Another treat for fans is that “Time to Fly” is loaded with cameos and film references,
The biggest cameos come aboard “Home One,” the flagship of the Rebel Fleet that General Hera Syndulla is aboard. The first we see is Mon Mothma, the Chancellor of the New Republic, with Genevieve O’Reilly reprising the role for the first time in the post-“Return of the Jedi” timeline. Naturally, she’s been the younger iteration of the character in a few different “Star Wars” projects, but never after Caroline Blakiston’s take on the character in “Return of the Jedi.”
Standing to Mon Mothma’s left is Senator Xiono. Fans of “Star Wars Resistance,” the two-season TV show following the exploits of a Resistance spy in the lead-up to “The Force Awakens”, will recognize him as the father of that show’s hero, Kaz Xiono (played by Christopher Sean). Here, Senator Xiono is not too thrilled to be getting the New Republic involved in any engagements and is actively hostile to Hera Syndulla.
The third major cameo aboard the ship comes in the form of Jacen Syndulla, the half-human, half-Twi’lek child of Hera and the late Jedi Kanan Jarrus. He even has his trademark green hair as a nod to his mother’s coloring. Jacen first appeared in the very last scene of “Star Wars Rebels“ and in his live-action debut, he’s asking his mother if Aunt Sabine is really going to be a Jedi and lamenting the fact that he’s not training to be one.
As far as film references, this episode is chock-full of them. Not just “Star Wars” references either, because there are plenty of direct references to “Star Wars” and “The Clone Wars”. The biggest one comes from the Zatochi technique. It’s where Sabine’s face is obscured, robbing her of sight and she has to fend off Ahsoka’s predations. This feels like a direct reference to “Zatoichi,” the classic Japanese franchise starring a blind Samurai from the late Edo period.
At one point, Marrok, the former Inquisitor tells Shin Hati “as you wish,” which could be taken as a reference to “The Princess Bride,” but that doesn’t feel as intentional as Huyang from the back seat saying that the situation is “intolerable” as they’re being shot at just like Henry Jones, Sr. in “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.”
And it feels a lot like the Eye of Scion, the massive hyperspace ring to travel intergalactic distances, sounds a lot like the Eye of Sauron, which would make sense for a huge “Lord of the Rings“ nerd like Dave Filoni.