*Spoiler warning: This review contains spoilers for the Star Wars Rebels episode “Always Two There Are”
After the events of the previous two episodes, the crew of the Ghost is back on board the starship and things seem to have normalized a bit. Kanan has resumed Ezra’s Jedi training, but he is no longer the only voice in the boy’s ear. Rather, Captain Rex has taken it upon himself to take a personal interest in the boy’s development. In fact, Rex goes so far as to suggest that Kanan may not be the best teacher for Ezra and that if the Padawan could somehow combine the ability to use the Force with his wits like the Jedi general Rex served under during the Clone Wars (Anakin Skywalker), he could be a truly great warrior.
As the tension between the two men escalates, Ezra steals away to join a mission that Hera has assigned to Sabine, Zeb, and Chopper–salvaging medical supplies from an old Republic base. Once there, the quartet encounter a very common sci-fi trope in that the base is long abandoned, short on power, and full of mystery. Additionally, they are introduced to two very tangible results of the fallout from Kanan’s destruction of the Inquisitor in last season’s finale “Fire Across the Galaxy.”
This episode’s title, “Always Two There Are” seems to be a reference to two new Inquisitors dispatched by Darth Vader and tasked with hunting down any remaining Jedi. “Relics of the Old Republic” introduced us to the Fifth Brother, a fearsome humanoid male. His female counterpart, the Seventh Sister (voiced by Sarah Michelle Gellar), makes her debut in this episode. Both are portrayed as deadly, but their methods differ greatly. For instance, while the Seventh Sister favors strategy and stealth, the Fifth Brother is much more about direct action.
After the death of the Grand Inquisitor (the formal title of the Pau’an Dark Side user from last season), these new Inquisitors–and we can safely assume many others like them–have taken it upon themselves to fill the power vacuum and ascend to supremacy as the next head of their order. Consequently, they are characterized by competition rather than coordination.
As our heroes encounter these two new villains on the abandoned Republic medical base, One certainly feels the tension of the situation, but the danger just isn’t as palpable with these two as it was with the original Inquisitor. Even still, there are some great moments in this episode. At one point, the Seventh Sister alternates between offering herself up as a mentor and threatening Ezra. In both cases, she goes a long way toward while establishing herself as a powerful and viable threat who also happens to know that Ahsoka Tano is still alive and part of the Rebellion.
Another great sequence foreshadows a scene from The Empire Strikes Back with the Fifth Brother and Agent Kallus standing in for Darth Vader and Admiral Ozzel respectfully as the two disagree about whether or not the medical base’s power surge indicates the presence of rebels.
From a dramatic point of view, the episode just didn’t hit all the marks for me. It was certainly important for Ezra’s development in that it fulfilled some of the “death of the mentor” stage in any hero’s journey. It’s important for those on this path to face down opposition without the benefit of their mentors so that they can fully develop, but when Sabine, Zeb, Chopper, and burgeoning Padawan Ezra can escape from TWO Inquisitors without any serious bodily harm, how much danger were our heroes really in? The former Grand Inquisitor would’ve certainly tortured at least one of them into revealing key intelligence on their friends. Most likely, someone would’ve been seriously injured.
On a positive note, this episode worked really well from an expository point of view. Getting an insight into the inner workings of the Inquisitorious was a lot of fun and helped to expand upon the mythos surrounding these mysterious warriors. According to “Rebels Recon,” more information about this secretive group is on the way and I’m sure I’m not the only one who was very excited to hear that.
All in all, “Always Two There Are” was a fun episode, but it lacked the gravitas of some of Rebels’ better episodes. If anything, the two new Inquisitors brought into stark relief how deadly Darth Vader is. Kanan is right to feel overwhelmed at the revelation of additional Inquisitors, but the real concern is the probability that should these underlings fail to take down the rebel cell, their master Darth Vader will finish the job himself.
Thank you for reading! If you have feedback or just want to say hello, you can leave a comment on this page or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also contact me on Twitter @influxman or check out my Rogue page on “Star Wars in the Classroom.”
And don’t forget to check out Rebels Reactions for even more insight, discussion, and analysis of this episode.
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