Last night the midseason finale of Star Wars Rebels Season 4 titled “Rebel Assault” was released on demand. I thought I’d give my thoughts on this episode and what I believe the Loth Wolves are foreshadowing.
Attack of the X-Wings:
This episode begins with Hera Syndulla leading the charge on an attack against Grand Admiral Thrawn’s blockade over Ezra Bridger’s home world of Lothal. This is the first time in the show that we see X-Wings used, and given how close we are to the events of both Rogue One and A New Hope, it makes sense. We see several X-Wing fighters being obliterated by Tie Defenders, setting the tone for the episode. Visually this scene is stunning. We see the X-Wings destroy part of a Star Destroyer and continue to aggravate Thrawn. Hera and Mart (A returning character from Season 3 who’s uncle was Commander Sato) crash land on Lothal’s surface.
The Ghost Crew witnesses the destruction:
We return back to the rest of our main heroes, Ezra, Kanan, Zeb, Sabine, and Ryder where they see multiple X-Wing’s crashing straight into the main city of Lothal. When I saw this in the trailer I initially thought this meant that the Empire was trying to send a message to Lothal that the Rebels bring this kind of destruction in battle. A horrified Kanan is extremely worried about Hera, while the other Ghost crew members seem to shake it off fairly fast. Ezra tells Kanan that they’ll go back for her eventually. They all jump on their speeder bikes and flee the scene.
Hera and Chopper:
We cut to Hera’s downed X-Wing where we see Chopper coming to from being knocked out. This seemed like a PTSD moment for Chopper as he crashed similar to this in a Y-Wing during the events of The Clone Wars as we find out from Hera in Season 3. Chopper rescues Hera by breaking her out of the X-Wing cockpit. I really enjoyed this scene, it was a touching moment from Chopper, a trait we really haven’t seen from him. The Empire is now in full pursuit of the survivors, including Hera and Mart. Hera is helped by citizens of Lothal to evade capture.
Thrawn dispatches Ruhk:
When Ruhk was introduced on last weeks episode, Kindred, I know I was going to be a fan of him. Warwick Davis knocks it out of the park with the voice acting for Ruhk, making him menacing and slithery. Thrawn dispatches Ruhk in this episode to capture the survivors of the Rebel assault, specifically Hera Syndulla. In the trailers we where all aware that this would be a plot line in this season. Ruhk is not successful at first at capturing Hera, but later on in the episode he successfully captures her. Hera scarifies herself so that Mart and Chopper can get away.
Kanan’s run in with the Loth Wolf:
This scene is going to be pretty important for the rest of the season, I’ll get to that in a second. Kanan makes a last minute decision to try to rescue Hera. Sabine also wants to help but Ezra stops her as he thinks Kanan can handle this task alone. As Kanan is in route to Lothal City he spots the Loth Wolf (which first appeared 2 weeks ago) right in his direction which causes him to crash his speeder bike. Kanan demands the Loth Wolf to stop playing these games and reveal what it is that the Wolf wants. Two Loth Wolves appear behind Kanan during this scene as well. The main Loth Wolf mutters the same thing he’s been saying all season long: “Dume”. Something connects with Kanan as he now seems to understands what they are asking of him.
So as I said, this scene is pretty huge. The camera cuts before we get the full conversation between Kanan and the Loth Wolf. Kanan is to late to rescue Hera but he does help Mart and Chopper escape. At first this is what I thought the Wolf had told Kanan to do, but he confirms at the end of the episode that there is more asked of him. I believe that Kanan may have to sacrifice himself to save Hera.
It would make total sense for Kanan to go out that way, knowing he protected Hera. I’m not sure how long Hera will stay a prisoner in the back half of the season, but I can see that lasting for a few episodes. If Kanan does in fact die rescuing her I think it would give a huge emotional weight to the series finale. We can see the Ghost crew grieve and avenge him. We know that Darth Vader is set to make an appearance, the question is when. Will Thrawn deliver Hera to Vader for integration to find Kanan and Ezra? The episode ends with a menacing zoom in of the Loth Wolf, further making me believe that the Wolf told Kanan of his death. A buddy of mine has a theory that the Loth Wolf could be the physical manifestation of the Force, which would be very cool.
So what do you think of the midseason finale? What is your theory? Star Wars Rebels is going on it’s winter hiatus, but will return presumably in January 2018 with only six episodes remaining.