"Iron Squadron" is the eighth episode of the animated television series Star Wars Rebels' third season. It is the forty-fifth episode of the series overall. It aired on November 19, 2016 on Disney XD.
The Ghost and a Phoenix Cell Sphyrna-class Hammerhead corvette arrive above the planet Mykapo. Ezra Bridger asks Hera Syndulla how long the Galactic Empire has been based on Mykapo. Hera replies that Commander Jun Sato sent them to Mykapo to evacuate rebel sympathizers. Chopper is watching the conversation unfold. Kanan Jarrus says that they might be too late. Sabine Wren spots four Imperial TIE fighters pursuing a freighter above Mykapo. Ezra reports the TIEs are distracted by the freighter.
Hera thinks the freighter crew are smugglers while Sabine wonders why they are not jumping into Lightspeed. Ezra thinks that the freighter crew need help. Hera sends the Hammerhead corvette down to Mykapo to evacuate civilians while she orders Phoenix Two and Phoenix Three to escort the transport. The mysterious transport then charges at the Imperial Gozanti-class cruiser. Ezra says they need to talk sense into the rebels. Hera contacts the YT-2400 light freighter and tells them that they need to exit.
A young male voice thanks them but declines their offer. Kanan remarks that the voice sounds like a kid and blasts several TIE fighters. Ezra shoots down several more with the turret cannon. Hera then tells the other ship that they are clear and need to run. The male voice replies negative and tells them that the Iron Squadron does not run. The freighter then drops several pieces of cargo on the Imperial cruiser, which explodes. Ezra exclaims that the Empire is retreating.
Enter Iron Squadron
Hera chats with the freighter captain by com. The captain tells them that they have been fighting the Empire in Mykapo for a while and invites them aboard. Hera tells Ezra they have to first report the matter and sends Kanan and Garazeb Orrelios to assist with the evacuation of Mykapo. Before leaving, Zeb says he is glad he is leaving because it sounds like a ship full of "Ezras." The Phantom II departs for Mykapo accompanied by Phoenix Two and Three.
Later in the common room, Hera and Ezra contact Commander Sato with Chopper projecting a hologram recording. Sato explains that Iron Squadron was a rebel detachment that was led by his late brother, who was killed on Mykapo. Sato feared that his nephew Mart Mattin died as well after the boy never responded to his transmission. Describing Mart as a rebellious youth, he pleads with Hera and Ezra to bring his nephew safely to Atollon.
The Ghost docks with the YT-2400 freighter Sato's Hammer above Mykapo. Hera, Ezra, Sabine, and Chopper board the ship and are greeted by the Theelin Gooti Terez. The human Jonner Jin welcomes them aboard and takes them to meet their captain. Sabine finds the ship in a state of disarray but Gooti tells them not to touch anything since they like it that way. Sabine remarks that the ship feels like a junk pile, prompting Ezra to tell her to be nice. Chopper encounters their astromech droid R3-A3, who is repairing the hyperdrive.
When Ezra observes that the hyperdrive doesn't work, Jonner replies that they don't need a hyperdrive. Ezra says Chopper can fix it easily. Chopper and R3 then get into a fight with Gooti and Ezra being force to pull them apart. Gooti explains that R3 has customized the ship's systems to his specifications. Jonner Jin leads the Spectres to the cockpit where Mart Mattin is waiting. Sabine observes that Mart only commands three crew. Ezra introduces himself and his fellow Spectres while Gooti does the same for Iron Squadron. Mart acknowledges that he is Sato's nephew and asks the rebels if Sato sent them to get him.
Hera tells them that she and her rebels are from Phoenix Squadron and that they have come to Mykapo to help dissidents like them escape. When Jonner mockingly asks what evacuate means, Mart replies it means running away like a coward. Mart says that he and his crew make the Empire evacuate. Hera warns them that the Empire will return. Gooti breaks up the discussion to serve them waffles. Hera declines their offer of food and attempts to debrief them. Jonner replies that he is not interested in listening.
