“Homecoming” is another Rebels season two episode that focuses on developing the background of one of The Ghost’s core members, this time exploring the relationship between Hera and her father Cham Syndulla. This post’s shot is sourced from a private and emotionally charged conversation between father and daughter made all the more poignant by the scene’s soft lighting. There’s something mournful and almost nostalgic about the way the characters are lit, placing emphasis on the intimacy between these two characters, but also hinting that perhaps the relationship they’re attempting to mend is very much a thing of the past. We’ll see by the end of “Homecoming” that Hera and Cham are able to move forward with their relationship, but this scene’s lighting and muted colors communicate so much about what’s happening between the two of them in this exchange even without any additional context or dialogue.
“The Protector of Concord Dawn” featured a number of compelling visual designs and shots including the half-destroyed planet of Concord Dawn and that system’s Mandolorian fighters and pilots. For me however, the above screenshot (sourced from starwars.com) is my favorite single image from the episode. The emphasis on the core themes of Rebels in “The Protectors of Concord Dawn” results in an episode with more emotional depth than I expected from a story focusing on hyperspace lanes, Mandalorian armor, and gunslinger showdowns.
Every aspect of this chosen shot communicates the importance of the familial bonds between its three characters. The vignetting effect of the central light above Sabine and Hera envelopes them (and to a lesser extent Kanan), obscuring the background and placing the viewer’s focus squarely on the characters and their connection to one another. It’s simple and straightforward, but it’s also a crucial and well-executed visual representation of the most important aspect of “The Protector of Concord Dawn.” Season 2 of Rebels has been very much about expanding the show’s lore by visiting new planets, introducing new characters, and providing backstory for existing ones, but my favorite moments thus far are those that center on the meaningful connections that make up the family at the heart of its story. In my mind Rebels is its best when it remains centered on the bonds between the members of the Ghost crew, so this episode worked most for me in these final moments when its storytelling circled back to the family at the show’s core.
Last week’s Hera-centric episode of Rebels, “Wings of the Master,” featured a number of beautiful shots, many of which come from breathtaking scenes of Hera piloting the prototype B-wing designed and built by Quarrie on Shantipole. The Rebels incarnation of the B-wing looks fantastic, bright color-scheme and all, and it was a joy to watch Hera pilot the ship and be in the spotlight as the episode’s protagonist.
That being said, this week I’ve chosen to focus on a shot (or two) of Kanan manning the Ghost’s canons and taking on a couple of approaching TIEs. While this isn’t necessarily the most beautiful shot in the episode, I was repeatedly impressed by the space battle scenes in “Wings of the Master,” particularly those taking place in turret stations like this one. Space battles are appearing more frequently as Rebels progresses and the show has been portraying them in an exciting and kinetic way. In this specific case, the motion of Kanan’s swinging turrets and seat coupled with the accompanying camera movement creates an impressive immersiveness that rivals (and possibly exceeds) similar scenes from the films. I also made note of the contrast between Kanan’s dimly lit figure and the bright brilliance of the exploding Tie in the distance. The explosion itself looked both authentic and impressive and serves as another example of how the show is able impress while emulating and updating the original visual language of the films.