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'Star Wars Rebels' season 2 just took things to a whole new level

Finally! The season premiere of Star Wars Rebels has aired, and I can finally talk about it! If you want to know how long I’ve been wanting to talk about Star Wars Rebels: The Siege of Lothal, there was the anticipation before Star Wars Celebration in April, and then there was the waiting until it aired. If you know me, that’s a looooooooong time for me to keep things quiet.

Because of that excitement, I decided to skip the recap part of this and go straight to my thoughts on the episode and what it may mean going forward. So, if you haven’t seen it yet, do me a favor: Bookmark this page, go watch the episode, and come back so we can flail together.

After last season’s finale, I knew we were in for some changes, but the opening scene of this new episode just blew my socks off. Seeing our Rebels in the midst of a battle was one thing, but seeing them as part of a larger group in the middle of a planned assault was just awesome. Not only does it highlight how cohesive the crew of the Ghost has become, but there’s a lot of fancy flying and shooting going on.

It’s also fantastic to see Vader in this episode, and while I was worried about his appearance in the story at first, I’ve come to love his addition. This isn’t pre-Vader Anakin, and it’s not ROTJ Vader/Anakin; this is Vader in his prime. Every decision he makes reminds you what a cold, evil, calculating character Vader truly is, and why he and Tarkin were able to bring so many systems under Imperial rule. The fact that he not only kills Minister Tua without a second thought, but that her death is just one piece in a much larger game plan, shows just how easily he can outthink our heroes. They’re not used to that.

Fan favorite Ahsoka Tano is also back, and it’s clear from the start that not only have her leadership skills and battle savvy grown, but she’s likely become the General she would have become within the Jedi Order, had things been different. The young padawan, with her uncertainty and brashness, is gone. Ahsoka Tano has come into her own.

But the moment that made so many people gasp at Celebration, a moment that everyone figured was coming the moment they realized both Vader and Ahsoka were going to be a part of season two, has to be when Ahsoka and Kanan reached out with the Force and Vader uttered the words, “The apprentice lives.” Seriously, I had chills. Between those words and Ahsoka’s reaction, I forgot how to breathe for a bit.

Of course, the question is, what will happen now? Does Ahsoka know whose mind she touched? Will she pursue Vader, or will Vader seek out our Rebels with even more urgency because he knows she’s with them? On top of that, will Ahsoka become a mentor to Kanan, Ezra, or both? What will that do to the relationship between Kanan and Ezra? Kanan has still got a lot to learn, sure, but he’s also declared himself Ezra’s Master. This is a different man from the one who would have sent Kanan to train with Luminara Unduli, had she been alive.

The biggest question, however, is what this all means for our Rebels going forward. There’s no denying that our crew has, as Obi-Wan said, taken their first step into a larger world. But just as Luke Skywalker learned, there are a whole lot of new challenges that come with that sort of thing. Can they make that adjustment? Hera, Sabine, and Ezra seem to have already shifted into the new paradigm. Zeb has found something that reminds him of being a member of the Honor Guard on Lasan, and gave his word to help the Rebellion. Chopper is Hera’s droid, so his decision is made.

But Kanan? Kanan isn’t as on board as the rest—at least, not in the beginning of the episode. Even later on, he seems to be outnumbered in the decision to stay with the Rebel fleet. That nod looked a bit reluctant. It’ll be interesting to see where he goes from here.

All of that pondering aside, let’s talk the high points of the episode.

Kanan in Stormtrooper gear.

Seriously. Just look at him. Talk about a callback to Star Wars: A New Hope.

Stormtrooper Kanan

The fight between Kanan, Ezra, and Vader.

Leading up to this episode, I saw more than a few people mention their concern that Kanan and Ezra might not survive their encounter with Vader. But after seeing it, it’s clear that this wasn’t a fight on Vader’s part. Vader wanted to get a gauge on the two of them, and he needed them alive so they could lead him to the other Rebel cells. That said, this moment was soooooo badass.

The transponder decoys.

I’m personally dying to ask Dave Filoni if this was a nod to Firefly, because all I could think was, “Cry, baby, cry.”

Sabine Crybaby

Crybaby

Vader putting his flying skills to the test.

This was the perfect reminder of just what a great pilot Anakin was, and Vader is. Watching him take out ship after ship while executing some death-defying maneuvers was just awesome.

Vader flying skills

On a side note to this, I know Anakin has always been billed as the best pilot in the galaxy, but someone else may be fighting him for that honor. After all, Hera not only kept up with him, but evaded him and got him caught in a tractor beam.

Finally, for you Kanan and Hera shippers …

Kanan and Hera

There’s also that little matter of the Empire’s real reason for being on Lothal. Tua mentioned it, but that was before she could tell anyone. Well, time for another wait, because the rest of Star Wars Rebels season two doesn’t start until the fall.

See you then, and may the Force be with you.

Star Wars Rebels season two premieres on Saturday, June 20, at 9 p.m. ET/PT 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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