badness is all sorts of villainous goodness, and Stephen Stanton must love sneering as he plays him, because you can hear it in every word:

He’s also realllllly not having it with the whole “There’s a Jedi” excuse.

While Tarkin is reading his people the riot act, our Rebels are giving the local troopers a little exercise. Aresko and Grint (the local Imperial leaders) have roughly six troopers and an armed transport vehicle, so the odds are about even? Since it’s pretty much a pure action sequence, I’ll give you the basics and then assure you that you have to watch the episode when you can. I know, I know, I say that every week.

High points: Sabine, Ezra, and Kanan on speeder bikes is always a good thing. Lots of swooping and turning through tight spaces. Sabine banks a curve, trooper misses, and splat. My favorite?

Kanan rides backwards

Once they’re back on the ship, playtime is over. Gall Trayvis has officially rejoined the Empire, and he’s put a bounty on our Rebels for all of the Holo-Net to see. Kanan figures two can play that game, and has a plan to turn the Empire’s signal against them. All they need to do is take over one of the Empire’s communication towers and broadcast a message to Lothal and the neighboring systems.

Ezra is skeptical. Hera and Zeb like this plan. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

Hera and Zeb like this plan

What could possibly go wrong?

Well, whatever plan they have, they won’t have to worry about Commandant Aresko and Taskmaster Grint catching them. Tarkin knows that any insurgency, especially whispers of a Jedi, could inspire hope amongst the people. That is something he cannot allow. The people cannot be allowed to believe in something other than “the strength and security of the Empire”. Tarkin feels Aresko and Grint have failed, and he has the Inquisitor kill them both to prove a point. Failure will not be tolerated. I’m pretty sure Kallus just gulped.

Kanan, Ezra, and Sabine head to the main communication tower for a little recon. They work out their attack plan, but the probe droid that just got dispatched is going to make it a bit tough to get to their speeder bikes and back to the ship so they can work out the plan.

Probe Droid interference

While Ezra is able to use the Force disable it—and does it with the use of a local creature so it doesn’t look like anyone tampered with it—the damaged probe droid does catch a flickering image of our Rebels leaving the scene.

It doesn’t take long for Tarkin to glean the plan and, while Kallus suggests they increase the troop presence at the Tower, Tarkin has another plan. He wants to let the Rebels think they haven’t been discovered so they can lure them in. Kallus seems … unsure. Could Kallus possibly be thinking that Tarkin is going too far? Is there a glimmer of hope for him?

Back on the Ghost, our crew is going over the plan: Kanan and Zeb will handle the guards, Sabine and Chopper will plant the dataspike, Ezra will use his parents’ old broadcasting equipment to send the message, and Hera will fly them all out on the Phantom. Everything is set—except that Ezra is hesitating. When Kanan delves deeper, we learn that Ezra is afraid. Not of the Empire, or even of being caught. Ezra is afraid of losing his new family to this rebellion, just like he lost his folks. While Kanan understands, he tells Ezra that that they’ve taken losses and they’ll take more before this is over.

I hate that line because it feels incredibly true and a portent of things to come. However, it’s a great scene, and I have to give props to the writers for hitting me right in the feels.

Night comes and the attack begins. It all goes according to plan, right up until they get inside and get the data spike in. The Empire is on the way with several armed transports and air support. That means everyone is going to need to speed up the timeline. Kanan signals Hera for an immediate pickup and orders the team to head to the top of the tower so Hera has easier access.

Except that Kanan is staying behind to hold off the Empire—and he’s just locked the door permanently.

Kanan faces off against the Empire

The battle is on. Kanan faces off against the Inquisitor on the lower level as Hera swoops in on the Phantom and starts blowing Empire transports out of the air to get to the rest of the crew at the top of the tower. But the heavy fire the Phantom is taking, coupled with the fact that Kanan’s Jedi skills still aren’t strong enough to beat the Inquisitor, mean this escape plan is going to be short one Rebel.

When Kanan orders Hera to take off and leave him, she refuses, until Kanan makes it abundantly clear that this is the only option. It’s heartbreaking to see Hera and Ezra’s reaction, but I’ve never been prouder of Kanan. It also means that Tarkin is about to come face-to-face with this “Jedi” everyone’s been talking about.

Is Kanan’s sacrifice worth it? Well, Ezra has just started broadcasting a message from the Imperial tower. A message to others about what our Rebels are really fighting for. Hope. Strength against fear. Sure, Tarkin blows the communication tower to dust, but not before that message gets out.

Rebel broadcast

Not before people heard it.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for the next episode. Until then, have a good week, and may the Force be with you.

Star Wars Rebels airs Mondays at 9/8C on Disney X D.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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