The second half of season three for Star Wars Rebels kicked off with episodes ten and eleven, The Ghost of Geonosis Part 1 and Part 2. The two episodes dealt with the crew of the ghost going to the planet of Geonosis to discover what happened to the Rebel Saw Gerrera and his crew. Gerrera’s team was sent to Geonosis to see if they could discover what the Empire did to the Geonosians. When the Alliance lost contact with Saw they sent in the Ghost. This is a story I thought the show would build up to during the first part of the season. I was thinking the crew of the Ghost would help the Rebellion discover the existence of the Death Star or indication the Empire was up to something. These episodes were more of a character study on Saw, his extremities, and how the crew of the Ghost reacted to him.
These were enjoyable episodes, but something just seemed to be missing overall. Saw is an interesting character, and I’m glad we got more time with him in Rebels, but his appearance would have had more effect if these episodes were delivered before Rogue One. There was nothing in this episode which gave away information to the plot of Rogue One, and it would have been great development for people who watch Rebels to see Saw and his actions before the film. We see how extreme he can be with his interactions with the Geonosian, and how he tries to torture him for information for the good of the Rebellion. The entire crew of the Ghost pushes back and allow the Geonosian to go his own way. This is actually a good easter egg for people who read the Darth Vader comic, because the queen egg the solider saves is probably the one Darth Vader encounters during the comic. This character development for Saw was great, but it just wasn’t as impactful as I wanted for the episode or series overall.
The episodes were almost trying too hard to connect The Clone Wars and the Prequels to the current era. The emotional resonance just wasn’t there when Saw looked at his sister. Maybe it was the voice acting by Forrest Whitaker that was a turn off, but something didn’t click. The quip about sand was funny and I liked how they are poking fun at themselves. I didn’t hate these episodes, and still found them enjoyable, but maybe I was expecting more powerful moments. The action was still fantastic and it was great to see Sabine take out the Stormtroopers with her own jump pack. The way the Ghost escapes is also well done, but would have preferred more competent Imperials to up the stakes in the episodes. I did like the Geonosian trying to inform the crew about the Death Star and the crew not understanding the drawing. This was handled well, and it fits extremely well within the framework leading to Rogue One.
The second half of the third season is setup to be fantastic with Thrawn closing in on the crew, and the eventual confrontation with Obi-Wan and Maul. The Sabine storyline with the Mandalorians is also exciting. While this was basically an hour long episode it didn’t propel any major storyline for the crew going forward. Ghost of Geonosis just develops a character who we see die in Rogue One. The placement of episodes in the series has really poorly affected the pacing of this show, and having these episodes before Rogue One would have had more impact for both the movie and the show. Having them after the film make the episodes seem like filler instead of connecting to anything overall. These aren’t bad episodes, but maybe the expectations were too high on what they would deliver overall. The emotion wasn’t found in the episode like the season premiere or even the mid-season finale. I’m still excited for the second half of the season, but this was a small misstep to start off.