The Wynkahthu Job: Rebels Season 3, Episode 9 Review
When teaming up for an easy score with Hondo Ohnaka and his new partner, the crew of the Ghost know Hondo can’t always be trusted. Desperate for the goods Hondo says they can acquire, they have no choice but to work with him. Even with a plan from AP-5 and led by Zeb, the job becomes more dangerous than anticipated.
Any appearance by Hondo is usually entertaining, but his visit in this episode is especially so. He is a known commodity, with humorous banter that does little to hide his selfishness and greed. In the past, his punch lines have been hit and miss, but this time he is bringing his “A” game. From the moment he arrives and indelicately references Kanan’s blindness (twice), to the end where he gets “the greatest” treasure, Hondo is truly funny.
What adds to the comedy is that Hondo’s new partner is Azmorigan. Once this is revealed, Hera quickly expresses her objection to working with the being who once tried to buy her from Lando Calrissian. Azmorigan believes the best way to smooth this over is to remind Hera that he still technically owns her.
Paired together, Hondo and Azmorigan play off each other well. Both are ridiculous, but somehow double ridiculousness does not irritate; it entertains. Azmorigan is especially funny when he tries to be a hero.
AP-5 adds to the humor of the episode. His depressed and uninterested demeanor gets the crew in deeper trouble when he does not fully explain the details of his warnings. Even Chopper gets in on the fun, abandoning our heroes and flying away to save his own metal covering. This prompts Zeb to shout he hopes Chopper runs out of fuel.
Outside of the humor, there is an underlying mission filled with danger. Although in and of itself the mission seems to be a framework used only to hold the jokes, it gives the animators an opportunity to create visually stunning scenes. The job involves liberating cargo from an abandoned ship stuck in an atmospheric storm. The crew must work to complete their task before the ship is pulled down. The scenes are animated at an angle, allowing the audience to feel as if they are being pulled down along with the ship.
Other than just the angle, the storm is beautiful. Lightning flashes between the ships. As Sabine waits on the cargo bay ramp for the salvaged goods, her hair is whipping in the wind and flying debris swirls around the Ghost. You feel as if she is actually in danger of being blown off the ship.
All these effects also help make the final escape gorgeous. The storm clouds make the lighting very dim. Blaster fire and a swinging lightsaber illuminate the scene. The animation pulls back for a shot showing two small figures dangling between the ships. It is another example of the artists showing scale and creating a sense of danger. Shots of the Ghost’s engines struggling as it resists the pull of the larger ship increases the feeling of risk. Coupled with another great score, the quick scene is remarkable.
What Didn’t Work
It seems the writers felt the need to have a life lesson or two in the episode. For this reason, Ezra rankles when Zeb is put in charge of the mission, and Hera wants Ezra to learn Hondo is not the friend he appears to be. These two ideas have little time on screen and are resolved quickly. They seem unnecessary because I believe we have already covered this ground with positive resolutions in previous episodes.
I usually don’t like episodes which don’t advance the characters or the overall season arc. However, this episode was just good fun. It was well written and beautifully animated. Sometimes it is nice to take a break from the serious stresses of fighting in a rebellion and just laugh. I wanted to give it a 3.5 or 4 because I was ashamed to enjoy a show with no meat to it.
4.5 Death Stars out of 5.