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Recap / Star Wars Rebels S1E06 "Empire Day"

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"Ezra Bridger. Son of Ephraim and Mira Bridger, born fifteen years ago today."
Tseebo
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It's Empire Day, a celebration of the founding of the Galactic Empire. As the team prepares some festivities of their own, Ezra reminisces about his parents and meets an old friend being sought by the Empire.


Tropes in this episode:

  • Ace Custom: The Inquisitor pilots a TIE Advanced.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: One of Ezra's escape routes within the city. Agent Kallus orders that the ventilation systems be checked.
  • All Part of the Show: As part of their distraction to blow up the new TIE fighter model, Sabine has Zeb pitch fireworks into the sky. Maketh Tua praises Aresko for the idea, and he just goes along with it rather than admit he didn't think of it.
  • Badass Biker: One of the Inquisitor's elite troopers is able to blast open the door to the troop transport the Ghost crew had hijacked, jump inside, and put up a decent fight against Kanan before being thrown out with the Force.
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  • The Beastmaster: Kanan tries to teach Ezra to be this as part of his "everything is connected" lesson. Empire Day being a bad day for Ezra, not much progress is made.
  • Big Damn Heroes: After going off on his own for personal reasons, Ezra shows up at the parade to bail his friends out of a sticky situation.
  • A Birthday, Not a Break: It's never been a normal birthday for Ezra, since it's the same "birthday" as the tyranny that spans across the Galaxy and took his family away from him.
  • Call-Back:
    • Zeb tries to kill Agent Kallus whenever he can, and references their fight in "Droids in Distress" a couple times.
    • Kanan's pretend drunkenness may seem like a fleeting gag, but readers of prequel novel A New Dawn will be aware that Kanan used to drink heavily.
  • Call-Forward: Blueprints for an AT-AT and a TIE Bomber show-up.
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  • The Cameo: Palpatine shows up briefly in a news broadcast, showing him addressing the Senate.
  • Canon Immigrant: Empire Day was originally created for Star Wars: Galaxies.
  • Cliffhanger: The Ghost is being chased by Inquisitor's TIE squadron for managing to rescue Tseebo, a Rodian carrying sensitive data on the Empire's plans for Lothal. Tseebo, an old friend of the Bridgers, reveals that he knows what happened to Ezra's parents.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: The amount of information crammed into Tseebo's implant has left him a bit off balance.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • A Phase I clone trooper helmet and a Republic gunship show up in Old Jho's bar.
    • Ezra goes back to his tower from the pilot to grab his house key.
  • Death Glare: Ezra's expression, combined with Kubrick Stare, when the HoloNet comes on and starts celebrating Empire Day.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • The Empire has a Five Year Plan for Lothal and the Outer Rim. Similarities between that and the Soviet Union's Five Year Plans are intentional.
    • The anti-Empire broadcast is also intentionally similar to rebel broadcasts against oppressive rule in countries like Iran and Egypt.
    • The pro-Empire broadcast itself uses an image of Palpatine from the Clone War as opposed to how he looked when the Empire was established. As the episode guide's trivia gallery notes, Real Life tyrants were known for similar practices on their state-run broadcast networks (such as the Hitler Cam). Stalin famously had his smallpox scars removed from all official imagery and the images of Kim Il Sung the "eternal President" of North Korea are intentionally shown in such a way that you don't see the giant tumor that grew on his neck during his later years.
    • The Imperial banner seen at the parade consists of a red field, with a white disk and a black Imperial seal.
  • Do Not Adjust Your Set: An Imperial HoloNet News broadcast is hijacked shortly after a group of Imperial soldiers force people to tune into it.
  • Explosive Instrumentation: When the TIEs start shooting at the Ghost, the aft gun controls explode on Chopper, taking him out of action for a while.
  • Facepalm: Kanan does this when Tseebo walks into a door and falls down.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The Empire has a Five Year Plan for the Outer Rim, the details of which are in Tseebo's head.
    • There's one last disc stuck in the transmitter Ezra's parents used. He ignores it, but it's fairly obvious Sabine took it after he left.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • The ticker text running under the news broadcast has a report about a farm being attacked by lothcats.
