Star Wars Rebels: Crawler Commandeers S04E08 Review

by Michael Harris

In Crawler Commandeers, the Rebels crew desperately need to contact Hera on Yavin IV. Meanwhile, Hera faces a challenge of her own.

After the their victories in Kindred, Crawler Commandeers picks right up with Ezra, Kanan, Zeb, Sabine and Ryder Azadi trying to get word to the Rebel Alliance. Unable to make contact with their equipment, Sabine picks up a signal from something nearby. An ore crawler strip mining the planet for the Empire. Attached is a long range communications array that could help get word to Hera. Sneaking aboard and taking out its droid security the Rebels confront the crawlers captain; Seevor. Seevor proves to be less than helpful and sets off an alarm to alert the Mining Guild. Locking Seevor away, Kanan and Zeb head down to the lower levels to discover the source of an intercom signal.

Crawler Commanders

Back on Yavin IV Hera is trying to convince Mon Mothma to send the fleet to Lothal to destroy the factories set to produce the TIE Defenders en masse. However the Alliance is unsure of the action they should take. Recent information they’ve discovered has lead them to believe that the Empire is preparing to evacuate all Imperial forces on Lothal. For what purpose is still unknown.

Kanan and Zeb come across Mining Guild slaves being held below decks including their smuggling friend Vizago. After a battle between Zeb and a bulky Trandoshan guard they rejoin Sabine and Ezra on the bridge as two Imperial transports land and demand to board the crawler. Vizago attempts to disuade them but is unsuccessful. The Stormtroopers leave after being fooled by Vizago but a bigger problem has surfaced. Seevor has escaped and sabotaged the communications array. Ezra hunts him down through the ventilation shaft and confronts him near the reactors. After the array is back online contact is made with Hera and a very welcome message is received. The Rebellion is on its way.

Hesitant Rebellion

Crawler Commandeers further explores the mindset of the Rebel Alliance at this point in the timeline, namely their unwillingness to take drastic action.

It is consistent for Rebel leadership, after several defeats Mon Mothma is wary about any course of action that would lead to a direct confrontation. As they’re seen in Rogue One, this mindset is still held. Statistically it is the “safest” course of action as they are greatly outnumbered but one has to wonder just how they hope to gain any ground while they consistently refuse to take any by force. The intel that was gathered about the Empire’s new elite TIE Defenders proves valuable in learning only that they stand no chance at going up against squadrons of the deadly craft. Yet, when an opportunity presents itself to strike at the production, they again refuse.

Crawler Commanders

Some of their reluctance is plausible in light of other new information they’ve recently acquired. A new Imperial protocol, Protocol 13, is being carried out on Lothal. It is an immediate removal of all Imperial personnel on the surface of the planet. Something big is about to happen. Paired with the feeling Kanan had in last weeks episode about the Empires machinations on Lothal, something ominous, it lays down the potential for a very heavy mid-season finale next week.

The Razing Of Lothal

Not known for its environmentally sound policies, Ezra sees first hand just how the Empire treats its hosts. To supply TIE factories with ore for the construction of new ships, the Empire contracts the Mining Guild to carryout its dirty work. The surface of the planet has changed drastically after Imperial occupation. Ore crawlers scour the surface for resources.

And there is no consideration for the inhabitants.

Crawler Commanders

It’s par for the course as far as the Empire is concerned. All is laid waste for the Imperial war machine. Quite literally. With the construction of the Death Star, which has been heavily hinted at on the series for the last two seasons, massive quantities of materials are needed and the Empire will go to any length to ensure them. This has been a reoccurring subject in other media. Kanan has also seen this first hand in the novel A New Dawn from John Jackson Miller, a prequel to the series.

It’s comparable to the ransacking of temples on Jedha for Kyber crystals in Rogue One. And of the transformation of a planet into Starkiller Base in The Force Awakens.

Loth-Wolves were absent in this episode, but its starting to fall together as to their place in the coming conflict. It is their home as much as it is Ezra’s. In both Return of the Jedi and The Phantom Menace, the environment essentially fights back alongside the heroes. It’s very likely that is what will happen here. The Loth-Wolves, Cats and hopefully the humanoid population need to take up arms against the Empire.

The Path Ahead

Captain Seevor is voiced by none other than Seth Green. Green’s portrayal of a Trandoshan of a slightly different stature is spot on. Which is no surprise, he is an established and accomplished voice actor.

There’s a great easter egg in this episode, another Ralph McQuarrie call-back. The Mining Guild security droid is based off of the original concept for IG-88 in The Empire Strikes Back.

War is coming to Lothal. Crawler Commandeers is the penultimate episode to next weeks mid-season finale and sets the battlefield up nicely.  With a team on the ground and Hera bringing firepower from above, it’s going to be an intense 30 minutes of television.

All paths are coming together.

The mid-season finale, Rebel Assault, airs on Disney XD Monday, November 13th.

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