Building on its momentum from past weeks, Star Wars Rebels continues to tell stories that fans haven’t seen before. For the first time, the latest episode of Star Wars Rebels takes an extended look “Through Imperial Eyes.” As a result, Agent Kallus steals the spotlight and demonstrates why he’s become one of the show’s breakout stars.
(Robert Mitchell also contributed to this post.)
The First Imperial Story on Star Wars TV
“Through Imperial Eyes” isn’t the first Star Wars story to truly examine members of the Galactic Empire. Most of Del Rey’s recent novels have produced new Imperial characters, or expanded upon pre-existing ones. Notable examples include Orson Krennic and Rae Sloane, who have both received meaningful development in recent novels. Nevertheless, Rebels is the first Star Wars TV show to do the same.
Previously, Star Wars: The Clone Wars came close to what Rebels is doing now. Two of the most prominent Separatist characters on The Clone Wars were Asajj Ventress and Lux Bonteri. Both of them ended up leaving the Separatists, albeit for different reasons. Still, the common thread is certainly the idea of characters separating themselves from governments like the Separatists and the Empire.
Defection has become one of the main themes throughout this season of Rebels. Wedge and Hobbie defected from the Empire, and Fenn Rau of the Mandalorians similarly cemented his ties to the rebellion. The rebel cause is building momentum and drawing in more people who hope to make a difference. And Agent Kallus is the latest — and most poignant — example of that thus far.
Agent Kallus: The Unlikely Hero
Kallus is a special character because his story has drastically evolved throughout Star Wars Rebels. When the series premiere first introduced fans to Kallus, who could have guessed that he would become a double agent for the rebels? Yet as the series has progressed, voice actor David Oyelowo has brought out Kallus’s personal sense of honor. That moral code defines Kallus’s character, and it’s also what helped Zeb Orellios recruit him as a spy.
What sets “Through Imperial Eyes” apart from other episodes is its first-person focus on Kallus. According to executive producer Dave Filoni, “Through Imperial Eyes” was originally supposed to utilize camera angles based on Kallus’s perspective. Although that cinematic approach proved too costly, it’s still visible in the episode’s opening scene. The episode begins by literally gazing through Imperial eyes (those of Kallus) and pits him against an unbeatable opponent: Grand Admiral Thrawn.
If there’s one thing that season three has established, no one goes up against Thrawn and wins. Kallus goes to extreme lengths to frame Lieutenant Yogar Lyste as the spy, fooling even Kallus’s former mentor, Colonel Wullf Yularen. But despite Kallus’s efforts, Thrawn still deduces the truth. From this point forth, everything that Kallus does will have a cost. It’s getting more likely that Kallus will be the reason Thrawn finally locates Chopper Base.
No matter where Kallus’s story goes next, he has become one of the TV show’s most interesting characters. Far from being a cog in the Imperial machine, Kallus is a well-developed character with visible depth and motivations. He has evolved into an unlikely hero, and that makes him worth watching.