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Star Wars Rebels - "Hera's Heroes" - Review: "Family"

Star Wars Rebels Season 3 Episode Guide:
3.01 Steps Into Shadow Part 1 - Review
3.02 Steps Into Shadow Part 2 - Review
3.03 The Holocrons of Fate - Review
3.04 The Antilles Extraction - Review
3.05 Hera's Heroes - Review
3.06 The Last Battle - Airs October 22
3.07 Imperial Supercommandos - Airs November 5
3.08 Iron Squadron - Airs November 19
3.09 The Wynkahthu Job - Airs November 26

Star Wars Rebels 3.05 "Hera's Heroes - Review:

It's been a while since we've had any Hera-focused episodes and she feels like the character who has possibly been the least developed of the main cast alongside Zeb, with the main focus of course being on Kanan and Ezra but now with a Sabine episode the previous week it's about time that we got a Hera one, that explores her origins and her family effectively as well as at the same time managing to provide some further tantalizing hints about what Thrawn has in store for our protagonists.

Hera's Heroes sees Hera's father, Cham under attack from the Empire. Cham himself was a well-respected politician in the Republic before its collapse so it's interesting to see what happened to him after the Empire arrived. The fact that the Empire now has possession of his mansion and is now using it as a control centre has meant that Cham's stock has fallen considerably, and it provides an important backdrop for the conflict that sees Hera risk everything to reclaim an important family heirloom, her kalikori.

Normally this would be a walk in the park but the Imperials have an ace in the hole, Grand Admiral Thrawn. Thrawn's time spent with Hera was a welcoming one as we got to see how Hera would cope under pressure. This was important because now Thrawn knows what makes her tick and will look to exploit any weaknesses in the future. It's something that he'll probably try to repeat with the rest of the team over the course of the series, so that when the blow strikes, his long game will come to fruition with results that certainly won't bode well for the crew of the Ghost. After all, Thrawn wouldn't have let them go so easily if he knew he wasn't certain about catching some even more important Rebels later.

It's clear that Thrawn represents a different kind of enemy to what the crew of The Ghost have faced before. He wouldn't be able to take on most of them in a straight fight (although that said he did take care of Ezra fairly easily) by the looks of things but Thrawn is no way going to play fair. There's so much potential for plenty of interesting conflict going forward. However, there is a risk of the writers getting into the trap of being repetitive in that if Thrawn lets the Rebels go one too many times, it might get a bit tiresome. And his fellow Imperial officers might get the wrong idea, as well. Either way Hera was able to get her family back in the end even if she wasn't able to reclaim her kalikori, putting her friends and family first, escaping at the cost of destroying her home and The Imperial Headquaters in the process.

The standalone episode written by Nicole Dubuc (whose writing credits include other shows like Jackie Chan Adventures, Young Justice and The Spectacular Spider-Man) may not have taken great leaps in plot development but it was a slow step in the right direction as the pace continues to gather momentum and pace. It looks more and more like Thrawn is the perfect choice to represent the next great threat for Star Wars Rebels because after all, where else do you go after you have already included Vader? Lars Mikkelsen is certainly a great choice for the role, having starred in European shows The Killing and Borgen as well as having played in BBC's Sherlock and in Netflix's House of Cards. So to see him voice Thrawn is certainly a change from what most audiences will be used to, and it's pretty awesome to see that both Mikkelsen brothers are part of the Star Wars universe now as Mads plays Jyn Aso's father in Rogue One, and we could (even if it looks unlikely at the moment given that Rogue One hasn't even come out yet) see both characters on screen at some point given that the film shares a timeline that isn't far away from the events of the series.

What did you think of Hera's Heroes? Let me know in the comments section below and be sure to check out the next episode of Star Wars Rebels this Saturday on Disney XD.

Overall Episode Verdict: B+
+Hera-centric episode.
+Thrawn smarter than the Rebels.
+Further connections to The Clone Wars.

About the Author - Milo MJ
Milo is an Arsenal FC supporter and loves TV shows like Battlestar Galactica, Justified, The 100, The Americans and Person of Interest. He reviews Black Sails, Elementary, Murder in the First, Narcos, Preacher, Star Trek Discovery, Star Wars Rebels, The Shannara Chronicles, Silicon Valley and Veep for Spoiler TV as well as books, films and games for his own blog The Fictional Hangout and contributes to comic reviews on a weekly basis for All-Comic.
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