Star Wars Rebels – Season 2, Episode 17 – “The Forgotten Droid” – Chopper as a Hero

The Forgotten Droid

    “The Forgotten Droid” is a decent episode. Chopper gets character development and we learn he once served in the Clone Wars, and we also get to meet a pretty cool Imperial Droid named AP-5. What really brings it down is Chopper and AP-5 are not enough to carry an episode and the Empire acting like dolts always brings an episode down for me, and they do that plenty in this one.

     The episode was directed by Mel Zwyer and written by Matt Michnovetz.

     The story involves Chopper being trapped an Imperial Freighter when he steals a replacement leg for himself from a merchant. From here the story unfolds as he befriends an Imperial Droid named AP-5 and together they must stop the Empire and help the Rebellion.

The Pros: AP-5 – AP-5 is pretty cool, he has a voice that sounds like Alan Rickman and has pride in his protocols and all he does. Seriously, if C-3PO were like this he would be so much more bearable. I liked his character a lot as well as his heroic sacrifice when he sends the rebels coordinates to a space the Empire hasn’t found. He was a great minor character.

Chopper – In this we learn Chopper is a veteran of the Clone Wars and has a good side to him as he helps AP-5 rebel and frees him as well as considering him his friend. They have a nice odd couple thing going on and they are both quick with comebacks which makes them fun. It is great seeing Chopper as the hero too since this was just a freighter not a Cruiser. I wouldn’t have believed it if he had won in a major way on his own.

Okay: The Rebellion – The Rebellion is okay but we don’t see them follow up with AP-5 at all so it makes them look naive. I wanted to see more of their thought process as they could have been sent to a trap.

The Cons: The Empire – The Empire is once again really incompetent and by their downgrading of AP-5 show how they are wasting resources when efficiency should be what they are all about. It just made them look stupid and the Freighter Captain was a one-dimensional idiot who sounded like Pete from the Goofy series.

  This was a decent episode that is worth checking out. I liked AP-5 and it was cool to see Chopper given more depth, especially as he gives the parts of his new leg to AP-5 to repair him. It is a touching scene and you see the actual friendship that has been formed as they are both veterans and ex-slaves fighting for a new world.

Final Score: 7 / 10

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Star Wars Rebels – Season 2, Episode 12 – “Legends of the Lasat” – Zeb and the Future of the Lasat

Legends of the Lasat SWR

   Zeb is one of the best characters in this series and its great seeing him get a story he deserves. This is a story where we get to know him, the Lasat  and also more of what might be in store for Zeb, suffice to say it’s one of my favorite episodes thus far.

     “Legends of the Lasat” was directed by Saul Ruiz and written by Matt Michnovetz.

    The story involves the crew of Ghost saving some Lasat Refugees when Lando lets Ezra know of their transfer. From here things unfold as the two elder Lasat see Zeb as the one who will lead them to the new Lasat world.

The Pros: The Empire – The Empire is great in this, largely due to the return of Agent Kallus and how effective he is as a villain. He holds Lando hostage as he knows that Hondo has a tracking device on Ghost. It is nice to see them as a threat again.

Agent Kallus – As stated above, he uses Hondo and nearly catches the crew and refugees and the only time he doesn’t risk everything shows he has brains as he has no reason to believe that the Rebels can pass through the anomalies.

Hondo – Hondo is fantastic and is in his style as the Jack Sparrowesque pirate as we see him exploit the Empire for money  and use the Rebels too as he has respect for Ezra and sees him as his trainee.

Ezra – Ezra is shown to be pretty smooth in this as we see him use Hondo and help Zeb accept himself and his people. He’s a pretty cool character and his openness is something that Zeb lost after the war and Ezra helps him get it back just by putting himself out there.

Chava – Chava is the Yoda and spiritual leader of the Lasat and trusts in destiny and helps Zeb find purpose and wisdom and she preaches that all hold “The Fool,” “The Warrior” and “The Child” within them and that Zeb being the “Child” will help them find Lira San. It’s powerful and it helps him get perspective too when Hondo and Kallus are shown to be “The Fool” and “Warrior” within the prophecy.

