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Well this situation is just getting more and more uncomplicated by the second!

Um, Star Wars rant incoming I’M SORRY!

So I enjoy Star Wars Rebels, but oh man, is it hard to feel like the Empire is much of a threat in the series! Obviously from a narrative point of view, the Empire needs to be at least one step behind the main cast so that they can keep being rebels, but whenever the Empire catches up to them, which has been frequently, they escape again pretty darn easily and it kind of cheapens the drama of fighting a huge galactic super power. In the films, even when the Rebels are winning, they’re bleeding casualties like nobody’s business, and it feels like a real struggle. To be fair, I did love the ‘Siege of Lothal‘ two parter where Vader takes a crack at the main cast. They still escape, but the small rebel fleet supporting them takes a serious beating, and it feels like a major loss and a narrow escape, unlike the most recent episode. In ‘Always Two There Are‘, Ezra, Sabine, and Zeb get ambushed by TWO Sith Inquisitors. Although it is revealed that the Inquisitor from season 1 was their leader, these two are still played up as super intimidating. In the end, though, the Inquisitors do a hilariously sloppy job of securing their prisoners and blunder into an obvious escape plan setup, allowing Ezra and company to just kind of get away without much effort. Yet after their escape, Ezra, Zeb, and Sabine act exasperated, as if escaping from the Inquisitors was as harrowing an experience as escaping from Vader. No it wasn’t, guys! You made the inquisitors look like total chumps, and have, for the time being, at least, robbed this season’s big bads of any intimidation points they’d built up!

Normally I’d just let it slide, but Rebels is making a bad habit of this type of scenario. I think what these big confrontations are hurting for are some casualties, even temporary ones! If the inquisitors had heavily damaged the rebel’s ship as they’d escaped, or if they’d taken one of the main cast out of commission, and the following episode would require our protagonists to seek medical treatment or mechanical support, then at least it would feel like the rebels couldn’t just run into an Inquisitor without incurring some losses. I still dig Star Wars Rebels, and I look forward to each episode. I just really want to LOVE Rebels, but its inability to hold on to the tension between its most dramatic scenes kind of bums me out!

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  • McNutty

    You are super right about Rebels. The difficulty in this series is that, unlike the Clone Wars series, they don’t have an endless supply of faceless mooks to burn through whenever they want to show a loss. Every casualty, fatal or otherwise, has a much greater weight that is hard to balance while keeping it appropriate for the target audience.

    • suburban_samurai

      All they need to do, now that they’ve teamed up with a larger rebel force, is have some red shirts accompany the main cast on their missions, and kill them off to show the stakes. As long as the deaths aren’t gorey or excessive, I don’t think it would break the tone of the show, seeing as how they’ve already shot a hundred stormtroopers. Although, the show has frequently shown the stormtroopers getting up after being shot in the chest, so it’s rather confusing to me as to how effective that white armor is! It seems to generally stop blaster fire, but getting shot stills seems to knock you out for a time!

  • charles81

    That “Brat” is the customer!

  • Flaming Squirrel

    Okay, I’ll admit it… I have no idea how the situation is going to end now. I’m pretty sure Nataku’s not dying here, and that Genchu’s going to escape to rejoin Yori and his merry band of idiots, but other than that… I’m blank.

    • Flaming Squirrel

      Oh, and also…

      • leavescat

        So I guess there is actually someone who knows Portuguese? Cause that could be bad.

        • Flaming Squirrel


          • leavescat

            That’s the reaction of a guy who realizes that someone just called his liege lord a brat.

          • Flaming Squirrel

            No, I think that’s the look of someone realizing, “There’s an angry, nearly invincible samurai traitor, an angry samurai general who massacres clans for fun, a crazy foreigner holding some kind of weapon we’ve never seen before, AND MY BOSS’ SON JUST WALKED ONTO THE SCENE!!!”

          • Derkins

            Yeah this could go really poorly for their side, with all that you mentioned, and the General underestimating the head of his enemies’ clan, and the rifle that’s aimed at him. muahaha

          • suburban_samurai

            We’re introducing a new character, Lieutenant Punctuation. He communicates exclusively through punctuation marks. Eventually he meets up with Yumiko and teaches her the art of mid air punctuation communication, which allows her to work out her complicated relationship with Ken. Not gonna lie, it gets very emotional.

