Episode 312 “Ghosts of Geonosis Part One”
Written by Dave Filoni & Steven Melching
Directed by Saul Ruiz
Episode 313 “Ghosts of Geonosis Part Two”
Written by Dave Filoni & Matthew Michnovetz
Directed by Mel Zwyer
The season finally ties in with Rogue One. Sort of. The crew of the Ghost gets sent to Geonosis to track down Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker) and find out what the Empire was building there before wiping out the entire planet.
While Hera (Vanessa Marshall) stays with the ship, the team divides to conquer, not only trying to track down Gerrera, but also an unexpected power source, which turns out to be an Imperial shield generator. Sabine (Tiya Sircar) and Zeb (Steve Blum) work to remove the shield generator core while Ezra (Taylor Gray), Kanan (Freddie Prinze, Jr.), and Rex (Dee Bradley Baker) search out the rebel team. They find Saw, but no one else. The rebels were attacked and killed by a remaining battalion of battle droids and droidekas.
They also find a single remaining Geonosian, who survived the Imperial purge and stayed behind to protect a queen egg. So the Geonosians have a chance to recover as a species, even though Saw is a little irrational when it comes to “Click-Clack” and finding out what he knows about the weapon that was built on Geonosis.
It’s nice to see the show tie in with the overall Star Wars universe. And the callbacks to Saw’s first appearances in The Clone Wars made for a nice bit of continuity. You get to see more of the history of this character and how circumstances have driven him to the point where he’s almost mad with grief and rage over the people he’s lost. He’s one of these like Jyn Erso and Cassian Andor, who have lost everything. And they are all reacting to their grief in different ways. Cassian chooses to fight for a cause. Jyn chooses to fight for herself. Saw chooses to fight everyone who gets in his way.
We see more of the fractious relationship Saw has with the rebellion, as well, and it’s easy to see how it could develop into an extreme break with the Alliance at some point in the future. Perhaps Hera is even part of that disagreement that sends him off to do his own thing, as Hera’s every bit about building a coalition and having everyone work together. Could her personal feelings about Saw’s methods help drive him away later in the season?
The biggest gripe I’ve got about this two-part episode is the Imperial weapon. The crew of the Ghost was sent to find out what the Empire was building. The Geonosian (“Click-Clack” is a stupid name, writers…) draws in the dirt what’s obviously a representation of the Death Star, even though we get two misdirects in the show: the poison gas canisters and the queen egg. So I can only slightly forgive the characters for misunderstanding. But it’s only because the Hand of the Writer makes them end their investigation before they find anything of value.
The Empire was not building poison gas munitions on Geonosis. Those were used to wipe out the population of the planet. So that’s one option off the table. The queen egg, also, is not a weapon, so that wouldn’t be the object drawn when the Geonosian gets asked about a weapon. Why abandon the mission? Because the episode ran out of time.
There was too much time spent on Saw threatening the Geonosian and arguing with the Ghost crew. Some of that could have been spent going deeper into the tunnels, perhaps to find the main control center — the one destroyed by Anakin Skywalker — in ruins, the computers smashed; it’s more ominous to find that kind of clue rather than a circle in the dirt. Dead bodies and equipment torn apart by a lightsaber make for a scarier environment. What secret would be so important that the Empire did this?
Overall, it’s half a loaf. It gives us more of Saw Gerrera, ties in with The Clone Wars and Rogue One, and gives us more of an understanding as to Saw’s break with the rebellion. But it also delivers a little bit of a clunky handwavium story point with regard to the Death Star, since they can’t discover that secret until two years from now…
You can be sure we’ll see Gerrera again before the season’s over. And it will likely end in tears.
Star Wars Rebels airs Saturday nights at 8:30/7:30c on Disney XD.