Rebels, Season 3, Episode 5: The Last Battle
Ohhhh boy! We’ve got a lot of catharsis on deck in today’s Rebels episode — an installment that is heavy on the throwbacks and also, in the Great Tradition of All Star Wars Ever, heavy on no one understanding what’s going on for interminable amounts of time after someone’s pulled a fast one on them and/or flat-out TOLD them something outright. This spans the entirety of the canon, starting with Episode I’s “No Qui-Gon The Sith Are Totally Dead And We Don’t Even Care If You Literally Saw One Who Tried to Kill You”, through the Clone-Wars-Era’s repeated “Who Made This Army For Us?”, “Who Stands To Gain From This War?”, “No Really But For Real Who Made This Army For Us?” and “Holy Shit Who Killed All These People In The Jedi Temple?”, winding its way through the original trilogy’s Secret Parental Backstory Pathos, and eventually dropping us off in the sequel trilogy, where I’m sure some other insanity/extreme density pairings await us all.
We get things going with the Ghost dropping off Ezra, Zeb, Kanan, Chopper and Captain Rex on Agamar, a planet where they think they’ll be able to scrounge up some leftover munitions from the Clone Wars.
Recurring Theme: The Writers Are Winking At Me
One of my absolute favorite parts of Star Wars overall, but especially the animated canon, is that the writers are people after my own heart and they will throw in hilarious dialogue where they basically point finger-guns at me, all “Snark Wars, this is for you, doll.” And I repay them by writing a blog where I kinda sorta make fun of their shows (…sorry guys. I promise it’s snark with love, always. I will throw down for your delightful vision any damn day of the week. I will verbally fight a legion of angry fanboys for you — and I have.)
OK, so, this time the writers decide to blow me a kiss by having Sabine and Hera ask this question as they get ready to leave the boys on Agamar:
Kanan, a Jedi who has lived through Order 66, replies:
Why, by golly, show: you’re right! Everything has gone swimmingly for everyone who lived through the Clone Wars! Let’s see: Ahsoka’s probably maybe dead at the hands of her old master, Obi-Wan is a hollow broken shell of a man living in solitude in the fucking desert and no doubt drinking himself to sleep every night, Rex is stuck here with these guys and will literally be forced to fight battle droids again over a decade after the war is over, and Anakin is goddamn Actual Darth Vader. So. Yeah.
After this amazing, obvious shout-out to yours truly, the team leaves the Ghost behind to start looking for stuff they can use for their insignificant rebellion.
Recurring Theme: Clone Wars Aftershocks
As they walk, Ezra picks up the head of a broken battle droid:
Rex confirms that it is, and Ezra WHO IS A DOOFUS is like “Pfft, these don’t seem so scary I bet I could take on all of them I’m more powerful than all of you if Obi-Wan wasn’t holding me back.” Rex gets right in his face:
Ezra is all “whoa dude, sorry” as Rex walks away, and Kanan apologizes for Rex (which is wholly unnecessary because Ezra totally needs to get his attitude adjusted a lot):
Recurring Theme: Roger Roger
The team walks into a hangar in search of supplies. Chopper, fraidy-cat that he is, hangs back and we get a taste of what’s to come…
The rest of the group makes some forward progress, only to get caught in a trap, Episode-3-style. Fortunately this time no one baits me (OBI-WAN) by asking if they aren’t too smart to let this happen to them:
They barely have time to register what’s happened when their captors reveal themselves: Clone Wars-Era battle droids! Ezra is like “but I thought those guys were all dead now” which: LOL, OK Ezra. Child, please: have you learned nothing from your Jedi Master? NO ONE IS EVER DEAD IN STAR WARS. Not robots, not Ancient Evil, not FUCKING MAUL: nobody. Except for the girls. (Hmmph.)
The droids are about to attack them when they get a revision to their orders: shoot to stun, and take them into custody! PZZZZT.
Chopper, still hanging back, watches this all go down as the droids carry off their prisoners:
Recurring Theme: Hasn’t The Space Family Suffered Enough?
