Star Wars Rebels takes a detour to the past in this week’s episode #306 “The Last Battle.”
Written by Brent Friedman and directed by Bosco Ng.
Kanan, Ezra, Chopper and Rex venture on a mission to Agamar in search of weapons and munitions for their nascent rebellion against the Empire. When the explore the ruins of a Separatist supply ship, they get more than they bargained for encountering Battledroids under the command of the Super Tactical Droid, Kalani.
Kalani captures the rebels and wants nothing more than to fight one last battle against a clone and Jedi to prove that his droids were superior and if they just had a little more time would have won the Clone War. With a little prodding from Ezra and the fate of Zeb hanging in the balance, Kanan and Rex agree and the last battle of the Clone War begins.
The rebels emerge victorious on account of droid obsolescence but there isn’t much time to argue about it as the Imperials arrive to destroy the Rebels and both Separatists and Republic veterans must unite to fight to survive the battle.
This episode trades heavily on nostalgia for fans of The Clone Wars as well as comic readers who read Marvel’s Kanan series. Much of the episode focuses on Rex wrestling with the ghosts of his past, Cody is mentioned, as are his other brothers, and is emotions are much more on edge than we have seen them at anytime in Star Wars Rebels. There is so much to like in this episode, it has character work, action and provides us with some closure as well as an interesting potential plot point in the future.
At the end of the episode Kalani is loose in the galaxy with a small group of droids and a ship. My money is on him retreating and trying to find somewhere safe to go to ground where he can build a small droid community. Then venturing out to look for more operational Clone Wars era droids. It would be really interesting if we saw Kalani appear again down the road leading a movement of droids seeking emancipation and self-determination.
Until now in Rebels, Rex was tied pretty closely to Ahsoka, she brought him into the series and their relationship dominated. But with Ahsoka gone, Rex has the chance to take center stage and we got to spend some time ruminating on the role of both the clones and the droids in The Clone Wars. In the previous series the clone centered stories were always my favorite episodes and that may be why this one resonated so well with me.
More of this please.