Rebels, Season 2, Episode 4: Relics of the Old Republic
Is it possible to ever stop having Clone Feelings if you’re a part of this fandom? I think we all know the answer to that, but I’m still going to ramble about it for the next many paragraphs anyways.
I haven’t recapped a Rebels episode in FOR-EVER! I’m excited about it. This is a companion episode of sorts to the one that precedes it, which I recapped several years ago in this entry, if you’re the completionist type of nerd (not many of those sorts in the Star Wars fandom, I know.) But, if you’re short on time, here’s the gist of where we’re at: the Rebels Family is looking for a place to set up yet another Hidden Rebel Base. Ahsoka’s sent the gang out to seek the advice and input of a Great War Hero from her past (Rex!), while she goes off to figure out WTF is going on with a different Great War Hero from her past whom she is beginning to sense is not as dead nor as heroic as she previously thought him to be (you’ll never ever guess who that is).
Rex was found chilling out in a Space RV with Wolffe and Gregor, who’ve also parted ways with their control chips (though as of this writing, while we’ve gotten to see how Rex managed to avoid executing Order 66, we still don’t exactly know what happened with those two. I’d be willing to bet we get some clarity on how they escaped Empire Duty from some of the forthcoming content this year and next, and I am 100% sure that whatever it is is going to aim squarely for all of our hearts.) Kanan, bubbling crock pot of Clone Wars Trauma that he is, has not been handling being face-to-face with clones again very well, even as the rest of the family has cozied up to them quickly.
But danger awaits (as usual)! Wolffe, having been initially unwilling to accept that Kanan and co. weren’t just out to kill them in revenge for Order 66, had summoned the Empire! And now Pre-Hot Hair Kallus and his band of Space Nazi thugs are on their way! Nooooo!
WILL the family escape? WILL Rex get sucked into Jedi Shenanigans all over again? WILL Ahsoka finally at least get to hug ONE person who needs it? Seek out these answers, we shall!
Recurring Theme: Hunk of Junk
The gang is pressing forward with escaping the Empire, and Sabine gives everyone the bad news that repairs to the Phantom are gonna take a while longer. Hera, still up on the Ghost, has got additional bad news: they need to outrun not only the Empire, but also a giant storm that is headed their way. So, starting off with Star Wars’ trademark plethora of great luck for our heroes. Good.
Kanan grouses that if the Empire catches up with them, the storm will be the least of their troubles, and Rex pipes up that he’s got some Major Info:
LOL. So, let’s be real: Rex definitely just grabbed a copy of Obi-Wan’s Little Black Book for this information, right? Ten bucks says that all the pirate hideout locations were actually written in there BY Hondo in the hopes that his Jedi Best Friend would swing by for a visit.
…OK, so, it DEFINITELY was Obi-Wan’s Little Black Book, then. Glad to know Star Wars and I remain on the same page as always.
Ezra and Zeb press the Clone Boys to come along with them. The Rebellion needs them! Zeb notes that they’re good in a fight…
Ha! This is funnier considering that I think chronologically they’re technically younger than Kanan.
At this, Zeb and his new soulmate Gregor laugh and bump shoulders. I love them and I really hope they got to hang out at least on Zoom a few times after this.
Rex explains that they aren’t looking to get pulled into another war. Can’t imagine why! The last one was such a hoot! He says they’ll be staying behind…
…’k. *dabs eyes* 🥺🥺🥺
Kanan tells Hera they’re gonna be down on the planet surface a bit longer, and Hera updates that she’s still working on the Ghost — but so far, no sign of the Imperials. Of course, as soon as she says this, they appear, and we get booted to the title screen.
Recurring Theme: Evil Calling!
On the other side of the title card, Hera quickly informs the gang that she’s going to power down so the Empire can’t scan her, and wishes them luck.
The bad guys send out some TIEs to look for them, and as they try to surmise the Empire’s next move, they get a phone call from the Empire itself:
Look, maybe Sheev and Vader and Tarkin and all those guys are just millennials at heart, and they’d prefer if you’d just text them instead of using the phone like an animal. At any rate, Wolffe is told to take the call — since he’s the one that got them into this mess by calling the Empire in the first place — and he acquiesces, saying that he’ll set things right.