Oh. God. OK, so, our #1 Right-Hand Clone Captain Rex is coming to. His world is blurry as he awakens, leading to some disorientation:
He opens his eyes, and having taken in where he is, he leaps to one logical conclusion:
Kanan starts calling Rex’s name, but Rex is still stuck in the past. He says the first name that comes to his mind in an “I’ve been captured by droids” situation and GOOD LORD: I don’t NEED this, OK? I just don’t, FFS, Star Wars.
He snaps out of it and corrects himself: Oh, it’s YOU Kanan! Silly me, digging into the depths of my obvious emotional baggage.
Not cool, guys. Just…not cool.
Recurring Theme: Everyone Is Still Waiting For the End of The Clone Wars
As it turns out, they’ve been taken hostage by a super tactical droid who has refused to recognize the deactivation order that was sent to the Separatist droid army after Order 66. And what’s more, not only is this guy still holding out for the official end of the Clone Wars (WHO ISN’T?), he thinks this is the perfect chance for them to play it out! He explains that it made absolutely no sense for the Separatists to NOT have won the war:
Given these odds, he is itching for a final match. A confrontation to determine, once and for all, who would have beat whom. Rex is not impressed:
Recurring Theme: Fandom Attention To Detail
Zeb is even less interested in playing along:
The droid is like “NO DUH, Lasat: you being in the Clone Wars would be non-canonical, the greatest crime anyone in Star Wars can commit. The fuck you think this is, the Old EU? Do you see any Luke Skywalker or Palpatine clones running around here? HMM? DO YOU? No. I didn’t think so. I mean sure, we have Thrawn now, but he’s also partially here to pull in sour fanboys who swore they’d never watch the animated canon ever for any reason — or to give those same people something new to complain about for when hell freezes over and they finally get tired of shitting on the prequels as if anyone still gives a flying fuck what they think about Jar Jar Binks, and also the author of this recap should probably get off her soapbox now because this sarcasm is really, really transparent now.”
Zeb is told that he’s going to be the hostage in this situation. OK, so, just to recap: they have literally encountered the robot equivalent of a very dedicated Civil War Recreationist who thinks the South should never have conceded defeat. Oh, Star Wars.
Well, This Robot Has Our Number
The droid points out that he’s seen this stupid Jedi-Save-The-Day plot play out before 132 times, to which I’ll say, as your recapper: it feels like so many MORE than that.
Recurring Theme: Whose Fucking Kid Is This?
Ezra, a gigantic dork (it is a prereq for Jedi training), is like: “Oh yeah, we’ve done heroic rescues a few times, because we’re sooooo cool” and the droid, totally unimpressed, turns to Kanan:
Kanan, doing right by the spirit of every Jedi Master who’s gone to the Great Cantina in the Sky right now, is like “I guess? Unfortunately?”
The droid is like YES! You guys are always bringing your annoying kids with you on these missions. This’ll make things extra authentic. Well, I’ll give the droid this: between his borderline-petty attention to canonical detail and his desire to collect a whole set of something, he’s pretty much exactly a Star Wars fan. I look forward to his YouTube review of Rogue One.
Recurring Theme: Anakin, No!
Ezra is like “this sounds awesome! Let’s do it and let’s kick their asses I’ll take them on myself!” and Kanan summons the life force of Obi-Wan Kenobi and yells at him:
Ezra tells them that this is their big chance to end the Clone War once and for all! And win! And look at how lame these stupid droids are: we can totally kick their asses! LET’S DO IT AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!
He tells the droid that if they win, they get all the bombs in the hangar, and they get to keep Zeb as a bonus gift. The droid agrees:
Recurring Theme: Our Dysfunctional Space Family
Chopper, still afraid of everything, has made an important discovery: a shuttle! He rolls inside to start asking Hera for help:
On board the Ghost, though, his message hasn’t made it through, and the girls are openly wondering if they’ll hear anything — they’re pretty preoccupied outrunning some TIE fighters at the moment:
Recurring Theme: Crush the Rebellion
Chopper’s message did, however, make it to the Imperials, who are going to use this to their advantage. Governor Pryce and her solid brow game are told that they’ve intercepted the communication:
She makes a command: send our guys to Agamar! We’ll take down those losers!
