“Nach” unfused into Zach and Nick for the initial part of this because there was literally nothing to this episode of Star Wars Rebels. “Ghosts of Geonosis” had the entertainment value of a bowl of Froot Loops. It was lots of flash and no substance. It was a box of cream of wheat. It was an hour of our lives that might have been spent doing something else.
Not even the voice-work of Forest Whitaker could save this episode. It did not do anything wrong, but it did exactly NOTHING right either. It’s one of those episodes you might skip on rewatches. The more we think about it, the worse it gets.
Phoenix Squadron is sent to find Saw Gerrera, a rebel leader whose team disappeared while exploring the sterilized planet Geonosis. They find him as well as Klik-Klak, one of the last Geonosians alive, a veteran of the Empire’s mysterious science project that was constructed partially in Geonosis’ orbit and custodian of the last Geonosian Queen’s egg. While Saw wants to imprison Klik-Klak for interrogation, the other rebels Steven Universe him to allow Klik-Klak to remain in the hopes that he will rebuild Geonosis.
Ezra Personality of the Week
More and more we have noticed that this season Ezra’s personality seems to change from episode to episode. In the grand tradition of Fandomentals Analysis we have decided to use separate names to refer to the different personalities Ezra exhibits:
- Emozra: This is the Ezra that taps into The Dark Side. He usually appears alongside Maul or when Kanan needs a moral-foil to show his heroism against. He also probably listens to Linkin Park unironically.
- Stezra: This Ezra personality is basically an expy of Steven from Steven Universe. He’ll approach any conflict and hostile entity with an open heart and mind and use the power of conflict resolution to calm himself and others. He has excellent emotional intelligence.
- ¿¿¿EzRa???: This Ezra is confused as to what he is doing, not just in the present moment, but in his life in general. This Ezra forgets all his character development and street-smarts in exchange for asking questions so that exposition can happen.
- Cornflakezra: This Ezra is vanilla Jedi No. 8. There is nothing special, he might remember he has a lightsaber, and he will deflect some shots but not at a target. Basically he’s an extra with speaking role.
This week in Star Wars Rebels we got a healthy dose of Stezra, who, using the powers of conflict resolution, made everyone understand each other and even changed Saw’s heart without any development what so ever.
This episode was all about Saw Gerrera. His arc dominated the entire thing, but it was all Cheerios: bland and predictable.
He was introduced in Rogue One as a demonstration of the dangerous side of the rebels. He and his cell operate more like terrorists and insurgents than the noble freedom fighters that are depicted in the films. This is even mentioned earlier in the show in Season 2’s “The Honorable Ones.” Kallus ran into Gerrera’s cell on Onderon, and one of the members of that cell, a Lasat, went through and executed all the injured survivors. We know just from this that Saw lacks the scruples we are accustomed to.
And yet this episode depicts him as the Well Intentioned Extremist. He initially shows himself as a hardened warrior, willing to go toe-to-toe with all of Phoenix Squadron if it means achieving his goals. He even holds the Geonosian Queen’s egg hostage, jeopardizing the future of an entire species for the sake of finding out what Klik-Klak knows. Then he just flip-flops after a good heart to heart with Stezra.
Sure, we see in Rogue One he let Jyn go because he was unwilling to use her as a hostage, but it is also very telling that he let her go rather than keeping her safe; he was probably tempted to do it himself. Even then, this newfound compassion for someone else’s family is a bit out of the blue-bantha-milk.
It would have been better and more thematically poignant if Saw had decided to push things and force the Rebels into action. It would have been a step in the right direction for Emozra; we see him in “Steps into Shadows” as an “ends justify means” commander, just like Saw. If Ezra had been tempted, not just by Maul and The Dark Side, but by the power that comes with it, the whole episode would have been lifted to a new level.
Further, the episode misses out on making Saw a multifaceted character ala something like Bismuth from Steven Universe.
Sal has two modes of operation. Grungy, extremist, and overly zealous Sal who lacks any charisma, calmness, or understanding. Or understanding, compassionate, and kind Sal who shows up out of nowhere at the end of the episode. The episodes could’ve used their time to have Sal have at least some self reflection. Perhaps he feels calm or even parental seeing the queen egg but then stuffs it back in so he can continue the mission. Or even have his sister’s memory affect how he he views the mission. Instead Sal becomes a strawman who is easily talked out of everything by the end of the second episode.