Zeb – This is Zeb’s story and it here we learn he was part of the Lasat Honor Guard who failed to protect the royal family and rejects the pacifism and spirituality of his people. It isn’t until Ezra shows him the potential in it and Chava shows him the many roles he must accept within himself and live that he rises to the challenge and brings them to Lira San, the ancient homeworld of the Lasat and in doing so forgives himself.

   This was an amazing episode and I highly recommend it. Zeb has been comedic relief this season so it has been good that he’s finally getting some love from the writers. Season 1 was good because of his relationship with Kallus and being the survivor, now he is more than a survivor…he’s the one who can guide his people home.

Final Score: 9.7 / 10

Star Wars Rebels – Season 2, Episode 7 – “Stealth Strike” – New Friendship But More Failing Empire

Star Wars Rebels Stealth Strike

    First I’m going to say I like this episode, it isn’t a favorite but I enjoyed it. My issue is that the Empire continues to lose. I should have never listened to the interview where they said this Season would be “The Empire Strikes” back of “Star Wars Rebels.” So far it hasn’t…it’s even more positive than ‘The Clone Wars” and “A New Hope,” which for the Dark Times just doesn’t cut it for me.

“Stealth Strike” was directed by Brad Rau and written by Matt Michnovetz.

The story involves Ezra and Sato being caught by the Empire when they discover an Experimental Star Destroyer that can pull ships out of Light Speed. From here it is up to Rex and Kanan to rescue them and stop this new weapon.

The Pros: Ezra – Ezra is a cocky guy but he loses this time and it isn’t until  Rex and Kanan are helping him take out the weapon that we get to see how powerful he is as a Jedi. He isn’t overpowered like Starkiller in “The Force Unleashed,” so it keeps him interesting. He also earns Sato’s respect.

Rex and Kanan – These two are at odds but have grown to be friends, as we see at the end when Rex doesn’t turn on them and Kanan comes back to rescue him. It’s a great moment and this episode was a Clone Wars callback for sure.

Agent Kallus – Kallus is smart about the Rebels now, sadly the man in charge of the special weapon was not. Kallus got a big “I told you so,” at the end.

Okay: Chopper – Choppper it too overpowered. Nobody suspects droids even though they were the main enemy of the Clone Wars and countless times Chopper has saved the day.

Commander Sato – Sato doesn’t have any personality yet, he’s just a blank slate who commands respect. I want to know what drives this guy so the mystery puts him as an okay rather than a con.

The Cons: How the Empire Was Handled – The Empire captures the Rebels and does nothing with it. Sato should have been sent to an Imperial Prison, Ezra should have been executed or at least the attempt of execution immediately, and the super weapon needed more fail safes.

This was an episode that could have been more. Even Grievous managed to hold onto his super weapons longer and he was a coward and an idiot. I expected more from the Empire, they still have to be the best if the Rebels are to be the underdogs. This season they are not the underdogs at all…except for the Pilot “Siege of Lothal.”

Final Score: 7.8 / 10

Star Wars Rebels – Season 2, Episode 1 – “The Lost Commanders” – Ghosts of the Clone Wars

Star Wars Rebels The Lost Commanders

    “The Lost Commanders” is a good episode that could have been great if the format had been 1 hour instead of half that. We get some great exploration with the Clones and learning about what happened post Order 66 with some questions still open and things that need to be discovered. How they are doing things though…I think the 24 episode format could work for this season if they play their cards right.

     The episode was directed by Dave Filoni and Sergio Paez and written by Matt Michnovetz.

     The story involves the crew of Ghost seeking allies and a base for the Rebellion in the Outer Rim as Ahsoka points them in the direction of the surviving Clone Commanders while she investigates the Sith Lord Darth Vader.

