Spoiler Warning: If you haven't seen the most recent episode of Star Wars Rebels or don't want to know what happened, turn away now. Or, y'know, go watch and come back so we can talk about it.
Considering the length of the series itself and the passage of time within the show, the Ghost crew have been fighting the Empire in one form or another for quite some time now. They've lost family, friends, allies, even an entire base. They've been scarred, blinded, desperate for food and fuel, and so much more.
After fighting against a seemingly unbeatable enemy for that long, it's easy to feel both frustrated and angry. Even a decision on whether to blow up a communications relay or leave it operating in hopes of gathering some intel takes on a new significance, especially when blowing it up would be quite satisfying.
When you consider all of that, it's easy to see why both Ezra and Sabine decided to stay with Saw instead of going back to the Ghost. Ezra can't save Lothal and Sabine is fresh off the Empire attack on Lothal, so Saw's plan to take action definitely beats "slow and steady".
You may notice that I'm skipping through a lot here but, as much as I enjoyed the entire episode, I feel like the setup isn't the real defining part of this two-part episode. If this episode is about anything, it's the question of how you choose to fight and who you choose to fight for.
Just when we've gotten everyone back together on Yavin, it's time to get back to work and out to deal with the Jalindi relay which, of course, doesn't really go according to plan. Not that I minded. Watching that whole sequence from the jump out of the Ghost to the pickup by Saw was way too much fun. I know I should feel bad about Chopper banging headlong into the center of that dish, but I don't. (I'm a terrible person).
Still, Chopper really does come out of this whole mission looking like a hero. As a combination slicer, decoy, and friendly cruise director, Chopper's responsible for both saving the prisoners and helping Saw find what he's looking for in the first place. He's also a pretty effective battle droid when it comes right down to it.
You also have to appreciate Ezra having another (and I think final) run-in with Bron Titus. Ezra really does have some amazingly bad luck sometimes.
While it looks like Saw saved Sabine and Ezra, I think he had this planned. His timing at the relay was almost too perfect and, like he says, he needs both Sabine and Ezra to pull off his mission. So he swooped in to look like a hero while also managing to blow up the relay (his desired plan all along) and now Ezra and Sabine owe him one. Pretty sneaky.
But this all comes back to the main question in the episode and one big problem if you're trying to put all of this in a nice neat package -- Saw’s ultimately right if you're talking about cold, hard facts.
Saw Gerrera has connected the dots to find himself on a cargo ship carrying building materials, engineers, and kyber crystals. He doesn't know how all of that fits together yet, but he's certainly a lot further along than anyone else is when it comes to figuring out what the Empire is up to. From Saw's perspective, everything he's seeing is confirmation of his being right and that continues to inform both his zeal and narrative that he's doing the right thing.
But he's something Saw never considers. Well, a few things.
1. Without Ezra, he probably wouldn't have discovered the crystal because Ezra's the one who sensed it.
2. Without Sabine's tech and explosive skills, he'd have had a hard time dealing with several things during the mission.
3. The life of the prisoners. In the end, he's willing to leave not only them but Ezra and Sabine behind when the kyber crystal goes critical mass.
4. The only thing he really ends up leaving with is confirmation that his intel was correct. He doesn't have any sort of tangible way to prove to anyone else what he saw, he destroyed evidence, and now the Empire knows their intel is compromised.
On the flip side, Sabine and Ezra (and Chopper) return to the Rebellion with new recruits, and a better understanding of exactly what kinds of results Saw's methods get. Saw saves himself, Ezra and Sabine save other people. That says it all pretty concisely, don't you think?
I know who's side I'm on.
Oh right. One more thing.
Deathtroopers. In action. How cool was that? I'll admit to personally happy dancing the moment the lead trooper spoke and had a female voice. Not just because it's the first time we've heard a female Deathtrooper, but because Jennifer Hale was the one to provide that voice. She may be Fem Shep to a whole lot of people, but hearing her voice in Star Wars always makes me particularly happy.
It's a shame that she's dead now (I mean, that ship basically disintegrated), but being the voice of the first female Deathtrooper we hear is a pretty cool distinction if you ask me.
I'd also like to take a moment to thank whoever it was that came up with that little scream behind the door when Saw, Sabine, and Ezra took out the first set of stormtroopers. I saw what you did there. And I approve.
Oh wait, I lied. One last thing.
About the whole "Saw being right" thing... Ezra asks the question and it's a really good one. What if Saw's right and the Empire's already on the verge of winning a war most of the Rebel Alliance doesn't believe has already begun?"
I guess we'll find out next week, right? See you then and may the Force be with you.
Star Wars Rebels will air two episodes each Monday starting at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Disney XD.