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.
Okay, before I start in on the recap, can we take another minute to admire the sheer badassery and magnificence of the Star Wars Rebels mid-season trailer? So many different things on the way, up to and including what looks to be a showdown between Obi-Wan and Maul. Seriously, how amazing was that? We're definitely closing in on events in both Rogue One and Star Wars: Episode IV. Also, if you want to know more about that specifically, I did a little cross connecting recently.
However, for now, let's talk about "Ghosts of Geonosis."
I'll admit I thought the rebels would discover more about what was really going on at Geonosis in this episode in regard to the Death Star, but the more I think about the show addressing the genocide of the Geonsian species, the weight of the episode is definitely there –– and while the team seems to think Klik-Klak's drawing in the dirt was about the gas canisters, I'm pretty sure that's a different kind of hint for the viewers and means we'll be seeing Geonosis again down the road.
I've also had this weird little thing buzzing in the back of my brain about how the Rebellion intercepted Galen's message in Rogue One. Kallus is currently Fulcrum, so that gives the rebels an inside man. That would have to help with breaking into their communications channels, so it Kallus part of the reason the Rebellion learns about the Death Star plans? Like I said, just a thought.
The big story in this episode, of course, is Saw Gererra.
Not the boy from Onderon and not the war-ravaged man on Jedha, but Saw Gerrera at likely his peak form and possibly most dangerous. The younger Saw was still willing to listen to Anakin and Obi-Wan but this Saw isn't anywhere near as malleable or deferential to superior officers or Jedi. His anger has had years to brew.
Rebels has always had a built-in conceit to inform the audience about past events by using Ezra to ask questions for us and it works really well when it comes to filling people in on Saw. It also works in that Ezra's the only one who can call Saw out on his behavior overall. Ezra's got a good heart and he's still idealistic enough to get through to Saw in the end. Rex and Kanan both know Saw's pain. Hera and Sabine both know his record. Zeb's ... well, Zeb's not really gonna get involved, right? So it's up to Ezra to, in essence, save Saw. For a little while, at least.
Then there's Klik-Klak. What a sneakily brilliant way to make a point about war and the casualties on all sides. Up until now, Geonosians have been portrayed as an aggressive, militant, cruelly clever species. Whatever positive skills they have are basically used for the Empire's purposes so they become bad guys by association for most viewers. Plus, bugs. Big bugs freak a lot of people out, so bugs working on the side of the bad guys don't get a lot of empathy.
But Klik-Klak ... not only do we see a very real personality with this lone Geonosian, but we learn he's safeguarding the future of his species. The species that the Empire used and then wiped out. What a brave thing to do and how honorable is that? I hope we see him again, too.
Of course, are so many other things that were great about this episode.
To shield core or not to shield core:
Seriously. How good was this whole sequence? The dialogue was perfect. Humorous and thrilling at the same time. Sabine, Zeb and that shield core surrounded by battle droids? It's bubbles and blaster bolts everywhere. I don't care if any of that was technically feasible, it looked incredible and having the droids get deactivated just in time was perfect.
Bridging a gap:
Kanan Jarrus is one of the best examples yet that Jedi may be better trained outside the temple than in. Of course, you could claim the opposite for Anakin, but the basic theory stands. Life experience has made Kanan extremely well rounded, so he troubleshoots on the fly incredibly well. Force Throwing Ezra, force lifting a bridge for Saw and Rex and then doing his own Force leap, he's always thinking. Plus, it looked realllllllly cool.
Imperial Jump Troopers:
If you're a fan of Star Wars video games, you may have recognized these guys. These troopers made the jump (pardon the pun) from Super Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back in 1993, to games like Star Wars: Commander, The Force Unleashed and Battlefront and now there they are in Rebels. Dave Filoni, Pablo Hidalgo and others in the Lucasfilm Story Group are holding true to their goal to reuse already created material in new ways. Gotta love it. Add in a gunfight, Sabine with a jetpack and bombs, and lightsabers and the whole sequence kills.
High flying Hera:
I mean, come ON. I don't care what Poe Dameron says and I haven't seen Hera fly enough ships to confirm that she can fly anything, but Hera Syndulla can fly anywhere. Sandstorm, crater, through an Imperial Cruiser? No sweat. If Hera had an airline, the catchphrase would have to be something like "If you can fly there, we can take you.". Obviously, it's a credit to the animators because I never questioned the physics of her descent into and vertical shot out of that crater. One day I hope someone lets Hera program a flight simulator to really put new pilots through their paces.
Of course, the episode begins with, revolves around and ends with Saw Gerrera –– a man dedicated to the cause. No one doubts his efficiency or his bravery, but you have to wonder about a man who's willing to torture someone and threaten them with extinction to get what he wants. It's easy to forget that the concept of 'good guys' and 'bad guys' depends on which side you're on and who you're fighting for.
In Saw's case, it's looking more and more like Saw's fighting for Saw and his dead sister Steela. At some point, his priorities are going to come into direct confrontation with the Rebellion. That story remains untold for now. I have a feeling we'll be circling back to check in on Saw later on down the line.
That does it for this week. How about we do it again next week? Until then, may the Force be with you!
Star Wars Rebels airs Saturdays at 8:30 PM ET/PT on Disney XD