Ezra tries to reason with them while Hera reminds Mart and his band that they helped them. Mart replies that they single-handed destroyed a Star Destroyer; mistaking the Gozanti cruiser they destroyed for one. Hera tries to reason with Iron Squadron by telling them that they are brave but reiterates that the Empire will return to Mykapo. Mart replies that they are not going to let the Empire take their world. Gooti and Jonner reaffirm that captain's statements.
On an Imperial Star Destroyer above Lothal, an Imperial officer and Admiral Kassius Konstantine enter the command bridge to brief Grand Admiral Thrawn. The officer reports that the blockade of Synistahg is proceeding as planned and that martial law has been imposed on Mykapo. The officer reports that a small rebel cell on Mykapo continues to be troublesome. Thrawn observes that Mykapo has no militia or starfighters and inquires about the resistance there. The officer explains that a ship calling themselves the Iron Squadron attacked an advance patrol with the aid of a vessel that Thrawn recognizes as the Ghost.
Thrawn realizes that the Phoenix rebels are evacuating the "treasonous" inhabitants of Mykapo before the Empire can arrest them. Thrawn is curious about Iron Squadron and dispatches Admiral Konstantine to lock down Mykapo. The Admiral offers to lead a squadron to the system but Thrawn insists that a single Arquitens-class command cruiser should be sufficient for a man of Konstantine's "talents". Konstantine is unhappy but Thrawn taunts him by asking him whether he is not up to the challenge. Konstantine bows his head and replies that he will leave immediately for Mykapo.
Above Mykapo, Phoenix Squadron has completed their evacuation of the planet and depart for hyperspace. Back on the Ghost, Hera, Ezra, and Kanan contact Rex by hologram. Rex informs Hera that they have evacuated everyone on Mykapo who wanted to leave before the Empire returns. Hera tells Rex to prepare to rendezvous with the fleet and that they will meet him there. Kanan asks Hera about Iron Squadron and she replies that they are not coming and prepares to tell Sato. Before she can do so, Ezra offers to reason with them again.
Hera replies that they don't have time and that Iron Squadron's hyperdrive is not working. Ezra hovers over Sabine and Chopper and tells Hera that Sabine had an idea. Sabine suggests that she and Chopper can fix the Iron Squadron's hyperdrive to help them escape. Hera agrees to their plan but warns them that they must be ready to leave regardless of whether Iron Squadron is ready. Ezra hugs Sabine and Chopper and thanks them for their help. The Ghost departs into hyperspace and the Phantom II docks with Sato's Hammer.
Sabine, Chopper and R3 join forces to repair the hyperdrive while Ezra, Jonner, Gooti, and Mart watch. Mart thinks that it a waste of time and turns away. Ezra addresses Jonner and Gooti and tells them that if they can't fix the hyperdrive, they have to be ready to leave on the Phantom II. Jonner and Gooti refuse to leave their captain and home. Ezra tells them that he was afraid of leaving his home. Gooti replies that she is not afraid of the Empire. Ezra points out that Iron Squadron are afraid of losing everything they know. He warns them that the Empires wants them to fight in order to destroy the rebels. When Gooti asks if he wants them not to fight, Ezra replies that how they choose to fight is as important as what they are fighting for.
At that moment, Sabine, Chopper and R3 managed to repair the hyperdrive and restore power to the ship's systems. However, the power quickly breaks down. Chopper then tells Sabine that the power is being diverted to the ship's guns and shields. Gooti and Jonner realizes the seriousness of their situation. Sabine replies that fixing the guns is not worth if if the hyperdrive is not operational. Over the intercom, Mart orders his crew to go to their battle stations.
