Star Wars Rebels: The Mystery of Chopper Base
March 24, 2016 7:51 AM - Season 2, Episode 18 - Subscribe

As the rebels prepare to setup base on the new planet, a previously unseen menace makes its presence known. In the face of this threat, Kanan and Ezra prepare themselves for a mission to stop the Inquisitors.

Trivia!
  • The small shelled creatures in the episode are called 'dokma'.
  • The larger spider-like creatures are called 'krykna spiders.'
  • The krykna spider creatures are based on Ralph McQuarrie's artwork of enormous arachnids found in the swamps of Dagobah.
  • Zeb's use of the word "bogans" reflects the Lasat tendency to use the original (scripted) names for the Force. Ashla is the Light Side and Bogans is the Dark Side.
  • In the opening sparring scene, we see lightsabers for the first time on screen set to 'training mode' which results in a dimmer shine, different sound, and upon contact, stings and doesn't cut or burn.
posted by Atreides (26 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Two things bugged me about this episode. The first was the fact that spiders were blaster-proof and couldn't even be hurt by the ship's cannon unless you shot them in the eye. Light sabers, meanwhile, cut them like butter. Energy weapons are completely variable in efficacy in the Star Wars universe, I guess. The rebels should be harvesting those spiders and using their skin to armor everything. Also, why don't they use lightsaber tech for everything? They can cut through anything, shield from anything. Damn space wizards need to share their tech. The second was the set-up to getting the beacon - why force-throw Sabine to the beacon when they could force float the beacon to them instead?
posted by fimbulvetr at 8:02 AM on March 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


The first thing you mentioned also bugged me. I can accept a regular hand held blaster not having the same damage ability as a lightsaber (these things can cut through blast doors with proper application), but I was kind of irritated to see the Ghost's blasters, designed to weaken shields and destroy metal ships, do almost nothing. The most likely explanation for this was simply plot demand, which was to heighten the danger of the spiders overwhelming the ship and forcing them to find a solution which required throwing Sabine at the marker. The second thing might make sense, though, if the marker is simply too far away for them to really reach with the Force. I have no idea what the applicable range of The Force is presently (in the old Canon one guy pulled a starship out of orbit). If we accept there reasonable limits, then flinging Sabine makes sense.

This episode was really about Hera and to a lesser degree, about Ezra. Hera is dealing with fears that Kanan will leave for Malachor and never return (killed), and so the writers use the spider critters and what not really as a visual metaphor for the source of Hera's problems: something out of sight and not at first recognizable. Kanan doesn't clue in until Sabine, the same Sabine who figured out the sensor marker trick, points it out to him. Ezra, likewise, has a bunch of issues going on underneath the surface (hey, our heroes go under the surface of the planet/underground to resolve the problem!). Ezra continues to be obsessed with power and advancing his abilities, disregarding Yoda's advice: Victory is not important to a Jedi, it's how one achieves it that's important. Translation: It's not the end result that's important, but how you get there. For Ezra, he thinks victory has to be killing the Inquisitors, but for the more experienced Kanan, it's simply surviving the mission. Ezra's failure with the spider creatures also hints at his own overestimation of his powers, which could lead to problems.

Also, dang, the audio cue at the end is making me kind of dread what's waiting for us next week.
posted by Atreides at 12:17 PM on March 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


The description for next week's episode implies they get help from an unlikely source. Who?
posted by wittgenstein at 12:44 PM on March 24, 2016


If you want to know, I'll Mefi Mail you. It's a mild spoiler. It's been spoiled by the Mid Season Trailer that was released back in January and there's an EW article all about it. In fact, here's a link to that EW affair and for those who want to know, click away! I think we mentioned it in the The Force Awakens post, but not necessarily in any Rebels post.
posted by Atreides at 2:07 PM on March 24, 2016


Actually, I think I'll wait and see, but thanks for the link.
posted by wittgenstein at 2:27 PM on March 24, 2016


I think they could have given the ship guns more punch if they had shown them knocking the creatures off/back, but not necessarily killing them.

Nice moment with Kanan and Hera at the end there.
posted by Fleebnork at 4:18 PM on March 24, 2016


Yeah, the spider plot was nothing to write home about, and I was annoyed by the Ghost's lasers being ineffective too, but I liked all the little character moments: Kanan and Hera (please, no romance - but if they do, I can see how it will develop organically), Zeb and Ezra enjoying the view together, Rex being Rex, slapping the spiders with the canons, Sabine's jetpack quip, and of course next week's teaser with the musical cues that worry me a lot.

It annoyed me they just gave up on the A-wing pilot (Dicer?) like that. And that they always wear helmets.

I've also noticed Rebels is a lot less brutal than Clone Wars was.
posted by Mezentian at 10:50 PM on March 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


The ship cannon moment nerd-raged me a bit. But until that point I thought the spiders were a really spooky and threatening element. Their later un-kill-ability oddly made them seem less menacing because then it's obvious some mcguffin has to solve this problem aaaannd they had already showed us the mcguffin.

I thought the touching on the relationships and music use throughout were both excellent. I like the theme of the Jedi not being able to be part of the team as Hera had hoped. I think it's a nice call back to "I'm endangering the mission. I shouldn't have come."
posted by French Fry at 7:24 AM on March 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


And that they always wear helmets.

