"Star Wars: Rebels" Episode 9 – The Wynkahthu Job (7.5 out of 10) – Based on characters and situations created by George Lucas; Directed by Mel Zwyer; Written by Gary Whitta; Starring: Freddie Prinze, Jr., Vanessa Marshall, Taylor Gray, Steve Blum, Tiya Sircar; Guest Starring Jim Cummings, James Hong, Stephen Stanton. Rated TV-Y7, Airs on Disney XD 11/26/16. It is currently available on the Disney XD app.
This review will contain mild spoilers.
The Wynkahthu Job is one of those classic heist sorts of episodes. The most obvious example I can think of is The Train Job, which was the first episode of Firefly. (I connected these episodes in my head already for reasons that will seem crazy, the extras in The Train Job were clad in the leftover costumes from Starship Troopers, the bug homeworld in Starship Troopers planet Klendathu. This episode is called The Wynkahthu Job... it all ties together in my head.) In these sorts of stories, you always have the scheming bad guys coming at the heroes with a job that's most likely going to go wrong.
The bad guys in questions for the Wynkahthu Job happen to be Hondo Ohnaka and Azmorigan, so not only will it go wrong, it will be a barrel of laughs the entire time the job goes down in flames, though.
Hondo is an interesting character study of the change that can happen in a person over the course of the Galactic Civil War. During the Clone Wars, he was on top, well liked and respected in the underworld, and had an entire gang that helped him with his enterprise. But the Empire has left him scrounging for the castoffs that more ruthless criminal cartels leave behind. It makes me wonder what Azmorigan was doing during the Clone Wars, to see if his fortunes declined significantly as well.
One of my favorite moments in this episode is actually the confrontation between Hera and Azmorigan. The last time they saw each other, she beat him up with that very useful tray and the tension in the scene between them is perfect. It's one of those great sorts of scenes you can only have a couple of seasons into a good show because you know all the characters and the relationships so well that this confrontation is tense and hilarious and you just want to love it.
This is also the second episode we have written from Rogue One writer Gary Whitta and since this episode introduced a new element of Imperial ship defense, it makes me wonder if we'll be seeing some of it in the film. But the Imperial cargo ship is defended by Sentry Droids that look very much like Dark Troopers from Star Wars video game lore. They were incredibly cool to see and had a very "Cylon" sort of vibe to them. I hope we're going to be seeing more of them across the canon as they are a very well-designed element and just look and sound cool.
More than anything, this episode was fun. Unlike the last two episodes, it didn't bring any new person into the Rebellion, but it did result in a victory: the Rebellion was able to take away a lot of proton bombs from the Empire. Calls that say these episodes are "just filler" come only from people who forget how television shows work and how battles work as well. These materials and personnel are going to be required for whatever epic showdown we've been building up to. And it's also going to be a list of things that Grand Admiral Thrawn is going to be able to use to divine their ultimate strategy. Just because Thrawn isn't seen in these episodes doesn't mean that his hand isn't there. Every pilot and ship we've seen added to the Rebel fleet, every proton bomb, every stolen bit of intel, it's all going to play into something larger.
If it doesn't, then I'll eat my hat.
This episode was a fun diversion, tense in the right places, beautifully animated through the maelstrom (they're getting very good at those), and added character moments between Zeb and Ezra that the season has been lacking so far. Those two are gruff with each other and they don't see eye-to-eye on just about anything anymore. It makes me wonder if they're heading to a confrontation just as surely as Thrawn and Pheonix Squadron are.
And let's be honest: that business with the Ugnaught is just fantastic.
For me, this episode was on par with the last two, enjoyable and fun, but needing to be read into a bit too much to care about it in the context of the larger season, and I'll be rating it a 7.5 out of 10.
Season 3 Scorecard:
- Steps Into Shadow (8 of 10)
- Holocrons of Fate (9 of 10)
- The Antilles Extraction (8 of 10)
- Hera's Heroes (8 of 10)
- The Last Battle (9 of 10)
- Imperial Super Commandos (7.5 of 10)
- Iron Squadron (7.5 of 10)
- The Wynkahthu Job (7.5 of 10)
Season Average: 8.14 out of 10
For more in-depth discussions about Star Wars Rebels and all other things Star Wars, be sure to tune into Full of Sith every week.