This droid-centered episode does a great job both comically and at surprising viewers with a moment that you never really see in "Star Wars."
Spoiler Warning: The following review contains spoilers for “Double Agent Droid” and for previous episodes of “Star Wars Rebels.”
Many fans of the animated “Star Wars” shows always seem to hate on the droid centered episodes, claiming they don’t really progress the overall narrative of the show. While that point may be true, the main purpose of these kinds of episodes is for humor, one of the core elements that makes “Star Wars” in general so great. The episode begins with Chopper, AP-5 and Wedge Antilles going on a covert mission to an Imperial base, which of course leads to some comical banter between the two droids.
Once inside the facility, Chopper and AP-5 are sent to get clearance codes for the rebels attack on Lothal and the plan surprisingly goes well up until Chopper is hijacked by a Imperial Listener Ship. These Imperials have similar implants to Lobot in “The Empire Strikes Back,” meaning they give up their personality in order to work much more efficiently, making them almost like droids. AP-5 seems to be the only one to notice Choppers change of attitude once back on the Ghost, allowing the mind-controlled astromech to lure and lock the crew in the cargo hold of the ship. While the crew works on getting out, the Imperial listener works to steal the location of the rebel base through the Ghost’s hyperspace log. Eventually AP-5 gets the crew access back into the cockpit of the Ghost, letting them stop the data transfer and rescue Chopper from Imperial control. Somehow through the science of “Star Wars,” Hera is able to overload Chopper’s power signal, which in turn overloads the Imperial listener ship’s power causing it to explode as well.
The action this episode is a bit bare, although we do get to see Chopper duel wield two blasters while under Imperial control against AP-5, which I’m sure Chopper’s already murderous persona did not mind regardless. Let’s not forget that he blew up an Imperial cruiser, as well as shamelessly booted another astromech off the Ghost mid-flight, all of which probably leaves him with the highest kill count of anyone on the show. The explosion of the Imperial listener ship was also an amazing animation, similar to last weeks nebula solar flare.
While there were not many in universe connections this episode, fans will be happy to know that after 40 years we finally know what bathrooms in the “Star Wars” universe are called, refreshers. This moment came when AP-5 follows Wedge into the ‘refresher’ thinking he was trying to let AP-5 explain to him his suspicions of Chopper out of earshot, which catches the poor pilot off guard and causes him to realize just why no one signed up for the mission with the two droids. We also get a pop culture reference when AP-5 and Chopper (as much as his beeps can quote) go back and forth with their own rendition of “Anything you can do I can do better,” which is made all the more hilarious when it continues after the show comes off of the commercial break.
My favorite moment of the episode comes towards the end when AP-5 is floating alone in space and some small birdlike aliens fly around him as he begins to sing a very brief musical number in his monotone voice along with musical cues, until his peace and quiet is ended when the Ghost abruptly picks him up much to his displeasure. Show producer Dave Filoni stated that since many fans pass these episodes off as simply filler, why not go over the top with it. I’m sure despite that, some angry fans are probably furiously tweeting online about how Disney has finally ruined “Star Wars” with musical numbers like they predicted years ago. These fans would in fact be forgetting this little musical number in “Return of the Jedi” named ‘Jedi Rocks,’ performed by Sly Snootles and the Max Rebo Band.
All in all this episode may have not been huge in forwarding the plot, it still was a great comedic breather before the last two episodes when stuff really goes down. While AP-5 and Chopper have obvious parallels to Threepio and Artoo, the two simply have their own hilarious dynamic thanks to their vastly different personalities which really shine in this episode. I also want to give props to Stephen Stanton as he does a great job at delivering lines as AP-5, especially when he only has beeps and purring to work off of with Chopper. Next week’s episode is probably my most anticipated, ever since it was teased earlier this season, the showdown between Maul and Old Ben Kenobi. The episode before the season finale of “Star Wars Rebels” airs on Disney XD next Saturday at 8:30 pm.