The Pros: The Commanders – The Commanders are awesome! You have Wolffe who reaches out to the Empire because he doesn’t trust the Rebellion and just wants peace, Rex who is advocating for help and Gregor who has gone crazy from the events of the war. It’s really cool seeing their dynamic and how war weary they are. They all carry regrets and for Rex Ezra is the hope he saw in Anakin.

Kanan – Kanan distrusts the Clones and for good reason as Wolffe did sell them out, even if he apologized. We learn that the Clones killed his Master and from that we learn some Jedi did betray the Clones while others like Rex, Gregor and Wolffe removed their chips…when they did is still a mystery but it helps make Kanan a little more comfortable with them.

Ezra – Ezra is getting war weary too and is stuck above taking care of their ship after Imperials injure it. We see that she is the more cynical view to Ezra’s hope and they compliment each other’s perspective really well. She also sees the bigger picture and we learn Jedi and Clones saved her during the Clone Wars.

Okay: Sabine and Zeb – Much like the Siege of Lothal, these two are just kind of there and can’t even kill a scouting droid the Empire sends. It’s a shame that Zeb is just comedic relief and used to catch an alien for the Commanders to eat.

Ahsoka – She’s going off the find out about Darth Vader and points them in the direction of the Clones. Not so much a character as a plot device this episode.

  This was a good but not great episode. We see the promise of things to come but there was more that could have been explored. Kanan and Rex should have fought and dealt with the end of the Clone Wars. I guess we’ll see more of that later hopefully but hints aren’t the same as answers and if the Clones are going to be brought in, we need answers.

Final Score: 8 / 10

Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Season 4, Episodes 7-10 – “Darkness on Umbara Arc” – Personhood and War’s Potential to Corrupt

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  “The Darkness on Umbara arc” is really good. In this we see what the war has done to Jedi and how many Jedi see the clones as expendable, as well as giving us the chance to see the sheer variation of Clones and how they bond and clash. It’s a powerful episode and one that has great foreshadowing of what is to come as Krell’s disillusionment will be Anakin’s by the end of the war.

   “Darkness on Umbara” was directed by Steward Lee and written by Matt Michnovetz who also wrote the other 3 episodes in the arc. “The General” was directed by Walter Murch. “Plan of Dissent” was directed by Kyle Dunlevy who also directed “Carnage of Krell.”

    The story involves the conquest of Umbara by the Republic where thing soon change on the battlefield where Anakin is recalled by Palpatine and General Krell takes over. Krell has no respect for Clones and sees them as expendable. This leads to Clones like Fives and Hardcase acting on their to save forces and eventually Captain Rex rebelling as well when he sees how corrupt Krell is.

The Pros: Umbara – Umbara is a dark planet and the stakes are high as the Umbarans are great fighters and the Clones only win through strategy and not force of numbers as the Umbarans far outnumber them. They also have really advanced tanks and weaponry too and a lot of the Clones fall to them because of dangerous they are as a foe.

General Krell – Krell is seeking to become a Sith and does it by turning his troops on one anohter and sacrificing to the Umbarans so that Dooku will take him as an apprentice. The reasons behind this we learn are disillusionment. He has seen visions of Order 66 and the Death of the Republic so now only serves himself. He was a great antagonist and enemy and he only loses because Dogma shoots him because of how betrayed he felt at being used.

Dogma – Dogma is the one who worships authority, but after he learns that Krell had turned two Clone Units against each other turned against Krell and is the one to kill him. He’s like a child and seeing how broken he is from the betrayal is powerful.

Hardcase – Hardcase is friends with Fives and is the one who destroys the power of the Umbarans in a secret mission with Fives. He loves combat and war but sees the bigger picture too and hates Krell for taking them for granted. He dies in the Battle of Umbara does a major blow against the Umbarans in the process.

Fives – Fives from “Rookies” has grown a lot and he is the one always questioning Krell and the one who asks Rex not to stand against them as he knows their mission will save lives. He loves his Clone Brothers more-so than loyalty to the Republic and it is great to see how he’s deceloped as a leader.

