So we finally have our first episode of Rebels in a post Rogue One world, the two-parter Ghosts of Geonosis, and it was a banger. It seems the Lucasfilm story group has been waiting patiently to incorporate elements from Rogue One into Rebels, and from my point of view it was worth the wait. In addition to a return to Geonosis we got our first Rebels look at Saw Gerrera, which was pretty freaking awesome. Before I get to any spoilers I do want to say that Ghosts of Geonosis was a very grown-up installment of Rebels, and I really loved that. Ok, so let’s get to the meat. Again, SPOILERS after the image, so you’ve been warned.
So we start off with the crew of the Ghost embarking on a mission assigned to them by Commander Sato and none other than Bail Organa, sending them back to Geonosis (they first ventured there in the episode The Honorable Ones) in search of a Rebel team that went missing there two cycles ago (I’m assuming that a cycle is a month, but I’m not sure). The kicker – the team was led by Saw Gerrera, so in essence they are there to ascertain if Saw and his team is alive and extract them if possible.
When they get to Geonosis the Ghost crew ventures into the tunnels and quickly realizes that Saw’s team has not come to a good end, with Rebel helmets strewn about, but no Rebels to speak of. They end up being ambushed by Battle Droids and a Destroyer before they are rescued by Saw Gerrera himself. He remembers Rex of course (from the Onderon arc in The Clone Wars) and makes a comment about not expecting to ever see a Jedi again, which I thought was kinda cool. As they venture deeper into Geonosis, they run into a lone Geonosian, who Saw claims led his entire team to their demise. Seemed unlikely to me, but whatever…. One funny thing about the interrogation of Klik-Klak is that he is trying to show them exactly what they want to see – the Death Star – but of course they don’t realize this like we do. Instead they think he’s drawing the queen egg (see the next sentence), the planet of Geonosis, and finally the canisters of poisonous gas (also coming later)…… Saw’s tactics with Klik-Klak, the Geonosian(as he’s coined by Ezra), are suspect to the Ghost crew, as he continually threatens to harm him. Complicating matter further is that they discover that Klik-Klak is actually guarding the last Geonosian queen egg on the planet, and Saw threatens to destroy it to get the information he needs on a couple occasions, which doesn’t sit well with the crew – especially Kanan and Ezra – at all.
Meanwhile, Sabine and Zeb venture out of the Ghost to hunt for the mysterious power source they detected when they pulled in to the planet, and discover it’s a shield generator. Hera of course realizes that the core of the generator would be an amazing score for the Rebellion and instructs Zeb and Sabine to extract it. During the course of of extracting it they are ambushed by a ton of Destroyers, which are disabled when Ezra and crew capture Klik-Klak and destroy his remote control for the droids.
As Ezra, Kanan, Rex, Chopper, and Saw begin to head out of the tunnels and back to the Ghost with Klik-Klak the Empire rolls in. Hera takes the Ghost into the caverns to rescue the crew and the Empire attempts to cut them off and even ambushes them with Rocket Troopers (which are mad cool!).
They venture to the bottom of the cavern and make a huge discover – tanks and tanks of poisonous insecticide that the Empire used to exterminate the Geonosian population. They try and load two tanks onto the Ghost as they escape as evidence of more of the Empire’s atrocities, but they have to drop them as they make their escape through the meager blockade set up by Imperial Captain Brunson and blast out of Geonosis.
Commander Sato and Bail Organa declare the mission a success based on the fact they were able to find and extract Saw and get the shield generator core, but say without the actual poison it isn’t enough to take to the senate.
What I liked:
- The whole episode (or episodes if you wanna get technical) worked very well, start to finish. A more grown-up tale, with great dialog and action.
- Saw Gerrera – he was awesome in this episode, and way more put together than he was in Rogue One. In the two years between now and then A LOT has to happen to Saw. Having said that, we now know how he was poisoned by the Geonosian insecticide (as referenced in the R1 Visual Guide), although I was expecting something a little more substantial and dramatic to happen in regards to that. But no biggie, really. Having said that, he was a strong addition to the Rebels story, Forest Whitaker’s voice portrayal was spot-on (duh), and I hope we get more of him as Rebels continues forward. Lastly, It was also cool to see Saw still struggling with his sister Steela’s deal from The Clone Wars.
- Kanan – his character progression as he works his way through his blindness continues to impress me. It was also rad to see him use the Force as a solution for the team to get across the cavern and for him to effortlessly Force leap across himself. It demonstrated there is still quite some distance between his Force abilities and Ezra’s.
- Sabine – she’s awesome. It was rad to see she fixed her Mandalorian jetpack and even more awesome to see her decimate the squad of Rocket Troopers (which were also pretty rad).
- The shield generator – did we just witness the discovery of the power cell that makes the Rebel shield generator on Hoth tick? I think we might have!
- Klik-Klak – I loved Klik-Klak, probably the only Geonosian I’ve ever said that about…. The lengths he went to to protect the queen egg was pretty admirable, and was a nice contrast to Saw’s very aggressive nature. You really felt for him, and it was good to see even Saw relent on his blind hatred of Klik-Klak and the Geonosian’s in general.
- The queen egg – now the mystery of where the Geonosian queen that appeared in the Darth Vader comic series has been cleared up. But…. yeah, hate to break it to you but Vader seemingly eradicated her so I’m guessing the Geonosian species is officially dead and gone after that?? Oh well, it was cool while it lasted!
- One-liners – there were two great one-liners in this episode. The first was Saw and Rex bantering about Jedi and their abilities during which Rex says “yeah, but he’s no Skywalker” in reference to Kanan. Second, was Sabine’s classic Anakin line of “I hate sand, it gets everywhere”. So wizard!
What could’ve been better:
- I can’t complain too much about Saw, but as I mentioned above I wish we had gotten a huge moment of him being poisoned with the insecticide, but it’s not a huge deal. Just wish it would’ve been included. I guess we are to infer that two cycles on the planet which was infested with it was enough to poison him and start his health’s descent to the state we see him in during Rogue One? OK, I’m cool with that.
- Captain Brunson – thank the maker this was NOT Rae Sloane. That was my biggest fear as soon as she popped up, as Brunson was the latest Imperial idiot on Rebels. Sloane is most certainly not an idiot, so yeah.
Overall, this as as good as Rebels gets. Enjoyable, high stakes, great canonical tie-back, and good action all around. I hope we continue to get Rogue One connections as we progress through Rebels, as that would only seem to make sense at this point, no? Below is the latest edition of Rebels Recon if you wanna dig a little deeper into Ghosts of Geonosis. See you next week!