Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Star Wars Rebels S2E19 The Mystery of Chopper Base Recap/Review (Spoilers!): Setup for the Finale

The Mystery of Chopper Base really should have been the episode to follow up Shroud of Darkness. It was lighter and had a good adventure on the new base, but also did a good job of setting up what is going to happen next week for the finale.  All the Forgotten Droid episode did was give us the base, the only other call back to it was a brief scene with Chopper’s droid friend. They could have given us a better episode last week where they found the base, and set up more of the conflict brewing between Kanan and Ezra.
The opening for the episode was strong and heavy on the foreshadowing. It was interesting to see how strong and capable Ezra is getting and that he is now on par with Kanan in many respects. It won’t be long before he surpasses the master. Kanan is worried about him, worried because of the fight he had at the Jedi temple on Lothal. He wants to prepare Ezra the best he can so he doesn’t turn to a dark path, but he’s worried he still will. I still think the trial Kanan went through on Lothal was more about him accepting his limitations as a protector of Ezra rather than it predicting Ezra’s fall to the darkside. I still don’t think Ezra is going to turn to the darkside, but I’m willing to admit they are setting it up for him to take a fall.
Ezra and Kanan are getting ready to leave and I liked the pain this decision is causing Hera. She understands the need for them to leave, but she still thinks they are needed for the Rebellion, plus she has a special relationship with Kanan. I liked her decision in the tunnel to take Zeb and Sabine and let Ezra and Kanan go on their own. In the end they still needed Kanan and Ezra to get them out of the situation, which reinforced her worry about needing them in the fight against the empire.
Kanan and Ezra leaving is good for the show, but having Ezra go out and watch the sunset with Zeb seemed wildly misplaced. It just didn’t work, it was supposed to be touching and showcase their friendship, but the scene was just odd. I want them to say goodbye, but it was a big tonal shift for the episode overall. I saw a clip with the scene earlier in the week, and thought it was strange, it was even stranger in the episode.
Everything but this weird scene was good in the episode. I liked the adventure the team went on. The giant spider creatures were well designed and they setup good tension in the episode overall. The team going to look for Rex after he was captured was intense and a little frightening. The action against the spiders was also well done and both the ending and initial scene with Rex and Sabine was exciting.  Kanan got in on the action using his lightsaber in grand fashion after Ezra tried to connect with the creatures. Their argument in the tunnel didn’t seem as fun and light hearted as normal. Ezra quip at the end tried to make it lighthearted, but there was a definite serious undertone, and I think their relationship is becoming strained. Kanan realizes he doesn’t have much more to teach Ezra and is worried he is going to take the wrong path because he doesn’t have common sense.
The final battle in the episode was terrific, but a small nitpick I have would be why they didn’t call for more backup from the Rebel base. Their communications weren’t down, why not get a bunch of A-wings and soldiers to come lay waste to the spiders and sit tight in the ship? I get that we wouldn’t have an exciting finish if this were the case, but it is a small plot hole. Plus what happened to the other pilot they initially were sent out to find? I assume she was lost, but they should have at least mentioned her when they went and rescued Rex. He was alive, why couldn’t she have been?  Two very small nitpicks of the episode, but overall it was fun exciting tense adventure.
The ending with Ezra was interesting. Ahsoka telling him that you can never truly understand the force was true, but what was interesting was the subtle use of musical score during the sequence. The piece of score is used at the end of Return of the Jedi when Anakin is dying and telling Luke he was right about him. What could this mean if anything? Is this a nod to people being right about Ezra turning bad, or just an ominous piece of music to setup the conclusion of the season? It could mean Ezra is getting ready to take a turn, I don’t want this to be true, but I have to admit they are setting it up for him too. I still think it would be more interesting for Kannan to make the turn, but them making Kanan a Jedi Knight in Shroud of Darkness speaks against it.

I’m excited for the two part conclusion next week. The season has been fun and well done overall, but if the finale is excellent I think it can help cement the show as good for both kids and hardcore fans. Did you think tonight was a good setup for the finale next week? Do you think Ezra will make a turn to the darkside or remain on the side of the light? Comment and let me know. 

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