"Star Wars: Rebels" 2.17– The Forgotten Droid (8 out of 10) – Based on characters and situations created by George Lucas; Directed by Mel Zwyer; Written by Matt Michnovetz; Starring: Freddie Prinze, Jr., Vanessa Marshall, Taylor Gray, Steve Blum, Tiya Sircar, David Oyelowo, Dee Bradley Baker; Special Guest stars: Stephen Stanton, Dave Filoni. Rated TV-Y7, Aired on Disney XD 3/16/16.
This review will contain spoilers.
This episode of "Star Wars Rebels" is going to divide fans, there are no two ways about it.
It's an episode of the show focused on Chopper working to retrieve a replacement leg for himself. After the events of "Shroud of Darkness," many fans might feel this is a distraction and feel let down that this is the episode to follow up an episode that asks so many questions.
But I say patience.
This was a good episode and it gave us a lot of ingredients that may well be vital heading into future episodes and future seasons. It might not be the dramatic episode we want right this second because of the last one, but this is an episode we need at some point. Personally, I think horrible things are going to happen in the finale and can put them off another week or two without incident.
We, as an audience, have to do our best to judge this episode on its own merits, not what we hoped we'd be getting this week.
While on a run for fuel, the constant bane of the Rebel fleet, Chopper is stranded on a strange planet, distracted by a leg that perfectly matches his original. The Ugnaught salesperson won't sell it to him (he's a droid, he doesn't have credits), so naturally Chopper steals it. He finds himself aboard a massive Imperial freighter and teamed with the abused Imperial manager droid that is assigned to the freighter.
One thing Chopper has been missing has been a counterbot, Zeb and Ezra haven't quite been enough to fill the dynamic we might expect from droids, thanks to Artoo and Threepio. Stephen Stanton voices AP-5, this new droid, and he and Chopper make quite a pair. Stanton's voice evokes Alan Rickman's take on Marvin from "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" (another tie to "Star Wars:" Marvin's body was played by Warwick Davis.) He does it so well that I thought they must have recorded Rickman before he passed away and I had to check the credits at the end of the episode.
This episode explores the treatment of droids and their own personal identities, which is something "Star Wars" hasn't quite dealt with in force on any of its shows yet. There are subtle nods to how droids are treated by different sorts of people. AP-5 is a former military strategist, tapped into the entire Imperial Network and is pushed around and used for purposes he wasn't designed for. He's unhappy and a restraining bolt keeps him in line. When Chopper removes the restraining bolt, all bets are off and AP-5 can help the Rebellion in ways they'd never yet dreamed of.
Eventually, Chopper and AP-5 are able to hijack the freighter, deliver it to the Rebel Alliance, and save them from falling into an Imperial trap. AP-5 is even able to give them the coordinates for a planet that they can use as a staging ground and a base.
Important things happened in this episode that was incredibly entertaining. Which is something I wouldn't have automatically expected in an episode starring Chopper. And I'm dying to know where AP-5 sent the Rebels, which is something I think we'll find out in the next episode. Could it be a planet we're familiar with? Dantooine perhaps? I don't know. But we're edging in, closer and closer, to the events of "A New Hope."
The episode looked good, the new characters were fun, the action was thrilling, seeing as how it was led by droids. This was a fun episode. And that's what it delivered. I'm giving it an 8 out of 10.
Season 2 Scorecard:
- The Siege of Lothal (10 out of 10)
- The Lost Commanders (7.5 out of 10)
- Relics of the Old Republic (8 out of 10)
- Always Two There Are (8 out of 10)
- Brothers of the Broken Horn (8 out of 10)
- Wings of the Master (8.5 out of 10)
- Blood Sisters (7 out of 10)
- Stealth Strike (8.5 out of 10)
- Future of the Force (8.5 out of 10)
- Legacy (8.5 out of 10)
- A Princess on Lothal (8 out of 10)
- The Protector of Concord Dawn (8 out of 10)
- Legends of the Lasat (8 out of 10)
- The Call (8 out of 10)
- Homecoming (8.5 out of 10)
- The Honorable Ones (9 out of 10)
- Shroud of Darkness (9.5 out of 10)
- The Forgotten Droid (8 out of 10)
Season Average 8.30 out of 10