— Spoiler Review —
Star Wars Rebels season 2 is here! After the deadly, tone setting season premiere movie “Siege of Lothal,” “The Lost Commanders” had quite a bit to live up to. While it doesn’t completely sling the joopa on that front, it’s a thoroughly entertaining ride nonetheless, with the joyous return of some old faces and a decent side of emotional baggage.
Left demolished by Vader, the leftovers from the small Rebellion fleet the crew of the Ghost now calls home struggles with finding a base to safely regroup at. Ahsoka Tano suggests they visit an old friend of hers who has intimate knowledge of bases all over the Outer Rim for the Rebellion to hide, but she declines to join due to having questions that need answering regarding the Sith Lord they encountered in “Siege.” Kanan, Ezra, Sabine, and Zeb find themselves on a backwater planet named Seelos, where they encounter aging clones Rex, Wolffe, and Gregor. Kanan, still scarred from his survival of Order 66, can’t bring himself to trust the clones and by the end he’s proven right not to have trusted them, from a certain point of view. The Imperials now know the rebels are there and with the Ghost‘s hyperdrive out of commission, they’ll have to make a stand.
Three of the more memorable, and last seen alive, clones from The Clone Wars coming back for Star Wars Rebels has been a moment long awaited since their reveal back in April. From their old geezer designs, Dee Bradely Baker’s return to voice them, and the interesting questions their survival raises, Rex, Gregor, and Wolffe are a welcomed return. While Rex specifically states they took out their controlling chips as to avoid following such Orders as number 66 (as seen in the TCW S6 “Order 66” arc), the specific reasons behind why and when they did so are left untouched. On top of that, Rex’s comment about none of them killing their Jedi, combined with him admitting the war left its scars on everyone, certainly got the pot stewing in my mind on when they all freed themselves: I’m beginning to wonder if Rex took part in Anakin’s raid on the Jedi Temple and that’s the scars he’s referring to, or if it’s something even worse and afterwards he had to leave. There are implications from the dialogue they all worked under the Empire for awhile, up until the clone army was decommissioned and largely forgotten about, only thought about again like they’re some old technology the Empire shouldn’t waste their time on. I have my hopes up we’ll learn a little more about how and when these clones got free this season, but I think they’ll save that for another time/medium.
Speaking of the clones, their presence upsets Kanan due to his experiences with Order 66, the story of which is brought to excellent and feels-inducing life in the Kanan comic series. Even without having read the series, Freddie Prince Jr.’s acting should tell you more than enough regarding how emotional the moment was for him (and for us readers!), and it’s easily one of my favorite parts of the episode. I’m surprised he hadn’t told Ezra sooner, but his conversation with Hera later at least hints they probably already talked about it. Also inside that conversation is the little tidbit of important info regarding Hera, revealing a smidgen of her background: the Jedi and clones saved her life at one point. By episode’s end, Kanan’s natural distrust of clones proves to be correct, ironically not because of their pre-programming by the Empire, but their fear for what the Empire would do if they found them cavorting with Jedi and rebels. Never for a second did I doubt it was Wolffe who called the Imperials, as Rex is just too good of a man and Gregor’s a little too off his rocker, making the surprise fall a little flat.
Here are a few other things:
- I still bet Ahsoka felt it was Anakin underneath Vader when they connected in “Siege,” but she is now trying to ascertain if that’s the truth like a good detective (
hence her being on Mustafarhence her investigating something else in the recent trailer! But the midseason trailer drops a much bigger hint on what she is set to find out before the season ends.
- It still seems weird the group lets Ezra do a lot of the talking, something I noted when he made the deal with Vizago last season, but here I understand it a bit more what with Kanan being sulky and all.
- Slinging for Joopas was definitely a funny and entertaining part of the episode, as it gave all the characters a job to do that fit their skills and personality well. It’s also pretty cool to have a Jaws homage in Star Wars, something I’m sure both Lucas and Spielberg would be happy to see. Also, I noticed when the tether starts to short out, the engine’s sound was definitely the same as Anakin’s podracer when it was shutting down in Ep. I.
- I found having the probe crash land on the planet the moment Kanan hangs his head rather nifty.
- As a fan of the music from both series, hearing Kevin Kiner reuse the Clone’s theme from TCW, with a slight Rebels twist, was a personal favorite moment of mine.
- Presented without comment: “Probes?! I hate probes!” – Zeb.
- Rebels Recon returns as well, so as usual don’t forget to head over and check out the video (with a preview for next week), the trivia gallery, audio cue, and so much more. Though I doubt anyone needed to read the trivia gallery entry about how this episode was an homage to Jaws, I didn’t catch the reference on Gregor’s shirt.
- The Siege of Mandalore, which Rex mentions he served with Ahsoka last in, has yet to be seen on-screen, comics, or anything else. It’s interesting to note it will at least happen chronologically after Ahsoka left the Order, so Rex’s comment about them serving together raises some questions. There was a rumor, not that long ago, claiming more The Clone Wars Legacy content is coming with a big focus on Ahsoka-related content, including a Marvel comic titled The Invasion of Mandalore. Sounds like there’s some extra credence to such rumors now…especially after this tweet from the official Star Wars account.
While Rex and the other clones seem set on staying on Seelos and their information regarding bases could prove to be very useful, it’s entirely possible the impending Imperial attack could be enough to bring them into the larger fold. We’ll find out next week…which getting able to type that again reminds me about how happy I am to have Star Wars Rebels back on the air.
+ Well-paced fun
+ Kanan’s emotions
+ Return of the Clones
– Sacrifices some of the tone from “The Siege of Lothal”
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. 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: Step Into Shadows