The Rebel crew meets the Iron Squadron, who may be more trouble than they’re worth in Star Wars Rebels 3×07.
In Iron Squadron, Ezra, Hera, and Sabine rendezvous with a scrappy group of rebels of the same name. The Iron Squadron is led by Commander Sato’s recently-orphaned nephew Mart, who has, let’s say, a slightly inflated opinion of his own importance.
In other words, a stubborn kid from a backwater planet think he should be the one making all the decisions. Sound familiar?
The similarities between Ezra and Mart are highlighted briefly. Ezra can empathize with Mart’s desire to save his home world from the Empire, and Zeb presciently points out that the Iron Squadron seems like “a ship full of Ezras.” Still, Mart is naive and prone to poor choices; he believes small Imperial craft to be Star Destroyers, and deliberately diverts the ship’s power away from the hypedrive.
In contrast, Ezra’s relative wisdom is more evident than it would normally be, even as he and Sabine escape with the rest of the Iron Squadron. A comparison that could have been thought-provoking turns into a rather standard message of trust and cooperation. The Ghost crew returns in full strength to rescue Mart from the Empire, and even Commander Sato turns up to help his nephew.
And for the third time, Grand Admiral Thrawn allows the rebels to slip through his grasp. While Thrawn does exchange a few chilling words with the failed Admiral Konstantine and Sato, it’s hard not to feel that the terrifying tactician has been somewhat neutered in these early episodes of Star Wars Rebels. If Thrawn’s reputation didn’t precede him, he’d be something of a punchline by now, ominous music or no.
Still, for all the gaps and indulgences in Star Wars Rebels 3×07 (the Iron Squadron are all modeled and named after employees at Lucasfilm), the episode does provide one particularly potent moment.
In the face of the squadron’s stubborn short-sightedness, Ezra urges his fellow rebellious teens to continue standing up to tyranny — but to do so wisely, and with intention.
“How we chose to fight is just as important as what we fight for,” Ezra tells them. And in this age of uncertainty, fear, and resistance, those seem like valuable words indeed.