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Recap / Star Wars Rebels S4E03 "The Occupation"

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Upon learning of a new improved TIE Defender prototype, the rebels head back to occupied Lothal to find it ever more oppressed and burnt out.

Tropes in this episode include:

  • Almost Kiss: Between Kanan and Hera in the alley. Zeb calling breaks it up just before lip contact.
  • Bad Dreams: Ezra's been having them for a while of Lothal suffering.
  • Bad-Guy Bar: Old Jho's is now a local hangout for Imperial patrols, run by Baron Rudor.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • Mothma's aide, Semaj, appears after his only appearance in his debut episode in Season 3, "Secret Cargo".
    • Vizago appears for the first time since Season 2 episode "Brothers of the Broken Horn".
    • Jai returns after his debut from way back in Season 1 episode "Breaking Ranks".
    • Baron Valen Rudor reappears since he was last seen in Season 1 episode "Empire Day", having been demoted to a bartender and taken over Old Jho's. He's also playing the upbeat "Imperial March" from that episode.
  • Bus Crash: Old Jho was caught and executed for treason. Granted, this came from Imperial propaganda, so Ezra takes it with a grain of salt.
  • Call-Back:
    • Ezra pays Vizago with several puffer pigs, first shown in "Idiot's Array". Vizago notes that Lando made good money off just one.
    • The crew journeys through the sewers once more, just as they did back in "Vision of Hope".
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    • Jai and Ezra discuss their Academy days and Jai uses the name Oleg for Ezra, both from "Breaking Ranks".
    • Mothma knows personally from "Secret Cargo" just how dangerous the TIE Defenders are, which is why she's at least letting the Ghost crew perform recon on Lothal for intel on the TIE Defenders.
    • Ezra thinks that he's lost Lothal like how Saw said he lost Onderon, which he said in the previous episode.
  • Costume Evolution: Sabine has a new color scheme, this time incorporating yellow (likely to symbolize her reconciliation with her clan, whose main colors are yellow) and has completely replaced her burgundy red with more purple. Her regular hair color is also beginning to show as a much darker shade of purple, implying that she hasn't had time to dye it again due to the rising stakes and/or it is also to show reconciliation with her family, whose hair are not dyed.
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  • Description Cut: Ezra reminds Sabine that Old Jho's is one place where people don't feel the Empire's presence. They then see the place filled with imperials.
  • Despair Event Horizon: As Ezra sees Lothal under increasing levels of oppression, he begins to think he's failed them and Lothal is beyond saving. The crew and Ryder help him snap out of it.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Vizago is a lying, cheating scumbag (though if you want to be technical, he's really more of a chaotic factor than a villain, since he's never been an antagonist to our heroes in any material so far), but even he seems a bit taken aback by what the Empire did to Lothal. Remember that Lothal is his homeworld too.
  • Foreshadowing: Near the end of Ezra's dream, a loth-wolf howls. It's our first indication that these aren't just nightmares.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Ezra and Sabine head to what used to be Old Jho's to get drinks, and if there's any doubt they're alcoholic, Ezra later plays drunk to get out of an investigation. By this point in the timeline, Ezra would be considered a minor or barely passes the legal drinking age in most real-life countries.
  • Godzilla Threshold: For the Empire the insurgency problem on Lothal was so bad, but with Vader busy with other things, they needed the assistance of the ISB and Death Trooper squads to lock down the planet.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Averted here. When Vizago tries to smuggle in the Ghost crew, the Imperials run a thermal scan and determine he's a smuggler since there are more heat signatures than his vessel is registered for. A TIE Fighter escort is sent after him and his ship is gravity-clamped on landing. Ezra releases the puffer pigs as a diversion, presumably making them think it was the pigs they detected.
  • Hero of Another Story: Assuming they're not just returning the Ghost back to Yavin 4, Kallus and Rex taking the Ghost is this.
  • Hey, Wait!: It doesn't seem likely Rudor saw right through Ezra and Sabine, but the fact is they did get drinks and attempted to leave without paying. And this is before Hera got caught stealing a vehicle.
  • Hopeless War: Even more so than ever, Ezra feels that for all his efforts against the Empire, the nightmare just grows. Lothal is as good as lost, and there is just no way to defeat the Empire.
  • Nice Hat: The boys get some, with Ezra wearing a fitting size of Azadi's hat, Zeb's hat being a weird tall hat similar to that of Minister Tua and incidental characters, and Kanan wearing a cap.
  • Not Helping Your Case: Kallus muses on how, after all the time he spent trying to catch the Ghost, now he's been left in charge of it, to which Rex responds that he was the one Hera was talking to. Kallus asks why this would be the case when he, Kallus, has commanded Star Destroyers in the past, to which Rex responds that he, Kallus, just answered his own question. Kallus meekly takes the co-pilot seat.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Chopper gets an extra accessory as a disguise, making him look like a tiny forklift. Somehow, this fools Imperials better than a paint job.
  • Scenery Gorn: Lothal's pollution has gotten much worse, with the atmosphere being filled with noxious storms and explosions, and the planet appearing red from space. Ezra is horrified when he sees it and tells Kanan it looks like the planet is dying. On the surface, smoke entirely blackens the sky and the grass has all been burned away.
  • Ship Tease: If it wasn't outright obvious before, Kanan and Hera talking in the alleyway, gently holding hands, and the intimacy of Hera taking off his mask makes it crystal clear that they're in a relationship.
    Kanan: I wish I could see you.
    Hera: You could always see me.
  • Shout-Out: Zeb's outfit, particularly the hat, looks like the protagonist of Arzach.
  • Suicide Mission: The Ghost crew undertakes their most dangerous mission on Lothal to help Ryder. Since the whole planet is locked down by the Empire, they are on their own. No rebel armies, no allies, just them. Once they enter, they do so with the expectation they may not escape alive.
  • Tempting Fate: With all the emphasis Ezra places on Old Jho being the one thing the Empire couldn't get rid of, it would have been more surprising if he had been right.
  • Trail of Bread Crumbs: Ryder left Sabine's starbird to guide people through the tunnels. They follow it to a place outside the city where he's waiting to pick them up.
  • "Wanted!" Poster: Ezra complains that his poster shows him when he was younger.
  • Watch the Paint Job: Hera leaves the Ghost with Kallus and Rex, with particular emphasis that she expects to get it back when she returns.
  • Wham Line:
    • After talking to Mon Mothma, Ezra announces that he's leaving the Ghost and permanently transferring to the Lothal cell.
    • Baron Rudor announcing that not only was Old Jho arrested, he was executed as well.
  • Wipe the Floor with You: Zeb drags a probe droid along the sewer wall to break it.


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