Star Wars Rebels: “Droids in Distress” Season 1 Episode 2 Review

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For those of you unaware, the second episode of Star Wars Rebels is currently available for free on iTunes, and it features some familiar faces.

One thing I praised about the premiere Spark of Rebellion was how it avoided any classic Star Wars characters, aside from Obi Wan in a previously recorded hologram, and instead focused on the core group of the Ghost. Episode two caved and gave us our two favorite droids: R2-D2 and C-3PO. But aside from a few unnecessary lines from C-3PO that screamed “Look! You know him!”, their inclusion was pretty well done.

The crew find themselves short on supplies and decide to run an errand for Cikatro Vizago to steal mysterious Imperial shipments. They board a transport with a representative of the Empire using C-3PO as a translator for her arms dealer. With just about every member of the team involved in the scam, they manage to lie to the representative about whet docking bay her shipment is in.

Of course, they get found out as they’re loading the crates and Stormtroopers come running after them. But Zeb is more than up to the task of roughing up a squadron of the Empire’s best. IT probably helped that the weapons being traded belonged to the people of his homeworld, which the Empire has since wiped out.

They escape, along with R2 and 3PO, with the latter under the impression that he’s been abducted. Sadly, it’s only after 3PO contacts Agent Kallus that R2 reveals their mission all along was to make sure the shipments didn’t end up in Imperial hands. We knew these two couldn’t be working for the Empire, even if 3PO thought he was.

This leads to an excellent confrontation between Kallus and his men and the crew of the Ghost. I enjoyed the Hoth-style fight as two walkers slowly made their way to the fight. As Kallus drew closer, he brought out a staff just like Zeb’s, and the two duel, setting up a rivalry between hero and villain. Just as Kallus is about to finish Zeb, Ezra uses the Force more directly than we’ve seen yet, knocking Kallus on his back long enough for everyone to escape.

The final scene had the Ghost dropping the droids off on the Tantive IV, handing them over to Bail Organa. This cameo was a great way to show that the prequels aren’t just being swept under the rug while showing us how the crew of the Ghost may eventually become part of the Rebellion.

So we got some pretty great stuff from our second episode of Rebels. Despite C-3PO getting too many lines that were familiar to those he spoke in the films, the inclusion of familiar characters such as R2-D2 and Bail Organa worked very well. But we also got strong character moments from Zeb and Ezra, while Kallus became a more engaging foe. This was a strong second outing for Rebels, one that indicates the excellent pilot wasn’t just a fluke. Grade: B+

By Matt Dougherty

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