Recap: ‘Star Wars Rebels’ “Always Two There Are” & “Brothers of the Broken Horn”
After the epic return of Captain Rex to the Star Wars universe, Rebels Season 2 has begun the process of building up the dangers our rebels will face this season while also introducing some familiar faces into this new era.
Tensions still run a bit high between Rex (Dee Bradley Baker) and Kanan (Freddie Prinze Jr.) in “Always Two There Are”, centered predominantly around Ezra (Taylor Gray) and Kanan’s effectiveness as a well-rounded teacher. When Hera (Vanessa Marshall) sends Sabine (Tiya Sircar) and Zeb (Steve Blum) on a supply recovery mission, Ezra stows away, preferring the boring mission to being the center of yet another debate between the seasoned soldier and his master. Unfortunately, things don’t go as planned when the group runs into two Inquisitors, both out for Jedi blood, one Jedi in particular.
“Brothers of the Broken Horn” brings the series tone up. When left relatively unwatched as the rebels are sent to recover necessary supplies for a besieged planet, Ezra receives and goes to investigate a distress signal from a familiar ship with the help of Chopper. However, rather than finding the ship’s owner, Ezra meets notorious pirate Hondo Ohnaka (Jim Cummings), who claims he won the ship in a bet. As Ezra is dragged on Hondo’s adventure in search of profit, the pirate’s lonely position in this new galaxy reminds Ezra that being alone doesn’t always outweigh the struggles of working in a group.
Though incredibly different episodes in tone, the way in which they advance the story of Rebels Season 2 is undeniably linked. Both situations – harrowing and amusing – are meant to test Ezra and his resolve to being a part of something bigger than himself, especially when his responsibilities within the Rebellion and his small group become overwhelming. With both Rex and Kanan attempting to mold the young orphan into the perfect Jedi using their own sometimes conflicting methods, Ezra feels trapped and overrun in both instances, and it is easily understandable why he would seek an out. His time experiencing Hondo’s slippery pirate lifestyle is Ezra’s biggest chance to choose a different path, one where his responsibilities don’t include Inquisitors and being the main target of the Empire. Thankfully, Ezra’s attachment to his friends brings him back to those he cares about, and a cause that, hopefully, he can add something to.
With the introduction of Fifth Brother (Philip Anthony-Rodriguez) at the conclusion of the last episode, “Always Two There Are” adds yet another dynamic to what is now seen as a group of Force sensitive Jedi hunters with the appearance of the calculating, serpentine Seventh Sister (Sarah Michelle Gellar). In this expository episode, we learn that not only do Inquisitors seemingly work alone, but that the big bad from last season was their leader. Though the after effects of his death are as yet unknown, what is clear is that Darth Vader’s keen interest in finding Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein) is now the subject of their hunt.
Both Inquisitors definitely live up to the name if Ezra’s reaction to the presence of two is any indication, and the vocal performances of Gellar and Rodriguez fit in well. With even the very mention of more of the golden-eyed Force wielders shaking Kanan to his core, these two will definitely be providing the main evil force, though Vader’s looming presence will remain in the background. The Inquisitor’s interest in finding Ahsoka Tano brings yet another level of desperation to the flight of Kanan and Ezra away from them, leading toward an inevitable showdown between the ex-Jedi padawan and her fallen master as undoubtedly Ahsoka will feel responsible for any harm that comes to her fellow Jedi at the hands of the Inquisitors or Vader himself. “Always Two There Are” ups the tension for the Rebels, and it will be interesting to see if Kanan is able to conquer his crippling fear of the Inquisitors to be able to defeat at least two more of their mysterious order.
It seems as though the beginning of Rebels’ second season is being used as a “who’s who” of Star Wars, especially The Clone Wars. With the return of Lando, Bail Organa, Tarkin, and Ahsoka last season, we have now two more characters alive and well from the era before the Empire. Though he is given the same amount of time as Lando on screen – for now – the return of the smooth-talking, two-timing, yet highly likeable Hondo is but a nod to the characters’ continued existence, and he is used more as a vehicle to advance Ezra’s character than anything else. However, this doesn’t detract from Hondo’s overall charm. “Brothers of the Broken Horn” is a simple, fun, entertaining episode, a great return for the talented Jim Cummings as the pirate, who it seems has lost the station of power he once owned on Florum during The Clone Wars. We hope to see more of Hondo as the show progresses.
So far, Rebels has focused on Hera, Kanan, and the group now fully part of a rebel cell, but there is a massive shadow hanging over their heads, becoming more prominent as more and more familiar faces are introduced. Every Clone Wars veteran our rebels have encountered have eluded to Anakin Skywalker at least once during their time on screen, whether it be Ahsoka reminiscing about her former master, Rex mentioning his general’s ingenuity and fearlessness, or Hondo glibly questioning his turbulent “friendship” with the Jedi, Anakin is there. Continuously reminding us of who Darth Vader used to be, and the many lives he influenced and saved creates a great nostalgic element laced with sadness as we figure that perhaps at least one of these characters will meet their destiny by his blade, with Vader more than likely revealing his identity before the final blow.
Though these two episodes had very different tones, several key elements to the development of Rebels Season 2 reared their heads as Inquisitors made their presences known and yet another familiar character found themselves linked to our rebels. “Always Two There Are” and “Brothers of the Broken Horn” fit incredibly well into the established tone of Rebels, and even with their slightly expository and fun filler overall aspects, they developed Ezra’s character further as both his teachers begin to push him to the limit in their attempts to kindle whatever is left of the galaxy they once knew from within the young orphan.
“Always Two There Are”: (4 / 5)
“Brothers of the Broken Horn”: (3.5 / 5)
(Photos copyright: Disney, Lucasfilm)