"Star Wars: Rebels" Episode 12 and 13– Ghosts of Geonosis Parts 1 and 2 (8 out of 10) – Based on characters and situations created by George Lucas; Directed by Mel Zwyer; Written by Dave Filoni and Matthew Michnovetz; Starring: Freddie Prinze, Jr., Vanessa Marshall, Taylor Gray, Steve Blum, Tiya Sircar, David Oyelowo; Guest Starring Forest Whitaker. Rated TV-Y7, Airs on Disney XD 1/7/17. It is currently available on the Disney XD app.
This review will contain mild spoilers.
This episode earns a 8 out of 10.
Now that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has been released, it was only a matter of weeks before it tied into the animated series and it doesn't waste time. This episode brings up the shadow of the Death Star and freedom fighter Saw Gerrera with Forest Whitaker reprising his role as the extremist rebel leader.
The two-part episode is tightly paced, bringing the crew of the Ghost on a rescue mission to Geonosis to rescue Saw and bring back evidence of whatever the Empire did there. Just like in Rogue One, the political minds are working their best to come up with a smoking gun to hand the Senate in a way that will force them to reign in the military of the Empire. Obviously, we know that doesn't work, even though the crew of the Ghost learns some shocking things on the desert planet.
I was hoping that I would like Saw through these episodes, but I like to not like him, actually. He's over the top, he really does make decisions like Anakin Skywalker, and his parallels with the would-be dark lord are even more here than in Rogue One. He's doing horrible things in the name of good and generally acting like a jerk. It really is no wonder that the Rebel Alliance broke with Saw in order to further the cause.
Forest Whitaker's performance as Saw works very well here, though. He's done a great job of bridging the character we knew previously with the one we saw in the film. And the animation for his model is nothing short of stunning. Forest Whitaker might have one of the most unique pairs of eyes in Hollywood and the animators managed to capture that wild ferocity to them flawlessly.
The real star of this episode, though, is Klik-Klak, the last surviving Geonosian. He's adorable and relatable in a way that Saw isn't. He's... human... if that makes sense. There's a tenderness to him adds an emotional gravitas to the episodes. And as we work to learn more and more about what the Empire did to the Geonosians, it makes one wonder if the hand of Krennic is involved. That revelation isn't made here, but I wouldn't be surprised if it came down the line and it would certainly add to the development of one of my favorite new characters in this era of Star Wars.
The Geonosians certainly got the short end of the stick as far as their involvement in both galactic civil wars, and Klik-Klak helps remind us that the price they paid was high. Very high.
These episodes fold in neatly to everything we're learning about the Death Star in this era and I wouldn't miss them if you're keeping track of that story.
My only real complaint about this episode is that Kanan has fallen into a pattern of counseling against whatever course of action Ezra suggest and then reluctantly agrees to it and watches... or witnesses, rather... everything go wrong before it all comes together in the end. This was the exact same thing that happened in the last episode. It happens in both of these episodes. It makes me wonder why Kanan is the master in the relationship if his counsel goes continuously unheeded and Ezra's brash decisions are the ones that get acted upon.
It's a minor thing, and certainly doesn't infringe on my enjoyment, but if it happens much more it will have turned into a bad trope on the show.
Overall, these are fun episodes. The action sequences (including Sabine with her jetpack again!) are fairly incredible. It has that mix of sequences like Close Encounters of the Third Kind in the sandstorms and The Empire Strikes Back with the hiding inside the planet situation. It also goes a long way to show us why Hera is one of the best pilots in the Rebellion. And any chance to get old-school battle droids and droidekas into this era of Star Wars is always welcome in my book.
These two episodes were a respectable 8 out of 10. I'm dying to see where the rest of this season leads.
Season 3 Scorecard:
- Steps Into Shadow (8 of 10)
- Holocrons of Fate (9 of 10)
- The Antilles Extraction (8 of 10)
- Hera's Heroes (8 of 10)
- The Last Battle (9 of 10)
- Imperial Super Commandos (7.5 of 10)
- Iron Squadron (7.5 of 10)
- The Wynkahthu Job (7.5 of 10)
- An Inside Man (8.5 of 10)
- Visions and Voices (9.5 of 10)
- Ghosts of Geonosis (8 of 10)
Season Average: 8.2 out of 10
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