Episode 47 is basically a buildup to episode 48, and a way to show us the positions of the various factions in the coming battle as well as some of the more important side characters.
We see that Julian and his team of undercover Alliancers take over an Imperial (star) destroyer, we see the state of the coming battle’s respective armies (with the Empire having a 3:1 advantage on the Alliance, aside from the Alliance’s fleets being barely put together, an amalgam of other fleets and random old ships), as well as the destination: the desolate and uninhabited Rantemario Starzone.
All of this is to set the stage for the largest scaled and most dramatically acute battle we have seen thus far. The fates of the Alliance’s independence, Phezzan’s relevance, and the Empire’s total dominance are on the table, and at any moment, that table could flip, break, or burst into flames. Anything is possible, and with all of these diverse players and insane plans going around, the future looks unhinged and chaotic. A perfect aura for the events to come.
As the battle begins, it’s obvious that the Alliance’s troops are disorganized and of differing opinions on what to do. Some fleets fire immediately, while others remain unmoving, and nothing of their placement is tactical at all. This seems like an obvious disadvantage, but looking at it from a different point of view, it might prove to give them that one-in-a-million upper hand, knowing that they’re fighting the Empire.
You see, the Empire is always tactical, always intelligent with it’s approach to battle, always following some form of rule or dogma when fighting. The Alliance does the same, normally, but in this situation, the unpredictability of the hodgepodge fleets in the Alliance is proving to be confusing and detrimental to the Empire, since the regular conventions of space battle are not being followed, predictions and counterattacks flying right out the window. It’s honestly genius in the part of the Alliance, even if they themselves aren’t really responsible for the state that their fleets are in. It’s just fascinating to see Mittermeyer have trouble with an enemy that not only is 3 times smaller than them, but also wholly unorganized. It really did through a wrench in their plans.
As the battle progresses though, and this chaos is returned to normal as the Empire attacks full force, the Alliance releases their fighter pods and comes up with a another rather impressive plan. They fire upon the enemy’s engines instead of simply at them, making their ships useless and also proving a wall of Empire ships that prevents their side from attacking in fear of friendly fire. It’s strange that this tactic has only appeared for the first time in this specific battle, but it’s still marvelous that we see new and fascinating strategies each time a major battle breaks out.
This though, proves to be futile, as the Black Lancers get called, and the final attack commences. The Alliance gets royally flushed from all sides, losing pretty much half of it’s force in a single unified blow. Bucock is left in a state of emotional disrepair and is about to commit suicide, but his men warn him that his duties are not yet over and his life has the chance to save the lives of the remaining captured young men of the Alliance, he takes up the offer. This doubt and self-sacrifice is incredibly interesting, and proves to show the level of turmoil that he feels toward his role as an Admiral and his responsibility of the men under him. What a truly respectable man.
But suddenly, out of nowhere, Yang and his fleet rush into strike into the Empire’s back and turn it back into a stalemate. Better late than never, am I right?
Reinhard once again gets his assured victory robbed, and his desire to fight Yang keeps growing and growing.