Star Wars Rebels Recap - S03E04 - "The Antilles Extraction"

Episodes showcasing main Rebels characters that aren’t Ezra and Kanan are always a welcome change of pace. And since Dave Filoni mentioned multiple times during the hiatus that Sabine Wren would get more focus this season, it’s about time she got one of her own.

(Spoilers beyond this point.)

The Rebellion is losing pilots and after the recent failed attempt at a relief mission, their need for them only grows. Luckily, a few cadets from the Skystrike Academy would like to defect. The mission to retrieve them falls to Sabine, Ghost’s Mandalorian demolitions expert. Sabine once was an Imperial cadet, and is the natural choice for the task, with Ezra, Kanan and Chopper acting as support and an exit strategy.

Sabine started out as one of the series’ most disliked characters. Aside from the usual misogynistic jerks who don’t like any female character that isn’t a window dressing, a vocal number of Star Wars fans were outraged at the creators taking a Mandalorian – the universe’s proud warrior race – and giving a bright personality with love of art. Since then, it seems that most of them warmed up to her, and a lot of that comes down to the character simply being awesome. She’s both a skilled action girl and a fun character. We get more proof of that this episode, after the mission (inevitably) goes south. Captured in a room with Governor Pryce and two Stormtroopers, she easily takes down the latter two, defeats the former and manages to free the captured cadets.

This includes Wedge Antilles, the character the episodes is named after. After the Disney takeover and leaving behind the entirety of the Star Wars Expanded Universe, the biggest problem that came with that choice was that a number of popular characters and storylines technically didn’t exist anymore. This is slowly being fixed, Rebels already brought back Thrawn (with more on the way), and if the rumors of a post-Return of the Jedi series are true, it’s likely the same will happen with Mara Jade. Hopefully.

Wedge never had that problem. He was introduced in A New Hope, the very first movie, where he was the only survivor (except Luke Skywalker) of the X-Wing attack on the Death Star. Since then, he’s been one of the fan-favorites, a sort of proto-Poe Dameron with a number of books dedicated to him and fellow Rogue Squadron members. But despite being the universe’s fixture, he never really got a backstory of how he joined the Rebellion. The episode fixes that by making him an ex-transport pilot recruited by the Imperials, who, along with two friends, became disturbed by the increasing radicalization of the Empire.

Sadly, one of them dies, and frustratingly, it’s the trio’s only Black guy, Rake. In fact, he’s the first named character to die in this episode. It’s terribly annoying to praise a series for its writing on its Asian female character, only for it to pull a tired old trope like this. You can do better, creators!  I’ve seen it.

Ignoring that misstep, it was a fun episode, as it’s generally the case when Rebels decides to focus on one of its non-Jedi characters. And we’ll be getting another one next week, in "Hera’s Heroes." I’ll see you then.

Dominik Zine is a nerdy demisexual lad from northeastern Poland and is generally found in a comfy chair with a book in hand.