          • Xinef

            I wonder if he’s the only person in the world who does “air quotes” right.

          • Breakfast

            Is this the precursor to the military training that most of the Metal Gear Solid series adversaries were students of?

      • suburban_samurai

        *VRRM!* “What was that noise?!”

        • Flaming Squirrel

          “UH-UH-UH-UH-UH-UH-UH-UH-UH–” *SNAP*

    • suburban_samurai

      I figured we’d just kill off all these characters, because I think it’s pretty clear none of their plot threads are going anywhere interesting.

      • Flaming Squirrel

        Suburban_SaMartin… okay, that was bad and I am sorry.

  • IDPounder

    I’m gonna be real disappointed if Ricky doesn’t get to shoot SOMEone soon!

    • Breakfast

      I just hope it’s not ‘the brat’.

      • suburban_samurai

        I’m glad Eijiro’s endeared himself to you!

    • suburban_samurai

      Life is full of disappointment! But, yeah, someone’s probably about to get shot.

    • SlugFiller

      This reminds me of the guy with the gun in The 12 Kingdoms. A gun with 6 rounds in a world where everyone use swords and spears, and all he ever shoots is a little unarmed kid.

      Hmm… Now I’m hoping it doesn’t boil down to that here.

  • KungFuKlobber

    Nataku! Didn’t yo momma teach you no mannahs?

  • Kid Chaos

    Oh, NOW it’s a party! :)

  • Xinef

    Anyone wants to place bets who will be the next unexpected person to appear?

    I’m guessing either Indigo Samurai, Bunzo, or Pointy Hat. Which means it’ll be Matrix disguised as Yumiko.

    • suburban_samurai

      Spoilers, Evil Alternate Universe Yorikiro shows up, sporting a rad goatee, and murders Genchu. It’s really twisted, no one will ever see it coming, except everyone who reads this comment.

      • Xinef

        *does not read the comment*
        … whew…

        By the way, I think authors shouldn’t be allowed to participate in the bets on the next unexpected person.

        Gladly, rules are made to be broken.

      • Flaming Squirrel

        And then Zap Vexler destroys the planet in an effort to convince Nataku that his guns are even better than Ricardo’s, but then realizes what was wrong with his sales strategy… he should have offered them a free water bottle with their purchase.

  • Breakfast

    I have to agree with your comment on Rebels. I was hoping that this series would take it’s time to actually put some fear back into the Empire. This was an opportunity for them to show how deadly the Empire was, and they flubbed it from the beginning.

    **I shouldn’t have to say this, but SPOILERS AHEAD**

    How are we supposed to fear even Stormtroopers when they can’t show an ounce of competency? They should have started with local loyalist law enforcement officials and worked their way up from there, so that when Stormtroopers first appeared they could at LEAST be threatening for an episode or two, but fine. Let the Stormtroopers remain inconsequential, there are other ways, right?

    Well, apparently not. Anything the Empire can throw at them is overcome by the status quo. But I think what REALLY took the cake for me was the recent two-parter with the old Clone Troopers, in which three AT-AT walkers (a full third of the walkers used to assault the Rebel stronghold at Hoth) went up against a single derelict clone walker that barely managed to catch a giant underground worm without falling apart. I could’ve forgiven the single shot that disabled one of them with the help of the sandstorm and the force (though really, you’d think that kind of technology could see through a sandstorm. Don’t they even have Thermal?) but they didn’t stop there. When faced with this overwhelming force the clone walker proves capable of taking several rounds of turbolaser fire (from cannons able to destroy massive power generators with a single volley) with little more than a charred hull and MAYBE an overloaded gyro to show for it… and then it RAMS a machine several times larger than it and engages in a pushing battle that it appears to be WINNING. Then, even while sitting nearly perfectly still, the other machine is incapable of destroying it.

    I understand plot armor as a concept, but at that point all suspension of disbelief went right out the window. The inquisitors in the next episode just kinda took the cake. At this point I’m HOPING that the new continuity has completely tossed the idea of The Emperor’s Hand out the window, because they’d likely make Mara a fool too. It’s no wonder Vader offs his officers left and right. He’s just trying to find half-competent ones.

    Anyway, sorry about the vent. Don’t really have anyone else around me to talk with about these things. On the whole though, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. The Empire just isn’t a threat.

