This episode of the Rebels tackles Clone Wars nostalgia. How did it do? Well, Zach and Nick have some very different views on the matter.
The episode was good, let me clarify that part of my position from the outset. That said, I was hoping for a bit more from it. It might be because, as I mentioned last week, I am still a bit salty at Disney for all the changes they made to the aesthetic after the cancellation of The Clone Wars. Rather than function as a light-hearted bit of nostalgia, to me it just served to highlight all that was lost in the transition. However, when removed from my personal nostalgia goggles, the episode has plenty of good points, but it left another glaring question as well.
Rex has his moment to shine, and it is wonderful. Based on what has been revealed in the new canon, Rex (SPOILERS) faked his death and Ahsoka’s after the Siege of Mandalore before going into hiding with Wolffe and Gregor. He never got the chance to find some real closure, especially since the clones were phased out of the Imperial military almost as soon as the Clone Wars ended. Goodness knows what happened to Cody and the others in the aftermath. He makes peace with the super-tactical-droid, Kalani, and together they defeat the Empire. Enemies turned friends are some of my favorite dynamics for characters. Kalani’s matter-of-fact statements, especially where killing clones is concerned, is somewhat humorous.
That said, it does make me question what happened to the constituent planets of the Separatist Alliance. All of the future Rebel Alliance worlds, such as Alderaan and Mon Cala, are shown to be supporters (though secretly helping the Alliance in Alderaans’ case) of the Galactic Republic. If anything, it would have made more sense to show these as worlds that chafe under the bloated and bureaucratic Republic before completely defecting under the Empire.
The Separatist worlds were probably devastated after the end of the Clone Wars, but considering how wide the movement was (in excess of 10,000 star systems as said in Attack of the Clones) and how far flung the conflict was (as most of the Separatist worlds were scattered through the Outer Rim) it seems unlikely that Palpatine would be able to mop up every last CIS dreadnought. I think it would be good to see more former Separatists and CIS hardware used by the fledgeling Alliance. Afterall, the upper leadership aside, most of the CIS worlds had genuine reasons to defect and they even used the same strategies as the Rebel Alliance would use in the future.
Favorite Fanservice Moment: The TCW theme and title card.
Favorite Quote: “It was a victory; we all just won the Clone War.”
Generalized Episode Rating: 6, Good: Very watchable and with enough honey-potting it can be considered great. Leaves the viewer with a smile and a desire to see more.
This is a bit funny, because I actually really liked this episode. Like really liked this episode. There’s a lot I admire about it; it’s meta jokes, it’s treatment of characters, the theme of the episode. Fell it may have fallen a bit flat for Zach, I thought it was amazing.
The General Handling of Nostalgia
The first major thing this episode has going for it is nostalgia for the Clone Wars. Fortunately the show’s writers are self aware enough to know this. The result is an episode dedicated to the Clone Wars and some of its tropes. From the meta jokes about how a lot of plots revolved around saving people to jokes about how Jedi keep splitting up, these small jokes are some of the best parts of the episode.
The whole episode was steeped in the nostalgia. It is like a fusion between theClone Wars and Rebels. Old character designs, music cues, lore, character motivations, and the acknowledgement that our Rebels are technically what the Seperatists were to the Republic, I can tell the Clone Crew worked hard and knew what they were writing for.
I have to agree that the animation and general design is very lacklustre compared to the Clone Wars series. Yet I recognize that the show’s creators are doing the best with what they have. Though they may not have the budget, they have the heart.
Well Done Characters
A major plus this episode is Ezra’s return to form. The start of the season has issues and Ezra was being really annoying. Thankfully the writers gave us brevity and has Ezra be the voice of hope and reason. It was like he was channeling Steven Universe this episode.
He is able to create an alliance between Rex and the droid Commander to take on the Empire. He shows them how their conflict is incredibly pointless now. This creates a space for Rex and the Command Droid to team up in the awesome climax.
This episode wasn’t shy with handling Rex’s lack of closure. He never got to truly end the war. Worse still, he clearly has some PTSD from his time as a soldier. It is great that Rebel’s doesn’t shy away from it, and doesn’t look down on Rex for having these issues.
Moving on from the Clone War’s Shadow
This episode in a way ends that’s perfect. Because of Ezra’s conflict resolution skills, droids and the crew ‘ending’ the Clone Wars, it’s like the show itself is trying to move on. This is nostalgia, it’s enjoyable, but like Rex and the Droids, we need to move on. The Clone Wars, for better or worse, is over. Now we have Rebels, with the budget constraints but heartful episodes.
I feel this episode has a lot of heart. With excellent pacing, great character moments, In light of this, I give it a 10. (And realize that I’m very easy to please.) A high rating I know, but this was I really good episode to me. I would happily watch it again and give an in depth analysis.
Favorite Fanservice Moment: The Climax where the droids and rebels fight off the empire. It’s cheesy, but a good, happy cheesy.
Kalani: “The Jedi Rescue is a recurring scenario based on 1132 battles I have reviewed.”
Ezra: “Yeah, we’ve done it a few times.”
Generalized Episode Rating: 10, Electrifying: YES, YEESSSS! Too good for the galaxy, too pure. Leaves the viewer with a feeling of deep emotional catharsis and stimulation. Worth infinite rewatches with the volume turned all the way up. This rating truly represents the Light Side of the Force.