Sunday, March 05, 2017
( 5:34 PM ) posted by Setsuled
Mon Mothma finally showed up in yesterday's very good new episode of Star Wars Rebels, "Secret Cargo", written by Matt Michnovetz. Featuring some nice dog fights and some great visuals thanks largely to the proximity of a star forming in a nebula, the episode really felt like a piece of Star Wars history. In fact, the episode was so crucial to the continuity that, as good as it was, I wish the writing had been just a bit better.
Spoilers after the screenshot
Voiced in "Secret Cargo" by Genevieve O'Reilly, the same actress who portrayed her in Revenge of the Sith and Rogue One, Mon Mothma has had an oddly minor role in Star Wars movies and television. She's the leader of the Rebel Alliance but you wouldn't know it from her brief appearance in Return of the Jedi (when she was played by Caroline Blakiston) unless you'd been exposed to some tie-in media. I'm not even sure if her leadership had been made explicit before Timothy Zahn's Heir to the Empire. The Emperor plays such a huge role in the films, it seems odd that his counterpart hardly ever gets a mention. I was glad that she finally played a pretty important role in Rogue One and now we see her at the moment when the Rebel Alliance is formed.
I wish someone had written her a better speech. Her broadcast to the other rebel cells is pretty vague, basically let's be the good guys and fight the bad guys. I wonder if anyone at Disney is cautious about making the Empire sound too much like the Trump administration, though it's kind of inevitable. The part where Mothma talks about the Emperor "stifling our freedoms in the name of insuring safety," that is exactly what Palpatine did in Revenge of the Sith but suddenly it's a politically sensitive topic. You know an administration is bad when it blunders of its own accord into the intentionally broad rhetoric of a kid's show. Still, in addition to that I wish Disney had brought someone in to write something truly beautiful and eloquent.
The people behind Star Wars media are starting to do a better job at bringing focus to female characters and Mon Mothma has been waiting in the wings all this time to be the perfect character for that. But another thing that became clear to me is that the star of Star Wars Rebels is Hera whether the show's creators like it or not.
It's great that Hera has most of the crucial dialogue with Mon Mothma but the episode really gives Ezra about the same amount, if not more, things to do in the plot. But the story feels much more anchored on Hera simply because Vanessa Marshall is a much better performer than Taylor Gray. I don't know if I'd hate Ezra so much if he'd been played by a decent actor, probably, but Marshall is so good that it's hard to deny there's a lot more going on in her dialogue than even the impressive dog fight Ezra's involved in.
Again, as a TIE Fighter fan, it's nice to see the TIE Defender in action. The episode seems to imply that ion canons are a Rebel weapon so I suppose the TIE Defender might not be equipped with those, at least not yet. But it really came across as a nasty threat for the y-wings, moreso than it was in the games, really.
I noticed Ezra didn't do anything in the episode that indicated he was a Jedi padawan, which was nice, I wonder if the people making the show have finally realised they need to minimise the presence of Jedi to fit properly into the continuity. I do wish battles would end with Star Destroyers getting destroyed a little less often, though. Really, that should never happen on the show.
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