The Spectres and Iron Squadron head to the cockpit and discover that an Imperial light cruiser and two Gozanti-class cruisers have exited hyperspace. The cruisers disgorge several TIE fighters and TIE bombers. The Imperial officer informs Admiral Konstantine that they are sighting one freighter; leading the admiral to think that Thrawn has overestimated the rebel threat in Mykapo. Mart mistakes the light cruiser for a Star Destroyer and vows to fight it. Sabine points out that the vessel is not a Star Destroyer and that a real Star Destroyer is six times bigger than a light cruiser.
Mart orders his crew to prepare for battle but Ezra and Sabine object. Ezra tries to convince Mart to come with them aboard the Phantom II. Gooti agrees with Ezra but Mart won't listen to her and flies towards the Imperial ships. Jonner points out that they are facing lots of Imperial ships and that more are on their way. Mart refuses to call off the attack and ploughs forward. Jonner and Gooti try to reason with their captain as the ship's power breaks own. Mart finally agrees to go and the two rebel cells flee into the Phantom II.
However, Mart changes his mind and disengages the airlock once all of the other rebels have boarded the Phantom II. Ezra takes control of the Phantom II and contacts Mart in an attempt to reason with him. Mart instead tells Ezra to get Gooti, Janner, and R3 to safety while he still can. Ezra flies the Phantom II after Sato's Hammer while avoiding the Imperial starfighters and bombers. Mark charges at Konstantine's light cruiser and releases his cargo of explosives. However, Konstantine neutralizes them with the cruiser's forward batteries. The light cruiser survives the explosion and deploys more TIE fighters after Mart's ship.
The TIEs knock out Sato's Hammer's engines, leaving the freighter stranded in space. Sabine replies that Mart's ship's engines have been hit and that the power couplings are fried. When Jonner asks Sabine what she is doing, Sabine tells Ezra that Hera gave him a direct order that he promised to follow. Ezra contacts Mart, who tells him and his crew to escape while they still can. Before jumping into hyperspace, Ezra tells Mart that he and his rebel cell will come back for him.
Alone, Mart struggles to restart the Sato's Hammer as a TIE bomber drops explosive charges. He watches Konstantine's light cruiser in the horizon and admits defeat for the first time. Meanwhile, a jubilant Admiral Konstantine is informed by his subordinate that the rebel ship has been mined and is trying to beep a transmission. Konstantine is pleased and tells his men to monitor the transmission. He believes that the rebels will answer Mart's distress call.
Meanwhile, the Spectres and the other Iron Squadron members attend a briefing aboard the Ghost with holographic recordings of Sato and Rex. Mart informs them via his transmission that his ship has broken down but that the Imperials have not fired on him yet. Mart calls for help before the signal cuts off. Hera notes that the Empire deliberately let the signal through. Sato offers to go and save his nephew but Hera points out that he is too far away to help. When Sato responds that Mart is the last of his family, Hera offers to take the Ghost and rescue Mart. Sato tells them that they have his gratitude in return.
Gooti is amazed that they are going back to save Mart but warns it could be a threat. Ezra points out that the Imperial trap is not very good and reassures Gooti and Jonner that they are going back as a team which will give them and Mart a fighting chance. The Spectres and Iron Squadron travel on the Ghost back to Mykapo. While a despondent Mart waits, the Ghost exits hyperspace. Sabine tells Mart that they are back and he replies that he can't believe it. The Ghost flies towards Sato's Hammer and Konstantine's cruiser.
When the Imperial officer reports the Ghost's presence, Konstantine vows to destroy both ships and orders his subordinate not to trigger the mine until he orders it. When the cruiser dispatches TIEs, Hera tells Kanan to man the guns while Gooti prepares the hoist. Mart tells the rebels that the Empires have attached something under his ship. Sabine thinks that it is a Magno-mine and a remote detonator. Hera realizes that this changes everything and sends Jonner to the cargo hold with Chopper and R3 in two.
