"Star Wars: Rebels" 2.18– The Mystery of Chopper Base (9 out of 10) – Based on characters and situations created by George Lucas; Directed by Bosco Ng; Written by Stephen Melching; Starring: Freddie Prinze, Jr., Vanessa Marshall, Taylor Gray, Steve Blum, Tiya Sircar, David Oyelowo, Dee Bradley Baker; Special Guest stars: Stephen Stanton. Rated TV-Y7, Aired on Disney XD 3/23/16.
This review will contain spoilers.
Thanks to the information provided by Chopper and AP-5 in the last episode of "Star Wars Rebels," the Rebellion finally has a place to take a breath and gain some footing. The planet we're shown is new and the Rebels still need to work to figure out how to make it work for them.
This is the main point of the episode, and it brings with it action and adventure, sure, but there's a current of unease beneath the episode that is punctuated by the ending that acknowledges that we have more weighty topics on our minds: perhaps the looming threat of a Sith lord, the growing shadow of the dark side, the churning unease of a Padawan faced with the potential to turn...
While this episode plays out like a beautiful blend between "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Aliens," we can't help but keep our mind toward what is coming next. The Rebels are having problems with the indigenous creatures on the planet they've chosen for a base (just like Hoth) and our heroes need to help fix that mess. Rex has been abducted and taken by these new creatures, much like Newt in "Aliens," and suddenly we're off trying to fix that.
The thing that works most for me in this episode is that the characters that have the most unanswered questions have the same feelings of unease that I did going into this episode. I want to know what's going to happen next, even if that confrontation is going to frighten me.
This is exemplified by Ezra's troubles as he tries to tap into creatures with the force. This has been a theme through the series, Ezra's connection to animals and the Force. But what does it say about these creatures that it's not working? Is it a comment on their potential? Or Ezra himself? It raises more questions about the fate of characters we're going to be privy to by this time next week.
The action and banter in this episode are all great, there's literally nothing to complain about here. It's a solid episode in its own right, even though it ends on such an ominous note (underscored perfectly by Kevin Kiner's music.) It's a perfect, beautiful place to move forward to the next episode. With Ahsoka's arrival and Kanan's overprotective discomfort, it hits all the right notes.
That's the right word.
The entire episode is ominous, not for what we see, but the unseen. Not for what has come now, but what is coming.
Sometimes, that might seem like a problem, but this episode was just the right tone to set the stage for where we'll be next episode and next season. This was a solid 9 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)
- The Mystery of Chopper Base (9 out of 10)
Season Average 8.30 out of 10