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Star Wars Rebels review: "Twilight of the Apprentice"

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The finale left fans as uncertain and worried as Ezra.
Lucasfilm

Every season finale is supposed to be epic. This is a given in serialized television. But "Twilight of the Apprentice" redefined epic in the context of Star Wars. The Rebels season 2 finale brought back and dramatically enhanced the stature of a villain once discarded as a broken tool; delivered on the promise and angst of a long-awaited fight while opening a new door for one of the combatants; and placed a promising but troubled young man in spiritual and philosophical peril, possibly setting the stage for him to clash with his master in the style of the finale's other main event.
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Star Wars Rebels review: "The Mystery of Chopper Base"

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Like Kanan and Hera, this episode left so much unsaid.
Lucasfilm

Given what we know is coming in the highly anticipated finale of Star Wars Rebels Season Two, the penultimate episode of the season was refreshingly unique. Our rebels simply had to deal with a spider infestation at their secret base, and despite Zeb's amusing jitters, this proved to be a relatively straightforward task. The real story in "The Mystery of Chopper Base" wasn't the action on the surface, as the rebels dealt with these creatures; it was the tension beneath the surface, as they dealt with each other and confronted the possibility of everything changing. "The Mystery of Chopper Base" dealt with this tension beautifully, saying so much in so few words.
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Star Wars Rebels review: "The Forgotten Droid"

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Chopper laughs at your belief that this episode changed him at all.
Lucasfilm

If C1-10P is the cat to R2-D2's dog, then "The Forgotten Droid" was about that cat meeting a stray and guiding it home. But what happens when the cat remembers that it's a loner for a reason? That's the question I was left with at the end of this episode. Yes, Chopper made a friend. But nothing that happened in "The Forgotten Droid" changed his essential nature: grumpy, selfish, and lazy. His encounter with AP-5 offered a few laughs and a study in contrasts, but it didn't produce any character growth—because, for reasons of series structure, Chopper must remain trapped in his stereotypically cantankerous role.
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Star Wars Rebels review: "Shroud of Darkness"

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Both characters and audience learned a lot in this episode.
Lucasfilm

Two of my favorite things about Star Wars are the political conflict and the spiritual conflict. The political conflict was Zeb and Agent Kallus sparring over competing ideologies, with one perhaps convincing the other to reconsider his allegiance. But the deeper conflict, the spiritual one, is a war for the "soul" of the Force itself. The spirit of the galaxy has always been contested between the forces of darkness and light. In "Shroud of Darkness," viewers and characters alike received another masterfully choreographed warning about the outcome of the latest phase of this spiritual war.
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Star Wars Rebels review: "The Honorable Ones"

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Kallus can see the possibilities that this episode opened up.
Lucasfilm

"The Honorable Ones" will be remembered as one of Star Wars Rebels's greatest achievements of character development. It took an underexplored but fascinating relationship between two mortal enemies and transformed them, both in each other's eyes and in the viewers', by forcing them to work together. Freezing temperatures, a serious injury, and a pair of hungry, sharp-toothed creatures tested their temporary bond, and both emerged with feelings that would have been unimaginable just a day earlier. Most importantly, Agent Kallus came out of the whole ordeal with what appeared to be a fresh perspective on his place in the Empire, which means there's no telling where his character will go next.
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Star Wars Rebels review: "Homecoming"

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Things are tense for the Syndullas, but great for the viewers.
Lucasfilm

"Homecoming" pulled off an incredible feat in the way it introduced Hera's father, the fanatical Twi'lek freedom fighter Cham Syndulla. On the one hand, Cham threw Hera off-balance and showed us a new side of the Ghost's confident captain, deepening our understanding of who she was before she was "Captain Syndulla." On the other hand, his approach to fighting Empire prompted the Hera we all know to assert herself in a way that reinforced her reputation as a natural leader. Cham's arrival exposed a new aspect of Hera's past and forced her to grapple with it, but with brilliant execution, "Homecoming" showed her emerging from the other side of that crisis stronger than before.
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Star Wars Rebels review: "The Call"

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This episode, like the space whales, went to 11.
Lucasfilm

Right off the bat, I will admit that I am a sucker for space whales. The Voyage Home is my favorite Star Trek movie. But a cool-looking interstellar cetacean is nothing without a well-developed story surrounding it, and "The Call" ably met that challenge as well. The clash between Hera's pragmatic priorities and Ezra's more sensitive instincts, plus the purrgil's own role in resolving the final conflict, reflected some of the Star Wars saga's most enduring lessons. Character development, high-level takeaways, witty banter, and an acknowledgement of an underexplored meta-level reality for the rebels—this episode had it all.
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