It’s Kallus and his giant mutton chops on the line, and he’s like “so could you send over exactly where you reported that you saw these possible Jedi?” and Wolffe busts out the kind of awkward, blustering denial that would make Han Solo proud:
Wolffe attempts to blame this on his cybernetic eye “acting up again”, which is hilarious because it’s almost like he’s trying to make it sound like HIS EYE phoned in the Jedi sighting without his direct involvement. Rex busts into the call and is all “ha! ha! Sorry for wasting your time!” Ah yes, truly he learned all of his very subtle stealth moves and lie-telling from The Hallowed Negotiator and The Hero With No Fear. Smooth, Rex!
Kallus has zero time for this, because he’s got RECEIPTS, courtesy of the probe droid from the last episode:
He’s like “so gimme the rebels or be destroyed” and at this, Rex is like, “k, you guys want a fight? I sure hope you’re bringing…”
THE SHADE. Kallus is undaunted and is like “UH HUH I have all KINDS of stormtroopers” and Rex is like “GOOD BECAUSE YOU’RE GONNA NEED ‘EM.” Get ’em, Rexy!
The Empire finds them and starts attacking like the INSTANT Rex hangs up on Kallus, and soon everyone’s outside on top of the RV, shooting at TIEs and trying to protect the Phantom, which is docked on top of the clones’ old jalopy. At one point Ezra asks Rex why someone doesn’t man the big gun they have, and Rex replies that it’d be no good in a situation like this, at which Kanan snarks back:
Ouch! Sheesh, Jarrus, just because people who looked just like them killed your space mom in front of your face when you were a child, leading you to become a terrified orphan roaming the streets and eventually drinking your pain away, you…well, OK. That is pretty traumatic. Fair.
Rex hands a rocket launcher-type thingy to Gregor, who delights in taking a shot:
Bullseye! Ezra, Sweet Naive Child that he is, chimes in yet again to be like “y’know, REX, you guys sure are GOOD at fighting, maybe some kind of REBELLION could use your talents…” and as Rex smiles at him somewhat wistfully, Kanan snipes:
Look, peanut, I know you are in desperate need of extended, rigorous psychoanalysis just like everyone in this godforsaken series and this is coloring your worldview, but IT WASN’T THEIR FAULT. Also by being mean to Rex you are directly disobeying Ahsoka’s directions, which is obviously inexcusable because A) it’s Ahsoka and B) technically I’m pretty sure she still outranks you.
Kanan notes the storm creeping in on them, and tells Sabine that they absolutely need the Phantom to be able to fly so they can get outta here. As she gets to work, Kallus informs one of his men that they’ll be undertaking a ground assault.
Recurring Theme: Don’t Talk to My Son
Ezra takes control of the AT-TE, and then bashfully apologizes to Rex for stealing Rex’s seat. Rex instead smiles, crouches down next to him, and starts coaching Ezra on how to drive. THIS IS SO CUTE. REX IS HELPING A BABY JEDI. Guess who is less taken by this adorable scene?
Kanan looks uncomfortable, but doesn’t say anything. Ezra, meanwhile, goes for the jugular:
YOU DON’T WANNA KNOW, KID. Or maybe you do: oh sure, it was traumatic and full of pain and it ended on the lowest of notes what with the death and betrayal and all, but also one time Padme baked a politically-critical fruit cake, and a bunch of Jedi kids put on a circus show for pirates, and literally everything involving Ziro the Hutt happened, too. So. Y’know. Maybe just have Rex focus on stuff like that, or the fact that he got comically hurled off of a cliff or a bridge by a Jedi roughly every 25 minutes.
Rex responds by saying he doesn’t think the fighting ever got to Ezra’s home planet of Lothal, then understates it SPECTACULARLY:
I mean, SOME of the time it had to have been dull, right? Like the 501st never had a stretch of time where they were just hanging out en route to whatever batshit crazy mission was next, while Anakin begrudgingly filed paperwork? Who am I kidding: even that probably somehow went sideways and ended up with somebody getting trapped in Pirate Jail or being attacked by brain worms or whatever.
Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Clown
Rex then throws this at me while looking sad, and I don’t want it:
Just so we’re all clear: basically everyone who knew Anakin continued to talk about him with reverence, including Obi-Wan, who has firsthand knowledge of Anakin’s incredible fuck-up. ANAKIN THEY ALL LOVED YOU SO MUCH YOU ARE SUCH A DIPSHIT. (How hilarious would it have been if Rex had been more, let’s say forthright, and been like “yeah the general I fought with was kind of an unstable weirdo but he was pretty amazing and we loved him anyways”? Don’t sugarcoat it, Captain!)
Rex continues as I quietly weep:
Noooooo. This is not OK. *grabs Anakin by the chin and forces him to watch this with me*
Kanan watches all of this out of the corner of his eye and looks mildly affected by it. Just then, Sabine pops up to say that they should be good to go now. Ezra, like me, is like “but we CAN’T just leave these clones behind! I love them and they are now my uncles!” Rex replies that they are the reason the Empire is here in the first place, so they’ll deal with the consequences. That’s when they all hear something in the distance:
Well that’s not great! Rex takes this in:
To my great amusement, the clones are SUPER into this. All three of them stand there checking out the specs on these walkers, marveling at the engineering. Anakin would be so proud.
Ezra is like “cool, glad you guys are having fun but also those things CAN and WILL kill us”. Rex decides that it’s time to turn this jalopy around and hightail it outta there, which both Ezra and Kanan object to.
They need to move quickly, and so Rex tells Gregor they’ve got to dump the gigantic space snake they spent all of the last episode hunting/risking Zeb’s life over. Gregor is crestfallen, and you know…sometimes Star Wars just really delivers in the silliness department, and if you are me, you are then forced to reckon with the fact that you are a grown, educated woman who is recapping something that includes the following line of dialogue, spoken by a man who was born in a test tube on a planet full of long-necked aliens after being cloned from a bounty hunter:
Some Internet Intellectual: [ranting about the Hero’s Journey, the biblical themes in Star Wars, the overarching questions about good and evil]
Star Wars: Bye-bye, Big Bongo.
So now Kallus, on board one of the walkers, notes that they’re fleeing — but they can’t outrun them. Please enjoy Kallus’ absolutely ridiculous helmet in this scene:
He’s got a colander on top of his head, and I love that it looks like this helmet has been specially built to PROTECT HIS MASSIVE SIDEBURNS. He instructs his men to open fire.
The Ghost gang initially considers fleeing on board the Phantom, but with the walkers so close and a star destroyer above, it’s not worth it — they’ll only be shot down. Kanan asks how steering directly into a storm is gonna be any better, and Sabine notes that at least everyone will be blind then, and it’ll make it harder for the Imps to track them.
Rex clarifies to Kanan — not everyone will be blind. A Jedi wouldn’t be. Awww! Kanan steels himself a bit and tells everyone to follow him, and Rex yells “Sir yes Sir!” as he follows and I cry and curse Anakin’s name yet again.
Recurring Theme: One In a Million Shot
Back on board the Ghost, Hera turns Chopper back on — and he responds to this by flipping his shit and throwing his arms around.
She tells him to keep himself on low power and help her with some repairs. He agrees to do so with a chipper, can-do attitude:
I would very much like someone to write me some fan fiction where Anakin Skywalker gets trapped on a deserted planet with Chopper. It would be the shortest story ever, as I assume they would both be dead within the first 3 paragraphs.
In the Clone RV, things are getting dicey — they’re right smack in the middle of the storm, and they can’t hide forever. Sabine explains that the walkers have one weakness point, in their neck. They’ll need one very strategically-placed shot to bring ‘er down. MY GOODNESS HOW NOVEL.
Zeb frets that their visibility is basically zero: how, oh HOW will they ever shoot at a spot they can’t even see? Kanan realizes this is his Big Moment, and says that if the team trusts him, he can get them that shot. Rex pipes up to kill me again:
Well that is very sweet, Rex. You know what? I hope no one ever told Rex about Anakin, like, even when he was literally on Endor with both of Anakin’s children. Everyone else in Anakin’s life had to suffer with the knowledge of what had become of him, can we just let ONE person live in ignorance? I hope when the Force ghosts showed up at the Ewok party Obi-Wan slipped Luke $50 to just keep his mouth shut about the whole Darth Vader thing as far as Rex was concerned.
