Star Wars: Rebels Revisited – Part 14: Imperial Agent

As it turns out, I’m only talking about one episode this week. In part because I’m really busy with both work and the excessive amount of uploads I’ve assigned myself on here. This is a Zeb episode, and honestly, Zeb has surprised me by becoming one of my favourite characters in the show.

And we continue the story about him that I’ve been expecting for a while.

Season 2, Episode 17: The Honorable Ones

The Ghost arrives in orbit about Geonosis. Can’t say I was ever expecting to see this red marble ever again, especially after the end of the Clone Wars. And it seems like we’re not ever going to considering there isn’t a single life sign present on the planet. It’s hardly surprising considering the events at the end of Revenge of the Sith though.

The crew are investigating seemingly abandoned construction yards in orbit, which are playing host to a trap set by Agent Kallus. You know, you always think R2-D2 is the most badass droid in the galaxy, but when it comes to trash can on trash can violence, I’m not sure I’d bet against Chopper… The little guy is violent.

The trap seems like a pretty poor one all things considered, the Rebels manage to escape the station pretty easily, the only exception being Zeb who gets caught up in a duel with Kallus. This is the continuation of their little rivalry I’d been expecting to rear its head again at some point. I can’t say I’m super thrilled with how this one plays out though.

With his escape route blocked off, Zeb jumps onto an escape pod. Only to be pursued by Kallus, the pair continue to brawl with the confined space and the pod gest damaged, veering way from the planet of Geonosis and careening towards one it’s icy moons.

Upon their crash landing, Kallus is injured and at Zeb’s mercy. To which Zeb, for some reason, decides not to just execute Kallus. I call bullshit. I know Zeb’s a little less hung up on his people since finding his original homeworld, but Kallus is still the one who destroyed the planet he grew up on and the life he had there.

Not to mention him being probably the biggest thorn in the crew of the Ghost‘s side since he was introduced right at the start of the series. Zeb keeping him alive because he want’s to best him in. “a fair fight” is utter crap. They could have easily written it into a situation where Zeb was forced to keep him alive, like there was some task that absolutely required two people to have a chance at survival.

Even their heart to heart is brief and lacks any depth whatsoever. It’s Kallus just saying “the Empire is big” and Zeb saying “people are sick of the Empire”. We don’t ever get any insight into why Kallus actually believes the Empire is the correct future for the galaxy.

When Zeb asks what happened to the Geonosians, Kallus naively claims the Empire had nothing to do with that and says they would have nothing to gain from wiping them out. Which is when Zeb tells Kallus that maybe he shouldn’t take everything the Empire says at face value and actually look deeper into why the giant war machine does what it does.

During their shared escape from the cave they crashed while fighting off the creatures that dwell in there, we do get a little insight into Kallus’s history. How he survived an attack from a more extreme Rebel cell under a Lasat leader on Onderon, and how he apparently has some degree of survivors guilt as a result. Also how he doesn’t apparently take any perverse joy out of his job, rather he’s doing it simply because it’s his duty.

Not sure I agree that lines up with his prior actions and characterisation if I’m honest. Although he does admit that the massacre on Zeb’s world wasn’t ever his idea, it came from above his head and he simply had to go along with it.

In the end though, the pair do escape by working together. Some degree of mutual respect burgeoning between the two of them from their shared experience. The episode ends with both of them getting rescued separately by their own sides, Kallus watching Zeb’s friends happy to see him and then experiencing a cold, sterile reception from the Empire upon his own rescue.

Verdict:

Okay, so here’s the thing. I do love a good redemption story, but I can’t say I was ever expecting to see this show go in that direction for Kallus. He seemed like another character who would die as an example when some bigger, badder enemy showed up to take over. But I don’t think I hate this at all. As the episode went on, I was fully expecting this to be a story that ends up happening and then gets mostly forgotten in the aftermath.

However, given how this one ended, I kind of feel like it’s the beginning of a new arc for Kallus and his place in the Empire. It reminds me of the Imperial Agent storyline from the Old Republic MMO, a story that predates this one by half a decade. With a lot of these types of story, you see the Imperial start to second guess their allegiance and eventually join the Rebellion. Like with Iden Versio in Battlefront II.

Personally, I’d much rather see this story go into the direction of The Old Republic storyline. Rather than just have Kallus leave the Empire, I’d much prefer if they went in the direction of having him alter his perspective and try to affect change to the Empire from within. I’d like him to remain steadfast in his choice that The Empire is the correct future for the Galaxy, but I’d like for him to start trying to soften his approach.

To make some kind of middle ground that actually stops people feeling the need to align themselves with the Rebellion in the first place. Obviously, he doesn’t know how rotten the Empire truly is in its leadership, which would eventually lead to some kind of tragic end for him at the hands of The Emperor (or at least via Vader’s hand) himself when he really starts to shake things up.

This really does have some potential to tell an interesting story with a different perspective, one from within the Empire. A topic I feel like The Mandalorian touched upon a few times, which needed up being some of their most interesting stories.

So yeah, I’m only talking about one episode this week, but I’m pretty busy on here this month if you hadn’t noticed, plus I ended up having a lot more to say about this episode than I even expecting. I’ve always kind of liked Agent Kallus, at least because of his connection to the Agent class in the MMO. Now it looks like they might be going in a similar direction as that story did back when I played it, I’m, even more intrigued for where they could go with it.

I really hope they don’t fumble the ball with it though.


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