Star Wars Rebels "Zero Hero" closes season three with an overall satisfying season finale. I had a few issues, but minor in comparison to the whole episode. We finally get to see what power Bendu (Tom Baker), the creature that sits in the middle between the light and dark side, wields. Death troopers, first seen in Rogue One, make their debut as Grand Admiral Thrawn's (Lars Mikkelsen) bodyguards. They certainly look pretty cool. Cross this year's Halloween costume off the list.
Zero Hour begins with Thrawn, escorted by a squad of bad-assed death troopers, lands at the Empire's headquarters on Lothal. He meets in private with Governor Pryce (Mary Elizabeth McGlynn) and Admiral Konstantine (Dee Bradley Baker). Agent Kallus (David Oyelowo) sends a small droid to observe them through the ventilation system. Thrawn contacts Governor Tarkin (Stephen Stanton). He has deduced that the rebels will attack the TIE factory on Lothal. Tarkin is stunned by this news. Thrawn tells him he will soon find the rebel base. Tarkin orders him to capture the rebel leadership.
On Atollon, Ezra (Taylor Gray) marvels at the rebel fleet. He praises Hera (Vanessa Marshall) for her inspired leadership. Kanan (Freddie Prinze Jr.) admits that there is not much else he can teach Ezra about the force. Ezra remarks that he has learned so much, and that Kanan will teach him how to be a man. Hera tells them that General Doddona (Michael Bell) and the fleet from Yavin is arriving. In orbit, Commander Sato (Keone Young) watches as the ships drop out of hyperspace.
On Lothal, Agent Kallus speeds outside of the city to Ezra's old hideout. This is where he signals the rebels as their spy, Fulcrum. Kallus turns on the transmitter, "Urgent message from Fulcrum! Thrawn knows", but the signal is suddenly jammed. The front door opens and Thrawn walks in. They engage in furious hand to hand combat. Kallus distracts Thrawn briefly by a throwing a helmet. He's able to let the message transmit for a brief second before the transmitter is destroyed. Thrawn kicks him outside to awaiting stormtroopers, "you have the heart of a rebel." Kallus responds, "I'll take that as a compliment."
Thrawn looks at the trajectory of General Doddona's ships that left Yavin. Then watches the point where it intersects with the Fulcrum signal. It looks like blank space because Chopper erased Atollon from the Empire's records. Thrawn is not fooled anymore. He radios Governor Pryce. He has discovered the location of the rebel base. Send attack forces to these coordinates.
The rebels receive Fulcrum's brief message. As they ponder what it means, the rebel leader on Lothal via hologram , Ryder Azadi (Clancy Brown), tells them that the Empire's fleet has just left. Ezra reminds them this is exactly what happened before an ambush. Hera orders Atollon to be evacuated immediately, all ships to battle stations.
Captain Sato watches as a fleet of star destroyers and two interdictors appears above Atollon. The Lothal attack is scrubbed. They must escape immediately. Doddona gives new coordinates to rendezvous. But as they ships attempt to jump, the interdictors block hyperspace with a gravity well. The rebels are trapped.
Thrawn, back on the Chimaera, contacts the rebel base. He informs Hera that he will accept nothing but their utter defeat. There will be no surrender. Hera realizes that Thrawn thinks the entire rebel fleet is present. She orders Kanan and Ezra to take a ship, break through, and get reinforcements. Their Jedi skills give them the best chance. Kanan tells Ezra to go on without him. He will go into the desert and seek Bendu's help.
On the Chimaera bridge, Thrawn has brought Kallus to watch his companions die. He orders Konstantine to stay back with the interdictors. Then sends ships to attack the middle. Its death and destruction as the rebels start to fall. Ezra, backed by the Y-Wings and the Ghost, has no escape vector. On the carrier ship, Sato orders all of his men to evacuate. Two loyal fighters remain for his suicide run. He moves ahead of Ezra. Konstantine sees the carrier coming and moves towards him. Thrawn orders him back into formation but he ignores. It's the last mistake he'll make as the carrier collides with the interdictor in a spectacular explosion.
Ezra breaks through and makes his jump. Hera orders all the ships to land immediately at the base. In the desert on Atollon, Kanan has summoned Bendu, who is furious that war has been brought to his planet. Kanan pleads for his help. He tells him not to be a coward and watch the innocents die. Bendu erupts in more fury. He has no care for the Jedi, the Empire, and their petty conflict. He is the Bendu and beyond such things. Kanan watches as Bendu transforms into a black storm, which reaches into the sky. He heads back to the base dejected.
