In this episode review of Star Wars, Nick and Zach talk about how meh this episode is and rag a bit about Mart’s annoying personality.
“Iron Squadron” is best surmised as okay. Its story is okay; just a bit creative. Its writing is very okay. It’s so okay that it’s at what I like to call “tofu level”. It’s bland, blank, and utterly inoffensive. There’s nothing wrong about, and there’s nothing quite good about it. You could miss this episode and lose nothing except some Thrawn and some potential plot foreshadowing. There’s not much to say, though I’ve managed to scrounge up a few points.
Ragtagyist Ragtag Crew to Ever Ragtag
The crew of the Iron Squadron goes from bland, Gooti, creepily smiley and happy for no obvious reason, Jonner, and even-worse-than-Anakin-why-was-he-the-focus, Mart. Gooti is, well, has an okay design. Jonner is constantly smiling, really excited and happy-all the time. Her personality was one note: happy. And since people who smile for no reason freak me out, Jonner was a bit disturbing. Mart was rude and very young. Oh, and they have a droid, he’s forgettable.
The result is that sadly these characters are one note and boring. They could’ve been replaced with sock puppets and the story wouldn’t have suffered. And the episode would be a lot better. Because sock puppets.
They are the standard ragtag group, without personality. I want to like them more. There’s something here with how they interact with the now more experienced Ghost Crew. Something that could give the chance to have the Ghost crew reflect on how they’ve changed. That’s what I wanted this episode. However, it doesn’t have the story or characters to support the idea.
Building a Rebellion
Something that’s interesting is how the rebellion is continuing to be built. This episode futhers how incrementally the Rebels are growing and changing. Bigger threat. Thrawn. You know. The razzle dazzle of it all.
Ezra Making Hard Decisions
There was something interesting in this episode. It was a moral and logical choice Ezra was forced to make. In the episode, Mart, by his own doing, ended up stranded, surrounded by imperial forces. Ezra decided to leave Mart, rather than risk saving him. He left him to the empire in the middle of the episode. He of course came back, but it was still a hard decision. Season 1 to Season 2 Ezra would’ve tried to save him. But Ezra instead chooses the hard, but most logical and safe option.
It’s a great instance of character growth. Further, it’s a decision I rarely see happen like this. Usually the heroes will have a Big Damn Heroes moment and succeed. But Rebels is taking the harder, more instance decision. It’s a hard choice, but I’m proud they allowed themselves to do it.
Despite a cool thing, this episode is really basic. I’ll stick to my earlier assessment that it’s like tofu. There’s just not much to this episode. There is some interesting stuff, but overall, it’s a bit of a bore, and I wouldn’t be excited at the prospect of watching it again.
Episode Rating: 4 Watchable: If you are (really) bored, give it a looksee. Does not leave the viewer with any significant emotions other than sadness that there was nothing better to do.
Gooti: “Try not to touch anything, it’s organized the way we like.”
Sabine: “If you like junk.”
Ezra: “Be nice.”
Regrettably, this whole episode left me with an overwhelming feeling of “meh.” I think if I had a deeper connection with the Imperial Era EU (I focused mainly on the Clone Wars period) I might be touched to see the iconic YT-2400 from Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire, but alas, I do not so the intended nostalgia kick does nothing for me. I also expected more Thrawn from this episode, but I was disappointed on that front as well.
Issues with Iron Squadron
A good episode of a TV show, especially ones that feature a rotating cast, must make us care for the cast members, even if they only appear once and only for a moment. Iron Squadron fails in that aspect. While Gooti and Jonner are pretty bearable, Mart is almost insufferably proud and delusional. He is supposed to be a callback to Ezra’s original characterization, but Ezra was a tolerable and sometimes even likeable character because we can see him showing affection for others and NOT being an insufferable womp-rat. Mart does not have the benefit of a whole season to advance his character, and instead he is just plain annoying.
Although I must admit, his hair is perfectly 70s, A+ art department
Thrawn and Konstantine
I was hoping for a more Vader/Ozzel interaction with this episode. Darth Vader is a physical powerhouse, and when someone under his command displeases him the Dark Lord shows no hesitation in shuffling the chain of command. Thrawn is probably not as brash, but he still has a low tolerance for incompetence. Given that Admiral Kassius Konstantine has a pretty poor track record with Phoenix Squadron (i.e they ALWAYS escape him), I thought that Thrawn was seeking to off Konstantine in a more subtle way by pitting him against a superior rebel commander which would result in a small victory for the rebels but would free Thrawn to move more freely without Konstantine’s bumbling.
That said, Konstantine shows that he can be somewhat capable. He easily deals with Iron Squadron’s first and foolhardy attack against his light-cruiser, but still fails when pitted against the rebels of Phoenix Squadron. Perhaps Thrawn has not lost his patience yet, but he is testing Konstantine to see if he is worth keeping alive for a later purpose.
Episode Rating: 4 Watchable: If you are really bored.
“THAT’S a Star Destroyer.”