Rebels Review: The Mystery of Chopper Base

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What did you think of the Plot?
BEAVeR: I’m very conflicted about what I think of this episode. On one hand, there’s the superficial story, the actual plot. I wasn’t very excited by it. Sure, it was decently executed with every character having a chance to shine and without anything that pulled me out of the story. But it was almost entirely unoriginal, had some strange turns like the deus ex machina in the end or the krykna suddenly using webs that we never saw before, it didn’t stop for a moment to morn that missing pilot and… it contained too much spider-stuff for my liking – I’m sorry, but they just make me… Let’s talk about the bright side of this episode then! In an average episode, we have a couple of moments that have interesting character bits in it. In this episode, however, there were so many of those moments, it was actually a full story on its own: you get this distinction between “plot” and “story”. That story is all about making clear things might become very different from now on, and how difficult it is to face those changes for each and every one of the characters. The superficial plot ties into this as well: just as things look to clear up, something dark emerges you can’t understand. So even though the plot wasn’t that exceptional, the atmosphere of the episode made this a unique and excellent buildup to the season finale.
Oky: Sometimes TV shows decide to make an episode centered around a specific phobia in order to make a creepy episode and in my opinion, these kinds of episodes rarely work. For the people who have that phobia, the episode is uncomfortable to watch, and for those who don’t it doesn’t do much for them. In this case, they chose to make an episode about giant spiders attacking which is one of the most cliched horror plots imaginable. Personally, I don’t have any phobias and don’t get scared easily, so needless to say, I was less than impressed with the plot of this episode. Not that it was a bad plot – it was fairly well executed actually. I especially like how they subtly established the spiders’ fear of the sensor marker from the beginning by having the dokmas cower next to it. It’s just that it was all so unoriginal.

What are your thoughts on the Characters?
BEAVeR: Usually, this section is all about how our characters developed over the course of the episode. This episode didn’t have much development going on, but was still strong in the character department. That’s because it clearly focuses on thoughts of characters we haven’t really seen before. We’ve seen how Kanan feels about the mere thought of loosing Ezra. But the rest hasn’t really shown how they feel about potentially loosing one of their own. Turns out Hera will deal with it practically, is not afraid to face the consequences, but is afraid of the loss itself. She gets this extra tragedy of having to think about the situations she fears most, having to keep her cool while her world might soon be turned to ashes… Finally, she comes across as a strong but human character. The moment in the end where she and Kanan comfort each other gets more weight because of that, and really makes you fear what is to come, even if you have no idea what to expect.
Ezra had some nice moments as well. The fight in the begin started out in a fun way, but somehow it starts to feel too aggressive, the playfulness gets lost and you get this faint, looming shadow that both Ezra and Kanan are getting this militaristic vibe about them. And of course, there’s the mystery of Ezra not being able to connect with the krykna. Is it something strange about these creatures? Is it something dark in our hero? We can’t know, but we do get to see Ezra has his limits, and that it introduces just a speck of doubt. I love how the hints of the dark side are so subtle here. The prequels can learn from this.
Oky: The design of the Krykna spiders was about as unoriginal as the plot. Aside from minor differences, they were basically just giant arachnids. I guess there is a reason why this McQuarrie design never made it into the movies. The little Dokma creatures on the other hand were a lot more creative and cute. But the real highlight of this episode were the rebel characters. It was interesting to see Kanan intensify Ezra’s training after his experience at the Jedi Temple. We also got to see more of Hera’s motherly side as she worries about Kanan and Ezra. Rex was a badass soldier as usual, even though he did manage to get captured by the spiders. We also followed an A-Wing pilot for a bit before she got killed off. I don’t mind that she got killed off as it served the plot and mood of the episode, but it was kind of strange that she was forgotten about once the spiders showed up. A quick line mourning her death at the end would have been nice.

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What is your opinion of the vehicles and locations?
BEAVeR: O boy, Atollon was just stunning. It is deserted but stunning, like a desert rose rock or the peaceful bottom of the ocean. The creatures that inhabit it fit the location perfectly, resembling crabs, clams… and those convorees were way to adorable. I also really liked the sunset from Zeb’s man cave. It’s great Star Wars tradition with a new spin.
Oky: The planet Atollon on which the titular Chopper Base was setup was quite bare and therefore not very interesting, although it was still very nice to look at. I liked the contrast of the warm orange tones during the day versus the cool blue colors at night and especially the sunset scenes were quite beautiful. I like that they named the base after Chopper since he helped them find it. There were no new vehicles this time, although it was neat to see lightsabers in training mode.

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BEAVeR’s rating: 3.5/5 – It’s difficult for me to judge an episode with so many uncomfortable spider thingies objectively for me. I’m pretty sure the plot wasn’t very exhilarating. But the characters make up for it, not in a few rare moments, but in a constant stream of lovely characterization during the main plot, in an episode you wouldn’t immediately view as a character-centric one. I hope this way of storytelling finds it way into episodes with a more original plot. And it subtly made me very excited for the season finale – unless that has a lot of spider thingies too…
Oky’s Rating: 3/5 – While the plot and designs of this episode were not very original, it still had it’s moments. We got a little bit of character development and there were a few quiet scenes of characters sharing a moment in front of a sunset together, like when Ezra hung out with Zeb or when Kanan and Hera comforted each other, which I really liked as they felt like the calm before the storm. There was also a lot of foreshadowing with how serious the Jedi training got, how worried Hera was about our Jedi heroes, and how Ezra failed to connect with an animal for the first time. Combined with how the episode ended on the iconic notes of the imperial march, all of this serves as a nice build-up to the finale, so I’m anxious to see what will happen.

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