What did you think of the Plot?
Oky: Now that the excitement over Rogue One has started to die down, Star Wars Rebels returns from the winter break and it is bringing along one of the characters from the “Star Wars Story”. Not only that, but we are treated to one of the rare two-parters. However, was that enough to make for a great return? Honestly, for a two-parter there wasn’t quite enough plot here to justify the double runtime. All that happened was that the rebels find Saw Gerrera and a Geonosian, they fight some droids, discover the cause of the disappearance of the Geonosians, evade some Imperials and get out. While the way they filled these two episodes wasn’t bad, some parts felt like they probably could have been cut out, like the stealing of the shield generator. The Imperials were as incompetent as the ones in Season 1, making them more of a nuisance than an actual threat, and it seems like they were only included to have some more action scenes. This makes me think this could have been cut down to just one episode in favor of devoting the second episode to a different, more complex story that would have benefited from the extra time.
BEAVeR: I had just finished writing my previous review with the desire for more two parters when I saw this episode addressed my desire. Sadly, the length of the episode wasn’t used to full effect. The main story was a good one. It added interesting information to the universe, made you think from time to time, had wonderful action sequences and a great atmosphere. However, sometimes I had the feeling the show underestimated my investment in the story and threw in some action just to spice things up while it wasn’t really relevant. The shield generator sequence and the bombing run could have been replaced by more character moments. They did help to strengthen the tense atmosphere of the episode, so I give them credit for that. The episode had an almost claustrophobic quality to it at times which helped you to feel the more extreme emotions. It was also the perfect atmosphere of looming evil that led to the episode’s eventual revelation of the fact that the Empire wiped out an entire population with gas. This show is getting better and better in depicting the cruelty of the Empire, with the help of historical analogies, which makes you all the more involved in the fight of the Rebellion. It gives you a broader view and makes you think about how far you would go to stop that from ever happening again. It made you rethink the different sides of the argument that just passed. This entire arc was well executed, but sadly the resolution wasn’t entirely on par with Saw so suddenly changing his opinion and forgetting everything he thought before (maybe he could at least have made a recording of Klik-Klak’s story for later investigation? That might have changed a lot!). So all in all it was a nice episode, but I felt like the extra time with respect to a single episode was used more for extra action instead of exploring the story to its fullest.
What are your thoughts on the Characters?
Oky: While it is cool how Saw Gerrera made the jump from animation to live-action and back to animation, I was not very excited to see him here as he was my least favorite character in Rogue One, and his characterization as a prejudiced extremist in this story didn’t help improve my opinion of him, even if it makes sense why he was so suspicious of Klik-Klak given his past. We don’t learn anything new about his character and the way he suddenly changed his opinion about the Geonosian after bullying and mistrusting him throughout the two-parter felt rushed. Not to mention that he looked strangely much younger than in Rogue One, even though this takes place only two years before that movie. What I did like, however, is how surprisingly well they made a Geonosian sympathetic, even though their kind was clearly defined as one of the bad guys in The Clone Wars. Who knew it would take the eradication their entire species to make us care about them? It was interesting how Saw represented the traditional way we see Geonosians and Ezra represented the new perspective that the rise of the Empire has given us, much like in The Last Battle. Klik-Klak was very likeable of course, and I do like how they used some of the time that they had to flesh out his character. Captain Brunson on the other hand was the most generic inexperienced Imperial officer imaginable and she only succeeded in preventing the rebels from stealing the gas canisters through sheer luck.
BEAVeR: Let me be honest with you: when watching Rogue One, I didn’t have the slightest clue I already knew this character. So I really like how this episode bridged the gap between The Clone Wars and Rogue One by giving just the right amount of information so that you instantly got more insight into his character without it being too much in your face, even if you didn’t watch The Clone Wars. His character in this episode was definitely interesting. His aggression and mistrust to Klik-Klak were logical. Even without the motivation that the Geonosians were responsible for the death of his sister, he lost all of his comrades in an attack by Klik-Klak’s droids. It was interesting that he never really personally grieved over his fallen comrades as it shows again that he’s loosing his humanity gecause of his vengeful feelings. It was great that his points were reinforced by him finding the Geonisian’s blaster and all, and his competence was shown on multiple occassions so that apart from your internal voice telling you you know he’s no good really you still listen to him. He was a great depiction of someone with another view. That’s why it’s such a shame he changed his mind so quickly in the end: it looks like all of his previous arguments become invalid. It would have been great to see the crew have a bigger influence on him, and we did get that nice little moment where he jokes with Rex, but in the end it feels like we didn’t get to share in his emotional journey. As for other characters, Ezra stood out. It was nice to see he was his old self again with his ability to connect. His plea for humanity sounded convincing. But that was before you remember what happened earlier in this season…
What is your opinion of the vehicles and locations?
Oky: For the most part, Geonosis was the same as we’ve seen it before, but since our heroes couldn’t understand Klik-Klak it was nice how they used the environment to visually tell his backstory with all the stuff in his workshop and the gas canisters. The canisters themselves had a laughable design though, not only because they made the rebels think Klik-Klak was drawing them instead of the Death Star, but also because they resembled cartoon bombs. The rocket troopers were pretty cool, though, especially the fight scene between them and Sabine along the chasm walls, albeit not as unique as her chase with the Mandalorians. But then again, I’m a sucker for jetpacks and want one just as much as Ezra does.
BEAVeR: Geonosis was nothing new, but it made perfect sense from a story point of view. The desolation of the planet was perfect for making the effect of the Empire’s deeds clear. The tunnels, collapsed bridges and the rising out of a deep well were symbolic locations as well, so I’m not complaining they didn’t go with something more original. The jetpack stormtroopers were cool to see but a bit overkill to me. It does away with the uniqueness of the Mandalorian’s a bit. Their existence and how it doesn’t surprise Ezra at all felt a bit strange after his cries of disbelief on seeing flying Mando’s. Finally, getting more props like the shield generator and the gas tanks is always good even though the way they found or lost these objects felt a bit forced at times.
Oky’s Rating: 3.5/5 – The show left off on an okay mid-season finale and returns with an okay two-parter. The stuff with Klik-Klak and the discovery of the gas canisters was executed well, but Saw Gerrera was once again unlikable and redeemed himself too suddenly. The action was not all that engaging due to the incompetence of the Empire and ultimately felt unnecessary. So while this was a decent story, it felt a bit like a waste of a two-parter.
BEAVeR’s rating: 4/5 – I was expecting more from a two parter, but it was still pretty good. Not only did this episode give more insight into one of the least clear characters in Rogue One, it also managed to discuss the global conflict and made you think about it, although not as much as was possible. There were excellent action sequences, but some were superfluous. But this two parter was a success, and I hope we see more with more character development!