Star Wars: Rebels: Lando's Smooth Smuggler Swagger

Marshall Lemon | 20 Jan 2015 11:00
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Star Wars Rebels: Idiots Array: social

An old friend returns to make trouble in "Idiot's Array".

By and large, Star Wars: Rebels is supposed to introduce a new, younger generation of fans to the franchise. There's an all-new cast of characters who aren't tied to down to pre-existing backstory and an attempt to explore Star Wars without tying viewers to a past continuity. But let's be honest: There's probably just as many long-time Star Wars fans watching the show, eating up lightsaber fights and seeing how this New EU turns out.

These are the fans who are going to appreciate "Idiot's Array" on principle, simply for featuring a beloved character from the original trilogy. And unlike the last cameo episode, this one makes the character an essential part of the plot, leaving you wishing he'll return for a future episode. The downside is that compared to recent chapters, "Idiot's Array" is a bit weaker than we've come to expect, relying more on that nostalgia power instead of solid pacing.

Sure, that's a little disappointing. But does the novelty alone still make this episode worth watching? Absolutely. Check it out on DisneyXD's website or buy it on Amazon. Miss out on our recent reviews? Read up on the last episode, "Path of the Jedi" or check out all of our episode reviews. Now, on to this week's episode!

Things seem to be finally slowing down for the Ghost's crew which isn't exactly good news; without jobs to take on the ship is running critically low on food. Unfortunately Zeb's solution - winning extra credits through Sabaac games - backfires when he bets all the money he has and the droid Chopper and loses. Thankfully, the Sabaac player presents a tempting solution to the Ghost's crew: Help pick up some cargo and smuggle it across an Imperial blockade, and he'll return Chopper and pay them for their trouble.

And who is this Sabaac player? None other than a humble "entrepreneur" named Lando Calrissian.

That's right, "Idiot's Array" is playing the same game as "Droids in Distress" by making an iconic figure from the original trilogy a key part of the storyline. The main difference? Unlike C-3P0, Lando is essential to the plot and smooth as hell. Instead of being here for name recognition alone, he actually interacts and plays off of the Rebels crew in a way that makes him a real presence in the episode. And yes, that is Billy Dee Williams in the voice credits, clearly having a lot of fun revisiting his most recognizable role.

This isn't the Lando who managed Cloud City or led the Rebels against the Death Star as a General. This is Lando the rogue smuggler, ready and willing to charm his way out of (and into) any number of dangerous situations. Most of the drama from the episode comes from the fact that he knows far more about what's happening than the Ghost does, but isn't quite willing to play his hand till the time is right. Which the Ghost's crew certainly figures out, once Hera turns out to be Lando's "payment" for the secret cargo.

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