The Ghost runs rings around the Imperial light cruiser while Jonner and Gooti open the cargo bay doors. R3 is scared but Chopper pushes him. The two astromech droids then activate their rocket boosters and fly towards Sato's Hammer. Meanwhile, the Ghost pretends to flee in order to trick Konstantine into thinking they have called off their rescue due to the mines. Konstantine falls for their trick. Meanwhile, Chopper and R3 arrive at the nano-mine. Hera instructs Chopper to disable the detonator, the red light on top. She also tells R3 to turn off the magnetic field. Despite her warnings, Chopper is briefly stung. However, the two droids resume their work and manage to dislodge the mine.
The officer informs Konstantine that he can't track the magno-mine, prompting the Admiral to tell him to get it back online. When Mart asks the rebels what their plan is, Hera tells him the droids are attaching the mine onto a cargo crate. R3 reattaches the mine and reactivates the detonator. The officer reports that the mine is online again. When Mart asks whether the droids intend to repair his ship, Hera tells him and the astromechs to be ready for a "pick-up." The Ghost leads the fighters on a chase.
Mart thanks R3 and Chopper when they reach the cockpit. Konstantine orders his men to activate the mine. The Ghost docks with Sato's Hammer and Hera tells Gooti and Jonner to be ready to evacuate Mart. At that point, Sato arrives in a CR90 corvette with rebel reinforcements including A-wing fighters. He orders them to provide covering fire and tells Mart that he will get him out. His nephew is overjoyed. Sato's corvette destroys a Gozanti cruiser and charges at Konstantine's ship.
Konstantine calls for reinforcements as the Ghost docks with Mart's freighter. Rebel A-wings strafe Konstantine's ship. Hera tells Mart to get the bomb ready because they are heading for Konstantine's ship. Mart prepares to carry out Hera's orders. Meanwhile, Konstantine bellows orders at the officer, who struggles to activate the mine. At that point, Mart the container containing the mine above the forward compartment of the Imperial light cruiser. This damages Konstantine's ship and sets it ablaze.
While the Ghost is ferrying Sato's Hammer to safety, they encounter an Imperial Star Destroyer, that has emerged from hyperspace. The rebel ships flee under the Star Destroyer's ventral hangar, narrowly avoiding a swarm of TIE fighters. Grand Admiral Thrawn contacts Commander Sato via intercome and asks the rebel commander what would motivate him to return to Mykapo. Sato tells the Grand Admiral "now you know until we meet again." Thrawn promises to meet the rebel commander again and lets the rebels escape into hyperspace.
Aboard the damaged light cruiser, Konstantine is contacted by Thrawn. When Thrawn asks the Admiral whether he had contacted him for assistance, Konstantine claims that he wanted to inform him that the rebels had been driven from the system. However, Thrawn realizes that Konstantine is trying to cover up his mistakes and replies that he assumed that the rebels and not their sympathizers had escape. Konstantine bows his head in defeat.
At Chopper Base, Mart greets his uncle Commander Sato, who tells him that it is good to see his nephew alive. Mart embraces his uncle and Sato tells him that they are indebted to Hera and her crew. Gooti and Jonner hug Mart as the Spectres and R3 watch. Mart can't believe his friends came back for him. Gooti and Jonner reaffirm that they are Iron Squadron. Hera, Zeb, and Ezra watch and smile as the Iron Squadron rebels embrace. Chopper swiftly whacks R3 from behind.
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Organizations and titles
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Notes and references
- Dawn of Rebellion dates the events of Star Wars Rebels: Steps Into Shadow seventeen years after the end of the Clone Wars, which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates to 19 BBY; therefore, the events of Steps Into Shadow must take place in 2 BBY. According to Star Wars: On the Front Lines, Mon Mothma's denunciation of the Galactic Empire and the Declaration of the Rebel Alliance take place 2 years before the Battle of Yavin or 2 BBY. As "Iron Squadron" is set between Steps Into Shadow and "Secret Cargo," it must also take place in 2 BBY.