Recurring Theme: The Sword and the Shield
Rex, being the most experienced in kicking Clone-Wars-style ass, is giving Kanan and Ezra their orders:
Ezra is like “the hell is he talking about, Kanan?” and Kanan clarifies:
Like, really, Bridger: did you watch NO Star Wars before you started working here? Sheesh.
So they begin fighting their way into the hangar on their way to get to Zeb and the super tactical droid running this utterly ridiculous war game, and it’s really just an excuse for the writers and animators to show us stuff we’ve seen before because let’s face it: as Star Wars fans, we must all really come to terms with the fact that seeing stuff we’ve already seen a hundred times, told ever-so-slightly differently, is completely what we’re all here for. Especially if Sad Kenobi’s in the mix.
Recurring Theme: A Long Time Ago, In A Galaxy Far, Far Away…
They get into the hangar, and Rex is surprised: where the hell are all the rest of the droids? He goes Full Nostalgia Mode and Ezra and Kanan help him along:
Recurring Theme: That Dry Robot Wit
Zeb tells the super tactical droid to just give up already: his guys have already made their way through a ton of droids! This game is as good as over.
The droid seems unamused:
Recurring Theme: An Implusive Gifted Child Almost Killed Us
So Rex and his two Jedi are briefly slowed down by some destroyer droids that get thrown at them. Ezra tells Rex and Kanan to go on ahead while he pulls a crane overhead down on the droids. This delights Super Star Wars Fanboy Droid, who notes:
While the two older dudes are waiting for Ezra to clear the way for them, Ezra gets distracted by Chopper yelling about the shuttle he’s found:
Ezra commends Chopper for his solid find, but he’s gotta get back to saving the day! In the meantime, Kanan and Rex have had to forge ahead and Rex ends up getting hit in the arm and knocked to the ground. Ezra FINALLY takes out the destroyer droids and the three can push onwards towards Zeb and the Big Bad Robot as Rex gets to his feet (phew!):
Recurring Theme: The Clone Wars, Ruiner of Lives
Ezra’s like “hey check me out! I did a pretty great job back there didn’t I HUH?” and Rex is having NONE OF IT, first by tossing a throwback line at us that makes me feel sad about things:
…then by explaining why Ezra was such an idiot back there:
Ezra feels badly about this, and once again Kanan is all like “you don’t understand, man. The Clone Wars, man. Fucked us ALL up, man.”
Recurring Theme: I Cannot Fucking Believe It Took Them This Long To Figure This Out But I Guess Given Everything I’ve Seen Up To This Point I Have No Business Being Surprised
BONUS Recurring Theme: A Young Earnest Dork Has Shown Us The Way
Oh good LORD. OK. So, the three of them take out a couple of destroyers in the hallway leading to the room where Zeb is being held. They’re aided in this endeavor by the fact that the droids were so old, they just kind of stopped working as designed. Rex:
Then the three of them go bounding into the room and Rex is like AH-HA! We wo-on, we wo-on! and Ezra’s like NO STOP THIS MADNESS! I’ve finally figured it all out: something no one in Star Wars has ever been able to achieve!
Yes, this show decided to give EZRA — the kid who thought DARTH MAUL was on the up-and-up — the privilege of being one of the only people in the Star Wars story to ever put two and two together correctly. He notes:
I swear to you guys, I literally said “OH FOR GOD’S SAKE” out loud when I saw this the first time. Order 66 — the end of the Clone War — was like SEVENTEEN GODDAMN YEARS AGO, and NONE OF THESE PEOPLE — not even the ones who are cold, emotionless calculating ROBOTS BUILT FOR LOGIC — THOUGHT THIS THROUGH?