Rex: So General Kenobi was alive for years after Order 66?!
Rex: Wow. When did he die? What happened?
[Anakin and Obi-Wan’s ghosts standing in the background, wildly waving their arms and mouthing “no”]
Luke: Uh. He…uh…it was a, uh, tragic. Bantha. Accident.
So naturally Kanan does his Force Thing and the bad guys are all bamboozled by this because they can’t find them, and eventually the gang ends up surrounded by walkers on all side:
Ha! I love that Rex has maybe not been around a Jedi in like 15+ years and 2 hours after one shows up he’s already completely invested in their crazy-ass plan.
Gregor volunteers to be the one to make the shot, but Kanan interjects: it needs to be Ezra. Rex agrees: they need one Jedi to take the shot, and another to help steer them out of this mess:
It’s decided that Sabine will go out and help Ezra, and she puts on her Mando helmet as she makes to leave. Rex calls out to Ezra, and tosses him a helmet of his own and I AM HAVING FEELINGS AGAIN:
Recurring Theme: Having a Force Moment
Ezra struggles to take aim once outside, and he complains to Kanan via comm that his scope isn’t working and he can’t see anything. EZRA. WE ALL ALREADY KNEW THIS. Did he forget the entire last twenty minutes of his life or something? THE WHOLE REASON YOU ARE OUT THERE IS BECAUSE NO ONE CAN SEE ANYTHING AND YOU NEED TO USE YOUR JEDI POWERS, YOU COMPLETE DOPE. I worry about Ezra sometimes.
Kanan encourages him:
To the surprise of absolutely no one, Ezra of course makes the shot after Trusting in the Force and blahblahblah, and the bad guys are trying to figure out what’s going on as Kanan directs Wolffe to haul ass out of there.
On board the star destroyer hovering above the planet, we’re informed that some dumbass is calling:
They immediately jump into hyperspace, which is surprising! I mean there’s no need to rush, guys. Anakin’s so patient and understanding, I’m sure he won’t mind if you’re running a little late.
Hera sees the ship depart and muses to herself:
This is Star Wars, Hera. Everything around here is always BOTH really good AND really bad at the same time. That’s maybe how I’d describe the franchise to someone who knew nothing about it, actually. Succinct and accurate.
Recurring Theme: Acquiring an Old Man
With the Clone RV making its way out of the storm now, the space family makes to head out on the Phantom. Ezra’s not having it: they can’t just leave!!
He presses: they can’t just abandon the clones! Rex is like hold up there, little buddy:
Ezra is super sad about this, and frowns as he starts to board the Phantom. Rex reassures him:
The Phantom takes off, and no sooner have they departed than the remaining walkers start ominously coming out of the storm. Rex gears up, and announces to Wolffe and Gregor that this might be the end for them:
Ezra, looking upset, says to Kanan that surely Kanan knows that:
Kanan looks thoughtful and troubled. And rightly so: the clones are putting up a hell of a fight, but they’re taking a beating:
As the gang prepares to connect back up with Hera, Ezra asks how they’re going to break the news about Rex’s imminent death to Ahsoka:
In response, Kanan channels the spirits of every Jedi Master who has ever had a padawan:
Kanan stands up, and announces that while he’s got his truckload of clone-related trauma, he still doesn’t want those guys to die. ME EITHER, JARRUS. GO HELP THEM. LOOK AT THEM:
I sincerely adore that the Jedi Order ended up with a clone army to fight alongside them that somehow impossibly managed to match them for sheer chaotic energy and brazen disregard for their own safety. It was truly a match made in heaven, at least until the mass executions started.
The Phantom whooshes by, and then Rex looks up to see this, not for the first damn time in his life:
They land on top of one of the walkers and slice through it with their lightsabers. Rex is in awe:
Now, I’m gonna push back here a LITTLE, Rex, because if that had been a Kenobi-Skywalker Skydive-Followed-by-Doing-Something-Badass, let’s be honest: it would have somehow been EVEN MORE dramatic than this was. Like, Anakin would have done an unnecessary twirl mid-air AND they’d be bickering about something unrelated WHILE FALLING, and they’d have appeared in a cloud of smoke or whatever. But still, yes: definitely reminiscent of the Good Old Bad Days.
