Friday, 25 March 2016

Star Wars Rebels 'The Mystery of Chopper Base' Review

This review WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS for the episode to be discussed, if you do not want certain plot points or story spoilt, please do not read further.

In the last episode of Rebels the fledgling rebel alliance managed to finally find a planet that they could use as a base after almost an entire season of searching.  Now that they finally have a place where they can hide their ships and supplies and train their troops things have begun to look less than perfect.

When a member of phoenix squadron goes missing whilst setting up a remote sensor unit Sabine and Rex go out to try and track her down.  Instead of finding their missing pilot they come across giant space spider things that attack them and make off with Rex as a captive.

The rest of the Ghost crew manage to track down the spiders to their underground lair and initiate a rescue mission for the veteran clone trooper.

'The Mystery of Chopper Base' moves away from space opera and action to horror territory as the crew of the Ghost descend into the dark and winding tunnels beneath the planet's surface to hunt the giant space monsters.

The action takes place in tight, confined spaces, with creatures coming at our heroes from multiple directions at once.  It's tense and nerve wracking and possibly even scary for younger audience members.

Eventually the Ghost crew manage to discover that the spiders are repelled by the sensor units, and rather than abandon the planet that they'd tried to hard to find over the season, simply set up a ring of the devices around the base to keep the monsters out.

It's a clever plan, one that will hopefully allow them to keep using Chopper Base, and possibly make it a lot harder for the Empire to find them if they do scout out the planet.  Whether or not the monsters will be kept at bay by the sensors forever, or if they'll eventually find a way inside may end up being a followup story to this one, though it will have to wait until next season.

The episode ends with Kanan, Ezra and Ahsoka setting out on their mission to find Malachor, given to them by Yoda in 'Shroud of Darkness'.  The goodbyes are handled well, with Ezra and Zeb sharing a moment of camaraderie that shows how far the two have come since those first few episodes where they absolutely hated each other.

Kanan and Hera also get some time given over to their goodbye in the episode, which goes a way to further raising the question of whether or not the two of them are romantically involved or not.  There's always been a sense that the two of them are a couple, but nothing has ever been expressly shown or said about, but when it comes time for Kanan to leave you can clearly see that the decision is a hard one for both of them.  Just like the fate of Chopper base, the relationship between Hera and Kanan will have to be something that the series will have to explore in it's third season.

The next episode is the season finale, and will be focusing on the Jedi's and the force, so it's nice that the last episode covered the rest of the rebellion, even if it was only in a small way.  It shows us that the rebel alliance as a whole is moving forward, that it's getting closer to becoming the group we see in A New Hope.  It's also good to see that AP-5 is still with the rebellion and is still getting to have snarky conversations with Chopper.

A fun space monster episode that manages to find the time to squeeze in some neat character development moments.


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