You know what? At this point I’m starting to feel impressed that Kenobi managed to bust out his “Anakin, Chancellor Palpatine is evil!” speech in Episode III. And I say that fully aware of the fact that the man watched an actual video recording of both Anakin and Sidious BEING SITH LORDS.
Recurring Theme: Show Your Work
Zeb pipes up: uh, I dunno, geniuses: was it the Empire? Mr. Bridger is like “great job Zeb! Gold star! You have shown more insight than 99% of everyone in the galaxy!”
And then Ezra actually asks Zeb:
ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME, BRIDGER. How did he know? Oh my God, how much time do you guys have? The fact that the war just randomly ended when the Jedi were wiped out, and now the Empire’s right hand man is a fucking Sith Lord? The fact that no one seems to know how exactly the whole thing started, except that a conflict on Naboo was initially invovled and that also happens to be where the Emperor hailed from when he was a Senator? That Palpatine doesn’t seem too worried about the Separatists mounting a comeback? All those people who conveniently died before they could expose stuff about the Republic and/or Separatists? The Fives arc? The Mandalore Plot? Palpatine’s constant meddling with the Chosen One? The numerous times Dooku literally TOLD people that Ancient Evil controlled the government (and EVEN THEN THAT GUY STILL GOT SWINDLED BY IT!?) I’m not even scratching the SURFACE HERE, people. It was NOT SUBTLE. Oh my God. But, sure: great job, Zeb. You are the scholar of our times.
UGH. OK, so Zeb is like “well also the Empire’s kind of HERE right now”…
Recurring Theme: Back On The Same Side
Ah yes, it’s that time again: time for our heroes and their supposed-to-be-enemies to band together to fight a bigger foe! The tactical droid determines that the Empire does indeed intend to harm his troops, but he’s got reservations about helping out the Rebels: he’s not at war with the Empire, you know. Ezra asks him what he IS fighting for:
Ezra once again busts out the gigantic neon-lit billboard called HELLO AND WAKE THE FUCK UP EVERYONE FROM THE PT/CLONE WARS ERA and says:
The droid follows his logic. OK, Bridger: you’ve got yourself an ally!
So they devise a silly and delightful plan that requires them all to work together: the droids will roll the bombs they have into the AT-STs heading their way, then they’ll shoot and the Jedi will redirect the blasts, with more precision, at the bombs — exploding them, and blowing up whatever’s in their path.
Rex dryly notes:
The Last Battle
The teams assemble, and Rex mutters to himself, so as to ensure that I feel that extra kick to the gut:
The gang pulls off their big plan, blowing up a bunch of stuff and allowing themselves time to get to their shuttles to flee:
Recurring Theme: Why Is Ezra Getting So Much Credit For This Oh My God
As they all make their escape, Rex heaps a ton of praise on Ezra once again for being the brilliant mind that figured out that the evil guy who took over the government after steering said government repeatedly FOR YEARS into situations that would make his evil takeover possible was maybe always trying to take over the government because he’s evil:
Fortunately even Ezra’s on my side here and is like “well, uh, I was just kind of pointing out the BLEEDING OBVIOUS”:
No matter: Rex is proud of him. OK, fine. I like you a lot, Rex, and you had to meddle with your own brain to be here with us today, so I’m going to let this slide. If you’re happy, I’m happy, friend.
Recurring Theme: Never Tell Me The Odds
The super tactical droid lets them know that he’s glad they all survived, but this is the point where they’re gonna have to follow their own paths because LOL, you guys are crazy:
Ezra caps this whole thing off cutely:
Kanan and Hera have a chat. He tells he the bad news is that, uh, well…they didn’t exactly get ANY new munitions from this wacky endeavor. BUT…
Awww, hooray! Everyone’s heart is warmed:
And with that, we’re done with this Rebels adventure! Stay tuned for next time, when we’ll probably be going somewhere insane like Mandalore, because it’s this series’ goal that I develop carpal-tunnel before I turn 35. I look forward to it! Bring it on.