Rebels review: The Mystery of Chopper Base

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There, that’s better. After the last misstep, Rebels gets back on track with an exciting and deeply tense setup for the finale.

I was honestly worried this episode would be a direct follow up to “The Forgotten Droid” and since Chopper is in the title I feared we were in for a second episode focusing on his antics. Thankfully I was only half right, and while the episode continues the story started last week, Chopper is relugated to a supporting role and is actually useful and competent along with the entire Ghost crew. I do love when Rebels has enough respect for its leads to give them all things to do and make them feel needed.
“The Mystery of Chopper Base” is basically a monster movie on the surface, where the only goal is to survive, and survival is the name of the game this week, an idea Ezra and Kanan butt heads over. The action sequences are among the most suspenseful and exciting than anything Rebels has done so far, and more importanly though there are so many great human moments littered throughout that strengthen the characters and lead me to worry about some others.
The tension between Kanan and Ezra has been building slowly throughout the season, but the anger between them was positively palpable here. Ezra is now out for blood and wants to kill the inquisitors, whereas Kanan is refinforcing the Jedi philosophy of using the force for knowledge and defense and winning through survivng.
On the contrary, Ezra’s relationship with Zeb is finally past the petty childish quarrelling and there is an absolutely wonderful scene between them enjoying the sunset and looking towards a possibly bright future at last. This of course feels all the more poignant given the finale we’re headed for. Sabine gets the least attention here (what else is new?) but does get a suberbly badass moment where she discovers how to defeat their arachnid foes and launches herself over the oncoming horde. She alas doesn’t get the dignity of a goodbye scene with Ezra. His little crush seems to have dissapeared lately.
As for the spiders themselves, Ezra grows all the more frustrated and angry for his inability to connect with and tame them. This followd by his interaction with Ahsoka at the end nicely foreshadows Ahsoka’s inevitable failure to convert Vader back to the light. Despite everything Ezra has learned about the force he still can’t accept things being out of his control.
Finally there’s the tension between Hera and Kanan as she struggles to accept that he’s leaving and may not be coming back. I don’t get why they’re not allowed to be an onscreen couple if it’s going to be constantly implied. Maybe Disney isn’t comfortable with the interspecies thing? I dunno.
This was a great use of 22 minutes packed with tense suspenseful action and a lot of lovely quiet moments between characters, all while building the feeling of dread for what’s to come. Given that Rebels tends to do best with the beginnings and endings of its seasons, with hit or miss results in between, I am about excited for this finale as I was for The Force Awakens.

Rating
9/10

Nerd Notes
-Ahsoka theory: Well, things aren’t looking bright for her. If she survives this season she’ll likely be captured or disgraced, but either way it won’t end well for her. If she does in fact die, I’m guessing we’ll see a similar scenario as we saw in The Force Awakens with Han trying to bring his son back from the dark side. Didn’t end well for him.
-“Times like this I wish I had a jetpack.” Sabine muses. Yeah… Seriously, you’re a Mando, girl! Why don’t you have one??

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