Both charming and hilarious, “Double Agent Droid” is one of those episodes that takes the time to flesh out the details leading up to the main event, specifically the attack on Lothal, and by extension, Thrawn’s attack on the rebels. While the episode was mostly a win for me, there were a few things that I wish had gone differently. One of them pertains to the fear I had initially going into this episode—that Chopper might lose part of his programming. None of that happened, of course, and I should be happy and grateful, which I am, but part of me had hoped there would be dire consequences for what happened. Instead, an Imperial ship exploded and the heroes got away yet again, even though it seemed to me that, at the very least, Chopper should have suffered from some serious hardware and software damage.
While most fans called it a filler episode (once again assigning an overused word to an episode they personally didn’t like), my issue wasn’t that. My issue was about what happened toward the end of the episode, and while some could have seen it as a minor victory for the rebels prior to the defeat that Thrawn has been promising all season long, I think their victory should have had consequences. Although Chopper was in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, confirming that the little belligerent droid would survive, there was a real opportunity to do a bit more damage in this episode that would have reinforced that the stakes are high and that no one—not even everyone’s favorite cat-like droid—is safe. Instead, the rebels came out unscathed, and while I’m normally the one seeking these happy storylines and endings, this episode reinforced what tends to happen often in this series which is the fact that the good guys get away with their lives yet again. As a result, many went in knowing that nothing significant would happen and that there was no sense of real danger. Of course, the creators may be saving the suspense and surprises for the season finale, but imagine how more devastating it would have been to have something substantial happen to such a beloved character?
Don’t get me wrong. I love Chopper. He’s actually my favorite droid more so than R2-D2, BB-8, and K-2SO combined. While AP-5 and Chopper’s bickering made the episode fun and enjoyable, part of me was waiting for the episode to rip my heart out sort of like what happened when we first met AP-5 and he had been shot in the back. I thought the opposite was going to happen and AP-5 would be the one to offer something from his own mechanical body to save Chopper. Or something equally devastating, like Chopper losing his memories and starting from scratch. The memory core of the Imperial ship blew up, but nothing happened to Chopper? That part of the story seemed a bit too perfect, even for me. I completely understand if the writers didn’t want anything bad to happen to Chopper—I mean, who does, really? In that case, the Imperial ship should have suffered only minor damage, having acquired some information about the rebel location and pleasing Thrawn greatly. That would have tied the episode even more to what has been an ongoing thread since the start of the season.
The rest of the episode was comedic gold. Brent Friedman is a genius when it comes to writing droids, Stephen Stanton executed AP-5’s lines perfectly, Hera demonstrated once again that you do not want to mess with her, and above all, we finally got to see a refresher and I couldn’t be happier. Not only that, but there was an adorable little musical number at the end. AP-5 was in his own world, finally at peace, before the Ghost snatched him back up and brought him back to reality. It’s pretty much how the rest of us function on a daily basis. We seek out Star Wars as a form of escape, but there comes a time when reality pulls us back in. Overall, the episode reminded me of the show’s earlier days, when Ezra and Zeb used to chase after Chopper, and I’m sure I’ll be missing those days even more when Thrawn steps in.
UPDATE: Also, it’s important to note that Hera put her droid in danger to get back at the bad guys. As mentioned in this Twitter conservation, this rubbed some viewers the wrong way, including myself.
Make sure to visit the episode guide and tune into the next all-new episode, “Twin Suns,” on Saturday, March 18, 2017, at 8:30PM EST on Disney XD.
Also, stop by later this week for a new podcast episode from Rebels Chat.
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