Star Wars: Rebels, Episode 4 “Breaking Ranks” Broadcast November 4, 2014
Written by Greg Weisman
Directed by Steven G. Lee
In an Imperial training facility six young men march before an Imperial commander who tells them that in a few short weeks they will have the opportunity to become stormtroopers. When asked if they’re ready to do so, they reply, “Sir. Yes, sir!” They are then ordered to be at ease and they remove their helmets. The last one is revealed to be Ezra Bridger. Cue title card and first commercial break.
Ezra, using the alias Dev Morgan, is a little lost, looking at his helmet, seeing his eyes reflected in the lenses, until being called out by peer Jai. The two tease each other about the pressure of being best, then the floor suddenly descends. The commander tells them they must crawl out of “the well.” The three who exit first will be Imperial aides.
What follows is really neat action sequence that seems completely too expensive for the military training of teens, but would make an exciting level in a video game. Naturally Ezra makes it into this group and what comes next is the crux of the story: Ezra is there to get an important Imperial device and bring it to the crew of the Ghost. Not helping is that the item he has to swipe is in the possession of Kallus. His procurement of the item wasn’t as interesting as his interactions with Jai and another cadet, Zare. There’s a nice twist with one of these characters and a seed is planted to revisit both. Kanan and Hera have an action sequence in space that’s okay, but really had no suspense whatsoever. Zeb and Sabine are hiding on the ground outside the training facility waiting for Ezra to get the device, so they’re not doing much in this episode.
The good: The cadet helmets based on a Ralph McQuarrie design, the interaction between Ezra, Jai and Zare, the training sequences, and a good turn by one of the cadets.
The bad: A rote action sequence in space, Sabine and Zeb just putting in appearances, a silly scene with Kallus at a door, and microscopic credits–C’mon, Disney, I want to know who does what on the show!
The final line: An okay episode that will please the young fans but leave elders unimpressed. Overall grade: B-
Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for several years with “It’s Bound to Happen!”, he reviewed comics for TrekWeb, and he currently reviews Trek comics at TrekCore. He’s taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for two years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.