The season finale of Rebels was satisfyingly exciting. Even Chopper comes off as a hero.
The crew of the Ghost stages a daring raid on Governor Tarkin's personal Star Destroyer in order to rescue Jedi Kanan, who is being tortured for information by the pasty-faced Inquisitor. Their plan requires that they steal an Imperial transport ship, which they do thanks to some jumping-flea-fu acrobatics from Sabine. This sequence was the weakest part of the episode.
However, they realize that the transport is too large to fit into the Star Destroyer's docking bay, so Ezra tells Hera about the TIE fighter that he and Zeb liberated some weeks back. Unfortunately for their plan--but fortunately for the audience--Sabine had "decorated" the TIE in her brightly colored artworks. (This way we can tell it from all the other TIEs, see. Hee, hee--a brightly colored TIE...)
With no time to repaint it, and as the Imperials will only scan its signal electronically, they load up the TIE with devices designed to knock out the Star Destroyer's power grid, and manage to get it aboard. As the ship goes dark, the crew of the Ghost use Ezra's light stapler to cut their way through the Star Destroyer's hull and gain entry thereby, leaving Chopper at the controls of the hijacked transport attached to the side. This was actually a pretty neat sequence.
Unfortunately, their window of opportunity to find Kanan narrows drastically as reinforcements arrive from a neighboring destroyer. Ezra welds a door closed with his light stapler, then climbs into the air vents to get to Kanan's cell while the others go running off to locate an alternate way back to the ship, and to create a diversion, not necessarily in that order. I guess Sabine had learned the lay-out of Star Destroyers while she was in the Imperial Cadet Corps, because I get lost in small buildings, but these guys seem to know their way around a city-sized starship without any problems.
Ezra finda Kanan's cell and releases him, but as they are escaping through the Star Destroyer's vast reactor core chamber, they are challenged by the Inquisitor. Kanan borrows Ezra's light stapler and uses it both to shoot at the Inquisitor (it's actually an energy pistol with a blade, that happens to look like a staple gun) and engage him with the sword. Much flashy duelling ensues.
While the Inquisitor is distracted by Kanan, Ezra Force-lifts Kanan's lightsabre off the Inquisitor's belt, and the two of them battle the bad guy. This hardly seems to slow the Inquisitor down, because he's got a double-ended lightsabre that he can whirl like a helicopter blade. I'm amazed he's still got all his natural parts, really. That thing looks like it would be as big a threat to its owner as to his opponent.
The Inquisitor gets the upper hand of Ezra, who falls from the gangway. This enrages Kanan--or rather, energizes him; with two lightsabres now, and with no more reason to fear, he amps up his assault on the Inquisitor, who is finally forced off-balance and who then falls to his death in the reactor core, setting off a huge explosion.
Kanan then learns that Ezra is not dead, that he'd merely been knocked unconscious.
Meanwhile, Chopper has had to evacuate with the transport as a veritable cloud of TIE fighters arrives. Sabine, Hera, and Zeb, rapidly becoming outnumbered, are vexed to find their ride gone. Hera unsuccessfully tries to contact Ezra, and when she at last gets a response, they decide to get off the deteriorating ship in the TIE fighter. The "non-regulation paint job" one.
Ezra and Kanan then take the Inquisitor's custom TIE--because the Inquisitor isn't going to be needing it any more--and also leave the Star Destroyer. However, there is a huge armada of TIE fighters waiting for them, and without the stolen--and still missing--Imperial transport, they're toast, as TIEs can't jump to lightspeed.
When all seems bleak, the transport suddenly drops out of hyperspace, accompanied by a half a dozen other ships, including the Ghost. Believing them to be friendlies, the escaping Rebels link up with the transport as the other ships provide covering fire against the TIEs, and they all disappear back into lightspeed.
Puzzled by "who was flying the Ghost," Hera and the others discover that Chopper had taken the initiative to contact Fulcrum for help. The crew is met on board their ship by a hologram projection of Senator Bail Organa, and by the mysterious "Fulcrum," the Twi'lek Jedi Asoka Tano, who had also escaped Order 66 and who had been Hera's contact with the other Rebel cells.
Back on Lothal, Governor Tarkin is met by Agent Kallus, who informs him that unrest against the Empire is spreading after rumors of the rout at Mustafar. Tarkin assures Kallus that he has a plan to crush the growing rebellion...and heavy, mechanical breathing comes hissing out of his transport vessel.
This episode made up for the eyerolling silliness of the previous episode, and had a lot of really eyecatching scenes and images. I'm looking forward to the next season, and I have "a new hope" that in Disney's hands, the "Star Wars" franchise will rise anew.