Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Star Wars Rebels S03E19 "Double Agent Droid"


Chopper and AP-5 team up with Wedge to infiltrate an Imperial station to steal codes for Lothal.

What I thought

There are going to be those who watch this and think it’s filler, those who just groaned at aspects of it, or those who loved it. I’m of the latter. I never thought I’d say this but the droid focussed episodes in Rebels, this season especially, have been the best. In my view, Warhead was funnier than this one, but there were some great moments here, including a controversial moment and great interplay between AP-5 and the rest of the rebels.

For some reason, it’s Wedge who is chosen to go on the mission with AP-5 and Chopper. This all seems very random to me, but given he’s geared up in his imperial flight gear, maybe that’s why? Having said that, he never gets off the shuttle that lands on the base so they could have used anyone, especially given this was an obvious important mission to get access codes for a later mission to Lothal. Wedge actually adds little to proceedings, aside from being new to the whole AP-5/Chopper bickering, so maybe that’s why he was selected by Hera and by the writers so that he was oblivious to what a hacked Chopper would be like? Yes, Chopper is taken over by Imperial personnel who are donning those massive computerised earmuffs that Lobot wore on cloud city in ESB. There’s a whole ship of these people, like GCHQ here in the UK, all watching a listening to all chatter on the galactic equivalent of the internet thanks to massive dishes on top this ship. I totally get that the Empire would employ such tactics but despite their enhanced computational brain power, they are focussed on statistics and the probability that they can get what they need from Chopper (rebel base coordinates) without informing Thrawn. You just know that was a big mistake right away.

AP-5 takes centre stage in numerous ways this week by being the focal point of the mission to retrieve the plans (which he does with joyous and self-egotistic ease) and by being just a total hoot with his sarcasm and monotonous droning voice. He spots that Chopper has been compromised in a millisecond, due to his behaviour and use of an imperial code reference. For all their brains, these Imperial GHCQ people who remotely take over Chopper, lack subtlety and clearly don’t think that droids have character or attitude; something Chopper has an abundance of. So, it doesn’t take too long for AP-5 to convince the gang that Chopper has been compromised, which leads to them all getting fooled into entering the cargo haul and almost jettisoned to their deaths. Quite frankly, why they all needed to go, as AP-5 pointed out, was questionable. Why also, Ezra didn’t use his lightsabre to get them out by cutting through the doors, I don’t know either. Maybe that’s an advanced Jedi skill?? Either way, once again, Ezra (back with Zeb and Hera on the Ghost after the droids and Wedge return from the mission) plays nothing but a minor role with flippant remarks and childish stupidity. It’s a real shame Ezra’s storyline has degraded this far after the promise of the opening episode of this season and his possible development.

Naturally, all ends up well, with the gang playing fire with fire by using a classic movie tactic of sending “too much feedback” via Chopper’s antenna back at the Imperial GCHQ ship, which naturally, and conveniently blows up. Is that even likely? I get that the feedback might have blown the system but the whole ship? Well, it’s convenient for the rebels I guess and the plot that this means that the Empire ends up discovering nothing new but seems just too perfect a plot point for me. Also, Chopper got electrocuted or power surged three times in this episode; once when he was taken over, then when Zeb stabbed him with his staff, and then when Hera sent “more feedback than they expect” back via Chopper’s antenna. Sure, Chopper can be rebooted and maybe take a surge, but three times without any need for a repair or obvious circuitry damage? A surge is enough to wipe Imperial programming and not singe any other important memory cores?

Overall, I loved this episode despite some of the convenient moments and plot oddities. The section at the end with AP-5 singing was genius in my view, causing me to laugh out loud. AP-5 was a joy throughout , thus making it a fun and worthwhile watch. Sure, it only sort of added to the growing season arc but that didn’t make it any less enjoyable.

Rating 7/10 - Very Good

What I did like

  • AP-5 stole the show with his sarcasm and mannerisms. The singing interlude was genius.
  • Chopper and the gang worked off AP-5 really well.
  • The central story was interesting enough and opened a whole new avenue to the Empire and it’s possible secret services.
  • Finally, the Empire takes droids seriously!

What I didn’t like

  • Imperial GHCQ; not really that intelligent as they seem sadly. Is the feedback really likely to have blown up the ship?
  • Wedge? Why? This episode did  nothing for his character. I feel he was the scapegoat for the plot here, or maybe just to remind us there are other rebels about.
  • Ezra just a bystander once again.
  • There’s only a few episodes of season to go and this episode never featured Thrawn, thus undermining once again the season arc.
No you can't, yes I can; Chopper and AP-5 argue.

Finally a droid scanner!

Lobot Inc.

Chopper gets fried and taken over.

AP-5 ignores privacy by entering the "refresher"

AP-5 versus Chopper; possibly a draw this time.

Zeb fries Chopper

Imperial GCHQ ship blows up.

AP-5 sings!
"happy" ending.

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