Season Three, Episode Nine — “The Wynkahthu Job”
By Jason Gibner. When Star Wars Rebels had first been announced, the mantra going around was that the series would stand apart from its older sibling, The Clone Wars, in that Rebels would focus on much smaller, more character-focused storylines. This was met with cautious optimism from the fanbase, who took care to remind us all that, even with all the cool bells and whistles, when boiled down to it’s raw ingredients, it’s always been the characters in Star Wars that make the saga what it is.
With Rebels‘ last frustrating handful of episodes, we’ve been forced to accept a show that seems more interested in telling stories about anyone but the series’ core group of characters. Either this neglect is all part of some sort of master plan, or Dave Filoni & Crew just don’t know what to do with these characters on their own.
This week saw fan favorite space pirate Hondo Ohnaka make what was quite possibly his 125th appearance on Rebels, and the unwanted return of benign crime lord, Azmorigan. (We last saw Azmorigan way back in Season One, with the not-so classic episode “Idiot’s Array” and absolutely nobody has asked for his return.) Hondo, while always entertaining to have around, finds himself in an unfortunate position with “The Wynkahthu Job”. If you’ll indulge my analogy, Hondo is like having tacos for dinner every night. Tacos are great and we all love them, but you eat them every night or even every other night? There goes the taco love.
Seems that Hondo and Azmorigan require help with a giant space freighter that has some weapons the Rebellion would like to get their hands on. Things go haywire when some giant Imperial Sentry Droids appear on the ship and the episode pads its running time by putting Zeb and Azmorigan in jail for a bit. This episode didn’t crush my spirit like last week’s dreadful “Iron Squadron”, and yet I couldn’t help but wonder just what was the point of “The Wynkahthu Job”. While it featured a few fleeting moments of life (thanks to Gary Whitta’s punchy script), the episode in its entirety accomplished little more than to check away at the standard Star Wars Rebels boxes. Mostly it leaves its main characters running in place.
So what’s going on here, Rebels? Are we headed towards some sort of showdown with the now criminally under-used Grand Admiral Thrawn? And what about all that development with Kanan and Ezra’s relationship? And where is Maul, with his intriguing, obsessed rant (“He lives…“)? I mean, isn’t there a new Star Wars movie coming out in just a matter of weeks? This isn’t the time to be catching the audience up on the wacky adventures of Azmorigan.
Ezra: “Come on, when have I asked you to trust me and it hasn’t worked out?” Sabine: “Like half the time.”
“We have something in our favor that the Empire does not! For we are desperate!” – Hondo.
“What do you mean, ‘Everyman for themselves?’ You’re a droid!” – Ezra.
BEST MOMENT: There’s a visually stunning moment in the episode’s climax where Zeb and Ezra are hanging onto a rope that is just barely connected to the Ghost. If you think back to moments like the emotionally charged hug between Ezra and Kanan in “Holocrons of Fate”, you are reminded that this show could (and should) be doing so much more with these characters.
MVP #1 CHUMP: Ezra is currently undergoing a complete reversal of his positive development from earlier in the season. Here, Ezra exhibits a level of obnoxious jerkiness that has been his most defining trait during the season so far. The kid, who has been the focus of almost every episode this season so far, throws yet another hissy fit when Hera tells him that this meaningless mission will actually be led by Zeb. But what ends up happening? Ezra comes along anyways, Zeb is thrown in jail by conveniently introduced giant robots, and Ezra ends up doing everything anyway. Kanan, time to bust out some Obi-Wan style discipline on this kid.
– Azmorigan’s orange slobbery look is directly inspired by an early Ralph McQuarrie sketch of Jabba The Hutt. And that’s about the only nice thing that could be said about this character.
– The entire Ghost crew has a point, why does Ezra trust Hondo so much? Sure he’s a favorite and he brightens up any episode but seriously all he’s ever done is leave the crew in the worst situations possible over and over again. Is it Ezra’s old days as a thief on the streets of Lothal that creates a fondness for the smugglers and thieves of the galaxy?
– About those Imperial Droids… Sure they look cool (and they are clearly inspired by the 1995 Star Wars PC game, Dark Forces), but why have such tough droids act as security if they can be taken down by just one blaster bolt? This could in a way pave the way for the K-2SO type of Droid we will see in Rogue One.
– Wouldn’t it have been cool if, instead of the Black Hole/Dark Trooper Imperial droids, we were introduced to the K-2SO style Imperial Droids? It would have been a nice way to start to connect the world of Rogue One and Rebels.
5 out of 10
Next: “An Inside Man,” soon.
Before: “Iron Squadron,” here.