Captain Rex – Captain Rex is beginning to get disillusioned too as when they free themselves of Krell he still sees that they are cogs in a much larger machine and that it could be any general in the future who could do what Krell did. It’s a powerful moment and is part of what goes on when he goes from speaking against Krell, to actively helping his men come up with other plans and finally arresting Krell. He was not able to kill him though.

   This was a great 4 episode arc and one I’d highly recommend. Some of the best episodes are the ones that explore how the Clone War is destroying people and how others see the Clones. It is that shows that there is a rise in the Dark Side as people are seen as expendable to meet ends, whether those ends are noble or not…Krell’s path is the path Anakin is on and no doubt many other Jedi who fear losing it all.

Final Score: 9.5 / 10

Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Season 3, Episodes 18-20 – “The Citadel Arc” – Warriors Versus Peacekeepers in War

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    “The Citadel Arc” is an arc that had a lot of potential that is not fully realized. We meet Captain Tarkin, the future Grand Moff Tarkin who is all about ends justifying the means during war as he builds a relationship with Anakin, and we have Obi-Wan and Ahsoka on the other side of the debate at those who support the Jedi Code and want there to be peace through honor. This is great, though the Citadel, which is the Jedi Prison wasn’t done as well as it could have been.

     “The Citadel” was directed by Kyle Dunlevy and written by Matt Michnovetz, “Counterattack” which was directed by Brian Kalin O’Connell and written by Matt Michnovetz and “Citadel Rescue” which was directed by Steward Lee and written by Matt Michnovetz.

    The story involves Anakin an Obi-Wan mounting a rescue to save Jedi Master Piell from the Citadel. Ahsoka obeys orders and sneaks onto the mission and helps them to rescue Piell and Captain Tarkin, both of hold part of the codes for the Nexus Routes. From here allies and enemies are formed as Tarkin and Anakin are in the camp of anything must be done to win the war while Obi-Wan and Ahsoka hold onto honor and following the Jedi Council as all of them work to make their escape off the planet.

The Pros: Captain Tarkin – Tarkin is all about authority and ends justifying the means, which leads to a great friendship forming with Anakin. We also see how much he values risks too given Anakin’s fighting and we see his connection to Palpatine as he was who he was supposed to report the codes directly too.

Ahsoka – Ahsoka shows her loyalty to the Jedi and order when Piell Trusts her with the codes at his death. We also see her independent streak as she snuck onto the mission against Anakin’s orders. She is a lot like him, but not since she is still very much a Jedi where he is showing signs of moving beyond it to the Dark Side and using his abilities for government and order.

Obi-Wan – Obi-Wan like Ahsoka is Anakin’s foil, who reminds him of the value of life and that the code exists for a reason. It is great too cause he gets off on the wrong foot with Tarkin immediately.

Anakin – Anakin is one of the best parts of this episode. We see a blooming friendship with Tarkin but also loyalty to his friends and a willingness to risk all to save them. He also is very much in Palpatine’s camp and doesn’t understand or respect the Jedi Code or Peacekeeper mentality at all.

The Infiltration – The Infiltration is really cool. From re-purposed battle droids serving R2, to the crew being Carbon Frozen to hide their life-signs and after climbing up a booby trapped tower to enter the Citadel…the beginning is great.

Peacekeepers versus Warriors – Tarkin is a warrior and believes that War should be fought to be won, regardless of those caught in the crossfire. Obi-Wan and Ahsoka show the other side of it mattering how you fight, even if you disobey orders and that the key is to save as many lives as possible through fighting with honor, while Anakin is losing it.

The Cons: The Warden – Super annoying voice, was taken out easily. Wish someone threatening had actually been the Warden of the Citadel.

Master Piell – Another disposable Jedi.

   This is an enjoyable arc that is worth checking out, mostly due to Anakin, Ahsoka, Obi-Wan and Tarkin and the first episode. Besides that it is mostly entertaining with moments of deep thought that shine through.

Final Score: 8 / 10