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Star Wars Rebels

The Last Battle (Star Wars Rebels - S03E06) - Television

Series: Star Wars Rebels

Title: The Last Battle

Season: Three

Episode: 6

Original Air Date: October 22, 2016

Runtime: 22 minutes

Credits: Review & Text: Mike Taber; Page layout & Design: Chuck Paskovics

“Wait, who’s Roger?” SPOILERS. 

Although I am a big fan of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, I never thought I would be excited to see battle droids or that the phrase “Roger, Roger” would bring a smile to my face. The battle droids and their juvenile humor were often a distraction during the early years of The Clone Wars series, but I found these walking anachronisms to be rather endearing in this episode. Maybe it’s nostalgia, but seeing the battle droids in the Original Trilogy era was a lot of fun. “The Last Battle” sought to provide a sense of closure for the survivors of the Clone Wars, and for the audience as well. This episode was loving tribute to Star Wars: The Clone Wars and provided one last look at the prequel era as the saga continues to move forward. Fans of The Clone Wars never got a proper ending, just as Rex and Kalani were robbed of a proper end to war. This may not have been an ideal end to the series or the war, but “The Last Battle” offered up a sense closure for those searching for it.

   

The episode began with Rex leading the Ghost crew on mission to retrieve supplies from an abandoned Separatist base. It was interesting to see younger characters like Ezra and Zeb react to the remnants of the Clone Wars. Ezra casually saying the battle droids didn’t look very dangerous caused Rex to scold Ezra on how many clone troopers those droids killed. Rex has been pretty level headed and stoic since joining the rebels, but I’m glad this episode dealt with the scars the war left behind. We actually see some signs that Rex is dealing with PTSD throughout the episode, but I wish it was addressed more directly. It was great to see an episode that was primarily focused on Rex though. It didn’t take long for the crew to realize that the battle droids at this base were still operational. Rex and the others were captured in a ray shield and brought before the droid commander. Rex calling out Cody’s name after seeing the droids was a nice touch, and has me wondering more than ever what happened to Cody. Could he have stayed loyal to the Empire? The droid commander was a super tactical droid named Kalani, who is actually a returning Clone Wars character. Kalani oversaw the Separatist invasion of Onderon during season five of The Clone Wars. Bringing back Kalani was an impressive bit of continuity and was more impactful than creating an entirely new character. Kalani explained how he and the battle droids on Agamar were still operational. When Kalani received the shutdown order, he assumed it was a Republic trick and prevented the order from going through. Obviously the war didn’t affect a droid like Kalani the way it did Rex, but it was interesting to see the impact of the war’s sudden end on Kalani. This droid has been isolated for years running through simulations trying to understand how the Separatists lost the war. His programming is in an infinite loop. It’s his own form of madness. This madness caused Kalani to force Rex and the others to fight a final battle of the Clone Wars to bring the war to a close and prove who deserved to win. This war game like scenario seems a little silly, but I think it works when you take into account the impact that the lack of resolution had Kalani’s programming.

   

Frankly, watching Rex and the Jedi take on the battle droids was a lot of fun. That entire sequence was a fun tribute to the dozens of battles we saw throughout The Clone Wars. Rex’s outburst when he yelled at Ezra for his lack of discipline was a great moment. For one, it was long overdue and Ezra deserved it. That moment also worked because it demonstrated the ideological divide between Rex and the rebels regarding warfare. I also enjoyed Rex’s surprise at being able to disrupt the Destroyer Droid’s shield by throwing his helmet at it. After defeating Kalani’s malfunctioning forces, Rex and the others reached the bridge and confronted him. Ezra stopped Rex from executing Kalani and pointed out that the war ended even though the Jedi, Clones, and Separatists all lost the war. This is an important idea in exploring the costs of war, but it was very clumsily handled here. Ezra asked, “If you all lost, then who won the war?” The scene should’ve ended there with the arrival of the Empire, but it didn’t. Zeb actually had to say the Empire won, then Ezra asked “That’s right, Zeb! How did you know?”, and THEN the Empire arrived. That’s just lazy writing and the delivery of the “How did you know?” line was awful. It’s a brief but important moment that was ruined by the ham-fisted execution. One scene that I did find particularly interesting was the first encounter between the Stormtroopers and the battle droids. The Stormtroopers treated discovering old battle droids as a rather commonplace event and destroyed them. You have to wonder how much time the Empire has spent mopping up the leftover pockets of Separatist forces.

   

Rex and Kalani agreed to team up and fight the Empire. The final battle between the Stormtroopers and the battle droids might be the highlight of the episode. I even appreciated that Kalani knew that the battle droids weren’t accurate. Seeing Stormtroopers fight the battle droids onscreen was fantastic, it was such an interesting mix of the Prequel and Original trilogies. My only complaint is that it didn’t last longer. The confrontation was pretty brief. Rex’s speech about Ezra ending the Clone Wars didn’t work for me. Rex and Kalani accepting that neither side could’ve won the war and agreeing to finally end it was an interesting prospect, but attempting to tie it back into Ezra’s story didn’t work. Once again, the dialogue it this scene was pretty clumsy. Rex and Kalani coming to the realization that no one could’ve won the war would’ve been a powerful moment, but having Ezra spell it out for them significantly lessened the impact. Having Ezra explain the futility of the war to Rex and Kalani felt like a manufactured and forced way to put the focus back on Ezra, but this wasn’t his story. Kalani and the remaining battle droids escaped, but didn’t join the rebellion because it only had a one percent chance of succeeding. So the Separatist Alliance is still out there in the form of Kalani and a squad of malfunctioning droids, which is an interesting idea. Oh, and there’s a new Phantom. The old Separatist shuttle the crew used to escape is the new Phantom. It’s fun addition even if I have no interest in seeing what Sabine will do with it. The episode ended perfectly though. The Rebels logo appeared in the old Clone Wars font and the Clone Wars theme played throughout the credits. Hearing that theme again brought back a lot of good memoires. Despite some clumsy dialogue, “The Last Battle” was a great episode that paid tribute to The Clone Wars and provided some closure for characters and fans alike.

What Worked

  • Focus on Rex Nice
  • Homage to Star Wars: The Clone Wars
  • Battle Droids vs. Stormtroopers
  • Dealt with the Impact of the Clone Wars and Provided a Level of Closure

What Didn’t Work

  • No, Ezra. You Didn’t End the Clone Wars.
  • Some Clumsy Dialogue
External Links:
Added: October 28, 2016
Category: Star Wars Rebels
Reviewer: Mike Taber
Score:
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