Star Wars Rebels: Droids in Distress
October 13, 2014 2:01 PM - Season 1, Episode 2 - Subscribe

In need of supplies, fuel and credits, the crew of the Ghost hatch a plan to steal an Imperial cargo shipment. Two familiar characters from the original and prequel trilogies find themselves caught up in the circumstances, while more of Zeb's background is explored and Ezra's capabilities with the Force appear to grow.

This episode is presently available for free to watch on iTunes and onDemand (if your provider is setup), but otherwise will air tonight at it's new regular time, 9pm EST/8pm CST on DisneyXD.
posted by Atreides (18 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
A couple of neat things jumped out at me in this episode. First, the pilot of the shuttle was none other than the same droid you find at the Star Tours ride at Disneyland/world. That was a nice touch for the shuttle ride for the episode. Second, when the droids are banished to the back storage room of the shuttle, you may have noticed a droid similar to C-3PO standing off to the side. I'm fairly sure it's a droid based off of Ralph McQuarrie's original painting/drawing of C-3PO.

I had not seen any previews for this episode, so it was a surprise to see our favorite droid pair appear in it. At first, I felt it was way too much fan service, but by the end of the episode, realized they were used for the express purpose of bringing our crew of the Ghost into the sights of Bail Organa and the stirrings of the broader rebellion against the Galactic Empire (and of course, Organa kneels just like Leia at the start of Star Wars). Sure, I will confess, there could have been another way, i.e, Bothan spies, etc, but at least they made their appearance make a little sense.

I did love it when R2-D2 rammed C-3PO's leg when he started mumbling about a mission.

The characterization for Zeb was sympathetic and conversely, it definitely characterized Kanan in a negative light. He's aware of the horrible things that disruptor weapons did to Zeb's people, so horrible that Zeb simply wants to destroy the weapons than let them be used on anyone else (by anyone else), but Kanan dismisses his crew member for the credits. It's a very unredeemed Han Solo thing to do. Also of note, apparently Zeb was a member of the Palace Guard or something to that design, based on his use of his chosen weapon (which he sadly is defeated with by a human using a pilfered one) and the statement concerning who is allowed to use them.

I do have to admit to feeling tugs of nostalgia at seeing the Star Wars I grew up on, geeking out over, back on the tv screen. ZOMG, Star Destroyers, TIE fighters, woot! I also noticed the landing craft that the Imperials arrived on appeared to be a slightly modified craft that was used by the Republic's Clone army (I could be wrong about that!).

Lastly, Ezra and the Force. I remain continually mixed on him. It's a wait and see. I am otherwise still content with how Rebels is running so far.
posted by Atreides at 5:02 PM on October 13, 2014 [2 favorites]


I don't know, Atreides. They have to eat, and fuel the ship. On the other hand, when Kanan dismisses C-3PO's intimation that his real master meant to intercept the weapons and would pay them, that's more problematic.
posted by ob1quixote at 7:24 PM on October 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


I am loving how Kanan is such a... ambivalently good Jedi. It's interesting to me because it emphasizes how so much of being a Jedi is making a conscious decision to be good, whereas you can slip towards the dark side of the Force/despair by consciously being passive.

Also, I really thought Ezra's voice actor was the same as Aladdin's until this episode. Grown up me is pleased that this is not Aladdin in Space. Fangirl me is hoping someone does a mashup of One Jump Ahead starring Ezra and some Storm Troopers.
posted by spunweb at 8:31 PM on October 13, 2014


Also: Kanan is getting a comic book series. It's "The Last Padawan", so I don't think he graduated Jedi school.
posted by spunweb at 8:40 PM on October 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


I wish they'd held off on revealing that Kanan's a Jedi. Have the kid show some Force sensitivity (the spider-sense was good) and show that Kanan feels some sort of connection that leads him to adopt this stray. After a few episodes of Firefly-esque caperjinks, the kid discovers the lightsaber, is told in no uncertain terms to MIND HIS OWN BUSINESS, and nearly gets kicked off the boat. A few more episodes, then Kanan finally reveals his backstory, takes up the saber to save the wookiees (yay!), rededicates himself to he Force come what may, and takes on the kid as his apprentice. Mid-season high point! Except uh-oh, who's this new tattooed evil-looking guy who gets called in to investigates reports of a Jedi...
posted by The Tensor at 12:56 AM on October 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


There was something about this ep that really stood out at me as particularly grueling to watch. It was all over both the first and second episodes, and I don't remember the scene exactly, but it goes something like this:

GOOD GUYS are running through a hallway. They get to intersection, where BAD GUYS have guns.
BAD GUYS: "There they are"
Good guys "They've seen us, oh no!"
BAD GUYS: Lets shoot them!
GOOD GUYS: "Oh no!"
BAD GUYS start shooting at the GOOD GUYS
GOOD GUYS: "They are shooting at us! We should run away!"
GOOD GUYS run away. nobody gets shot.

Is there a name for this heavy-handed, slow, incredibly childish plot pacing? I feel like they want to be 100% sure that NOBODY POSSIBLY could EVER misunderstand what is happening, even if they were on the phone in a different room.
posted by rebent at 12:18 PM on October 14, 2014


rebent: Is there a name for this heavy-handed, slow, incredibly childish plot pacing?
Maybe? I think it's just a function of wanting the show to have a lot of action yet keep the TV-Y7 FV rating.
posted by ob1quixote at 4:14 PM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


...his chosen weapon (which he sadly is defeated with by a human using a pilfered one)...

Well, because the human basically psyched Zeb out, taunting him into losing control and attacking out of rage instead of fighting at his best. I actually thought that was a really well done fight scene and a nice bit of characterizing and showing us that Captain Callous is a cunning and truly dangerous foe. I mean he beat the show's best melee fighter in a melee fight. He's obviously someone to be reckoned with. I am pleased.

