The anticipation of The Force Awakens continues to build as December approaches, but if the waiting is killing you then you are in luck. We return to that galaxy far, far away with the season two premiere of Star Wars Rebels and the Lost Commanders. When we last saw Kanan, Ezra and the rest they were lucky to have escaped Darth Vader and the Empire, and Ahsoka felt a presence in the force she couldn’t quite place. While the show is on Disney, it hasn’t shied away from a darker tone that helps represent the oppression of the Empire and the lengths they are willing to go.
The rebels are regrouping after last season and looking for a new base. Ahsoka Tano goes in search of answers to what she felt in the force, but not before sending the crew of the Ghost to go in search of some old friends. Their search with the assistance of the head of an old tactical droid leads them to a remote planet that looks more like a barren wasteland. While Hera remains aboard the Ghost trying to repair the hyper drive, the rest of the crew heads down to the planet and surprise, surprise they meet up with some familiar looking clone troopers. Rex, Wolffe and Gregor have been decommissioned by the Empire and are spending their retirement on an old Republic walker roaming the planet.
Needless to say, once Kanan finds out who they are meeting he doesn’t like it one bit. For those who haven’t read the Last Padawan comic series, we find out how Kanan became who he is. It starts on the day of order 66 where he and his master, Depa Billaba were fighting side by side with the clones against the separatist. After a day of battle they are relaxing when they feel the disturbance in the force. Kanan is forced to flee, commanded by his Master he watches her take on the clones himself before the numbers overwhelm her and she is killed. So you can kind of see why he has a large reason to distrust these old retired clones. Ezra, who grew up after the Clone Wars, doesn’t have the preconceived notions that Kanan has and is willing to trust these troopers as Ahsoka told them they could. However, all is not at it seems as we jump to an imperial ship where they got information that the Jedi have shown up.
Rex, whom if you can’t remember was part of the 501st that was attached to Anakin Skywalker before his fall, is one of the few clone troops not to partake in the Jedi purge. While not wanting to get involved in the fighting itself, they are willing to give Kanan, Ezra, and crew the locations of a few remote outer rim planets that they can set up a secret base. It comes as a price, though, as Gregor somehow convinces Zeb to help them go hunting for a large beast that will feed them for a year. Unknown to Zeb is that he is the bait as this large beast eats his kind, and unknown to everyone else a probe droid has arrived on the planet. It is a group effort to finally bring in the beast with Sabine, Kanan, and Ezra doing their part to help bring it down before Rex puts it down for good.
It is about this time that trouble rears its ugly head. Sabine finds a data pad that makes it obvious that someone alerted the Empire and that perhaps Kanan’s fears weren’t unfounded. Rex, however, has no idea of what has been going on and it is soon revealed that Wolffe, in fear of the Empire finding that they hid Jedi, was the one to send the message. While this is going on the probe droid is damaging Kanan’s shuttle preventing the group from leaving before the Empire shows up. Wolffe is soon made to see sense and Rex ultimately takes out the probe droid but it may already be too late.
Star Wars Rebels came back with a vengeance and a lot of old familiar faces that we first met in the Clone Wars TV show. The show picked up the second half of its first season and hasn’t looked back since. The show definitely feels like Star Wars now and the oppressiveness of the Empire is very evident. The show ended with some unread messages from Ahsoka, and the knowledge that the group is in some serious trouble if they do not get their ship fixed. So far, a good opener to the second season of Star Wars Rebels, and here’s to hoping that it goes up from here.