– Spoiler Review –
Enjoy the lightheartedness and humorous tone of this Chopper and AP-5 focused episode, “Double Agent Droid,” because it’s the last time you’ll get to such a reprieve for the rest of Star Wars Rebels‘ third season.
Two droids bickering with one another has been the backbone of Star Wars since the literal beginning and the interplay between AP-5 and Chopper has already fit well within the mold made famous by C-3PO and R2-D2. While those original two droids might bicker until someone gets a short circuit (or switches one of them off), they’ve at least never truly attempted to kill one another (that we know of, at least!), which makes AP-5 and Chopper a special case, even if Chopper is being controlled by the Imperials when he attempts to commit droidicide on AP-5. What “Double Agent Droid” attempts to do here is Rebels‘ version of The Clone Wars‘ droid-centric episodes, where Threepio and Artoo got into tons of mischief that contained homages to Gulliver’s Travels and The Wizard of Oz, and I believe it paid off in its own way here considering I’ve been eager to see more of AP and Chopper together since the pair first made friends back in S2; This is S3’s second episode to do so, the first being “Warhead,” and I feel like this one was superior, especially thanks to its humor. The banter between AP and Chopper that opens this episode, with poor Wedge Antilles stuck in a shuttle with them, had me laughing quite a bit, even as it manages to reference the song “Anything You Can Do,” into their verbal battle (which I immediately think of the Michael Jordan/Mia Hamm commercial with the song and not the original from Annie Get Your Gun, which I’ve never seen to be honest). Their battle of words never lets up and it never gets old thankfully, especially thanks to Stephen Stanton’s morose and Alan Rickman-like performance of AP-5, and things get even more enjoyable after Chopper is “turned.” There’s some very good humor that comes with Chopper being nice for once, and thanks to AP’s usual cynical attitude, no one quite believes him about Chopper being compromised until it’s almost too late. And while I know there will be plenty of thoughts regarding AP’s unusual and near musical-number moment in the loneliness of space, it’s fitting enough for the character that I truly enjoyed it. Even if you didn’t like it, you should probably take a moment to try enjoying it because it was a not-too-subtle reminder the reality of what comes next for the crew will come crashing back down on us all in the final episodes of the season.
ALL BOW DOWN TO THE ANGRY SPACE MOM HERA SYNDULLA. Seriously, whatever you do, never ever piss Hera off, which can be done very easily if you go after one of her Space Family, especially her very own pet Space Cat Chopper. She’s not really a part of this episode until its second half, but she’s a giant part of the ending as Imperial-controlled Chopper comes back to the Ghost. Seeing how she deals with having to survive her sabotaged friend’s attempts to kill her is both heartening and a little surprising, as I was both proud and scared of Hera’s quick retribution for the Imperial Controller’s meddling with Chopper. As much as I want to see her get that way again in the season finale, pulling off some insane stunt in the Ghost to get them free from Thrawn’s invasion of their base, I don’t know if I’m ready for it to happen due to another member of the Space Family being injured in some way, shape, or form. As great as Hera’s big moment was, there’s a tinge of sadness to it because it’s easy to think about how much Sabine would’ve appreciated/enjoyed the explosion of the Imperial vessel due to Hera’s outrage but as we all know she’s not with the crew right now.
Here are a few other things:
- I found it interesting and a little disappointing that both “Warhead” and “Double Agent Droid,” dealing with AP-5 and Chopper, ended with an epic explosion due to sending something back to the Imperials who were listening/in chasing them in an attempt to find Phoenix Squadron’s base. Both executed very different stories, and in a way “Double” was inverse of “Warhead” due to the rebels sneaking into an Imperial base versus the probe droid sneaking into the Rebel base, but the basics of the plot and the ending were a little too similar.
- The Imperial Controller (played by Josh Gad, who’s been having fun for all us pestering Daisy Ridley over The Last Jedi spoilers) and his technicians made me think how much differently Zaluna Myder and her crew, Myder’s Mynocks from A New Dawn, handled their similar position of security at Gorse.
- It was great to finally have a member of the female cast play a random, non-named Imperial character for once, as Vanessa Marshall pulls extra duty with the female AP-like droid and one of the Imperial Techs spying on the rebels. Here’s hoping this is the beginning of a trend and not a one-off thing, as we know females can be Imperials but all this show has ever given us for stormtroopers is cameos from the male cast and crew.
