Star Wars Rebels: Out Of Darkness

Mama Fisi
Mama Fisi's picture

This episode featured the two female leads, Sabine and Hera, who until now have been barely getting any screen time, so I had high hopes for it.  Unfortunately this was solidly "meh" from start to finish.

I think they just don't know what to do with Sabine.  In this one, she played the part of impatient, angsty teen daughter against Hera's patient "we tell you what you need to know" mother figure.  About the only plot advancement we get is that Sabine used to attend the Imperial Academy.

Annoyed that the "intelligence" that Hera's been using has been getting less reliable, nearly resulting in the deaths of Ezra, Sabine, and Hera, Sabine accuses Hera of not trusting her and insists on accompanying her on a mission to collect some supply crates from Hera's shadowy contact, "Fulcrum."  Sabine continues to behave in a way that would get an actual angsty teenaged daughter dopeslapped, but since she's a crew member who's frighteningly good with explosives, Hera just tolerates her attitude.  She insists that she and Kanan don't tell the others everything because then the Imperials can't torture the information out of them--which really protects the rebels, not so much the crew of Hera's ship, because the Imperials will torture and kill them anyway if they catch them, information or no.  Some comfort.

Arriving at an abandoned base on a large asteroid, the two women discover that some of the crates have been dragged into the ruined hangar.  As a large asteroid blocks the sun, several glowing-eyed monsters slip out of the darkness to menace them, only to be driven back when the sun reappears.

The girls decide to retreat in the Phantom, even though they haven't met with "Fulcrum."  However, the Phantom has a little problem--a fuel leak, inflicted when they were running away earlier from the Imperials, and undetected by Zeb and Ezra when they were making repairs because Chopper distracted them with his insane droid shenanigans.

Trapped now, and with an even bigger asteroid moving into position to block the sun, Sabine falls back on a convenient deus ex machinas in the form of a dozen or so drums of high explosives that just happened to be abandoned when the base staff cleared out fifteen years earlier.  They set up the drums to be triggered with laser fire as the monsters chase them.

This has to be one of the most boring chase scenes ever.  The girls engage in dry, witty banter as they dash from one rank of drums to the next, with dragonwolves the size of Volkswagens pursuing them in a never-ending swarm.  When they finally run out of drums and are at bay on top of the Phantom, they're firing away as the critters keep climbing up the sides of the ship, until finally the Ghost hovers in with its landing lights on, temporarily driving back the monsters, which have a deathly aversion to light.

However, the cold white light turns out not to hurt the monsters, which renew their attack, almost catching Ezra when he gets a little too cocky with his electric wrist rocket.  I was expecting that he would have gotten bitten by one of these things and then it would turn out they're actually werewolves and that the base wasn't abandoned so much as turned into monsters so the crew would need to go to extraordinary lengths to save Ezra from tuning into a monster, too, but then the episode ended with Hera telling Sabine that she trusts her with her life, and that she should rest assured that yes, they are making a difference in the galaxy.

This was sold as an exciting monsters-in-the-dark episode, and it was just so incredibly bland--Kanan had maybe three lines, Zeb about four, and Chopper...well, I have no idea why they keep that spiteful, cranky bucket of bolts around.  He's not even helpful, and EVERYONE understanding "droidspeak" waters down the original gag with Threepio translating Artoo's chatter.

I also think they don't know what to do with Sabine.  "Hey, we need a young girl, and let's put her in a Boba Fett suit painted pink, wouldn't that be cool!" was probably all the thought they gave it, because outside of that, she's a cypherous nonety.  Ezra flirts with her and she shoots him down in the way that only a nineteen-year-old girl can shoot down a fifteen-year-old boy.  Perhaps someone is making up for the whole "Amidala and Annikin" creepshow, I dunno.

At any rate, I can see now why they haven't showcased Hera and Sabine--there's really not much there to work with.