*Spoiler warning: This review contains spoilers for the Star Wars Rebels episode “Legends of the Lasat.”
It is a testimony to the wonderful story telling that Dave Filoni and company have given us this season that an episode dedicated to expanding the backstory of a character none of us had even heard of three years ago can be as powerfully moving as “Legends of the Lasat” is. After the juggernaut that was The Force Awakens and the epic trailer we received for the second half of this season, expectations for Star Wars Rebels were raised, but–in my opinion at least–unmet when the series returned from hiatus. However, this week’s episode managed to not only meet but supersede expectations of what an animated Star Wars program could be.
“Legends of the Lasat,” at its heart, is a story of faith. Faith in one’s friends, faith in oneself, but most importantly faith in something greater than oneself. Since we’ve known him, Garazeb Orrelios has always been a solitary figure due in large part to the fact that the hulking Lasat believed himself to be the last of his kind and carried that burden with him. Zeb has frequently demonstrated survivor’s guilt and this essential part of him has often informed not only his demeanor but his actions–especially in regards to Agent Kallus. It is been well established that the latter played a crucial role in defining Zeb as a member of an endangered species, and so it is only fitting that the ISB officer makes a welcome return to Rebels in the very episode that redefines Zeb’s place in the universe.
Also returning to Rebels this week is fan-favorite Hondo Ohnaka (last seen in “Brothers of the Broken Horn”). The Weequay pirate has contacted Ezra, his erstwhile protégé, with the news of Imperial refugees in need of rescue. Ezra’s faith in his friend Hondo may or not be misplaced as the latter changes sides in this episode frequently. But ultimately everything works out for the best, so I suppose that all is forgiven. And of course, one trusts Hondo at one’s own risk.
Returning to Nixus Hub 216 (another callback to Hondo’s previous appearance), Bridger and the rest of the Ghost crew discover that the refugees are two Lasat–a former warrior named Gron and a mystic who goes by the name of Chava the Wise. One would assume that discovering that he was not the last remaining member of his species would be a welcome revelation for Zeb, but instead the newcomers bring to light the Lasat’s lack of faith in himself. Gron divulges that he once served in the Lasan Honor Guard under Zeb, who was that unit’s captain. But Zeb has never told anyone this because of the guilt he feels for failing to protect the Lasat royal family during the Imperial incursion on his home planet. Even so, “Legends of the Lasat” provides a way back for Zeb to reclaim his honor.
The crew members of the Ghost are immediately supportive of Zeb’s reunion with the two members of his species and show it by helping the pair in their quest to find the legendary world of Lira San. It is on this literal journey that Zeb also undergoes a personal journey of faith. With the support of his friends, both new and old, Zeb reclaims his Lasat heritage by participating in a mystical ritual that first locates Lira San and then provides a way through an imploded star cluster so that the Ghost can safely reach her destination.
Because Zeb’s friends demonstrate their faith in him, he realizes his true potential by believing in something bigger than himself–the Ashla. A Lasat understanding of the Force, the Ashla (a term brought into canon from Legends) is channeled by Zeb, and he by it, to allow the Ghost to not only cross the seemingly impenetrable barrier that is the star cluster but also to escape from Kallus and the pursuing Imperials who will not and cannot follow their prey into the singularity.
The Ghost’s passage through the gravity field turns out to be a wonder of both spectacle and musical genius. Those far more schooled than I in music theory could (and certainly have and will continue to) speak more eloquently on the merits of Kevin Kiner’s score for this sequence. I will simply say that it was beautiful and haunting. It was unique for Star Wars and yet felt instantly like it belonged. In short, it was the perfect accompaniment for Zeb’s physical and existential journeys.
As the Ghost reaches the other side of the star cluster, Zeb fulfills his destiny by successfully escorting Chava and Gron to Lira San. What’s more is that the legendary planet is revealed to be the original homeworld of the Lasat and current home to millions of Zeb’s people. Once a galactic orphan, Zeb is now a part of a larger family than he could possibly have imagined. Having traversed from child to fool to warrior, Zeb embraces a new role–guide to Lira San for any other lost Lasat. He can truly take his place among the “Legends of the Lasat.”
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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