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Breaking Ranks

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"Breaking Ranks" is the fourth episode of the Disney XD animated series, Star Wars Rebels. It premiered on November 3, 2014.

On October 27, 2014, the episode was made available on before making its television debut.


Ezra goes undercover as a cadet at the Imperial Academy to steal an decoder which contains the location of an Imperial shipment for a powerful kyber crystal that the Rebels hope to destroy. While there, Ezra makes friends with two other cadets known as Zare and Jai, who are among the best cadets.


Imperial Cadets at Aresko's command.

Under the teachings of Commandant Aresko, Ezra, Jai, Zare and along with five other cadets are put to their first test into climbing out of a training arena known as the Well. The first three who make it out will be given the honour of serving as aids in Imperial Headquarters and those who make it out last will be serving Taskmaster Grint. The key to get out of the well, is to jump from platform to platform while they are moving and with Ezra secretly using his force sensitive abilities, he makes the whole thing look easy. The test becomes even more difficult when Aresko activates electrical shock traps. Ezra, Jai and Zare successfully make out of the well and are declared the winners. They are rewarded with the honour of aiding at Imperial Headquarters, but are warned by Aresko that their next trial will be even more challenging.

Also undercover is Chopper disguised as an Imperial droid. He sends a message to Sabine and Zeb who are nearby; telling them Ezra passed the first test and is now inside Imperial Headquarters. Sabine passes on the message to Kanan and Hera who are standing by in orbit. After being left to perform their duties, Ezra heads for Agent Kallus’ office and while he’s gone he sneaks in and finds the decoder he’s looking for. However, just before he can walk out, he is caught by Zare who stops him from nearly triggering a security system if he tried to leave with the decoder. While everyone is sleeping, both Ezra and Zare admit their true reasons for joining the Academy and decide to combine forces.


Ready for the next test.

The next day, the Cadets are put to their second test which will be even more challenging; in order to climb out they must shoot the targets in order to activate the platforms. After Grint gives the countdown the test begins. The Cadets shoot the targets activating the moving platforms and begin to climb. One cadet known as Oleg is determined to win this and deliberately shoots down one of his fellow cadets. When Zare is close to failing, Ezra deliberately pushes Jai giving him the chance to make it out third. Aresko congratulates Ezra, Oleg and Zare, as well reminding them that in war there is no friendship, all that matters is victory at any cost. He tells them their next trial will push all of them to their limits and the winners will be rewarded with a training session aboard an Imperial Walker.

With Ezra and Zare back in Imperial Headquarters, they work together in stealing the encoder from Kallus’ office. While Zare distracts Kallus, Ezra uses the force to eject the decoder and levitate it into his hands. After successfully getting the decoder, Ezra overhears Aresko speaking with The Inquisitor who plans to take Ezra and Jai into custody and give them some "special training". Knowing this could mean trouble, Ezra has Chopper deliver the encoder so the Rebels can complete their mission while he stays behind to help Jai escape before the Inquisitor takes him away. At first Jai refuses to leave but after being convinced that he may never see his mother again, he decides to go along with Ezra and Zare. Ezra’s plan is to pass tomorrows test together so they can use the Walker they will be on to escape.


Attacking Imperial Transports.

Meanwhile Kanan and Hera intercept three Imperial Transport ships. Using the Phantom, Kanan distracts the TIE Fighters while Hera attempts to take out the middle ship carrying the kyber crystal. However, due to the heavy gunfire, Hera has trouble in taking out the middle ship which is preparing to jump to hyperspace. Hera makes one last attempt and just before the ship can jump, she successfully blows up the transport ship and along with it the kyber crystal which produces a destructive shock wave, destroying everything in its surroundings. Back at the Academy, the Cadets engage their final test and so far Ezra, Jai and Zara are winning until Oleg shoots Ezra down, ending up last while Jai and Zara, including Oleg are declared the winners. Even though Ezra failed to win, he tells Zara and Jai to stick to the plan. With Zara and Jai aboard the walker, Chopper gives an explosive signal to make their move. They take out the Pilot and Oleg, leaving the two Cadets in full control of the walker. As Jai and Zare attempt to flee, Aresko forces an attack on them. Ezra jumps aboard the Walker to hitch a ride but the Imperials succeed in shooting them down and Stormtroopers hold Ezra at gunpoint. However Sabine and Zeb show up and help Ezra and Jai escape. Zare chooses to stay behind to continue his search for his sister who went missing, possibly taken away by the Inquisitor. Later, the Inquistor learns what happened and reconizes Ezra from their previous encounter and takes Zare aside for questioning.



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