Star Wars Rebels: The Idiot's Array

Mama Fisi
Mama Fisi's picture

The title kind of sums up this episode: it was dreadful.

Zeb bets and loses Chopper during a game of sabacc he's playing with Lando Calrissian--voiced by Billy Dee Williams, who sounds far too old to be the smooth-talking thirty-something gambler and smuggler he's playing here.  Calrissian then hires the crew of the Ghost to smuggle some specialized mining equipment past the Imperial blockade of Lothal.  He alternately sucks up to, and pisses off, the various members of the crew.


Then he trades Hera, a Twi'lek--apparently highly desirable as slave girls--to a shady character who reminded me of the Prosthetnic Vogon Jeltz from the TV series version of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," and who was voiced by the guy who does the goose Mr. Ping on "Kung Fu Panda"--and still sounds like Mr. Ping.  Real audio-visual disconnect.  Hera plays along, and gets loose by clobbering the alien with a dinner tray and making off-ship in an escape pod.  She gets back to the Ghost, punches Lando in the gut, and they jump to Lothal with the "specialized mining equipment," which turns out to be a "puffer pig."  This weird little creature can sniff out minerals and, when frightened, instantly expands to several dozen times its size.  Of course Ezra and Zeb let it out of its crate--despite being warned not to--and wind up frightening it so it expands to block the door into the cockpit just as they're approaching the blockade, so Hera and Chopper can't get in to change the ship's signal and signature.


Kanan manages to get them past the blockade, but then Zeb accidentally hits the button on the masking device, and the Imperials see that it's not the ship they're pretending to be.  A pursuit ensues but the Ghost loses the two TIE fighters in the clouds.  Like that would actually happen if you have equipment that can scan your ship for contraband.


Down on Lothal, the Vogon clone gets the drop on them and demands his puffer pig and Hera back.  During the ensuing small-arms fight, Chopper steals a fuel cell for the Ghost, and then fires the ship's laser cannons to save Zeb from a gun in the back.  This turns the tide of battle.


Of course Lando hasn't got any money to pay them, but he does let them have Chopper back.  He is aware that they stole his fuel cell and considers it "fair trade."


There was a lot of plot packed into a half-hour show, but the "stunt casting" of Billy Dee Williams was a drag.  They really should have gone with a sound-alike, so Lando had a more convincing, vital presence.  The animated character seemed to be moving at half-speed to accommodate the labored delivery of the dialog.


Other complaints--last episode, Ezra and Kanan were exploring the power of the Force.  In this one, Kanan seems too stupid to use the Force to read this smooth-talking schyster's mind.  Ezra is provoked to jealousy when Calrissian flatters Sabine by complimenting her art.  Zeb is just too stupid for words through the whole episode, from losing Chopper to releasing the pig to switching off the masking signal to getting caught by the Vogon clone.


And the title?  It refers to an unusual, but winning, hand at sabacc.