Star Wars Rebels – Season 2 Episode 18
“The Forgotten Droid”
Star Wars Rebels gives Chopper his own episode as he goes out on his own and befriends an Imperial Droid in the process.
I don’t have an awful lot to say about this episode as it was largely a chore to sit through. A Chopper centric episode could be an opportunity to explore how this droid works and why he does the things he does or at the very least it could be some silly disposable fun that provides some entertainment.
Unfortunately this was neither of those things. For the most part it wasted an entire episode on Chopper and his new friend AP-5 (Stephen Stanton) outwitting the crew of an Imperial Freighter. There was some merit in how AP-5 was established as a sympathetic character only in service to the Empire because they happened to find him but the endless conversations he had with Chopper which consisted of AB-8 translating whatever Chopper was saying before replying made this an exercise in frustration that didn’t seem to go anywhere.
There was some insight into Chopper’s past as he recounts being rescued by Hera and owing his loyalty to her. There’s an element of Chopper seeing himself in AP-5 as he could easily be in a similar situation if the Empire had found him. These are all good ideas in theory but the execution was so irritating that much of the impact was lost. It would also have resonated better if we saw any example of this strong relationship with Hera that is implied here. Throughout the series so far it seems clear that Hera keeps Chopper around because he’s useful but she is always irritated by his reckless attitude and inability to follow orders so there’s no real Anakin/R2-D2 bond as was seen in The Clone Wars to root for and understand.
AP-5’s “death” scene was reasonably well done and almost managed to be moving. He goes out a hero when he makes sure the Rebel Fleet has the coordinates to a planet that can serve as their new base. Their current lead is a trap for them so they really shouldn’t go there but with AP-5’s help they manage to arrive at a place they can call home for a while so there is some progress made in the overall season plot in this mess.
The sacrifice and parting words are completely undone by the fact that Sabine fixes AP-5 minutes later and the frustrating bickering continues from there. I wonder if the purpose of this episode was to give Chopper a C-3PO analogue to interact with. If so then that unfortunately means that we will see more of this dynamic in the coming episodes.
I found the action sequences to be really badly done in this episode. The Imperial Officer on the cargo ship reached new levels of incompetence and should never have been put in charge of anything much less a ship with a crew. The fact that he couldn’t take down these droids shows that he deserves to be executed by Darth Vader or whoever he might delegate that task to. I realise that this is a kids show so these sorts of antics will happen but there are ways to do it without actively insulting the intelligence of those watching.
It was good to see Ketsu again but her role in the episode didn’t really amount to much. She provided backup for the Ghost crew and that was about it. Hopefully this won’t be her only appearance before the end of season 2 as it was a really bad one.
A frustratingly irritating episode that was a chore to watch. There was some merit to the characterisation of AP-5 and his final words after sacrificing himself were well done but that wasn’t enough to save the episode from the endless exchanges involving AP-5 translating Chopper’s noise before replying. The action was similarly dull with possibly the most incompetent Imperial Officer we’ve seen so far. Despite the Rebellion finding a location to build a base this episode felt like a complete waste.
- reasonable characterisation of AP-5 and insight into Chopper’s past
- boring action sequences
- endless frustrating sequences of droids talking
- possibly the most Incompetent Officer we have ever seen