Paul’s Rebels Review: Ghosts of Geonosis

“Ghosts of Geonosis”

Geonosis can never stay quiet for very long.  Much like any other bug, you can never completely get rid of them.  They keep finding ways of coming back.  After the Ghost found an Imperial construction presence on the planet last season, the Alliance sent Saw Gerrera and his team to investigate.  Now, they have lost contact with him.

This episode was heavily marketed as the tie-in to Rogue One, and the connections go beyond just an earlier appearance of Saw Gerrera.  The episode continuously drops hints about the Death Star, but the characters never find enough evidence to point them to the Empire’s ultimate weapon.  With so many connections to the film, I wonder if this episode would’ve worked better airing before the film instead of after it?  How would that have affected our initial viewings?

Arriving on Geonosis, the crew of the Ghost quickly discovers that everything they saw two years ago has been packed up and moved.  An investigation takes them deeper into the catacombs beneath the surface, and much like when The Clone Wars came to Geonosis the episode takes a more suspenseful, almost horror twist.  It never goes as far into the horror realm as the brain worms of Clone Wars went, but we definitely get a creepy, haunted house vibe as they explore the ruins.  It’s slightly disturbing that we only ever see the helmets of the lost Rebel fighters, there is no blood no bodies, just their helmets and weapons left behind.  The director lets a lot of it play out in our imaginations.

Saw Gerrera is not yet the broken man we see in Rogue One, but he is also no longer the optimistic freedom fighter we met in Clone Wars.  Hera doesn’t trust him and warns Kanan about his extreme methods.  Much like in Rogue One the moral question of where does the Alliance draw the line in their battles against the Empire is raised here.  Forest Whitaker does a great job with the voice giving Saw a humanity and jovialness that was not seen in the broken man we saw in theaters previously.  It helps to build an arc to his character, and we see just how far he has come and lost.  Many have pointed to the mention of Geonosian insecticide in the Rogue One visual guide.  I was expecting Saw to get those injuries during this episode.  However, with how the episode ends, I feel like Saw is not yet done with that planet.

The other major exciting point of this episode was the introduction of a new Imperial captain.  She is a female officer who bears a strong resemblance to Rae Sloane from the Aftermath novels.  Unfortunately, it is not her.  The credits list her as Captain Brunson.  I’d like to think that she draws inspiration from the newer characters like Sloane or Ciena Ree.  It’s nice to see the Imperial officers expanding past the few character models we’ve seen so far.  It feels weird to say that I like seeing more diversity in the Empire because they seem to be very opposed to that idea, but the Empire is showing a greater human diversity.  We still do not see many aliens in the Empire outside of Thrawn however.

Most of the action centers around Kanan, Rex, Ezra, and Saw.  Although, Sabine and Zeb get a few scenes of stealing a deflector shield and having to improvise against some droids.  Sabine also gets a good scene fighting off some Imperial Rocket Troopers.  I love seeing Sabine going more and more Mando as the show progresses, and I’m glad to see she kept the jetpack.

This is a dark episode, with the majority of the story taking place underground.  It’s more than the color palette though.  Saw is a darker character than we are used to seeing from our heroes, and you can easily see how the Alliance would want to move away from his tactics as he says his mission takes priority over stopping genocide.  I really enjoy seeing the connections between the various Star Wars properties, and it again stresses the importance of the Story Group in telling a larger story such as this.

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