Side question - why did 3PO have a mis-matched leg? Was that because of something from the prequels that I've forgotten? He doesn't have that by the time Episode IV begins.
posted by Naberius at 7:59 PM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


Naberius: He doesn't have that by the time Episode IV begins.
Au contraire.
posted by ob1quixote at 10:17 PM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


Well I'll be damned. Don't remember that at all. I guess I stand corrected.
posted by Naberius at 10:27 PM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


If it helps, it hasn't been entirely consistent in its usage through all Star Wars media.

Well, because the human basically psyched Zeb out, taunting him into losing control and attacking out of rage instead of fighting at his best. I actually thought that was a really well done fight scene and a nice bit of characterizing and showing us that Captain Callous is a cunning and truly dangerous foe. I mean he beat the show's best melee fighter in a melee fight. He's obviously someone to be reckoned with. I am pleased.


Good point. I was pleased to see a melee fight that didn't involve a Jedi, either. It's fresh!
posted by Atreides at 7:08 AM on October 15, 2014


Overall, have to say I liked this episode and the show is moving in the direction I would have wanted to see after the pilot. Story didn't feel quite so rushed this time now that they have basic character establishment out of the way. Ezra was a little less annoying this time, so that's good. I'll eventually probably get used to the way he looks (not sure why his is the only character design that really bugs me. I like most of the others). And no wookies this time, so they dodged that bullet.

Also I can't help noticing that the Empire seems to rely a lot more on strapping things to the outside of their ships than I've seen in other Star Wars stuff. The TIEs on the prisoner transport last time, and now a ship carrying a couple of scout walkers dangling from the underside. That's got to be awkward. I'm guessing they realized that it lets them visually establish those elements more quickly than if they had to show us a shot of them powering up in a launch bay or something, but it still seems a little odd.

Finally, a completely different logistical question. As we know, (Bob) Disney aired what was basically two episodes as the Spark of Rebellion "movie." My TiVo, and MetaFilter, called it Episode One. When my TiVo recorded Droids in Distress, it logged it as Episode Two. However, since my TiVo grabbed it, I also know that at some point Disney aired the first half of Spark of Rebellion as a separate half hour that ends with a "To Be Continued" as the Ghost is being drawn up into the Star Destroyer. And my TiVo called that Episode One.

So now what happens when they air the second half of Spark of Rebellion? Is that another Episode Two? Episode One and a Half? My TiVo is certainly going to be confused. What is Disney's official numbering for the episodes?
posted by Naberius at 8:25 AM on October 15, 2014


Also I can't help noticing that the Empire seems to rely a lot more on strapping things to the outside of their ships than I've seen in other Star Wars stuff. The TIEs on the prisoner transport last time, and now a ship carrying a couple of scout walkers dangling from the underside. That's got to be awkward. I'm guessing they realized that it lets them visually establish those elements more quickly than if they had to show us a shot of them powering up in a launch bay or something, but it still seems a little odd.

You might say this is a legacy from the prequel trilogies. The Clone Army had several get ups kind of like this, such as walkers that were dropped/detached from ships. I'm going on super old memories, but the TIE fighters attached to vessels was something that happened in some of the Star Wars flight sims, at least.

So now what happens when they air the second half of Spark of Rebellion? Is that another Episode Two? Episode One and a Half? My TiVo is certainly going to be confused. What is Disney's official numbering for the episodes?


Yeah, I made an strategry type decision to list this episode as two for the sake of Fanfare, after I saw all the material and references to it as episode 2. Even better, though, if you go to the StarWars.com site, i.e., official Star Wars website, it lists this episode as episode 1 of season 1. Seriously. Spark of Rebellion is now being sold almost like a stand alone entry movie, so it's possible the Star Wars folks have decided it shouldn't be included in a season list...or something.
posted by Atreides at 9:33 AM on October 15, 2014


I'm just gonna throw this comment out there - so far, it doesn't suck. I'm happy about that.
posted by bq at 12:30 PM on October 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


First, the pilot of the shuttle was none other than the same droid you find at the Star Tours ride at Disneyland/world.

Yep, and note that that series of droids was produced by Reubens Robotic Systems, after Paul Reubens (aka Pee Wee Herman) who voiced the droid for the ride, and for this episode.

The trivia section on the official site also confirms that the other protocol droid seen aboard the commuter shuttle is McQuarrie's original C-3P0 design.

Reading the episode guide on the official site also points up something else that hadn't quite sunk in for me. The disrupters are "illegal" because they were banned by the Senate - which is still there because Palpatine doesn't actually dissolve it until the beginning of A New Hope. And the Senate's word obviously still has enough sway that even the Empire itself has to work through covert channels to acquire the weapons.

But I'm not entirely clear on how the Senate can be an effective counterweight to Palpatine who has pretty much come out from behind the curtain at the end of Revenge of the Sith. He's declared himself Emperor, exterminated the Jedi, and generally done whatever he wants to do. How much real power does the Senate have at this point? Can someone expand on the workings of the government between the trilogies?
posted by Naberius at 2:34 PM on October 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


Also!!!! This ep is like thiiiiiis close to making the r2d2 super spy theory canon.
http://km-515.livejournal.com/746.html?page=3#comments
posted by spunweb at 4:30 PM on October 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


The story in this episode is re-told from C-3PO's perspective in the third Lego Star Wars: Droid Tales episode.
posted by drezdn at 1:53 PM on September 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


It made me want to go back, re-watch this episode, and then re-watch the Droid Tales episode.
posted by Atreides at 1:53 PM on September 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


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