    • Among the information that Tseebo stole is something related to Base Delta Zero, which is easily misinterpreted as the capital letter delta (Δ) looks just like the Aurebesh "X".
  • Funny Background Event: While Kanan, Ezra, and Sabine are discussing their situation at Ezra's old home, Tseebo walks into a door and falls down. Cue Kanan facepalming.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: When he's caught too close to the TIE fighter, Kanan pretends to be drunk. It's never explicitly said that's what he's doing, but it's pretty obvious. Then Ezra piles it on by pretending Kanan is his father, which implies that the Empire turns a blind eye to drunken parenting on Lothal.
  • Happiness Is Mandatory: Grint is shown "encouraging" some less than enthusiastic citizens to cheer during the parade.
  • Honor Before Reason: Ezra's parents insisted on continuing to fight the Empire, even if it was dangerous. It resulted in them being captured, leaving their son to fend for himself.
  • Ironic Birthday: Not only does Ezra's birthday fall on Empire Day, but it is also the day he lost his parents.
  • Ironic Echo: As some TIE pilots search a bar for a Rodian, they demand the bartender turn on Imperial HoloNet News, as by law it must be played. When the transmission is hijacked, they demand he shut it off, only for the bartender to throw the law back in their face.
  • A Lesson Learned Too Well: The Imperials remind Old Jho that he's required by law to display the Imperial broadcast. When the broadcast is hijacked, Jho has an excuse not to switch it off.
  • My Skull Runneth Over: Tseebo's brain has taken a beating thanks to Imperial cybernetics stuffed to capacity with sensitive data on the Empire's plans for Lothal and the Outer Rim.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The patriotic music being played on loudspeakers during the Empire Day parade is, in fact, an upbeat remix of the Imperial March.
    • The cybernetic headband implanted into Tseebo's skull is similar to the one Lobot has.
    • The data disc Ezra retrieves from his former home is a smaller version of the disk from the first few levels of the Legends video game Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II.
  • Neuro-Vault: Tseebo's head is full of damaging information on the Empire, and they want him back.
  • Non-Fatal Explosions: While TIE fighters are known to be fragile, an explosion that can effectively destroy one should do a lot more damage to people standing around five metres away than knocking them off their feet.
  • Parental Abandonment: Ezra's parents disappeared on Empire Day, being anti-Empire activists making pirate transmissions. Worse still, Empire Day is also Ezra's birthday.
  • Playing Drunk: Kanan does this to get past a stormtrooper who catches him just as he's coming back from planting the explosive to blow up the TIE Advanced.
  • Putting on the Reich:
    • Not like they haven't done this before, quite a bit too, but the Empire has some new flags on display during the parade that are one step removed from the flag of Nazi Germany.
    • It's also worthwhile to mention that while the "Five-Year Plan" was more intentionally referencing the Soviet Union's economic plans, Nazi Germany had similar "Four-Year Plans" for economic development meant to rival the Soviet plans.
  • Ramming Always Works: Sabine rams a stolen Imperial transport through an AT-DP's leg, tripping it, and another transport, knocking it over.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Subverted. Zeb initially tries to snipe Kallus, but has no problems with being told to shoot at the Inquisitor instead due to him being the bigger threat.
  • Serendipitous Survival: Agent Kallus' life is spared by a quirk of fate. At one point Zeb has him in his gun sights, but is told to shoot the Inquisitor (a much bigger threat, who happened to appear on the scene the same moment as Kallus) instead.
  • Ship Tease: Fairly prevalent between Ezra and Sabine here. Made even more apparent thanks to Ezra's sad expressions and Sabine feeling more worried about him than the others.
  • Take That!: The Imperial HoloNet broadcast is strongly reminiscent of the screen format for Fox News Channel, down to the yellow text of the news ticker at the bottom.
  • Title Drop: Empire Day is basically evil Independence Day for the Empire, and the day on which the episode takes place.
  • Unwilling Roboticisation: The Empire has low-level technicians outfitted with implants at the cost of personality in order to make them more effective workers. Played with: They're encouraged but still entirely voluntary . . . for now.


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