The past couple of episodes of Star Wars Rebels have been stories which have been separate from the main story-lines established in the series. Yet, they are bound to have some relevance in future episodes and this recent episode, titled ‘Iron Squadron’, is just the same. However, I found it to be one of the best of these side story episodes which have been in this season so far.
One of the main reasons was due to the small part that Grand Admiral Thrawn had in this episode. This guy just oozes confidence and class to such a large degree that he just stands head and shoulders above the rest of the Imperials. He is my favourite villain that Star Wars Rebels has had and that is down, in part, to the fantastic voice work by Lars Mikkelsen (Brother of Mads).
My love of Thrawn is also caused by how patient, strategic and calculating he is as a character. Certainly, he is playing the long con in regards to dealing with the flourishing Rebel Alliance and this episode also established that he has a past with Commander Sato which could be an interesting dynamic in future episodes.
I also really liked the comedic elements of this episode which were largely seen between the interactions between Chopper and R3, a droid who was part of Iron Squadron which itself was largely formed of three kids who, to be honest, were a bit whiny and naive which was a bit annoying.
Still, it didn’t really detract from my overall enjoyment of the episode, especially as the kids featured in some really good space combat. Certainly, the space combat was a pleasure to watch and it just added to the episode which, while a side story, will have larger significance in the future.