Star Wars Rebels: 4.14 A Fool's Hope

The past few episodes have been very emotionally draining, depicting the grief the team were going through at the loss of Kanan. They have also been very heavy on story development and characterisation, most notably on Ezra, and if you’ve been reading my reviews you’ll know that they‘ve been some of my favourite episodes. A Fools Hope is the polar opposite, and I don’t mean that in a bad way. It serves to remind us of the show’s roots and how entertaining it can be without any major emotional stakes or a grief ridden crew.

This is very much a treat episode that outlines Ezra and the team’s journey throughout the galaxy and the previous four seasons. They bring together characters old and new in an attempt to stop Governor Pryce and the Empire taking over Lothal, using what once we considered peaceful Force spirits, showing they have an animalistic side and are unafraid to show it. This being the penultimate episode a lot was expected and boy did it deliver. We get breath-taking action sequences, interesting story developments and beautiful scenery … what more could you ask for?

With things on Lothal becoming worse, Hera sets off to recruit as many people as she can who will join the fight, including, but not limited to Hondo, Ketsu Onyo, Callus, Rex’s clone buddies and Vizago – all willing to help the cause and who have a connection in some way to a team member. This not only brings together the past four seasons worth of characters but again, with the likes of Rex and crew, ties in with the Clone Wars series. Given that this (and one more episode) is to be the end of the entire series, it seemed fitting to include them all and I commend the writers in doing so without feeling forced, giving each character due attention and respect.

Back on Lothal, Ezra and Sabine try their best to inject hope of potential victory where there seems to be none. Ryder Azadi, the most vocal about his fears of defeat, betrays the team and contacts Governor Pryce, giving away the Rebels position in exchange for asylum once the Empire takes over. This was a shock that not only did I not see coming, but done in such a way that I couldn’t tell with certainty if it was genuine. The intrigue grew when it was discovered to be a ploy to lure Pryce in so she could be captured, which is executed superbly. Pryce’s small side arc was also interesting, as after practically destroying the Lothal station, resulting in Kanan’s death, she fears Thrawn’s arrival and the punishment she will receive if she fails again. So, her desire to capture the Rebels is far greater, which comes across well.

Previous to this, as the team awaits the arrival of Hera and her backup, the episode is bombarded with action sequences that were simply fantastic, showing how each character’s individuality is developed over time. Also, aside from the difference in setting, the outnumbered factor was very reminiscent of The Empire Strikes Back trench scene. Now who could forget about the Loth-wolves, who for the past few episodes have been at the forefront…with good reason. Outnumbered and still waiting on Hera, the remaining Rebels flee into a cave where Pryce believes them to be trapped. The following scene shows Stormtroopers investigate the dark caves, only to see Ezra ignite his Lightsabre with the chilling eyes of the Loth-wolves behind him. Although this was slightly cheesy, it was visually magnificent and genuinely gave me goosebumps. From here, the wolves helped the Rebels remove a large chunk of the enemy before Hera arrives.

This was a very simple episode that had very little in terms of story or emotion but still managed to be entertaining and set up a finale that should be outstanding. The entire episode shows how far Ezra has come as a Jedi and as a person, his desire to save his home, knowing he would have to do so without the help of the Rebel Alliance showing his progression further. I also applaud the show’s stance on this factor, as it would’ve been easy to include a cameo by Princess Leia and other alliance members, which might have taken away from Ezra’s journey and the family element.

With only one episode left, A Fools Hope provided a penultimate instalment that is pleasing to both kids and adults’, doing what Star Wars does best and that entertains with adventurous and exciting tones. This has left hope that the series will come to a fulfilling conclusion that I cannot wait for.

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