We are nearing the homestretch of season three of Star Wars Rebels, and the tone of the show has been very serious for the last month or two. Well, I guess the writers decided it was time to shift gears a tad right before the end of the season as they delivered a light-hearted, droid-focused episode that is going to go down as one of the most polarizing installments in Rebels history within the fanbase, guaranteed. This episode is called Double Agent Droid, and I’m gonna write about it in detail after the ***SPOILER*** image break. So here goes…
The episode starts out with the misfits of Phoenix Squadron all embarking on a mission to the Imperial Security Bureau base on Killun-71 to steal clearance codes for the impending Imperial attack on Lothal.
Once again Chopper is painted in Imperial colors and he and AP-5 march into the base together, after bickering the entire trip to the planet about who was in charge. Once inside they go their separate ways, with Chopper plugging into the first terminal he rolls up on and AP-5 continuing on to the main network terminal. AP-5 quickly retrieves the codes (bitching and moaning quite hilariously the entire time I might add) and heads back to retrieve Chopper. Unbeknownst to him, a mobile communications-monitoring team called the Imperial Information Office (every member of which are wearing Lobot-cyborg-esque headgear, kind of a cool touch) realizes that Chopper is the droid that has been repeatedly infiltrating their cruisers and bases (FINALLY!) and hijacks his programming in hopes of discovering the hidden Phoenix Squadron base and winning favor from Grand Admiral Thrawn in the process.
On the ride home, AP-5 clearly realizes that Chopper has been compromised but Wedge won’t listen to him. There’s a pretty funny moment when AP follows Wedge into the bathroom while he’s trying to take a piss, which was cool I think…. Anyway, back at the Ghost the entirety of the crew is slow to react to the fact Chopper is compromised and all manner of hell breaks lose when he takes over the ship, locking the crew in the cargo hold and trying to jettison them into space in the process. Hera sends AP out into space to hit the manual override, and while he’s successful, Chopper knocks him off the hull and he tumbles out into space. There is a hilarious musical number that ensues that you’re either gonna love or hate (I thought it was great, but that’s me, I LOVE AP-5, so yeah), and before the crew picks him back up Hera reprograms Chopper and sends the Imperial ship a message – in the form of incredibly high voltage electricity that we are to assume kills to cyborg agents and blows the whole ship up. Yeah.
I’ve seen some in the Star Wars fan community that have claimed this is the single worst episode in the history of Rebels, and I could see their point of view. I personally found it entertaining and hilarious, and it did have some plot devices that moved things forward towards the end of the season. Let’s discuss.
What I liked:
- Chopper and Ap-5’s dynamic – I love these guys, and I really love them together. I found their banter entertaining and it did not bother me in the least. AP-5 has been such a welcome addition to the Ghost crew and provides a great foil to Chopper, not to mention some great comic relief.
- The Imperial Information Office and their ship – again, this is going to be polarizing but I liked the idea of this mobile data-gathering Imperial Intelligence crew. I also liked the Lobot-esque headgear they were wearing. The Controller (voiced by Josh Gad rather effectively, I think) was wearing glasses, which if you think about it is a little bizarre, but it didn’t bother me. I also think he was based on Lucasfilm story group head-mouth Pablo Hidalgo, but that’s just speculation. If it’s true that also is hilarious.
- Chopper’s disguise scheme is finally up – thank goodness we can (hopefully) lay this every-other-week plot device to rest. The Imperials may be dumb, but damn, we have never seen another C1 astromech droid in the history of Star Wars, so it kills me that the Empire can’t figure out that it’s always Chopper infiltrating their bases and ships. Hopefully that’s done.
- AP-5’s musical number – yes, you read that right. AP-5 has a peaceful, musical number whilst floating in space, and he’s even joined by a number of baby Neebray. I love how bummed he is when he realizes he’s going to be picked back up by the Ghost, as he seemingly hates humans. It was hilarious, but you’re gonna love it or hate it – no middle ground here I’d wager…
- Small stuff – plumbing is featured in Star Wars again, and Wedge heads to the ‘refresher’ to take a leak. That’s twice this season we’ve seen Star Wars plumbing – insane!; fist-bumping and dabbing is now canon, as Ezra and Zeb perform the act when making fun of Wedge early in the episode; Zeb gets to electrocute Chopper with his Bowstaff, which he had obviously been wanting to do for a while.
What just didn’t work:
- Wedge sucks – dude, why did they bring Wedge Antilles into the story if he’s gonna be such a freaking dope. Ugh. Let’s hope he grows up and fast.
- Hera’s slow reaction – after everything the Ghost crew – and especially Hera – have been through I was shocked she was so slow to react to AP-5’s suspicions that Chopper had been compromised on the mission. A rare bad moment for an otherwise amazing character. I get it, story and all… yeah, yeah, yeah, kids show, I get it…. Still…
- You can blow a ship up by sending a charge through space? – ok then, I guess you can. Dumb. This MIGHT have worked if it had just fried the ship’s computer, but no, they blew the whole damn ship up. Yeah, right…… Moving on..
Look, this episode was entertaining. It was funny and well done for what it is. And we know we have a couple doozy episodes coming up, so I can let the writers off the hook for this one. And hell, as far as fillers go, this was way better than some of the ones we have a few months ago, so I’m cool with it. And AP-5 FTW, I don’t care what you say!
As we all mentally prepare for what will be a bonkers episode of Rebels, sit back and enjoy the Rebels Recon from this one.