Details: Airs on Disney XD.
All you need to know about this episode is one thing: Vader.
The most surprising thing about Star Wars Rebels and this episode especially is how much of the actual Star Wars movies and canon is involved in this show. If you don’t know, ever since Disney purchased the Star Wars franchise, all the past Star Wars stories (books, television, video games, etc.) were confirmed to have nothing to do with the movies and were decidedly not part of the Star Wars canon. Everything that comes afterwards however (including television shows and comic books) is now part of the official canon from the movies and is all being overseen by a Star Wars brain trust somewhere in the Disney corporation.
With that understanding, this episode becomes that much more amazing. Historically, the use of Darth Vader has never been permitted to a certain extent. This episode shows that now he can be. In fact, Star Wars Rebels goes ahead and writes new history for the Star Wars franchise and — miraculously — it all resides within the same universe as the Star Wars movies.
Accordingly, we can now understand that the Clone Wars television series is part of the official Star Wars canon as well as the character Ahsoka Tano. All the characters in the show: part of the official canon. The possibility exists that we may even see them in the movies one day!
To further reinforce the idea of how official this show is now, actors from the Star Wars films reprise their roles for this episode. James Earl Jones actually does the voice of Vader. Billy Dee Williams reprises his role of Lando Calrissian. And I’m happy to say Ashley Eckstein reprises her role of Ahsoka Tano. Given this cast, the episode was a real treat.
As for the story, it was tense and exciting. Vader takes the role of master schemer and formulates a plan similar to the one in A New Hope (tracking device, then ambush). He also presses the tension by becoming something like the Terminator; an unstoppable force that you can only defend against and flee from. The best parts of the episode are seeing the protagonists get ambushed by Vader and try to escape his wrath. You truly get a sense for how powerful he is and how feared he is in the Star Wars universe.
Score: 7.5/10 A fun episode that introduces possibilities for future episodes. Will we see Mark Hamill reprise his role as Luke Skywalker? Hamill has become a legendary voice actor in his own right for his work as the Joker. Less likely is Harrison Ford who is still exclusively a big time movie actor. Only time will tell and — as this episode expresses — anything is possible.