Star Wars Rebels: Droids In Distress

Mama Fisi
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The second installment of Disney's new series based on the Star Wars franchise starts off a little more slowly, and incorporates a cameo from those ubiquitous androids, C-3PO and R2-D2.


In order to make ends meet, the crew of the Ghost is forced to "redistribute" some guns for shady arms dealer Vizago.  In order to acquire the goods, they have to insinuate themselves with an Imperial official to learn the location of the shipment; this is faciltated by some rather awkward (to this viewer) play-acting aboard a shuttlecraft, where the astromech Chopper creates a disturbance which gets all the droids--including interpreter C-3PO--relegated to the "back of the bus."


In this manner Sabine, whose talents seem to have no end, is able to volunteer her services as an interpreter, and gives the Imperial a false location for the delivery, while Ezra uses his latent Force skills to get the thieves into the correct docking bay.


The ruse is soon discovered, and the action picks up as the Imperials race over to the real location and engage the Ghost's crew in a fight.  The rebels escape, but with two stow-aways--Artoo and Threepio have climbed aboard to escape the battle.


Ths becomes a serious disadvantage when, after failing to convince the rebels that "their real master" will pay handsomely for the stolen goods--several crates of banned disruptor guns which Zeb says were the type of weapon used to commit genocide on his people--Threepio radios the Empire for help while Kanan and the others are negotiating with Vizago.


Agent Kallus shows up with a couple of chicken-walkers, which are swiftly dispatched by the disruptors, but he then engages Zeb in a battle using the very same sort of double-ended shock stick that only elite Lasat Guards were permitted to carry, and enrages Zeb by bragging about how he got the weapon off the Guardsman he'd killed.


Vizago flees without paying Kanan, and Kanan orders Sabine to destroy the shipment of disruptors so the Empire can't get their hands on them for mass production.  Artoo tells Sabine (who somehow is fluent in about as many languages as Threepio) to just overload the setting on the guns and they'll self-destruct.  They do so, using the crates as bombs against the Imperials.


Meanwhile Zeb is coming out the loser in his fight, but Ezra uses a Force-blast shockwave to hurl Kallus back before he can deliver the coup de grace.  Kanan witnesses this and decides he'd better get going with Ezra's "formal" Jedi training TOMORROW.


They board the Ghost, taking Artoo and Threepio with them, and at the close Kanan is seen being rewarded in gold credits for returning the two droids to their true owner--Senator Bail Organa.


 


This episode was not as engaging as the premier until the real action started, and then it became as good as any of the movies.  The animation is still pretty cheap-looking, although there were a few very nicely done shots (where Ezra drops into the cargo bay looked real) and there's even a "Star Wars wipe" cut with some starships--you'll know what I'm talking about if you remeber the movie.  I'm getting tired of the "jump to hyperspace" visual, though--what worked brilliantly and was jaw-dropping in the original is becoming so over-used that it's getting dull.  Hyperspace shouldn't be dull.  And the sudden stop at the end of hyperspace doesn't look "right."

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