Star Wars Forces of Destiny Review: “Newest Recruit”

Star Wars Forces of Destiny Review: “Newest Recruit”

This review of the Star Wars Forces of Destiny episode “Newest Recruit” will contain spoilers.

In advance of the 30-minute Star Wars Forces of Destiny special airing tonight on the Disney Channel, a new episode has been released on Disney’s YouTube channel. “Newest Recruit” features Sabine Wren and Ketsu Onyo. Getting a bit of a jump on things, this episode will be reviewed here — while the rest of the episodes will be reviewed after the special has been broadcast. (You can watch “Newest Recruit” here.)

The episode starts off with the now-familiar opening narrated by Lupita Nyong’o as Maz Kanata, then launches into a mission in progress with Ketsu Onyo joining Sabine Wren. Sabine notes the Ketsu has left Black Sun, but Ketsu says she’s not ready to join the rebellion just yet, she’s just there to help a friend. The mission in question is to acquire crates full of food to feed the rebels. Not exactly the excitement Ketsu was expecting.

Of course, you should always watch what you hope for. As they about to head out with the goods, they encounter a pair of stormtroopers. Sabine and Ketsu have the element of surprise, so the troopers don’t really stand a chance. However, nothing is ever really that easy, and soon there are more troopers to deal with.

During the ensuing battle, one of the food crates is hit and breaks open, revealing a Chadra-Fan child. Ketsu tells Sabine she’ll take care of the child, while Sabine provides cover fire.

While Sabine and Ketsu are able to handle themselves, the situation is turning into more than they anticipated, and Sabine calls on Hera for help. A simple mission to get food for the Rebellion has turned into a rescue mission. Thankfully, Hera shows up with The Ghost in good time. Sabine, Ketsu, and the child are able to get on board just in the nick of time and they all make a quick escape. Safe and sound.

The episode ends with Sabine painting over the Black Sun logo on Ketsu’s armor and replacing it with the rebel insignia. Ketsu is in the Rebellion now! While they might not have acquired to food they needed, they saved a child’s life. Few things are more noble than that.

At just over three minutes, this episode was a little longer than the previous installments. The time was used well, though, and the story moves along at a good clip. Sabine, Ketsu, and Hera are voiced by the actors who portray them on Star Wars Rebels — Tiya Sircar, Gina Torres, and Vanessa Marshall. It’s great that they’re able to bring on board the original voices for these animated shorts because it really lends authenticity.

As with the first run of episodes earlier this summer, the animation is in the 2D style — appreciated by some and not by others. However, I believe it works well for this type of storytelling. Over time I got used to the style presented in The Clone Wars and Rebels, but there is value in getting back to the “old way” of doing things.

Plot-wise, it’s not a complex story, but that’s fine. It still serves to show growth on the part of Ketsu, who as a bounty hunter for a crime syndicate might not have thought about saving a child, especially at the risk of her own life. The influence of her old friend Sabine has altered her point of view — the way she looks at herself and the galactic conflict going on around her. Now is not the time to sit on the sidelines thinking only of your own personal gain or safety. While she was probably teetering on the edge, Ketsu comes to realize by the closing moments that she needs to choose a side and make a stand. Fortunately, she chose wisely.

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  1. Shay
    October 1, 2017 at 23:14 Reply

    I read this story first through the Forces of Destiny chapter book released on Force Friday II, and really enjoyed it in that form. But then seeing it in the animated format, with the amazing performances from all the actors, plus the familiar music, made it just that much better. Now I can’t wait until October 26 and the next set of episodes!

    1. Lisa Dullard
      October 2, 2017 at 10:38 Reply

      I love what they’re doing with these shorts! I really hope they plan to do more in the future.

  2. Star Wars Forces of Destiny: Volume One Review - Coffee With Kenobi
    October 2, 2017 at 08:01 Reply

    […] The Star Wars Forces of Destiny: Volume One premiered on the Disney Channel Sunday night, and it showcased a mix of old and new. Some episodes from the first run released during the summer were interspersed with new episodes, along with interludes featuring the delightful Maz Kanata (voiced by Lupita Nyong’o) as our guide through these adventures. (One of the new episodes, “Newest Recruit,” was released early and has been reviewed here.) […]

  3. Star Wars Forces of Destiny: Volume Two Review - Coffee With Kenobi
    February 16, 2018 at 14:25 Reply

    […] the character again and off on a mission for the Rebellion. The last time we saw Ketsu in “Newest Recruit” she had officially joined the cause. I like Ketsu and I feel the focus of this episode […]

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