In hyperspace, Ezra contacts Mon Mothma (Genevieve O'Reilly) via hologram. She cannot send help or they will all be destroyed. Ezra agrees. He will go to Sabine (Tiya Sircar) and seek assistance from Clan Wren. At the rebel base, Rex (Dee Bradley Baker) and Zeb (Steven Blum) turn on the shield generator they found on Geonosis. It hums to life, crackling with energy as the shield surrounds them.
Thrawn's ships bombard the base from space. Atollon is pounded as Kanan races back. The shield takes the punishment, but the generator is almost done. Thrawn decides he's softened them up enough. He will lead the ground attack, while Governor Pryce will command the space contingent. Kallus laughs at Thrawn's confidence. He's seen the rebels pull out miracles.
Ezra has reached Krownest, the base of Clan Wren. His arrival with Sabine is joyous, but not as expected. Clan Wren is stretched thin fighting the Mandalorian civil war. Her mother authorizes Sabine to take a handful of ships and men. They offer what they can. On Atollon, Hera prepares the rebels for the ground assault. She dispatches a team to intercept the Empire.
Rex and Zeb watch as AT-STs enter their canyon. They take them out with mines and missile launchers. Doing so has revealed their location to Thrawn. Wearing that sweet walker helmet, Thrawn opens heavy fire on their position. Then orders the behemoth walkers to move forward. The rebels fall back under the barrage. The walkers penetrate the shield. Kanan joins the fray. He takes out a walkers legs with his lightsaber. Then scrambles to meet up with Zeb. They flee into caves as Thrawn's shuttle lands behind them. His death troopers pour out of the ship firing.
In space, Sabine and Ezra arrive at the interdictor. They don space suits as Chopper drops them off on its hull. Governor Pryce is informed. She orders space troopers to repel the assault. On Atollon, the Empire is closing in. Kanan and Zeb fall back to Hera's position on the base. She suddenly gets a signal from Chopper. The interdictor is about to be destroyed. Hera orders everyone back to the ships. It's time to abandon the base and retreat.
The mad scurry to the ships is blocked by Thrawn's walkers. The rebels find themselves surrounded by soldiers and vehicles. Thrawn takes a slow walk towards them. Hera must surrender now, or watch her friends die in front of her. Above him, the escaping ships are met by TIE fighters. The shield generator finally collapses and gives out. Just when everything seems lost, Bendu makes his move.
A black lightning storm engulfs the base. Thrawn looks to the sky in amazement as lightning rains down on everything. Bendu's eyes gleam yellow from the crowd. Get off my planet. Thrawn's men fire into the cloud, but are wiped out by lightning. The rebels take advantage and abscond to the Ghost. They take off under a barrage of Bendu's lightning strikes. Thrawn orders all fire on Bendu's eyes at the center of the storm. "What Jedi devilry is this?"
In space, Sabine and Ezra take out the space troopers. They jet pack off the hull as the interdictor is destroyed. The gravity well preventing lightspeed collapses. Kallus mocks Pryce on the Chimaera. She's had enough, throw him out the airlock. Kallus easily takes out the guards in the elevator. He boards an escape pod and ejects into space.
The Ghost and remaining rebel ships make a run for it. Hera suddenly gets a signal from Fulcrum. The Ghost scoops up Kallus in his pod. Pryce watches in disbelief as the rebels escape into hyperspace. On Atollon, a fireball crashes down as the storm dissipates. Thrawn walks up to the seemingly disabled Bendu. Bendu tells him that he sees Thrawn surrounded by defeat. Thrawn opens fire, but Bendu has disappeared.
In hyperspace, the rebels are happy to have survived, but know that the attack on Lothal is over. Kallus thanks Kanan for saving him. Kanan then joins a depressed Ezra on the bridge. They might have suffered a major loss, but they are in the fight. This is just the beginning.
Kallus escape from the Chimaera and Sabine's return in the nick of time is terribly contrived. But seeing Bendu in action was worth the wait. His final warning to Thrawn was sweet comeuppance. And so ends the excellent season three of Star Wars Rebels on Disney XD.