Star Wars Rebels is back!
Star Wars Rebels is back on US screens. The animated spin-off impressed with its first season, but now things are set to get serious. As the Rebellion has become more organised, so the Emperor has begun to take them more seriously. He's tasked Darth Vader and a second Inquisitor to track down and destroy the crew of the Ghost.
But before all of that, we decided to take a look back at the best bits from the first season and the special "Siege Of Lothal" episode (spoilers, obviously). What comes in at number one? Nothing to do with Zeb, that's for sure...
10. Vader speaks
From: Spark Of Rebellion
Yes, it's an undeniable bit of fan-service, but Darth Vader's first appearance in the show is short but spine-tingling. The Inquisitor kneels before a huge hologram of Vader (echoing, of course, Vader's own behaviour in The Empire Strikes Back). The Emperor has forseen a new threat rising against him... Vader says in that voice and we all knew that Star Wars was back.
9. The identity of Fulcrum is revealed
From: Fire Across The Galaxy
Many fans were dismayed when Clone Wars was unceremoniously dumped in favour of Rebels, but this scene helped heal the wounds. A hologram of Bail Organa reveals that the crew of the Ghost are part of a wider rebellion and they are then greeted by an old friend: Anakin's old apprentice, Ahsoka Tano long thought killed in the Order 66 purge. It's a cool joining of the dots between too separate eras of Star Wars lore. But will she come face-to-face with her former master in season two?
8. Yoda says hi
Against all the odds, the greatest Jedi Master of them all makes contact with Kanan, now that he has taken on an apprentice. OK, it's only a psychic link and we never actually see him, but it's great to hear Frank Oz's voice again and it gives Kanan the morale boost he needs to keep on fighting and training Ezra.
7. Grand Moff Tarkin arrives on Lothal
From: Call To Action
Vader's boss and occasional rival in the Emperor's affections gets a suitably powerful introduction. Arriving on Lothal via shuttle, flanked by TIE fighters, he immediately puts both Agent Kallus and the Inquisitor firmly in their place with a couple of bitchy asides. He's equally unimpressed when he hears about the leader of the rebels being a Jedi. I actually knew the Jedi, he says dismissively. Do you know what happened to them? They died. You're left in no doubt that he means business and things are only going to get worse for the Rebellion...
6. Kanan fights the Inquisitor
From: Rise Of The Old Masters
Searching for the lost Jedi Master Luminara, Kanan and Ezra blunder straight into a trap and meet the Inquisitor for the first time. Funnily enough, they don't get on. The Inquisitor immediately reads Kanan's fighting style and lack of confidence and exploits them brilliantly. A brilliant first battle and one that underlines the most interesting thing about Kanan's character: as a Jedi he's not actually much cop.
5. Obi-Wan's final message
From: Spark Of Rebellion
Kanan finds the message that Obi-Wan has left for the Jedi who may have survived the Order 66 purge. It's bleak stuff, but does contain a tiny glimmer of optimism. We must persevere and a new hope will emerge. See what he did there? It's also the final push he needs to help Ezra on his journey towards becoming a Jedi.
4. The Inquisitor's end
From: Fire Across The Galaxy
Now this was a shocker. Who expected the Jason Isaac-voiced villain to bite the bullet quite so quickly? Defeated in battle by a newly-confident Kanan, he loses his weapons and tumbles over the edge of some typically poorly-thought-out Imperial architecture. As he hangs on the edge, you half expect Kanan to do the honourable thing and offer to save him. Instead, the Inquisitor ominously states You have no idea what you have unleashed here today. There are some things far more frightening than death and then lets himself fall to oblivion. A cool moment made even more so by the fact he's plainly talking about Vader...
3. Ezra builds his lightsaber
From: Path Of The Jedi
It's a time-honoured tradition that a Jedi builds their own lightsaber. And so it goes for Ezra, despite the rest of his order being all-but wiped out. He spends weeks crafting his own unique weapon from junk left lying and given to him by other members of the Ghost and he comes up with something pretty special. Chunkier than every 'saber we've seen before, it also incorporates a blaster. Now what would Obi-Wan think of that?
2. Aresko and Grint are executed
Think Rebels doesn't do dark? Think again. Throughout most of season one Imperial Commandant Aresko and Taskmaster Grint have been a thorn in the side of the Rebellion, but they were never particularly threatening villains. Well, play time is over. Their consistent failures have been noted by Tarkin who calls them into the office meeting from Hell and, after giving them a verbal ticking off (Make no mistake, from now on failure will have consequences.) he has the Inquisitor execute them. Bloody hell.
1. Kanan and Ezra face Vader
From: The Siege of Lothal
As they're about to escape on an Imperial shuttle, the crew of the Ghost run into a tiny problem: Darth Vader. Kanan senses him first, then Ezra and then, in the darkness, a red lightsaber ignites. Striding out, the Dark Lord of the Sith proceeds to fling our two Jedi about like dolls. They only get out alive because the crew manage to bring an Imperial walker down on top of Vader and even that doesn't stop him for long...