Ranking Rebels: 5 Highlights from “Flight of the Defender”

Follow the white Loth-cat.

What do you do when you have more thoughts about Star Wars Rebels than you know what to do with? Make a list of your favorite moments — in no particular order, because that might fry your circuits. Welcome to Ranking Rebels.

Thrawn’s newest prototype, the TIE defender elite, could change the balance of Lothal’s fight against the Empire. The Ghost crew decides to do something about it in “Flight of the Defender.” Here are my five favorite moments from the episode!

1. Loth-cats!

Sometimes you just have to go ahead and appreciate the cuteness factor. Watching everyone try and do recon while being covered in Loth-kitties is too much fun. Especially the extra affection Zeb gets. The cats also remind us how bad stormtroopers are (who shoots at Loth-cats?!) and prove an awesome distraction when needed.

2. Sabine and Ezra make a great team.

Sabine and Ezra’s banter has taken on a great rhythm and listening to them bicker is quite enjoyable. Their dynamic allows them to challenge each other but they still offer support. Each of them has a role in stealing the TIE defender elite: Ezra fights while Sabine shoots everything, so it’s fun and exciting to watch.

3. Thrawn will stare your TIE defender down.

Just in case you’d forgotten how cool Grand Admiral Thrawn really is, this episode is more than happy to remind you. Not only does he stand his ground as his new ship is firing on him, but he coolly asks Vult Skerris if the escape was “part of the demonstration.” “Flight of the Defender” is also a reminder of Thrawn’s complete dedication to his mission. He’s willing to sacrifice his pilots for a better look at the TIE defender prototype in action. P.S., the sound of that ship is amazing.

4. Ezra’s piloting skills

Ezra’s flying has definitely gotten better and you can tell he’s learned some of Hera’s tricks. Even Thrawn notices. The fact that Sabine and Ezra managed to get away with the ship, gain valuable information, and snag a hyperdrive shows how much they’ve both come into their own.

5. The Loth-wolf. Finally!

It seems the white Loth-cat and the Loth-wolf are connected both to each other and to Ezra. But why did the wolf help and what did he say? Kanan says that all paths are coming together now. But what does that mean and how are the Lothal creatures connected? Is it the Force overall or is it to Ezra’s destiny in particular? I can’t wait to find out.

Honorable mention: Dave Filoni and Steve Blum as Loth-cat chew toys getting blown over by Sabine’s fly-by. Good times.

Those were my moments for this week’s episode. Tell us your favorite moments in the comments and may the Force be with you!

Shana is a longtime Star Wars fan and a diehard Rebels lover. She also thinks Poe Dameron’s hair has magical properties.

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