I love Star Wars: Rebels. It was a rough road to that realization but by the end of the first season and on the strength of it’s second season I can say it without pause. Like most fans of the Clone Wars cartoon I was truly sad and angry when word came that it was ending. It was being canceled, not for being a bad show but by being an innocent bystander in the Disney purchase of Lucas’s holdings. Word came quickly a new show was starting and it wouldn’t be Clone Wars 2.0. Instantly I had disdain for this new show, sight unseen.
Over time as new info and pictures started to be released, I began warming up to what they were going for in Rebels. But they had a lot to prove in my mind. By the reveal at the end of season one, I was a fan but it just had to show me that it was a wholly different animal than what I was used to with Clone Wars.
The second season has been full of ups and downs for our crew of the Ghost. It kicked off by showing a larger than life Darth Vader that really lived up to the myths that we always heard but never saw, an unstoppable juggernaut who is also a crack fighter pilot. Within that reveal we also shared in the unspoken (until recently) darkness that he brought to Ahsoka with the truth she didn’t want to face about her master’s fate. We also shared in the trials of young Ezra, with his grasp of the force growing as much as his sorrow has grown at learning his parents were dead. Also in his growing power we see he has a different affinity for it than we’ve seen before, he can “talk” to animals and gain their help in different situations. This in my opinion has been a cool thing to see being a super fan of the monster and creatures of the Star Wars universe (see the episode “The Call” for a great example.)
Other highlights have included the return of Rex, Seeing Kanan take down a AT-AT with his lightsaber (seen above), and a Jedi fastball special through a Stormtrooper filled hallway. Through out all of these things (which there are dozens more), the show has brought emotion. The latest episode titled “The Forgotten Droid” really, really brought the emotion and I have to admit, brought me to tears..
“The Forgotten Droid” begins on par with the Rebels planning a heist for much needed fuel from an Imperial controlled outpost. After they land, Chopper is given the duty (as always) to stay with the ship and prepare for a hasty escape. Before everyone goes off on the mission though, Chopper sees in the distance an Ugnaught vendor selling a leg that matches his original one. I have to add, up to this point I knew he has old and beat up but they took the time to show HOW old and beat up he really is. Trying to tell his crewmates about the leg, they shut him down and tease him about it before leaving. So as soon as they leave he decides to get the leg himself. After some back and forth with the Ugnaught, Chopper takes the leg and zooms off while the vendor’s back is turned.
In the background we see the crew of the Ghost has run afoul on their mission and after a running gun battle, take off. Chopper turns and is left dead in his tracks at seeing his friends enter orbit and leave him behind. At this time the vendor flags down some Stormtroopers and drops the dime on the thieving droid. Chopper runs and hides but picks a bad doorway to hide in. The door closes and is revealed to be an Imperial freighter as it lift off the dock and takes flight. While inside it doesn’t take Chopper long to realize his bad choice as he sees to Stormtroopers and hears them talk about a Rebel stowaway…him.
On the bridge we are introduced to the freighter’s Captain and the ship’s inventory droid AP-5. The Captain is a brutish man that views AP-5 as just another piece of equipment that can be scraped and he abuses the droid verbally with threats of destruction. After a kinda cute hide and seek moment AP-5 and Chopper meet while AP-5 does a last check of inventory. Chopper threatens AP-5 with his spark generator after he is caught, which leads to AP-5 saying that Chopper is a military model like himself. They exchange their stories. They both were part of the Ryloth Campaign. Chopper was the astromech for a Y-wing that crashed and was saved by Hera, while AP-5 was a military strategist droid that was on a warship during the Clone Wars. But instead of being saved, AP-5 was downgraded to be an inventory droid. AP-5 also comments that the restraining bolt he has makes his new protocols his only choice.
The Captain soon radios AP-5 wondering why he hasn’t logged in his manifest yet and if he’s seen any stowaways. In a testament of AP-5 sheer will power he over comes his restraining bolt and lies that he hasn’t seen anything. Chopper than returns the favor and blasts off AP-5’s restraining bolt with his spark generator. Shortly the Captain comes down to see what is taking AP-5 so long to report back to the bridge. He notices his restraining bolt is missing and threatens AP-5 some more. Chopper comes out of nowhere and in a somewhat realistic and sloppy way takes the Captain out, capping it off with a jolt from his spark generator. They then stow the Captain’s unconscious body.
Then Chopper sets out to round up all the Stormtroopers and dispatch them all at once. Speeding around the ship, Chopper rounds up about a dozen troopers in the cargo area of the ship. During the chase Chopper is hit by blaster fire, AP-5 helps him up and helps him scuttle the cargo area and it drifts out into space, the fate of those poor Stormtroopers is unknown but I can only guess it won’t work out good for them.
After all the Stormtroopers have been dispatched and the Captain rendered unconscious, Chopper and AP-5 make their way to the bridge. Chopper says whomever gets there first is Captain. AP-5 agrees but than takes Choppers stolen leg and drops it so Chopper has to stop and AP-5 gets to the Captain’s chair first. I really like this budding friendship, it reminds me of another pair of friends from the Star Wars saga…and that is ok with me. Chopper even says AP-5 should go with him back to the Rebellion. AP-5 is hesitant and asks how it would be any different than how the Empire treats him. Chopper says they will treat him good, because he is Chopper’s friend.
After a bit of back and forth with Hera over the radio, the Rebellion needs to go to another star system than the original plan called for. Like a scorned mother Hera even refers to Chopper by his proper name of C1-10P during the conversation because he left his post back at the outpost. During this time the Captain wakes back up and begins to fight with Chopper. AP-5 continues the conversation with Hera, when she asks who he is AP-5 says “I’m Chopper’s friend” which she replies puzzled “Chopper doesn’t have any friends”. I guess because of how grumpy Chopper is, it is hard to believe that he would make friends.
The Captain gets the best of Chopper and knocks him down. He grabs a blaster and shoots AP-5 square in the back. AP-5 falters but tries to hit the send button on the new coordinates to a Empire free star system. Than the Captain shoots again, right before Choppers stops him by knocking him out again. Chopper dives to the send button and the coordinates make it to Hera just in time to escape a battle with tie fighters and a star destroyer.
This is the part where I lose it and tear up.
Back on the bridge of the freighter, Chopper is with his friend. AP-5 is dying. He thanks Chopper for being such a good friend and freeing him. Chopper uses his little arms to hold AP-5’s hand as he slips into death. Fade to black.
Than, the screen blinks and comes on, a POV shot. Sabin comes into frame. AP-5 is alive!! She says the repairs were touch and go but Chopper’s strut had the parts they needed to fix him, and that he will be alright. (I tear up more.) AP-5 is surprised Chopper sacrificed the limb after clinging on to it the whole episode. The pair walk off bickering like the other iconic droid duo we know and love. Which made me cry even more and remarking “they’re just like R2 and C3PO”
I wish I could say this was a rarity, the crying thing, but it’s not. Being a father has made my heart strings as easy to play as a two string ukulele. Add Star Wars or any other dork thing to that…water works.