- Maybe because we’ve never really seen inside a refresher (thankfully the term restroom/refresher is a little more interchangeable in canon than it was in Legends) aka Space Bathroom, but boy was I unnaturally excited by the little moment where we did. I was a little bummed to find out it looks like a space version of our bathrooms, as I always imagined it like a stand up shower-sized room that could switch into different configurations depending on your species/business within, but then again this was an Imperial Shuttle’s refresher which is probably optimized for human use anyways. Either way, I was really happy about finally seeing inside a bathroom in Star Wars and I’m still not exactly sure why. Plus, I had assumed Wedge was actually going to pee, which I was both a little shocked and indifferent that we were finally going to see someone do so for the first time ever in Star Wars, but thankfully and hilariously AP interrupted. All in all, I’ve spent more time talking about the bathroom scene than is probably necessary but such is the life of a Star Wars fan: obsess over the strangest of details/things.
- If you somehow missed it, bear witness to the 15-second teaser of next week’s epic episode, “Twin Suns,” where Sam Witwer delivers the most chilling scream in the history of Star Wars, or as one fan pointed out to me on Twitter, just maybe in the history of cinema.
While the review might seem short, it’s all about the little things for this episode, hence why the Here are a Few Other Things section is so full this time around. “Double Agent Droid” is certainly enjoyable for what it tries to be and every fan of the show should use this to relax a bit before things kick into high gear heading towards the two biggest (and final) episodes of the season in the coming weeks.
+ AP-5 and Chopper hi-jinks don’t disappoint
+ Whatever you do, don’t piss off Hera…EVER
+ Thank the creators for giving us such a lighthearted episode because it’s all downhill from here, folks
– Similarities to an earlier episode of the season
STAR WARS REBELS REVIEWS:
Season One: Spark of Rebellion | Ep. 2: “Droids In Distress” | Ep.3: “Fighter Flight” | Ep.4: “Rise of the Old Masters” | Ep.5: “Breaking Ranks” | Ep.6: “Out of Darkness” | Ep.7: “Empire Day” | Ep.8: “Gathering Forces” | Ep.9: “Path of the Jedi” | Ep.10: “Idiot’s Array” | Ep.11: “Vision of Hope” | Ep.12: “Call to Action” | Ep.13: “Rebel Resolve” | Ep.14: “Fire Across the Galaxy“
Season Two: The Siege of Lothal | Ep. 2: “The Lost Commanders” | Ep. 3: “Relics of the Old Republic” | Ep. 4: “Always Two There Are” | Ep. 5: “Brothers of the Broken Horn” | Ep. 6: “Wings of the Master” | Ep. 7: “Blood Sisters” | Ep. 8: “Stealth Strike” | Ep. 9: “The Future of the Force” | Ep. 10: “Legacy” | Ep. 11: “A Princess on Lothal” | Ep. 12: “The Protector of Concord Dawn” | Ep. 13: “Legends of the Lasat” | Ep. 14: “The Call” | Ep. 15: “Homecoming” | Ep. 16: “The Honorable Ones” | Ep. 17: “Shroud of Darkness” | Ep. 18: “The Forgotten Droid” | Ep. 19: “The Mystery of Chopper Base” | Ep. 20: “Twilight of the Apprentice“
Season Three: Steps into Shadow | Ep. 2: “Holocrons of Fate” | Ep. 3: “The Antilles Extraction” | Ep. 4: “Hera’s Heroes” | Ep. 5: “The Last Battle” | Ep. 6: “Imperial Supercommandos” | Ep. 7: “Iron Squadron” | Ep. 8: “The Wynkahthu Job” | Ep. 9: “An Inside Man” | Ep. 10: “Visions and Voices” | Ep. 11: “Ghosts of Geonosis” | Ep. 12: “Warhead” | Ep. 13: “Trials of the Darksaber” | Ep. 14: “Legacy of Mandalore” | Ep. 15: “Through Imperial Eyes” | Ep. 16: “Secret Cargo” | Ep. 18: “Twin Suns” | Ep. 19: “Zero Hour“
Season Four: Heroes of Mandalore Part 1
A New Dawn (Novel)