Taking place on Hera’s homeworld, episode five centers on the recovery of a precious family heirloom…
The episode starts off with Hera and The Ghost rescuing her father Cham Syndulla and Numa from Imperial scout troopers who were chasing them through the plains of Ryloth. After Hera reunites with her father, he informs her that the Empire, due to the calculated and coordinated attacks of a new Imperial commander, has occupied their home province. This commander has since taken up residence in Hera’s childhood home and Cham was unable to recover anything before being forced to retreat. Among the possessions left behind was the Kalikori, a Twi’lek family heirloom that is added to and passed down from generation to generation; according to Sabine’s description, Kalikori is essentially “living art.” Upon hearing the news Hera is determined to recover her family’s legacy in memory of her mother. Despite her initial reluctance she allows her father and his Twi’lek Freedom fighters along with the rest of The Ghost crew to help out on the mission.
Under the guise of a scout trooper taking in a Twi’lek prisoner, Ezra, Hera and Chopper make their way into the Imperial headquarters which Hera once called home, while the crew, Cham and his rebel cell distract the stormtroopers on patrol. Ezra and Hera eventually make their way to Cham’s office where Hera locates the Kalikori. Unfortunately getting out is not going to be easy for they eventually come face to face with the new Imperial commander – Admiral Thrawn himself. He figures who Hera really is despite her playing the part of a poor Twi’lek servant, because of his knowledge of her culture, which includes the significance of the Kalikori to Twi’lek families. Both Hera and Ezra are imprisoned but Chopper manages to evade capture. Thrawn decides to keep the Kalikori and nearly loses his cool when fellow Imperial Commander Slavin states the artifact should be destroyed, but refrains from hurting him – instead lamenting that Slavin does not appreciate art like he does.
When Cham is offered a deal by Slavin to exchange himself for release of his daughter, he accepts despite the protests from his followers. Back at their holding cell, Hera apologizes to Ezra for endangering their lives for some personal mission, and Ezra responds that she would have done the same for them. Chopper finally makes contact again and informs them of Cham’s surrender. Hera comes up with a plan for Chopper to break into the armory and plant explosives across the estate. Ezra asks if she is willing to destroy her family home, to which Hera responds that The Ghost is her home. When the prisoner exchange takes place the Syndulla home explodes, bursting into flames and the rebels escape in the confusion. Thrawn, witnessing the event in his light crusier, does not order to fire on The Ghost, stating that the rebels have gained their victory. As The Ghost return to plains of Ryloth, Kanan expresses that he is sorry that they were not able to recover the Kalikori. Hera replies that she does need it – she now realizes that the memory of her mother will live on since she has Kanan, her father and The Ghost crew.
“Hera’s Heroes” sheds more light on Hera’s past as well as give more insight into Twi’lek culture. I found myself relating to Hera in her desire to save a priceless family heirloom since I have a passion for researching my own family’s past. It was also great to see Admiral Thrawn more in depth, especially since we haven’t seen him since the premiere. He’s definitely shaping up to be a great antagonist for The Ghost crew and I can’t wait to what the next encounter with the Imperial Admiral will entail. My only compliant is that the episode seems a bit rushed in its final execution and that it could have used a little more build-up. Regardless, it was still a decent installment that gave more insight to both old and new characters.