"The Siege of Lothal" comprises the first and second episodes of the second season of Star Wars Rebels. It comprises the sixteenth and seventeenth episodes of the series overall. It was screened on April 18, 2015 at Celebration Anaheim, and released on June 20, 2015 on Disney XD.
The Inquisitor is dead. The Ghost crew has connected with other rebel cells. And a new ally named Ahsoka Tano has emerged. Despite these successes and developments, the fight against the Empire takes a deadly turn, as the evil Sith Lord Darth Vader comes to Lothal.
The Ghost Crew helped their fellow Rebels win a major battle, even after reinforcements arrived for the Imperials. Back on Lothal, Minister Tua was complaining to Agent Kallus that she's exhausted all resources to find the Rebels and doesn't know what else to do. Darth Vader came in and stated that was the problem: She lacked imagination when it came to producing results. Tua politely told Vader that he and Grand Moff Tarkin were asking for miracles but the Dark Lord of the Sith cuts her off stating "If the rebels have left, then we must draw them back. And if they are here, we must draw them out. We will squeeze Lothal until someone reveals the whereabouts of these traitors". Tua replied she had no experience with such brutal tactics but again the Sith Lord cut her off and told her she could explain that to Tarkin when she visits him. Knowing what "visit him" meant, she tried to come up with an excuse but she was dismissed by both Agent Kallus and Lord Vader.
Back with the Rebel fleet, the Ghost crew was being praised by Commander Jun Sato when Chopper came in with a message from Tua asking them for help. She offered to defect to the Rebellion and offered Imperial information to them as proof. The rest of Ghost Crew were reluctant to help her out of distrust but Ezra told them he could sense real fear for her life in her voice and therefore knew she was being sincere the whole time. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Tua, Agent Kallus had become suspicious of her.
The Ghost Crew took a different ship to Lothal because the Ghost could now be identified and tracked. As Ezra laid out his plan, Sabine and Zeb asked him why he wanted to help Tua after all the grief she's given them. Ezra gave them two reasons: A, they help people who can't help themselves and B, her info would help them out. Upon arriving on Lothal, Kanan took out a Stormtrooper Commander and stripped him of his uniform. They spotted Tua who was being escorted by Agent Kallus. After a fight, Kallus blew up the shuttle with Tua on board and revealed he used her as bait to lead them into a trap. They escaped and Kallus informed Vader. Vader commanded him to order the fleet to blow any ship heading off world out of the sky. On the Holonet, The Rebels saw a report blaming them for Tua's assassination and Hera realized they did this to turn Lothal against the Rebellion and stated they must leave Lothal for good. Kanan decided to escape using the spaceport at the Imperial Complex. As they headed for a ship, Ezra sensed the same cold feeling he felt as they were coming in. Kanan sensed it too and, unlike Ezra, he recognized the power: The Dark Side of the Force. Seconds later, Darth Vader appeared. Kanan and Ezra tried to fight him off, but the Dark Lord was too powerful. After stunning Kanan, Vader used the Force to pin Ezra to the leg of a walker, then attempted to make Ezra use his lightsaber to slit his own throat. Kanan recovered and was able to just barely hold off Vader, causing him to lose his focus on Ezra. Despite being over-matched, Kanan and Ezra eventually managed to force push the Sith backwards and an AT-DP fell on Vader, seemingly killing him. However, Vader survived and lifted the pod off himself. As the two Jedi fled with the Sith Lord slowly following them, Sabine took out her pistol and shot at the Sith, but Vader effortlessly deflected them back at Sabine and she got hit in her chest and head; only her armor and helmet saved her from death.
After they got away, Kanan revealed to Ezra that their opponent was a Sith Lord, not an Inquisitor like the one they had encountered in the past. Ezra recognized the need to defeat him, but Kanan told him they couldn't as he was too strong both in physical strength and in the Force. To get off world, the Rebels made a deal with Lando Calrissian. Meanwhile, Vader orders Kallus to destroy Tarkintown hoping to draw out the Rebels.
The next day, Ezra discovered Tarkintown in flames and wanted to go free the captives but Kanan told his apprentice that it was definitely a trap. Using a decoy manoeuver, The Rebels made it past the Imperial blockade. When Admiral Konstantine informed them of their escape, Vader ordered Kallus to prepare his ship for launch, and after he left Kallus revealed to the Admiral that the shuttle the Rebels stole was planted with a homing device which would lead them to the other Rebels.
The Rebels arrive back with the rest of the Rebel fleet and, to their horror, learn from Chopper that they led the Empire right to the fleet. Vader causes serious damage to the fleet all by himself and forces the Rebels to retreat while the Ghost Crew held him and the Imperial fleet off. During the battle Kanan and Ahsoka both recognize Vader's presence as one they both haven't felt since the Clone Wars. Ahsoka was horrified when she discovered how powerful the Sith Lord was and Vader recognized Ahsoka's presence just before the Rebels escaped.
On a Star Destroyer, Vader contacted his master, Emperor Palpatine, and told him the Siege of Lothal was a success and the Rebels were now on the run. He also told his master that he recognized one of the Jedi as his former apprentice Ahsoka Tano. Palpatine was pleased because she could lead them to the other Jedi who escaped Order 66 such as Kenobi. He then ordered his apprentice to dispatch another Inquisitor to hunt the Rebels down and Vader complied.
- Taylor Gray as Ezra Bridger
- Freddie Prinze, Jr. as Kanan Jarrus
- Vanessa Marshall as Hera Syndulla
- Tiya Sircar as Sabine Wren
- Steven Blum as Garazeb Orrelios
- Ashley Eckstein as Ahsoka Tano
- Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian
- David Oyelowo as Alexsandr Kallus
- Kath Soucie as Maketh Tua
- Keone Young as Jun Sato
- Matthew Wood as Phoenix One
- Dee Bradley Baker as Kassius Konstantine / Jho / Phoenix Three
- Sam Witwer as Sheev Palpatine / Imperial Officer / W1-LE
- James Earl Jones as Darth Vader
- This is the second two-part episode of the series, after "Spark of Rebellion".
- Lando Calrissian makes his second appearance in this episode, his first being "Idiot's Array".
- Emperor Palpatine makes a vocal appearance in this episode, voiced by actor Sam Witwer.
- At the climax of the episode, Ahsoka learns that Darth Vader is her former Jedi master, Anakin Skywalker.
- Kanan steals Stormtrooper armor in this episode, a reference to when Luke Skywalker and Han Solo disguised themselves as Stormtroopers in A New Hope. The protagonists steaming Imperial uniforms would be a trope used frequently for the remainder of the series’s run.
- Maketh Tua is killed off in this episode.
- Tarkintown is destroyed in this episode.
- When Ezra sees the smoke of Tarkintown at Landos farm and rushes to the remains, it is similar to when Luke rushed to his aunt and uncle's burned home in A New Hope.
- Kanan's plan to "rob from the Empire, and give to the needy" likely references the stories of Robin Hood and his Merry Men.
- The way Vader slashes Kanan's shoulder armor is similar to when Luke hit Vader's shoulder armor in The Empire Strikes Back.
- Arihnda Pryce was supposed to make a debut in this episode, and instead of Maketh Tua dying, the earlier version had Pryce to die instead, but was cut.
- The authorization code Hera gives when returning to the Rebel Fleet, "121815", is a nod to December 18, 2015, the release date of The Force Awakens.