    They might’ve had better luck with a series focused on Han Solo in his smuggling days. At least then they’d have more adversaries that they could use as fodder, only bringing in the Empire when things got serious. I’d watch that.

    • suburban_samurai

      I know the feeling of not having anyone to rant with about Star Wars! My poor friends have to listen to this stuff from me all the time, whether they like it or not.

      And about that episode to last! Oof, yeah, those AT- ATs were hilariously weak. If Kallus landed some smaller land vehicles to track the rebels down, the whole thing would’ve worked much better. If the imperials had wiped out the clone trooper’s smaller tank but Kanan had managed to rescue the clones at the last second and escaped (maybe had one of the clones get wounded or killed), the show could’ve preserved the intimidation of the Walkers. If the writers just HAD to have the rebels win that fight with no casualties, even though it was supposedly impossible odds, then they should’ve had Kanan and Ezra use the Force to summon a family of those sandworms from the previous episode to trip up the Walkers. It’s easier to swallow that a the natural forces of the planet combined with the mystical power of the Force could topple Imperial technology more so than an outdated, under powered tank and lightly armed shuttle.

      • Jake

        “natural forces of the planet”… i’m pretty sure there’s a Captain somewhere wondering why he wasn’t summoned

  • Derkins

    hehehe i’m just so tickled by this whole scenario. grabbing popcorn to see how this plays out. OwO

    • suburban_samurai

      It’s good to know we’ve created such a tense, nail biting situation!

  • Kid Chaos

    Man, our heroes are missing all the good stuff! When are Yori & co. gonna get here? 👹

  • Cross Ikon

    The TCW people seem to have a thing for the name “Sabine”…

    Also, I have to admit, the grittier episodes of Clone Wars were always my favorite, even though I was like… eight(?) when the show started airing. I’m sixteen now, and I can easily rewatch most of that, but I sort of shrug at a lot of Rebels episodes. At least the didn’t try to soften up the episode with Luminara’s corpse too much… (gawd, that’s an old episode…) >.<

    • suburban_samurai

      What other character was named Sabine in Clone Wars?

      There were a handful of episodes of TCW I liked, although the show would have been better served if it had just made Ahsoka the main character, and made her master someone other than Anakin (maybe Shaak Ti, seeing as how she was also a Togruta female and not a 20 something angst ridden pretty boy). Then we could’ve just focused on Ahsoka’s experience during the clone wars where we don’t know any of the characters’ fates and there’s more tension. I figured Rebels would be able to do that, but even though they’ve definitely got some grittier, darker episodes, it mostly feels like a saturday morning cartoon where the characters rarely feel like they’re in much danger.

      • Cross Ikon

        <.< Apparently Lady Kryze's name was Satine… *facepalm*

        I agree with you that Ahsoka should've had somebody other than Anakin for a master. The problem would've been trying to pick a fairly recognizable (to people who only ever watched one or two of the prequels, and nothing else) character to link her to. Along with Shaak Ti, there could've also been Plo Koon, Ki-Adi-Mundi, Aayla Secura, or even Mace Windu himself. Out of the named Jedi Masters I can think of, I would've been happiest with Aayla, Mace, or Obi-wan, but -any- of them could've been made into a cool main character.

        The real difference, in my opinion, is that the iconic good guys in TCW -had- to survive to be in RotS. So, they could be awesome and badass and gritty, but you knew they'd survive. The fact that the show managed to be like that and still be good enough to carry the franchise for most of the time it was on air is pretty damn cool.

        Rebels -doesn't- need to carry the franchise like TCW did. It's pretty much just there to hook the kids who binge-watch Disney Channel shows. But, nobody sees these characters before or after the show's timeline, so they'd normally be throwaways. My guess is that the writers replaced plot armor with a 'only hurt the redshirts' mentality, and then ran with it.

        Wow, that's the biggest wall of text I've ever written O.o

  • Da’Zlein

    That death would be really hard to explain to the head of the Wataro clan…

    “Sorry sir, Nataku died a week ago”
    “In battle? Surely he couldn’t have been ambushed this far into our own territory…”
    “No, we were trying to buy some new weapons from a foreigner and-”
    “Say no more. Dammit Nataku, not again!”

  • SotiCoto

    Oh please let this be going the way I hope it is going! =D


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