It's part of the same reason Imperials always have their hats pulled down over their faces - it saves them time (hence money, too) from having to create new faces for throw away characters every week. I want to rename Phoenix Squadron "Red Shirt Squadron." They just have this awful attrition rate and the show has a bad habit of kind of shrugging off rebel lives all the time when they're essentially plot devices. It's probably one of the biggest things which bothers me.

Kanan and Hera (please, no romance - but if they do, I can see how it will develop organically)

There's a persistent belief among some fans that the two are actually already a couple and it's just been a decision not to make a deal out of it. I actually fall into that camp, as well, if only for the 'Extremely Nervous to Meet His Girlfriend's Legendary Father' Kanan in "Homecoming." Heh.
posted by Atreides at 7:31 AM on March 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


There's a persistent belief among some fans that the two are actually already a couple

I'm okay this this idea.
posted by Mezentian at 8:15 AM on March 25, 2016


I'm on team secret couple as well. There are a lot of glances, touches, references to shared language and history. It's also a win-win for the show runners as they don't have to deal with 9yo's being turned away by romance but get to play with the Jedi romance taboo for older audiences at the same time.
posted by French Fry at 8:19 AM on March 25, 2016


My 8 y.o. said "I wonder if Kanan and Hera are going to start dating. It's against the Jedi Code, but he wouldn't be the first. Anakin and Obiwan did it first."
It didn't seem to bother him. And this is a kid who hides his head during every scene of showing affection.
The cannons that blow up tie fighters being ineffective against spiders at point blank range did pull me out of the moment. My thought was that they needed to make ships out of spider carcasses.
posted by Seamus at 8:46 AM on March 25, 2016


Maybe they do? and that's why X-wings take all those close call hits in the original series and the tie fighters just blow apart... Spider armor :)
posted by French Fry at 11:25 AM on March 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Count me as another who believes Hera-Kanan ("Heranan"? "Kanera"?) is already a thing; only a couple episodes into season 1 I started wondering about the glances and looks and brief touches. I'm not much of a "shipper" but I'm glad to see it presented with a light hand.
posted by The Nutmeg of Consolation at 11:32 AM on March 25, 2016


I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

Which is to say that I enjoyed the ALIENSness of this one.
posted by chrchr at 2:29 PM on March 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Mezentian: Kanan and Hera (please, no romance[…])
Atreides: There's a persistent belief among some fans that the two are actually already a couple[.]
I could have sworn they explicitly said at some point that they were in love, if not actually married. I can't find an episode reference, but via the Wikia entry for Hera, I found “Star Wars Rebels Cast and Crew talk season 2” which quotes director Dave Filoni as saying, "[H]e, in a lot of ways, falls in love with that before the show starts. When he’s young. She in some ways, draws him out and realizes that he has to be set back up on his feet. Though Hera loves him very much, she knows she can’t allow that part of him to step in front of that Galactic obligation she has to people everywhere." Doing some quick math, they've been together for five or six years, as they fell in love after the Gorse Conflict.
posted by ob1quixote at 11:33 PM on March 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


I also found a comment on Reddit that says, "Freddie Prinze Jr. has said it on both Rebelforce Radio and Coffee With Kenobi podcasts that it is not a 'Will They Or wont they?' but a 'They already have and we're past it.'"
posted by ob1quixote at 11:38 PM on March 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


My 8 y.o. said "I wonder if Kanan and Hera are going to start dating. It's against the Jedi Code, but he wouldn't be the first. Anakin and Obiwan did it first."

Old Ben?
When?
posted by Mezentian at 2:52 AM on March 26, 2016


Doing some quick math, they've been together for five or six years, as they fell in love after the Gorse Conflict.

Their introduction was well covered in the pretty enjoyable A New Dawn by John Jackson Miller.

I can accept a post-relationship relationship, but that tension remains!
posted by Atreides at 12:33 PM on March 27, 2016


Old Ben had a girlfriend who died. If she hadn't the galaxy mighta been a different place.
posted by Seamus at 8:38 PM on March 27, 2016


My ability to add links on this crappy phone is limited.
posted by Seamus at 8:39 PM on March 27, 2016


Of course, Satine, we hardly knew ye!
posted by Mezentian at 9:20 PM on March 27, 2016


ALERT, ALERT, AND WARNING, TOO!

Apparently there was an event last night where they premiered the season finale. People have seen it. People who get on the internets and say things they probably shouldn't. Be careful between now and tomorrow.

As a reminder, Disney releases every episode early on its DisneyXD app, so you can wake up early tomorrow and watch the finale without needing to wait for the evening airing.
posted by Atreides at 6:57 AM on March 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


People who get on the internets and say things they probably shouldn't. Be careful between now and tomorrow.

Eh, the epic rap battle between Better Than Ezra and Vader has been telegraphed for weeks.
Now, the dance-off, I did not see that coming.
posted by Mezentian at 4:26 AM on March 31, 2016 [1 favorite]


I was interested to see they did bring in Knights of the Old Republic, I was more surprised that they also brought in Kinect Star Wars.
posted by Atreides at 6:49 AM on March 31, 2016


I was really surprised by the musical guest. Who knew Jefferson Starship was still a going concern?
posted by chrchr at 11:00 AM on March 31, 2016


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