This review contains spoilers.
In general, audience viewers are quick to use the word “filler” whenever a series goes off on a tangent. This episode was far from it. “The Forgotten Droid” turned out to be a lot more fun and sentimental than what I had been originally expecting. And what’s most impressive about Star Wars Rebels in general is that it continues to do that on a weekly basis: breaking expectations. This wasn’t a silly side adventure because as my Rebels Chat partner pointed out in our podcast review of this episode, Chopper is just as integral as any other Ghost crew member. “The Forgotten Droid” reminds us of that and emphasizes the fact that droids aren’t just droids. Just because something functions differently from organic beings, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t deserve respect and appreciation, and I think this episode really put that into perspective. And although some were quick to dismiss it, many others enjoyed the episode and the story it had to offer.
Chopper is a funny little droid with his own personality and his own wants. He does things for selfish reasons, but at the end of the day, he actually does have a heart. The moments are scattered throughout, but Chopper has done things to show that he cares and understands. (If you don’t believe it, check out this post.) On the other hand, Chopper has committed acts that have made our jaws drop in horror, including the time when he pushed the courier droid off the Ghost and another Imperial droid down a shaft. So what made this episode special was that he made a friend and made a connection with someone of his own kind. Not only that, but they also discovered that they have a shared background as military droids. That was my favorite thing to come out of this episode, discovering more about Chopper and how he had been part of the war.
While AP-5 is meant to mirror C-3PO, I’m happy that he doesn’t share many characteristics with the classic character. For one, I’m not the biggest C-3PO fan. He was always an irritating character, so it’s great that AP-5 stands out on his own. The chemistry that both he and Chopper shared throughout the episode stood out to me more than anything ever shared between C-3PO and R2-D2. That might be an outlandish thing to say, but I honestly felt a stronger origin story and bond form between AP-5 and Chopper. And that’s due in part to the writing by Matt Michnovetz, who’s written some of my favorite episodes in Star Wars Rebels and Star Wars: The Clone Wars. There were specific lines of dialogue that really solidified their friendship and left fans with wanting more.
Although the episode didn’t win the hearts of everyone, it definitely won mine and left me feeling good inside because life is full of unhappy endings, so I was both relieved and pleased to see that there was a happy ending to this story. A new friendship was born, a new based was found, and the two droids paved the way for the rebellion to continue their activities. What more could you want!
- It was a huge surprise to see Ketsu again! Even if she didn’t appear a lot in the episode, it was still nice. I’d love to know what made her join the Rebellion, but it’s clearly a question that’s not meant to be answered. At least, for now.
- I absolutely adore how Horizon Base looks. There have been a lot of new and complicated locations this season, but this has to be one of my favorites.
- Chopper’s entire scene, from spotting the leg to his slow head turn towards it while Hera was talking to him, is absolutely priceless.
- Shopper. Oh, Zeb.
- Love Ugnaughts! I can never have enough of them and I am so happy to see one be front and center as the merchant for these scenes with Chopper.
- Chopper’s laugh will never not make me laugh as well. It is an incredible sound.
- Part of me has always wondered, if a “rebel heist” hadn’t just happened, would the troopers have merely stood there laughing at the merchant or would they have gone to apprehend Chopper anyway? The whole sight gag of Chopper ducking into a “building” and having it actually being a ship was very well done and a great surprise.
- I loved AP-5 as soon as I saw him, and I adore his voice. I hope, given how we haven’t seen another droid quite like him, that that’ll mean we get to see him again later in the series, even with this season coming to a close next week.
- The scene between AP-5 and Chopper talking about the Clone Wars, and specifically the Ryloth campaign, gives us a bit of insight into Chopper’s past. It also fills in for anyone who didn’t read the short story just how long Chopper has been with Hera. And while I would have also loved the holo-image of Hera to be of her when she was a kid, I also don’t mind that he used her current look because she’s still someone who rescued him and would continue to do so. Showing a past image might have implied that she either is no longer someone who would save him or would have mistakenly implied that they were no longer together, which would have not helped Chopper’s whole argument in this case.
- Chopper having been shot down in a Y-wing makes me wonder about the Clone assigned to him. If he died, I wonder if Chopper knew him at all or if he was just another body doing a job as much as he was at the time.
- There have been a LOT of deplorable Imperials, and this Captain firmly fits into that category. Though, even so, I am honestly curious about what ended up actually happening to him. I would say he was dead after the hit he took, but I have no idea.
- Also, I’m curious. Given the size of the crates on the outside, in comparison to the command area on the ship, was that one massive room we see filled with supplies a single crate? Because it didn’t seem like the troopers were sucked out into space when the ship was detaching from the cargo.
- AP-5 immediately dropping Chopper’s leg with a little “oops” really got to me. The humor in this episode was top notch. Though, that’s a pretty good staple of Chopper being on the scene.
- While I am sure there was a caveat with Hera saying, “Chopper doesn’t have any friends,” the line still came off as incredibly harsh.
- I got so upset when AP-5 was shot. Not just once, but twice. And their little scene with his final words and their hand holding broke my heart entirely. I would not have forgiven the episode had it not ended the way it had.
- AP-5’s plight with how he is treated by the organic crew is something that Star Wars has shown a lot of since the series as a whole began. Over the course of the movies and The Clone Wars, there are various times droids are openly discriminated against to having their pain be used as comical relief. The original intent of making droids comic relief has long ago come around to make the existence they live in borderline horrific, if not outright. Though, it is still something that many fans of the franchise also do not see as a problem because they are just machines. I have hopes that this episode helps clarify how droids are people, and how that is shown through AP-5’s concerns about being treated better than he is now and with the choices he makes to help Chopper and the Rebellion when he didn’t have to.
- This was an excellent episode, and while AP-5 is, as I put it after watching the episode, Chopper’s C-3PO, he is a unique character all to himself, so it doesn’t just feel like R2 and 3PO 2.0. Both droids were given a lot of respect this episode, and I really love that.
Make sure to tune into the next all-new episode tonight, Wednesday, March 23, 2016, at 9:00PM EST on Disney XD.