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Recap / Star Wars Rebels S2E13 "The Call"

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Ezra's having a whale of a time.
The Ghost crew is on their way to attack a mining operation to steal a fuel shipment meant for the Empire, which they themselves desperately need. On the way, they run into a pod of purrgil. Hera, who has lost friends to collisions between the animals and starships, is less than pleased, but Ezra begins to empathize with the animals. Things take a turn for the complicated when the Rebels discover that their initial plan of blowing the whole facility up would do too much harm to the purrgil, forcing them to change their tactic to a more direct approach. But they only have enough fuel for one trip to the heavily guarded refinery, and once they land, they have to succeed at all costs, or they won’t be able to leave.

Tropes in this episode:

  • Ace Custom: The Mining Guild operates yellow TIE Fighters which have the two forward sections of the solar panels removed.
  • All Myths Are True: Hera relates a story about how the purrgil inspired people to travel through hyperspace, but doesn't believe it herself because she sees them as pests. Turns out they really can travel through hyperspace and it's a rather mystical sight.
  • All There in the Script: The lead purrgil is named the Purrgil King.
  • Almost Out of Oxygen: Played with. The atmosphere of the mining field is breathable for some species, but the Clouzon-36 needs to be filtered out for humans. When Ezra is knocked into the crater, he loses his helmet and starts to suffocate. Thankfully, he manages to communicate with the purrgil, who grab his lost helmet.
  • Amplified Animal Aptitude: Implied. After Ezra connects with the purrgil, one is smart enough to grab his helmet and give it to him when realizing he can't breathe without it. Later, they track down the foreman responsible for killing their pod. Of course, they're an entirely fictional species, so this level of intelligence could just be the norm.
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  • An Aesop: A very subtle, subtextual one that does apply to the real world, about understanding the natural behaviors of animals and learning working with & around that nature, rather than taking a combative approach.
  • Asteroid Miners: The Mining Guild has a refinery set up on an asteroid to harvest the naturally occurring gas in a crater to turn into starship fuel.
  • Asteroid Thicket: The refinery is located in one.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Ezra is so focused on the purrgil that he misses the plan to provide a distraction. Later, he wanders off to look at them when he's supposed to provide cover fire.
  • Bioluminescence Is Cool: In addition to Glowing Eyes, the purrgil's tentacles light up before they go into hyperspace.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: Kanan's completely right that the purrgil aren't trying to be malicious when they accidentally bump the Ghost, as they're the ones in the creature's way, and that they shouldn't shoot unless they absolutely have to. Yet Hera's completely right that while they're not actively malicious, they're still dangerous and could breach the hull. Ezra Takes a Third Option by getting the Ghost to fly with the pod instead of against it, after which the purrgil calm down and keep their distance.
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  • Breather Episode: This episode is less backstory/plot-building heavy than compared with the rest of the season. This is also the first episode without an appearance by the Empire outside of mentions.
  • Exact Words: When Sabine reveals Kanan's redecorated Stormtrooper helmet, he complains that he only lent it to her to look at. Sabine replies that she did look at it, and it looked terrible.
  • Glowing Eyes: The purrgil after they feed.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: The purrgil drag the Mining Guild leader down to the depths of the asteroid, and are implied to have eaten him.
  • Green Aesop: The purrgil are threatened by exploitation of their environment, as well as by being in the way of civilization, similarly to many real-life creatures. Naturally, the episode is very sympathetic to them and ends with their regaining access to their gas and, health having fully recovered, heading back for the depths of space where they live.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Ezra's Force connection to animals is shown here. He's the only one who can sense the purrgil before they arrive (by hearing their cries while nobody else could) and connects to them in a way that impresses the Ghost crew. He's pretty much able to talk to them. It pays off as the purrgil not only save Ezra when he nearly dies, but assist him and the others in battle. The purrgil king even lets Ezra ride him into battle. The Ghost crew is left absolutely stunned at this, with Sabine even literally gasping in awe.
  • Indy Ploy: Lampshaded when Ezra changes the plan to protect the purrgil.
    Zeb: Next time, we just plan on the plan changing.
  • Innocuously Important Episode: This is not the last we'll see of the purrgil as they have strong story significance later on in the show.
  • Karmic Death: The leader of the Mining Guild operation gets dragged into the depths of the asteroid by the purrgil, who he was trying to kill.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: The Mining Guild foreman is killed by the purrgil he gleefully persecuted just as he's heading off to send additional fire at the fleeing Ghost.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • For once, the famous "bad feeling" phrase gets inverted.note 
      Ezra: For what it's worth, I have a good feeling about this.
    • Non-Imperial military factions using custom-modified TIE fighters was common in the Legends continuity.
  • Nature Is Not Nice: The purrgil falls into the "indifferent but still dangerous" category. Hera particularly hates them because they've killed a number of her friends in space by ramming into their ships. (Although, as it's pointed out, they never actually meant to kill them as they crossed paths at the wrong time and caused a collision by accident.) They also ruthlessly kill (and might have eaten) the foreman who threatened to kill their pod.
  • Non-Malicious Monster: The purrgil causes accidents by crashing into ships and nearly rupture the Ghost's hull in the beginning, but it's not out of malice and is a genuine accident on their part. They're just big and in the way for those traveling in space.
  • Not Now, Kiddo: Ezra keeps getting this when he tries to tell everyone else what he senses about the purrgil.
  • Shout-Out: The concept of ancient denizens of the Star Wars universe learning hyperspace travel from the purrgil (to an extent) has shades of the myth of ancient humans learning bending from animals in Avatar: The Last Airbender, which is Dave Filoni's highest profile non-Star Wars project.
  • So Much for Stealth: Said word-for-word by Kanan when their plan goes south — as usual.
  • Space Whale: The purrgil, who lead nomadic lives in deep space, live in pods, store gas to breathe in a way reminiscent of a whale breaching, and can travel through hyperspace.
  • Unobtainium: Clouzon-36, a rare gas found in asteroids and needed to make starship fuel. In its unrefined form, it has a way of going boom.


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