What did you think of the Plot?
BEAVeR: Battle droids in Rebels. Did I ever think I’d see such a thing? No. Did it make sense? Yes. Did it bring up some interesting points? Certainly. Did it result in an awesome episode? Not quite. I enjoyed it and loved seeing those Clone Wars elements back, and was very intrigued by the points that were brought up. But something didn’t quite feel right. It felt like the story of this episode had a very strong backbone, of a confrontation between clones and droids once more, about PTSD, about the fact the Clone War was rather pointless in the end but that it could still lead to something constructive. But the way all of these points were connected felt a bit forced and underwhelming. I’m sure a super tactical droid can come up with a more effective strategy that doesn’t hinge on there being only three opponents or that the finding of common ground might have happened a bit more subtle. There was a lot that needed to happen though, so I think this episode might actually have benefited from being a two-parter. The way it is now, it’s actually more interesting after you’ve watched the episode, than during watching it because you can think about the Clone Wars in a new way.
Oky: Welcome to Star Wars Rebels! This episode has been brought to you by Star Wars: The Clone Wars. This was a nice tribute to the highly popular animated show that preceded Star Wars Rebels, complete with the end title card style and music from that show. It addressed some interesting points, some of which I had always wondered about, like how the Clone Wars veterans felt about how the war just suddenly ended and how nobody seems to have questioned why it stopped so abruptly with no clear winner. However, there was so much going on in this one episode that they didn’t have much time to delve into those topics deeper. First we’re on a mission to recover some weapons, then there’s the pretend clone war, and then there’s the climactic battle against the Empire, while Hera and Sabine are off in space fighting a battle against the Imperials of their own. Cramming all of this into a 20-minute episode made it feel rushed Also, the writing was less than stellar with character constantly pointing out the obvious. The story introduced some interesting ideas, but it was dragged down by statements like “they’re old – just like me,” “Looks like we’re facing a common enemy,” or “Well, this takes trust to a new level” which were just too on-the-nose. A more subtle script stretched over two episodes would have helped this story work much better.
What are your thoughts on the Characters?
BEAVeR: There were two protagonists in this episode, Rex and Kalani, but actually they both were the same character. Sure, they both had their unique elements, but eventually it was very striking how similar they were and what this tells us about the character. We get to understand that even Rex is a machine programmed for war, and that his programming sometimes prevents him from seeing things clearly: he literally thinks he’s still in the past and gets hurt because of it. It’s lovely to get acquainted with the flaws of this dashing soldier and get a hint about how he must feel working with this often unorganized Rebellion in comparison to the structured Republican army, even though his time with Anakin might have prepared him a bit. It was very interesting to see how his entire being was formed by the Clone Wars like when he suddenly scolded Ezra instead of seeing Ezra as an apprentice and acknowledging the possibilities he created. Finding common ground was as much about Rex accepting the droids and the truth as it was the other way around. I loved how he in the end cooperated with them almost as if they were humans, which prompted and interesting word in my mind associated to the droid army, and that was dehumanization. I wished they had explored this a bit more instead of just going for the rational argument that the Empire is the new enemy now, but the show has made sure seeing Rex will immediately make interesting thoughts pop up in my head.
Oky: This was the first episode that revolved around Rex who until now always seemed like the perfect soldier, so it was nice to delve more into his psyche and discover that he has more weaknesses than he lets on. It makes sense that he would have PTSD as many war veterans do. It kind of came out of nowhere as he had never shown signs of PTSD before, but being in such a familiar situation probably brought back some memories that he had suppressed. Being in this familiar environment also caused him to slip into some old habits such as calling his Jedi friend Kanan “sir” or “general”. It was interesting how much he had in common with Kalani as they are both Clone Wars veterans who were programmed to win that war and were left with an unfulfilled purpose when it ended so suddenly.
This episode also made me realize that, aside from maybe Sabine, Ezra is the only character on this show who was not shaped by the Clone Wars, and apparently it took a young fresh mind such as his to make them all realize how rigged and ultimately pointless that war really was. Oh, and I liked how the battle droids looked and acted a lot more like they do in the movies here than they ever did in the entirety of the Clone Wars series. They still occasionally did some un-droid-like things such as showing emotions, but not to the annoying degree that they did in The Clone Wars, and whenever they did act out of character, they immediately got punished for it by getting stomped on by an AT-AT or falling to their doom which was very entertaining to watch.
What is your opinion of the vehicles and locations?
BEAVeR: The crashed Separatist ship on Agamar right at the edge of the cliff was perfect to set the scene for this episode as it made us for the first time consider what the Separatists lost when the Empire came to power. At the same time it provided for a huge wave of nostalgia together with all of the things like the ray shields, droideka’s, super tactical droid and wonderfully updated battle droids. It’s great how everything seemed to belong in the Rebels universe, a feeling that was perfectly punctuated by the closing credits.
Oky: Agamar is a fairly boring planet, so I kind of wish they would have chosen another planet for the setting of this episode, perhaps one that we are familiar with from The Clone Wars which would have played into the nostalgia factor of this episode, but it made sense that Kalani would be found here as this is where Count Dooku sent him the last time was saw him. And while the Separatist supply ship is not exactly my favorite ship to come out of The Clone Wars, it did look pretty cool how it was crashed at the edge of a cliff and it made sense as part of the plot for it to be a supply ship.
BEAVeR’s rating: 4/5 – These past couple of episodes have in common that they contain a number of extremely interesting and thought provoking points, but that they don’t entirely feel as an awesome episode. It is episodes that linger more in the back of the mind than that you remember them. But something is definitely going in the right direction with this season and this show, and this episode was the perfect illustration of that.
Oky’s Rating: 3.5/5 – There were some good ideas here. The concept of a clone and a tactical droid having one last battle to decide a winner of the Clone Wars years after that war has ended, just to realize how pointless their war was and unite against their true enemy, the Empire, was pretty good, but the execution definitely could have been better. It was just too rushed and too unsubtle. It’s ironic how the Clone Wars show ended as abruptly as the war itself, leaving its fans without a sense of closure, much like Rex and Kalani. So while this may not be the last big hurrah that Clone Wars fans were hoping for, I think it succeeded in serving as a quick little epilogue to that show and giving its fans some closure while also sending them a sobering message that The Clone Wars is over (in more ways than one) and it is time to move on and focus on what’s going on now, which is Star Wars Rebels.