Review: Star Wars Rebels S02E16 – “Homecoming”

By February 18, 2016

In this week’s episode of Star Wars Rebels, the Rebel fleet needs a safe place to dock their ships, we meet Hera’s father, there’s plenty of family drama and we see a cool new ship. Let’s take a look back at ‘Homecoming’.

This episode opens with the Ghost, a few fighters, and a Rebel cruiser securing some much needed supplies. The only problem is there is a Star Destroyer and some TIE Fighters hot on the trail. They are able to get the supplies but not before losing another fighter. Hera points out that not only are they losing ships but they are losing skilled fighters as well. One thing that would help in that regard is a safe place dock their ships. Commander Sato has an idea on where they might be able to find one, the Ryloth System. The Ryloth System is not only home to a band of resistance fighters but it’s Hera’s home world as well, and the leader of Twi’lek resistance is her father, Cham Syndulla.

Hera reaches out to her father to secure a meeting. Right from the mention of Ryloth you could tell that Hera was a little uncomfortable at the thought of working with her father. Begrudgingly she shoved her past with him aside as she knows this fight against the Empire is much more important than any issue between her and her father.

Hera’s proposed mission is to sneak aboard the Imperial Carrier using a stolen bomber that Cham has secured in order to commandeer the ship. Cham has other ideas. The Empire has terrorized his people long enough with their bombings and he doesn’t just want the ship to disappear. He wants it to go down in a fireball in the sky for all of Ryloth to see. That plan is a no-go for Hera. The Rebels desperately need this carrier to assist with the fight against the Empire. To destroy it when they have the means to capture it is an incredibly selfish move. She convinces Cham, or so we thought, to go along with her plan to secure the carrier.

On their way to Ryloth, Ezra asks Hera about her father and about the conflict between them. He can tell that their relationship is not on solid ground and that his presence troubles her. If you watched The Clone Wars, you may remember Cham Syndulla as he fought alongside Mace Windu and other Jedi against the Separatists’ droid army, liberating Ryloth. But as the Republic became the Empire the Imperial Army refused to leave, so he just kept on fighting. Once Hera’s mom died fighting in the resistance, Ryloth’s freedom became the most important thing to him. Hera saw the bigger picture. It wasn’t just Ryloth that needed freeing from the Empire, it was the entire galaxy.

We continue to learn more and more about Hera and her past, perhaps more than any other of our main characters with perhaps the exception of Ezra. She has been my favorite character from day one so I am always thrilled when we get more Hera and learn more about her. Cham’s presence adds even more to her character.

I found the scene between her and her father after Ezra left very interesting. They start with small talk about Chopper which leads in to how Cham believes that Hera is wasting her life on lost causes. Hera is adamant that this is not the case. She is helping people. The Rebels are fighting to free everyone. Cham cares only for Ryloth. You may think, what did I find interesting about that. Aside from the fact that we got even more of a sense of who Cham is but it’s what Hera did during that scene. Her voice changed. This wasn’t some recording slip up. This was deliberate. The more passionate and emotional she became, the more her natural Twi’lek accent came through. It built to that change and once she stopped pleading with it went back to the voice we are familiar with. We’ve never heard he speak like this before. I thought it might come up again in episode but it didn’t. I have a feeling it will come up in the future. Why would you hide your true voice? There has to be a reason. Was she trying to separate herself from her heritage because of her father? That little reveal just added another layer to Hera’s character and I want to know more.

With the Ghost crew, Cham and his two Twi’lek fighters, Gobi and Numa, they board the carrier posing as an Imperial Bomber that has come under attack. The plan is to secure the bridge and take the ship but Cham has other ideas. He knocks out the Ghost crew so that he, Gobi and Numa can place charges around the ship. He still wants to bring it down.

Now that charges have been set by Cham and his fighters, it’s up to the crew of the Ghost to secure those charges and the bridge. Sabine and Zeb take down Gobi and Numa with some nifty work by Sabine as she attached a surge grenade to a droid. Sneak attack! Kanan and Ezra have a great tag team moment where they are Force throwing each other down the hallway as the blast doors are closing. That was a pretty cool action scene.

Once they reach the bridge, Ezra gets to try out his Jedi mind trick for the first time to get the Captain to order an evacuation of the ship. It took him a few times to get but it was his first time and he did a pretty good job. The fact that Ezra had to give it a little extra effort after he’s been training for a while and has shown us how powerful he is just goes to show you how powerful Rey is in The Force Awakens.

Cham shows up to stop them but he’s no match for them so he reluctantly surrenders. Hera then gives an inspirational speech about how they shouldn’t just be fighting for Ryloth. They should be fighting for everyone. During the Clone Wars Cham fought for his entire planet, not just a few villages. That’s what Hera is doing, just on a much larger scale. Cham had lost sight of that. He has the ability to help everyone, not just Ryloth. Hera’s speech convinces Gobi and Numa to help and Cham eventually agrees to help.

The Imperial Cruiser that was in orbit alongside the Carrier has realized what has happened and the Bombers have returned from their bombing run. Ezra, Kanan, Zeb, Gobi and Numa man the turrets to fight off the Bombers while Sabine loads a Bomber up with fuel pods. They release it from the hangar bay allowing it to drift towards the Imperial Cruiser. With a few well-placed shots, they hit the Bomber just as it comes in contact with the Cruiser starting a chain reaction. The Cruiser goes down in a massive fireball in the Ryloth sky. Looks like Cham got his wish after all. I don’t know why they didn’t do that in the first place but I guess he wanted to take out the Carrier that had been housing all the Bombers that had been attacking them.

The Rebels now have a pretty sweet Carrier as part of their fleet, allowing for a safe and secure place to dock their ships. I thought that design of the Carrier was pretty cool. I don’t think we’ve ever seen a ship like that in the Star Wars Universe. Definitely not in films and I don’t recall ever seeing anything like that in The Clone Wars.

There were a few other smaller or blink and you’ll miss it moments peppered throughout the episode that I also enjoyed. When Cham first showed up, Kanan wanted to make sure he left a good impression. He was so nervous. He even got everyone’s names mixed up. The look of annoyance on Sabine’s face was priceless. Hera kept getting annoyed at hearing Cham’s old war stories while Kanan enjoyed them. Sabine and Zeb had a short little team up. They are always fun together. Overall, I liked that we are getting back to fighting the Empire. While they were, yet again, on another mission to secure something that would help the Rebel fleet this was more of a direct attack on the Empire than some of the previous episodes. Plus, we keep getting more Hera so that’s a win for me!

Star Wars Rebels airs on Wednesday nights on Disney XD.

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Christopher Skalicky
Chris, a film and television junkie, grew up on Star Wars, all things Disney, Stargate SG-1 and a healthy dose of John Wayne. When not thinking about movies he is busy being an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan. He will also argue that Surf Ninjas is the greatest movie about surfing ninjas ever made. Tweet him at @Schlick51