Star Wars: Rebels, Episode 6, “Empire Day, Part 1” Broadcast November 17, 2014
Written by Henry Gilroy
Directed by Steven G. Lee
Opening on Lothal, the gang is going into a cantina, while Kanan is training Ezra near some tall, dead grass. The Jedi wants the youngster to make a connection with another living being, but Ezra wants to do it another day. A rock is thrown into the grass by Kanan, producing a feral cat/fox/Pokémon with a monstrous maw that springs upon Ezra. The creature is too small to do any damage to the boy, but it’s angering him. He throws the creature aside, asking for Kanan’s lightsaber to make a real connection with the beast. Kanan tells Ezra he’s not alone, he’s connected to every living thing in the universe. He has to let his guard down to make a connection, and if he can’t do that he’ll never be a Jedi. Ezra apologizes for his attitude because today is Empire Day. Suddenly the creature growls and runs away just as three TIE Fighters fly toward the Rebels’ hub. The Jedi and his padawan run to follow. Cue opening title card.
A televised celebration featuring the Emperor dates this episode as the 15th anniversary of the defeat of the Jedi and the end of the Clone Wars. I was impressed to see a date so solidly stated. Naturally, there’s going to be a parade on Lothal and our heroes want to put their own touches on it. As this is going on, a Rodian is being sought by the Imperials, and Ezra just might know something about that individual. It was neat to see and hear an Ithorian finally speak, and the way he does so is clever. The chase sequence at the end was very pretty. Not the normal comment one would expect during a chase for one’s life, but it was nonetheless. It was also cool to see that cheesiest of Kenner toys, the Imperial Troop Transport play a major part of this episode. Chopper has a neat “muscle flexing” moment, and Kanan has a cool Qui-Gon exit.
The good: Nice teases to Ezra’s backstory, Chopper shooting, Imperial Troop Transports, hearing the Rodian language, and a neat chase.
Fun lines: “Now?”, “Now,” “Just watch,” and “That’s far enough, rebel scum.”
The bad: It’s impossible not to think Aladdin while looking at and hearing Ezra and how is Vader not involved in tracking down Kanan instead of the Inquistor?
The final line: An episode that starts slowly and builds to a solid cliffhanger. Not bad. Overall grade: B
Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for several years with “It’s Bound to Happen!”, he reviewed comics for TrekWeb, and he currently reviews Trek comics at TrekCore. He’s taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for two years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.