Star Wars Rebels – Season 2 Episode 19
“The Mystery of Chopper Base”
Star Wars Rebels gears up for the season finale with one last fun adventure for the Ghost crew before the really dark storytelling begins.
Much of this season has reminded the audience that the Rebels need a base to help coordinate their efforts against the Empire. It has taken a long time to get there but finally they have one but it can’t be too perfect as there’s no drama in that.
The planet that they all want to call home is home to bizarre spider creatures that instantly attack outsiders which makes the place less than suitable as a base. They’re strong and numerous so present a real problem for the Rebellion. On the plus side, there’s a built in defense mechanism if the Empire come calling.
As mysteries go the solution is revealed pretty soon as it starts with someone going missing but the cause is quickly found and everyone goes into problem solving mode. I do have a thought about what the “mystery” the title refers to is but I’ll come back to that.
I thought this episode was really well paced with every character getting pretty much an equal chance to shine and show just how good a team the Ghost crew are. Kanan and Ezra do their usual Jedi stuff, Hera handles the piloting duties, Sabine figures out the solution to the problem, Zeb and Rex do the action hero thing along with Sabine and even Chopper manipulates doors. Everyone has a role to play and nobody feels as if they are just there for decoration. I like how the entire cast play to their strengths and how fun the whole thing is to watch.
This is also an important episode to take stock of where the characters are before the next phase in the storytelling. Kanan and Ezra are due to leave with Ahsoka so that the Inquisitors will be lead away from the other Rebels and they might never come back which is affecting the rest of the crew in different ways. Zeb is putting a brave face on it, Sabine is concentrating on getting the job done and Hera is working to figure out a way to function without having them around.
It’s clearly difficult for her and a lot of her true feelings go unsaid. The animation does a lot of the heavy lifting her to show Hera’s uncomfortable body language and glum facial expressions when considering the future show a lot about how she feels along with Vanessa Marshall’s command of the tone of her voice to illustrate how much she will miss them when they are gone.
Her preparation for the future is shown in the mission to save Rex when she sends Kanan and Ezra in one team while keeping Sabine and Zeb with her. She says that they have to learn how to function without them and her tone suggests that it’s not something she wants to do. The Ghost crew have become a family so to see that family split apart is heartbreaking for her.
Kanan’s final conversation with Hera where he reassures her that everything will turn out fine might seem like an empty platitude but it’s also exactly what Hera needs to hear at that point. She has been bottling up her feelings in an attempt to remain strong as a commander so Kanan’s emotional support as a peer is exactly what she needs at that point. I thought the show was going to answer the question of them being a couple but it remains something that goes unanswered. I wonder why this show is so reluctant to commit to having an adult relationship between two of the characters.
Ezra and Zeb’s conversation where both acknowledge that they won’t see each other for a while but Zeb remains supportive and assures Ezra that they will see each other again and be able to swap war stories before long. These characters have spent a lot of time together so it was great to see them simply sit and have a moment that shows how close their friendship is.
The action sequences in this episode were pretty standard stuff. Most of them involved the Ghost crew shooting at the creatures while being slowly overwhelmed. It was all competently executed but a bit bland as this show goes. Kanan and Ezra using the Force to propel Sabine towards the motion sensor was awesome though.
Now back to the mystery idea that seems absent from the story. My feeling is that the mystery is more around what is happening to Ezra. We see him being fairly aggressive when training with Kanan at the start of the episode and his inability to connect with the attacking creatures despite his affinity for animals everywhere else they go suggests that something has changed. Couple this with the ominous musical cues reminding us of the Imperial March and it’s clear that Ezra is going may be feeling more of a pull to the Dark Side in the near future. Ahsoka is able to relate to him with her own struggles understanding the Force so I really look forward to Ezra being tested.
A fun episode that allowed the entire crew to have their moment before the season finale next week. There were some great character beats between Zeb and Ezra as well as Kanan and Hera to show how close the Ghost crew are. The action sequences were competently executed but a little bland to look at when compared to the great work the show has done in the past. Despite that it was generally a good adventure story that celebrates the characters in this show.
- good use of all of the characters
- effective character moments showing how close the cast have become
- the hints of darker things to come
- action sequences that were a little bland for this show