Season 4 of Star Wars Rebels started off in a great way with ‘Heroes of Mandalore’ and, thinking back, I think I underappreciated how great it was to get two episodes back-to-back. Obviously, the more Rebels we get, the better. I’d love to watch the whole season right now but that is not going to happen so getting to watch two episodes last week instead of one is fantastic. The good times seem to be continuing because the next instalment of Season 4, titled ‘In the Name of the Rebellion’, was also a two-parter.
Clearly, the focus of this episode would shift towards the formation of the Rebel Alliance and I was excited about this because it was a great opportunity to strengthen the links that this television show has with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and A New Hope. Moreover, with Saw Gerrera returning, I was eager to see this character continued to be developed. I was also very intrigued to see what state the Rebel Alliance was in at that time because, as we know, the Rebel Alliance as we saw it in the Original Trilogy is not formed at the time this episode takes place.
Certainly, there is still division within the Rebel Alliance about how the fight against the Empire should be waged in terms of the methods used and how far they should go to overthrow the Empire. Having both Saw Gerrera and Mon Mothma in this episode of Star Wars Rebels was a great way to showcase this clash in styles when it comes to what the Rebel Alliance stands for and how it should fight.
My Thoughts on ‘In the Name of the Rebellion’
‘In the Name of the Rebellion’ was a very good continuation of Season 4 of Star Wars Rebels and what really impressed me in this two-parter was how well it dealt with the meaning of the Rebel Alliance. As I mentioned above, part of this purpose of ‘In the Name of the Rebellion’ was to showcase the contrast between Saw Gerrera and Mon Mothma and their belief in the direction that the fight against the Empire should be fought.
This was done brilliantly in a scene between the two where Saw manages to rattle Mon Mothma who has always been portrayed as being a calm presence. To see Mon Mothma take Saw Gerrera’s words to heart to such a large degree was fascinating to see. Indeed, seeing Mon Mothma label Gerrera as a criminal rather than a rebel showed how much Gerrera’s words affected her and, to be honest, she is not wrong.
Certainly, we saw a glimpse of Gerrera’s mentality towards war in Rogue One and he did not seem to have much of a moral compass or a limit to how far he would go to defeat the Empire. I have also been reading books such as Guardians of the Whills and Rebel Rising which give further insight into how Saw has no boundaries and will do whatever it takes to bring the Empire down. This itself is driven by guilt and regret for the death of Stella, his sister, and the loss of his home planet of Onderon to the Empire.
Saw and Ezra
These events changed Saw and they really came to the forefront in ‘In the Name of the Rebellion’, especially as it was a parallel with what Ezra was dealing with in this episode. Indeed, Ezra wants to liberate Lothal from the Empire and he was taken in by Saw’s ability to get things done and strike at Imperial targets. In the first part of ‘In the Name of the Rebellion’, an Imperial relay station was the target and the hijacking of Imperial cargo stored on a civilian vessel was the target in the second part of this episode of Star Wars Rebels.
The approach that Saw Gerrera took in this episode showed both his willingness to fight the Empire and the contrast in style that he has with the Rebel Alliance under Mon Mothma. Yet, it also showed how he will do anything to hurt the Empire, even if it means betraying Ezra and Sabine which he eventually did. Moreover, he showed a complete disregard for the prisoners they found and all of this led Ezra to the point where, while he sympathised with Saw about the loss of Onderon and his own way in fighting the Empire, he finally decided to side with Mon Mothma’s approach to fighting the Empire.
I appreciated that Ezra came to this decision as it is proof of his development and maturity as a character. Still, he still acts like an idiot sometimes and that was evident in this episode of Star Wars Rebels. Instead of completing the mission at the Imperial relay station, he was clowning about and trying to impersonate an Imperial officer. By doing this, he jeopardised a mission which could have helped the Rebel Alliance gain an important advantage over the Empire.
Return of Kallus
Still, that is a small nit-pick and it did not take away from how well ‘In the Name of the Rebellion’ dealt with the meaning of the Rebel Alliance, the methods it should employ when fighting the Empire and the way that Saw Gerrera continued to be developed as a character. I also liked that Agent Kallus appeared for the first time in Season 4.
I am so pleased that he is now a fully-fledged member of the Rebel Alliance. His arc in Rebels has been great to watch and episodes in Season 3 that dealt with his story such as ‘An Inside Man’ and ‘Through Imperial Eyes’ were very good. Now, he is back in Season 4 and he has a cool look now as well. Indeed, some fans of Star Wars Rebels are now referring to him as “Hot Kallus”!
Ties to Rogue One and A New Hope
Nonetheless, Saw Gerrera was arguably the main focus of this episode and he was one element of many in this episode of Star Wars Rebels that strengthened the ties that this show has with Rogue One and A New Hope. Seeing Mon Mothma and Wedge Antilles were nice tie-ins to the film series and we also returned to Yavin 4. It was great to see this iconic location in an animated form. It was awesome to see Y-Wings and to have Bail Organa make a cameo appearance was cool given his role in Rogue One which itself made me appreciate this character to a much larger degree than I had before.
Before Rogue One, Bail Organa was not someone I really liked or cared about, largely because the Prequels are awful. I always associated Bail Organa with those films and the part he played in them but seeing Bail in Rogue One, reading about him in the novels and the appearances he has made in Star Wars Rebels has helped me come around on this character. Instead of groaning about his appearances, I enjoy them because his character has been executed in a much better way than it was in the Prequels.
Yet, the ties to the film series that were my favourites were found in the second part of ‘In the Name of the Rebellion’. While Saw, Sabine and Ezra were on their mission to hijack Imperial cargo, they ran into Death Troopers and there was a mention of Jedha which could only mean a couple of things; the cargo was of importance to Director Orson Krennic (who also gets a mention in this episode) and it had to do with the Death Star. Indeed, this turned out to be the case when we saw that the cargo was a giant Kyber crystal.
Kyber crystals were used to give the Death Star the power to destroy planets and to see this episode of Star Wars Rebels have so many links to the events of Rogue One and A New Hope was brilliant. I mentioned in my review of ‘Heroes of Mandalore’ that I expected Season 4 to move towards and have strong links with the events of Rogue One and A New Hope. ‘In the Name of the Rebellion’ is absolutely a great step in that direction. The only question I have from this episode is how and when did Saw sustain the horrendous injuries that we see he had in Rogue One? Hopefully, we will find out in the future.