Spoiler Warning: If you haven't seen the most recent episode of Star Wars Rebels or don't want to know what happened, turn away now. Or, y'know, go watch and come back so we can talk about it.
Protocol droids, man. Just when you think you can trust one, it turns into an Imperial killing machine.
The newest episode, "Warhead," offered a little comic relief after the emotional rollercoaster that was "Ghosts of Geonosis," but it also contained one of the creepiest moments I've seen in Star Wars to date. "Warhead" also ended with a stark reminder that Grand Admiral Thrawn is very much in the mix and we really shouldn't forget about the threat he poses to our rebels and the larger rebellion as a whole.
It all starts normally enough. Hera's taking Phoenix Squadron on training maneuvers and she needs Zeb to stay behind the guard the base. Poor Zeb. He knows it's going to be boring, but he also knows Hera's right and he's the logical one to stay behind. Of course, that doesn't mean that Sabine and Ezra aren't going to razz him about it, because let's face it, it's a little bit funny. Especially when he realizes he'll be stuck with Chopper and AP-5.
You also have to appreciate that little moment with Hobbie and Wedge. It's nice to know they're training. It's just a good thing they're less clumsy in the air than they are on the ground.
Soon enough, however, the Ghost is gone and everyone settles down for an uneventful couple of days.
As if you thought that was going to happen. It's not because there's an Imperial droid wandering Atollon in search of a certain rebel base.
I've been thinking a lot about this and, no matter what happened, this really was going to be a win for Thrawn pretty much any way you slice it. Thrawn sent the droids in search of the rebel base. The Empire knows 94 ships went out. They also know one of the droids is out of communication. The minute that droid landed, he was going to find Chopper Base one way or another. That means he'd either find it and report back, find it and be destroyed (which would send the Empire looking for it) or it would kill the rebels. All of those options lead to Thrawn discovering Chopper Base pretty much right away and/or dead rebels.
Not to mention, that infiltrator droid turned out to be a definite and credible threat. Seriously, look at this thing. Bouncing all over the place.
As if this fight wasn't exciting enough, it also led to my aforementioned "creepiest" moment. Hello dismembered droid hand in a puddle of fluid. That was already freaky. But watching them follow that droid fluid trail felt like something out of one of the Alien movies –– admittedly in a really cool way. But that moment when they found the astromech and we realize the droid had cannibalized the poor thing to repair itself?
Ultimately, It takes all three of them to take the droid out, and the animation team made sure it looked like that thing was about to kill them all any second. Zeb getting thrown all over the place (one of the hits looked so bad I was legitimately worried about his back), Chopper and AP-5 trying to do something to help while they also try not to die. That was crazy.
They also came up with one hell of a plan, when you think about it. This really was the best-case scenario is a lose/lose worse situation. Thanks to Zeb, Chopper and AP-5, Thrawn still knows the rebels are out there, but he still has to narrow it down. Plus, the rebels struck a blow against Thrawn. Thrawn may have won overall, but Zeb and the droids didn't make it easy for him.
Of course, what made all of this work was the humor underneath it all. Zeb and AP-5 agreeing that, while this worked, they're not going to start being friends is so very them and so very endearing at the same time.
Overall, it was nice to have a little lightness along with our story setup for things to come. The next episode is called "Trials of the Darksaber," and the one following is titled "Legacy of Mandalore," so I'm thinking we're going to see a lot of action real soon.
That does it for this week. See you next week for some Darksaber action. Until then, may the Force be with you!
Star Wars Rebels airs Saturdays at 8:30PM ET/PT on Disney XD.