By Josh Melo
‘Star Wars: Rebels’ Review – S2 Ep.13 (The Call)
Hyperspace whales! The Call once again puts a large focus on the many facets of the Force in this new Star Wars canon. Where Legends of the Lasat centered on Zeb, The Call is all about Ezra. Running into a herd of migrating Purrgill (space whales), the Ghost crew runs out of fuel and must make a pit stop at a small outpost run by the Mining Guild. An epic fight ensues over the docking bay and Ezra taps into his well of Force potential.
The Call was an interesting episode. While not as engaging as Legends of the Lasat, it covers a lot of the same themes. Ezra learns even more about his latent ability to connect with nature and in doing so unlocks a piece of the character he will grow into. Unlike last week, there was little connection to the larger Rebels universe to help make this episode feel like part of the larger story. Where Legends of Lasat had Kallus, The Call has space whales and a bunch of throwaway thugs. The action was brilliant and the character work with Ezra was fantastic, there was just something keeping me from connecting with the episode on a deeper level (ironically enough).
While Ezra saw the majority of the screen time, every character got a moment to shine. Hera was constantly chattering over the voice comms, Kanan had his hero moment standing atop the Ghost and deflecting laser bolts from the modified TIE’s, and Zeb, Sabine and Chopper held their own in the battle to refuel.
There were actually quite a few standout moments this episode that clearly demonstrate how the show is evolving on a purely technical level. The jump sequence was absolutely stunning and the battle that followed kept up the quality effects and choreography, but other than that the episode felt a bit thin. Ezra’s big moment with the Purgill, while a sight to behold, lacked the emotional relevance that came across in Zeb’s “come to the force” moment last week. Riding force sensitive space whales into battle is cool, but in an episode that didn’t amount to much, it seemed misused.
Some of my indifference towards the episode may have been due to the lackluster enemies the crew went up against. Having the Mining Guild (who were mentioned in a throw away line by Han Solo in The Empire Strikes Back) appear was a novel idea, but when compared to the Techno Union, or the Trade Federation, who both had compelling leaders in the form of Nute Gunray and Wat Tambor, they failed to leave an impression. Even Kanan jokes at how lame the villains were this week, “I can’t believe we’re actually losing to this guy!”
That being said, the modified TIE fighters did add a welcome does of color to the proceedings. With the exception of some of the characters and the gas, the rest of the color palette was noticeably dark (given we’re in space that makes a lot of sense, but still).
Aside from the aforementioned, there really isn’t all that much to talk about. Visually the episode was a complete success. The action was crisp, the animation smoother than ever and the team banter was on point. I’ll have to chalk up my apathy to the standalone nature of the episode. It’s hard to remain engaged in such trivial missions when you know Vader, Maul and the inquisitors are looming on the horizon. Let’s skip over some of these everyday adventures and get right to the good stuff (it sucks to be spoiled sometimes).
Overall, I give The Call a 7.5/10.