In Star Wars Rebels season two, the idea of character backstory was something floated by the show runners since the premiere was screened at Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim. Most of the season up to this point has stayed true to that sentiment, and Blood Sisters is arguably the strongest dose of backstory in the second season so far.
In this episode, we meet Ketsu Onyo, a bounty hunter from Mandalore who works for The Black Sun. She also happens to have been in the imperial academy, where she met Sabine. As it unfolds, we are left with more questions than answers when it comes to who Sabine is.
When unveiling character-driven episodes, there is a delicate balance between using the 22 minutes to tell a story revolving around a single character, and moving the overall story together. In this episode, Filoni and his team do a good job of having the story be about Sabine, while tying it into the growth of this fledgling rebellion. Blood Sisters starts out with Hera giving a mission to Sabine, and having Ezra tag along shows how missions are assigned within the crew of the Ghost, and how the two youngest members interact.
Ketsu Onyo is a character I'd definitely like to see again. The design of her character is clearly Mandalorian, and the voice work by Gina Torres was fantastic. Having her be part of The Black Sun is a nice tie-in with The Clone Wars and The EU, and it's those touches that show the creators really care about what has come before.
The look of this episode was great. Not only did the team give Ketsu a ship that was designed for Ventress in Clone Wars episodes that never got made, but they ended the episode with an R2-D2 appearance on a beautiful planet Bail Organa was using as a rendezvous point for Sabine to deliver the intel. It's also clear that the animation team is hitting its stride with this style of animation.
The big moments in this episode really worked. So far we have gotten epic speeches from Kanan and Hera, and Sabine's didn't disappoint. You could feel the emotion in Tiya Sircar's performance, and the intensity was as high as we have seen with the character of Sabine.
WHAT DIDN'T WORK:
This episode at times felt rushed. Having each episode only be 22 minutes, there are moments that are hurt by the lack of development time. The way Ketsu went from mission-driven maniac to soft-hearted ally in a matter of seconds felt disingenuous. Coming off of the first Star Wars animated series that featured three or four episode arcs, the current show could benefit from a few multiple-arc story lines.
When it comes to Ezra and Sabine's relationship, we haven't exactly seen a lot of development. In the beginning, the show teased a possible romantic connection that has since fizzled to nothing since Lando put the smooth moves on Sabine in season one. At the start of this episode, we see Ezra share his feelings on Sabine's preference to be alone, and it bookends with a hint of something more when Ketsu mentions that Sabine talked about Ezra in their conversations. I would like to see a definitive answer when it comes to these two -- sooner rather than later.
This episode was well done. When it comes to raising questions about Sabine's backstory, they nailed it. It was also an episode filled with action, good dialogue, and a healthy dose of Chopper being Chopper. I left wondering about Sabine's past as a bounty hunter. How can a 14 year old be a bounty hunter? What did Ketsu and Sabine learn at the imperial academy? These questions and more are now present, and I can't wait to see the show answer them in the future.
This review was done by Fan of TheForce.net Ryan Donoho. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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