In this week’s episode of Star Wars Rebels, Sabine Wren is the real star as we put aside the major revelations from “The Holocrons of Fate.” In “The Antilles Extraction,” Sabine goes undercover to do exactly what the title says: help Wedge Antilles defect to the Rebellion.
Wedge is a familiar character, as one of the best pilots in the Rebel Alliance. He appeared in all three of the Original Trilogy films and was the star of the beloved X-Wing: Rogue Squadron comics and novels that are now under the “Legends” banner. The new episode of Rebels gives Wedge a new origin story that’s now canon.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at “The Antilles Extraction.”
Your Mission, Should You Choose to Accept It: Rescue Wedge
The episode kicks off with a Rebel transport on a humanitarian mission to Teralov interrupted by an Imperial cruiser. A group of Rebel fighters go after the Imperial ship’s TIE squadron, but they can’t stop the TIEs from battering the unarmed transport. The ship is destroyed, unfortunately.
At Chopper Base, Ezra joins Hera, Kanan and Sabine to discuss the failure of the mission. It’s bad, because the Rebellion is losing pilots faster than they can replace them. The Rebel commander reveals that there is new intelligence from another Fulcrum secret agent, who has learned of cadets at the Imperial Skystrike Academy who wish to defect.
Hera assigns the mission to rescue them to Sabine, although Ezra thinks he’d be better prepared. But Sabine was an Imperial cadet for real and Hera notes that Ezra is too well-known in the Empire. Sabine would be perfect, since she’s the least recognizable. Kanan and Ezra are still going to go though, and will help Sabine escape. Zeb and Hera will stay behind to put together a new plan for another Teralov mission.
At Skystrike Academy, Sabine comes in and there’s a bit trouble with her credentials. At first, they don’t work, but after blowing on it like an old game cartridge, it works. Meanwhile, Ezra and Kanan are in a ship orbiting the gas planet Skystrike is floating above.
While flying in a TIE, Sabine gives a fake name to Wedge. Of course, the Empire doesn’t like pilots using names, so they are told not to break protocol and use comm numbers only. But it’s a signal to Sabine that Wedge isn’t completely on board with the Imperial way of doing things.
During a simulation run, Wedge and Sabine have to shoot Y-Wings and to destroy a Rebel cruiser. The cruiser is already damaged and they overhear someone on the comm begging for mercy. The commander still wants Sabine and Wedge to destroy the ship. Sabine delays her action and another Rebel ship that looks like the Ghost swoops in to destroy her TIE.
Sabine Questions Imperial Authority
That ended their simulation. As Sabine climbs out of her TIE simulator, she complains about the Ghost coming in. Another teacher comes out of the third simulator to tell Sabine and Wedge that any insubordination could get her killed. Wedge tells Sabine that he respects her questioning of authority, but warns her – many others in the Empire don’t feel the same way.
Governor Pryce and Agent Kallus arrive at the academy for an unscheduled visit. They have information that a group of cadets wish to defect. The commander of the academy doesn’t believe that, but Pryce insists on inspecting the academy.
Meanwhile, Sabine overhears Wedge talking to two other pilots in a hallway. After their conversation breaks up, Wedge and Sabine have their own talk in a hangar. Wedge reveals that he was flying a cargo ship when the Empire recruited him and is having second thoughts about joining. Now that the Empire is shooting on unarmed ships, Wedge doesn’t care for it. Sabine plants the idea in his head that it’s possible to leave the Empire. Sabine then reveals her true name and mission, surprising Wedge. “So the Rebellion did get my message,” he tells her. Sabine figures that they have to leave right away, but she doesn’t have a plan just yet.
On the Rebel ship, Kanan is trying to convince Ezra to relax. Ezra is worried about Sabine, but Kanan tells him that there’s nothing he can do, so he just has to let events out of his control unfold. “Trust she’ll succeed,” he tells him.
Back at the academy, Kallus tells Prycee that he’s found no sign of pilots who want to defect (once again proving how incompetent he can be sometimes). Pryce decides to be more active in the investigation and lifts a ban on the pilots flying in space. She thinks this will help weed out the traitors
The two other pilots who want to escape from the academy are Rake and Hobbie (who will fight in the Battle of Hoth). They are all committed to escaping with Wedge and Sabine. They decide that now’s the time to escape and Sabine tells them there’s a Rebel ship waiting nearby. When she hops into her TIE, she sends Ezra and Kanan the signal.
While in space, the cadets are supposed to engage in dogfights. Kanan and Ezra arrive just in time, and the commanders at the academy learn of their presence. Pryce has decided that they must be the defectors of course and orders them to return to base. Sabien tells them that they’ll have to come and get them.
Just as Sabine and the other pilots reach the Rebel ship, their TIE wings fall off! Rake is killed by one of the other TIE pilots, who then strike the Rebel ship. Ezra refuses to leave Sabine behind, but Kanan has Chopper send them into Hyperspace anyway.
The Empire Doesn’t Have Much Luck With Interrogations
Back at the academy, Wedge, Hobbie and Sabine are being held captive. Pryce interrogates Wedge first, but Sabine gives herself up as the Rebel agent who infiltrated the base. She talks with Sabine alone (with two Stormtroopers holding their blasters at Sabine’s head, of course). While Sabine refuses to talk, Pryce goes over Sabine’s history. As Wedge and Hobbie plan to get Sabine out, Sabine gets into a fistfight with Pryce. Sabine kicks Pryce right into the torture device, shocking her and knocking her out.
Sabine leaves the torture chamber and picks up the other pilots on the way out. Kallus traps them between two blast doors and they think they are done for but… What? Kallus just told them how to escape? When Sabine asks Kallus why they should trust him, he just tells her to tell Zeb, “We’re even.” (This is in reference to a season two episode where Zeb helped Kallus stay alive when the two were trapped on a planet together.)
The trio jump into a slow TIE Bomber to escape. There’s a TIE Interceptor on their trail, making the escape harder. Also not helping: the comms are jammed and Sabine can’t contact her friends. When all hope seems lost, the Rebel ship comes out of nowhere in the clouds to rescue them. They speed off, leaving the academy behind them.
On Chopper Base, Sabine delivers Wedge and Hobbie, who are welcomed to the Rebellion.
Up Next for the Ghost Crew
Phew, that was an action-packed episode. If you think Rebels is lacking in the starfighter department, this one made up for it. Sure, it did not answer any of the questions left hanging from “The Holocrons of Fate,” but it was a nice break from Force mythology.
The next episode is “Hera’s Heroes,” in which Hera heads home to Ryloth with the rest of the Ghost team and finds Imperials on her homeworld.