It’s the Last Battle, approximately 17 years after The Clone Wars have ended. Rex, Ezra, and the crew stumble across a small legion of Separatist Battle Droids, something they haven’t seen in quite some time. The episode answers a lot of questions and if nothing else, provides a bit of closure for players on both sides of the war.
Series Producer Dave Filoni hinted at a few callbacks to The Clone Wars animated series this week and boy did he deliver. When Rebels began 2 years ago, it was during Disney’s distance-itself-from-anything-prequel-related phase. Much like The Force Awakens, it was trying to recreate some of the magic that brought fans to their feet in the original trilogy by staying true to the sights, sounds, and feeling of Star Wars: A New Hope. After this initial phase, we have begun to witness the bridging of the gap between the old and the new. Ahsoka Tano was a major player last season, among many smaller story lines that borrowed influence from The Clone Wars.
I have very much enjoyed hearing Rex’s perspective as a former soldier for the Republic-turned-Empire and in this episode, we also get to hear the perspective from a Tactical Battle Droid. The battle that takes place essentially feels like a simulated Civil War reenactment. Despite their annoying, squeaky voices, it was reassuring hearing Battle Droids squabble again. Seeing Rex in his Clone Trooper helmet again was a welcomed sight too.
The Clone War was an ugly one, and it’s interesting to see how personal it was to Rex and the Clones despite the fact that they were Clones. The episode helped to show that the Clones could think for themselves and that even though they were bred for one purpose, they were individualistic to a point. The same could be said of the Battle Droids. Despite their programming, they could reason and find logic. Ezra’s discussion with the group shows that he is more than just a very, very powerful Force wielder – he was the only one who was able to show the Clones and the Droids that both of them lost the war, that they were pawns of the Empire the entire time. This gives credence to the fact that Ezra is so special. It also speaks to his growing maturity. It feels as if Rex has some closure from this encounter. I will admit that the episode preview had me worried that this was going to spell the end for Rex, and one particular moment in the show (if not two) had me thinking the same.
The Last Battle feels like a crossover between two different shows and in a way, it was. The series is no doubt in great hands. However, I can’t help but wonder what’s going on with Maul, Thrawn, and Obi-Wan these days.
+ End credits plays The Clone Wars theme and meshes the “Rebels” logo to match.
+ Ezra’s conviction and revelation to Rex & the Tactical Battle Droid.
– Despite the crossover, the story largely felt like a break in the action with regards to the show’s overall season arch.
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