Star Wars Rebels returns with a two part midseason opener that gives context to the events leading up to Rogue One.
The Ghost crew has been given a secret mission by Commander Sato and Bail Organa which requires them to go back to Geonosis. Given the apparent disappearance of Geonosian species, Rebel Command sent Saw Gerrera and his team to investigate. However, they lost contact with them and it is now up to the Ghost crew to find them and collect evidence that could explain what happened to the Geonosians. Upon arriving, the crew splits up with Kanan, Ezra, Rex and Chopper heading out to search for Saw Gerrera.
As they go through the underground tunnel Kanan, Ezra, Rex and Chopper find helmets that belonged to the people from Saw’s team, which suggests that they met a sinister fate. They are then cornered by Separatist droids and they are saved by none other than Gerrera himself. The Onderonian rebel informs them that a lone Geonosian is responsible for the death of his team due to a system of traps that were created by him and that they need to capture him if they to find out what the Empire has been doing on the planet. As Sabine and Zeb attempt to move a salvaged deflector shield core, they intentionally activate the hidden battle droids that were hidden in sand. Part one concludes as Kanan, Ezra, Rex and Chopper who along with Saw chase the Geonosian through the underground passages in order to use his remote to deactivate the droids.
In part two, we see that Saw Gerrera is rather harsh to the Geonosian as he attempts to get answers. Ezra suggests they should take it easy on him and after exchanging words…or clicks with him, he decides to refer to him as Klik-Klak. When Ezra asks what the Empire was doing on Geonosis, Klik-Klak – unable to communicate in Galactic Basic – just draws two circles in the sand. This only frustrates Saw and makes the decision to handcuff the Geonosian since he doesn’t trust him. They are led to Klik-Klak’s workshop where it is discovered that he has been watching over a Geonosian queen egg, which Kanan supposes is the only one left.
Meanwhile, an Imperial Light Cruiser has detected the Ghost’s presence on Geonosis and it’s captain decides to take it upon themselves to capture them. In their attempt to recover the rest of the Ghost crew along with Saw, Hera flies the Ghost down to the bottom of the air shaft to pick him up, fighting off TIE Fighters along the way. When they board the ship, Saw expresses the sense of urgency to interrogate Klik-Klak about what he knows. When the Ghost Crew refuse, the Onderonian makes attempts a hostage situation threatening to shoot the queen egg unless they hand off Klik-Klak over to his custody. However, Ezra and Rex are able to make Saw recognize that the Geonosian is only trying to protect the future of his species, which the Empire had almost eliminated. In many ways, Klik-Klak was no different than Saw in his quest to save the galaxy from the Empire. With this realization, Saw comes to the conclusion that they should let the Geonosian and the egg remain on the planet.
Having encountered Jumptroopers as they make their way out the air shaft, the Ghost Crew then take the unexpected route and go further down and in the process discover a weapons depot which contained poison gas canisters which they believe are the circles that Klik-Klak drew for them earlier. With evidence of the behind the eradication of the Geonosians at hand, they let Klik-Klak free, who makes his way further down another hidden tunnel. The Ghost then makes it’s daring escape with Hera flying up the air shaft and manages to destroy the Light Cruiser in the process. Unfortunately, the canisters they collected were lost, and so was the physical proof they had for the Empire’s atrocities. But Saw remains determined to find out what the Empire plans to do, much to the uneasiness of the Ghost crew.
In this two-part story, there were many callbacks not only to The Clone Wars series but also to the recently released Star Wars anthology movie Rogue One. The main crux of these connections was Saw Gerrera himself, who has become a link between the animated series (both The Clone Wars and Rebels) as well as the movie connecting it to the overall Star Wars Saga. It is also a great follow-up to the events of season 2 episode of “The Honorable Ones” where we first introduced to Geonosis since its appearance in The Clone Wars. Of course, the audience who have watched the movies (I should hope so anyway) know the connection to the Death Star and I admit it was frustrating to see how close the rebels were to the truth in Klik-Klak’s depiction of the two circles and yet were not able to understand. Of course, all of this buildup to the events of Rogue One in which knowledge of the Death Star along with its plans are finally obtained, leading into the events of A New Hope. This was a great episode to start off with for the second half of season 3 and I can’t wait to see what else Rebels has in store for us.