‘Star Wars Rebels’ Recap and Reaction: “Ghosts of Geonosis”

This weekend, Star Wars Rebels returned from its winter break with not one, but two new episodes. Together they formed “Ghosts of Geonosis,” a one-hour special that details the series’ return to Geonosis, the birthplace of the Death Star. As a tie-in to last month’s Rogue One, “Ghosts of Geonosis” represents the show’s strongest connections to the live-action films. Let’s examine the secrets that our favorite rebels found on Geonosis.

Saw Gerrera’s Larger Role

Both parts of “Ghosts of Geonosis” feature the Rebels debut of Saw Gerrera. Straight out of Rogue One, Oscar winner Forest Whitaker brings his character to the animated series. In doing so, Whitaker takes over the role from voice actor Andrew Kushino, who originated the character on Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

I’ll be honest: I found Saw’s role in Rogue One to be underwhelming. Whitaker delivered a great performance as the aging warrior, but director Gareth Edwards and the Lucasfilm Story Group simply didn’t give Whitaker or his character a large enough role. Consequently, Saw had a minimal impact on the overall plot of Rogue One. There should have been a bigger payoff for having Whitaker in Rogue One, especially since Saw is the first animated character to cross over to the saga’s live-action films.

For that reason, Saw’s debut in “Ghosts of Geonosis” was stronger than his role in Rogue One. The one-hour special provided Whitaker with more room to develop Saw, which he largely could not do in Rogue One thanks to his limited screen time. It was awesome to see Saw reconnect with Captain Rex and meet Ezra Bridger and Kanan Jarrus, only to come into conflict with them over their methods. Seeing Saw threaten to shoot that Geonosian egg was particularly chilling.

The lingering question from “Ghosts of Geonosis” is whether Saw will continue to appear on Star Wars Rebels. It seems like he has yet to fully sever ties with the rebellion, as he does before Rogue One. Moreover, “Ghosts of Geonosis” excluded two important aspects of Saw’s character, namely his familiarity with Galen Erso and the fact that he raised Jyn Erso as his adoptive daughter. Even a one-hour special has its limits, but perhaps Rebels will further develop Saw in future appearances.

A New Imperial Officer

My first thought upon seeing the new Imperial officer in “Ghosts of Geonosis” was that she was Rae Sloane. Within Star Wars literature, Sloane has become a fan favorite since she debuted in A New Dawn, which pitted her against Kanan and Hera Syndulla. Since then, Sloane has gone on to become a key protagonist in Chuck Wendig’s ongoing Aftermath Trilogy. Unfortunately, that’s not Sloane in “Ghosts of Geonosis”. Instead, it’s a new character, Captain Brunson.

On a story level, it makes sense that it’s Brunson and not Sloane in “Ghosts of Geonosis”. Brunson is considerably less competent than Sloane, for Brunson allows the rebels to outwit her. Moreover, Brunson commands a light cruiser, whereas Sloane captains a Star Destroyer, so it wouldn’t make sense for Sloane to get demoted.

Brunson is a welcome change from the series’ human Imperials, who — aside from Governor Pryce and Agent Kallus — have seemed a bit generic. Admiral Konstantine and Admiral Titus just aren’t that memorable. (Maybe they weren’t intended to be memorable, but the point still stands.) Perhaps Brunson’s healthy dose of ambition will prove useful to Grand Admiral Thrawn as he enters his endgame.

A Relatable Geonosian

The other highlight of “Ghosts of Geonosis” was seeing writers Steven Melching and Matt Michnovetz, as well as voice actor and sound mixer Matthew Wood, develop Klik-Klak as the first relatable Geonosian character in Star Wars history. Until now, the Geonosians have always been villains. Examples include Poggle the Lesser and Queen Karina the Great, who were antagonists for the prequels and The Clone Wars.

Unlike Poggle and Karina, Klik-Klak is relatable as a character. His people have suffered from genocide under the Empire, just like Zeb Orrelios lost most of his fellow Lasat. Ezra and Captain Rex point out that Klik-Klak’s story of loss also parallels that of Saw Gerrera, who lost his sister Steela to the Separatists and his planet Onderon to the Empire. Klik-Klak is just trying to preserve his people’s culture. And as one of the last Geonosians, he’s appointed himself as the protector of the last Geonosian queen egg.

Klik-Klak’s extended role in “Ghosts of Geonosis” is one of the most compelling parts of the special. Moreover, Klik-Klak’s relatability is a testament to Ezra’s ability to connect with other people, across boundaries like species and language. Ezra is gradually becoming the accidental diplomat of the Ghost team. Nevertheless, that will make any regression on his part that much more heartbreaking. There’s no telling what the rest of season three has in store for Ezra.

Other Observations

Even though the new year has started, some things don’t change. Fellow Fan Contributor Robert Mitchell is back to help with our rundown of other observations:

  • Looks like Sabine Wren has found time to customize her new jetpack with her signature colors, ever since she acquired it back in “Imperial Super Commandos“. As Ezra so aptly says, “Those [rocket] troopers are in trouble now.”
  • When Klik-Klak kept on drawing that circle inside another circle, we can’t be the only ones who immediately thought of the Death Star.
  • The Geonosian temple strongly resembles the Progate Temple, which served as Queen Karina the Great’s lair in The Clone Wars. If it’s not the Progate Temple, then both sites at least share the same architecture.
  • As we predicted, Chopper‘s guest appearance in Rogue One has given him a lot to gloat about. In fact, that’s why he’s been such an arrogant jerk in the Rebels Recon videos. Turns out, his trip to England was for filming his Rogue One scene!
  • Bail Organa‘s guest appearance in both parts of “Ghosts of Geonosis” was a welcome surprise. According to the mid-season trailer, this is the first of several appearances for Bail in season three.
  • Bail mentions the importance of convincing the Imperial Senate of the Empire’s atrocities, which is what Mon Mothma tried to do in Rogue One. This season of Rebels will continue to shine a larger spotlight on the politics of the rebellion, particularly through Mothma’s upcoming series debut.
  • According to Saw Gerrera, the shield generator that Sabine and Zeb recover from Geonosis’s surface is a Separatist model. It’s identical to the shield array that the Rebel Alliance uses for Echo Base on Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back.

Next Saturday, Zeb and Chopper find a damaged droid on Atollon. Little do they know that it’s a new Imperial probe droid. Will this be how the Empire uncovers the secret location of Chopper Base? Tune into “Warhead” on Disney XD this Saturday, January 14 at 8:30 P.M. After that, check out our Recap and Reaction here on Fandom!

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