Zeb, Kanan, and Ezra quickly take control of the walker they landed on, and begin firing at the other remaining walker. Kallus freaks out, because he doesn’t know the star destroyer has already left town and can’t understand why they don’t have any air support. Eventually he’s forced to evacuate on a speeder bike, looking like he wants to shake his fist angrily at these meddling kids:
The clone boys do a little post-battle bonding. Rex smiles: looks like they live to fight another day! Wolffe asks: don’t they always? Gregor:
THE CLONES LOVED THE JEDI SO MUCH. This right here? These are the warm fuzzy feelings they all would still have if their BRAINS hadn’t been SCRAMBLED ON PURPOSE God almighty I hate Sheev so much. They look over at Kanan, who appropriately is striking a Dramatic Jedi Pose:
Then this happens and my heart explodes again:
LITTLE BABY KANAN DID NOT DESERVE HIS CLONE TRAUMA. NO ONE DID. I am so sad for all of them and this is so sweet and just think about Kanan processing all of this later as he thinks about all the clones that were his buddies and did cute things like ruffle his hair wait no don’t think about any of that because haven’t we all suffered enough already?
On the star destroyer that left to rendezvous with Anakin, they’re met instead by an Inquisitor:
They’re like “uh OK thanks, you dragging us over here may have cost Kallus his mission” and in response the dude recites some Standard Evil Villain stuff about how he’ll succeed where Kallus failed and so on. This is extra funny to me because as was literally JUST stated, Kallus maybe failed right now specifically BECAUSE of this guy, but OK.
Mark It Down, Folks, This Is An Actually Happy Moment Happening to People Who Appeared In The Clone Wars
The Ghost gang is all reunited now and are docked. Ahsoka is hanging out in a hallway when she sees them all come around the corner…and then they part down the middle to let someone through:
AHHHHH oh geez this part is just the best. Yes, Rex has decided to join this madness after all, because we all know he just can’t be truly happy unless he is endangering his life with a couple of Jedi at all times. He steps forward:
Ahsoka brightens, and Rex jokes:
I LOVE THEM BOTH SO MUCH. It’s so great that both of them died of old age after long and happy retirements and not because of anything stupid like Sheev’s ghost or some random moff or a post-Return of the Jedi Thrawn Attack or another Mandalore Flare-Up or the fucking First Order DO YOU HEAR ME STAR WARS???
Look, you know as well as I do that purely happy moments in Star Wars are few and far between. I have recapped endless Tragic Backstory, Dark Side Foreshadowing, Parent Deaths, People Dying In Obi-Wan’s Arms, you name it. But every ONCE in a while the powers that be see fit to drop us a few breadcrumbs of joy, possibly so that they can use these moments as evidence in my inevitable lawsuit against them for my pain and suffering. And this? Is one of them:
It’s so pure and happy and SOMEONE FROM PT-ERA STAR WARS FINALLY GOT A GODDAMNED HUG. This is a major moment in galactic history.
…if only Anakin was still alive to see this touching moment OH WAIT. *drags him over here again by his ear* LOOK AT IT, SKYWALKER. YOU COULD BE GETTING IN ON THIS HEARTWARMING HUG ACTION, TOO, BUT NOOOOO. Now you don’t get ANY hugs. You just sit in your sad little Vader pod
fantasizing about plotting to kill Obi-Wan, remembering how glorious your hair used to be, alone. Aaaand OK, now I’m actually starting to feel bad for you again. WHY MUST YOU MAKE ME FEEL THIS WAY, ANAKIN.
Ahsoka thanks Kanan for trusting Rex, and Kanan admits it wasn’t easy — and still isn’t, actually. Ahsoka warmly says that nothing worth doing ever is, and everybody marches forward down the hall together, ready to take on whatever lies ahead. Which definitely does not involve any more Anakin Skywalker-Related Trauma. Just kidding, everything in Star Wars does.
…roll the credits, this one’s done! I hope you’ve enjoyed this walk down Star Wars Rebels Memory Lane. I’ve still got plenty to recap from this little gem of a show, and I look forward to sharing it with you. (You’ll need to show up for it because clearly I’m going to need a shoulder to cry on.) Thanks for joining me, readers!