Script by the Numbers
This whole episode is a walk through Basic Script 101. Everything that happens happens because Plot.
Sabine/Zeb’s fight was just padding. In fact, one of the features of this cornmeal breakfast was padding. The skim milk of the episode if you will. Random droid battles, a maze chase, the battle droid sand dunes, Saw Gerrera’s entire squad getting killed, the signal issues, and a few minor things here and there all adding up to nothing or being glossed over.
There we had an appearance of Overly Haughty Imperial Commander #18. You know the one; after the promotion, wanting to squash rebels, makes stupid and inexperienced battle decisions. While it’s a bit justified since Overly Haughty Imperial Commander #18 is inexperienced, within the overall series it’s a starting to become a trope of its own.
The rebels won the battle, but not all the way, no (intentional) morally ambiguous decisions, and everyone survived. This episode script by numbers. Things happen, but do not think too much about it.
The Death Star of Dramatic Irony (Bail Organa believes in the Illuminati)
Something a bit more likable this episode was the dramatic inclusion of the Death Star. Klik-Klak, the Gension, tried to warns our rebels about this giant war machine. Yet instead they find the illuminati gas canisters and awesome that’s what Klik-Klak was talking about.
We, the audience, know Klik-Klak is talking about the Death Star. Our Rebel’s can’t know that, and logically assume this is what the little insect meant. However, they are wrong, and miss out on one of the empire’s most pivotal weapons. It’s one of the story’s few good moments, avoiding being trite or faceplamy, and ultimately a good.
Beating the Dead Geonosian
The last time we saw Geonosis in SWR was in Season 2’s “The Honorable Ones,” when Zeb and Kallus have a gay bonding moment when they are trapped on one of the mysteriously icy moons of the desert planet. When they were in orbit, the crew of the Ghost notes that there are no life readings on Geonosis; the implication being that the Empire came in and wiped everyone out. We got double confirmation of this in Darth Vader #4, wherein the Dark Lord of the Sith directly confirms that the Empire sterilized Geonosis.
So this begs the question, Why do we have to go back? (Hint: it’s…)
Geonosis appearing just boils down to even more fanservice in an episode full of fanservice. If we wanted to add some Raisins to the Bran Crunch then we could have gone somewhere else introduced in Rogue One. Perhaps to Eadu, where Galen Erso is being held. Perhaps make one of the surviving Geonosians as an engineer under the direction of Orson Krennic. Perhaps to Scarif, so the rebels can see the massive fortifications being set up on some remote tropical world. Hell, maybe even some Jedha action to give world-building around the Temple of the Whills and other Force cults would have been better than the soggy cornflakes that we got with this episodes.
ALL THE PLOT HOLES
- Hera apparently knows all about Saw Gerrera’s questionable tactics, but she decides to tell Kanan about only after Saw is on the ship with them.
- How did all of Saw Gerrera’s highly trained militants get taken out by the famously inept battle droids?
- Are Saw and Rex’s blasters set to Chewbacca’s Bowcaster mode? Because they really chewed through that solid rock arch right quick.
- Kanan apparently spent all Christmas learning from the Bendu because now he can rotate and balance a giant stone bridge while two people walk across it. Note: he’s still blind.
- Did we just forget that Klik-Klak was the one with the remote control for the battle droids, which means he is directly responsible for the annihilation of Saw’s team?
- So apparently destroying the remote turns everything off. We’ll remember that next time we buy a TV.
- Why are the undetonated Imperial gas bombs sitting perfectly upright and organized in the bottom of a hole?
- If the Sterilization of Geonosis was supposed to be a secret, why did they put big Imperial symbols all over the sides?
- Those proton torpedos blew the Imperial light cruiser in f*cking half WHY HAVEN’T WE USED THIS BEFORE (Zach was very passionate about this point.)
Episode Rating: 3: Nah. The beginnings of active avoidance. Leaves the viewer with mild discomfort and a hunger for something better.
Favorite Episode(s) Quote
No! That tells me nothing!!!
The episode is in a nutshell.
A new battle droid shows up. Sadly it’s not K-2SO.
All Images Courtesy of Disney, Cartoon Network, Nintendo, and Kelloggs