The third episode to be made available before settling into a weekly schedule is called Fuel for the Fire and guest stars one of our favourite hobbits. Yup, Elijah Wood plays the young hotshot named Rucklin and gets Kaz into some serious trouble. It’s a bit jarring hearing such a recognizable name at first, but you grow to get used to it and quickly grow to dislike and distrust Rucklin.
This episode was much better than the previous one. Kaz is still Kaz, but to a lesser degree in this episode. He’s being worked as a mechanic as part of his cover but has no idea what he’s really doing. As such, he grows frustrated and insubordinate, causing damage to engines and to Yaeger. In his frustration, he’s easily manipulated by Rucklin, an up and coming racer (or so he dreams) and exploits Kaz in order to gain access to Yaeger’s storage room, where prized Corrilean hyperfuel is stashed. In the storage room, we learn a bit more about the mysterious Yaegar, such as he has a family (where are they now?) and that he fought in the Rebellion as a pilot and was present at the Battle of Jakku. Yaeger is very against Kaz being a spy, part of me has to wonder now if Yaegar is actually a turncoat and is limiting Kaz’s ability to gain intelligence. Perhaps he lost his family and blames the New Republic for it, and now has sympathies for the First Order? It’d be an interesting development. But it’s becoming more and more likely that someone close to Kaz is going to end up being tied to the First Order and Yaeger seems the most likely.
This felt more like a standalone episode and didn’t really change the overall direction of the season as a whole. In that regard, it seems to be following the template Rebels took before it, where each episode was its own thing and a much larger story was being slowly weaved through these little stories. Kaz’s little run-in with Ruckin may not have changed the narrative much, but it’s another step for Kaz to take on the road to maturity while reinforcing that he’s a good guy and wants to do the right thing. Despite being lied to and used, Kaz still knows the right thing to do is make sure Rucklin is safe from harm and those are inspiring qualities that help make Kaz a great character. BB-8 gets to shine here especially as the angel on Kaz’s shoulder, urging him early on that the choices he’s making are not good choices and warning him of an accident waiting to happen.
All in all, Fuel for the Fire was a fairly simple episode that didn’t add too much else to the greater story but added some much-needed character growth to Kaz. To see our thoughts on the season thus far, check out our reviews of episode 1 and episode 2!