Like I mentioned last week, I may not have watched the entirety of Clone Wars, but I dabbled. Thanks to that, I knew the importance of Rebels reintroducing Captain Rex, a major clone character from its predecessor. Sadly after around the midpoint of last season, he started falling to the sidelines, reappearing only once in a while. Thankfully, "The Last Battle" returns him to the fold, with a whole episode devoted to him.
(Spoilers beyond this point.)
The Ghost is on a salvage run, seeking resources for the Rebellion. To cover more ground, they split up: Hera and Sabine take the ship to a fuel station, while the rest remains on an old Separatist outpost to search for weapons and ships. They find some, and a still active Separatist battle droid battalion, unaware of the end of the Clone Wars. Once their leader, the hyper-intelligent tactical droid General Kamali, realizes the war is over, he decides to use his captives to prove once and for all who would win the conflict.
It’s actually nice to see the droids again; the prequels are, for the most part, justly maligned, but they’re still a part of the Star Wars canon. Yet, a few connections aside, it often feels like they and the original trilogy are two separate parts of the canon. So it’s nice to see the return of the droids and, once the Empire enters the arena (forcing everyone to work together), to watch them interact with Stormtroopers. For a while, it feels like it’s all part of the same Galaxy. And the episode doubles down on it, providing us with one last Clone Wars — the previous series in miniature.
It also finally uses Rex to his full extent, with his droid counterpart, Kalani. Both are veterans of the same conflict and both want to prove once for all who would’ve won. But Kalani never stopped fighting, unaware until now that the war ended, and focused on analyzing from the data he had how the conflict would end. Rex, on the other hand, has it worse. While able to avoid following Order 66, Rex was still discarded by the Empire that took the Republic’s place; a being built and programmed for war, trying to find his own identity. His muscle memory is intact, but psychologically, he’s all over the place, practically living through a PTSD flashback. It’s a bit of a shame we never get to delve deeper, but it is a 20-minute episode of a show aimed at kids, so it’s somewhat understandable.
The episode ends with both sides working together to survive an Imperial attack force, and with Kalani’s droids leaving the Ghost crew on somewhat friendly terms. It’s a pleasant ending, I only wish the execution was better, as it hinges on Ezra being able to deduce from very limited information he had that the Emperor manipulated both the Republic and the Separatist in his goal to create the Empire. It’s very flimsy, and it all seems to be in the service of crediting him with "ending the Clone Wars." Still, it’s a minor flaw in an otherwise terrific episode.
The show is taking a break this week, so there won’t be a new recap next week. The next episode after the break is "Imperial Supercommandos." I’ll see you then.
Dominik Zine is a nerdy demisexual lad from northeastern Poland and is generally found in a comfy chair with a book in hand.