After a two-week hiatus, Star Wars Rebels is back with episode 19 of season 2, “The Forgotten Droid.”
When the rebels need fuel, they go to an outpost where Imperials are guarding a shipment of the fuel they need. While they’re gone, Chopper, who is supposed to be guarding The Ghost and watching out any sign of suspicion from the Empire, sees a replacement leg that matches his model in a nearby market stall. He steals the leg, only to discover that in his absence the Ghost crew has had to take off without him. He steals aboard a nearby ship to escape the stall owner, only to find that the ship is an Imperial freighter.
Using a map compiled of Captain Rex’s knowledge of Republic space lanes and the map generated by the Zeb’s Lasat mysticism, the rebel fleet has pinpointed what they believe to be a prime location for a base: the Yost system. The problem is, the Imperial carrier they stole a few episodes back doesn’t have the fuel to make it there. Sabine thinks she can track an Imperial fuel shipment, and the Ghost crew agrees to take the high risk and steal it for the fleet.
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Once they arrive at the outpost where the fuel shipment is being guarded by Imperials, the rebels charge Chopper with the task of staying aboard The Ghost and keep an eye out for stormtroopers. While on the ramp, however, Chopper spots a market stall that’s selling an ambulatory strut matching his model, unlike the crude left leg he’s currently installed with. He tells his companions as they’re leaving that he wants it, but Hera tells him to focus on the mission.
Chopper being Chopper, decides to take matters into his own hands. He uses his rocket attachment to blast himself over to the stall. He tries to negotiate with the stall owner, an Ugnaught with a questionable way of getting parts to sell, but the latter wants 500 for the leg. Chopper can’t pay that; so when the Ugnaught is occupied with another customer, Chopper snatches the leg and makes a run for The Ghost, only to discover that The Ghost has taken off without him. The rebels made their fuel grab and took off before they could be caught by the Empire.
Chopper races through the docking bay with the Ugnaught in pursuit. The store owner passes a group of stormtroopers and tells them a droid has stolen something from him. The stormtroopers come to the conclusion that Chopper might be a rebel droid, as they’ve just gotten an alert that rebels were just at the outpost. They give chase, and Chopper wheels himself into the nearest doorway. He shuts it and congratulates himself for escaping; but the door turned out to be the entrance to an Imperial freighter, and now he’s trapped aboard a ship full of enemies.
On the bridge of the Imperial freighter, the captain is growing increasingly impatient with the resident data droid, an old bipedal model he wants taken to the scrap heap as soon as they can get a replacement for him. He tells the droid to go create a manifest, though the droid tries to tell him that’s not what he’s programmed to do. The droid must obey, however, so he leaves the bridge.
Chopper, who’s wandering around the ship, sees stormtroopers coming and hides in a restricted area. As the Imperial droid walks by on his way to his assignment, he sees the door to the restricted area is open and realizes something is amiss. He toddles inside and calls out, asking if there’s anyone in there. He finds Chopper, and reveals himself to be AP-5. Chopper tries to tell him he’s an Imperial droid, but AP-5 has a record of every droid and being aboard the ship, and Chopper is not among them. He sees the stolen leg, which Chopper is still toting around, and deduces that Chopper is the rebel spy rumored to be stowed away on board the freighter. At this point, Chopper makes his escape. The old protocol droid, slow as he is, gives chase and Chopper finally finds himself in the cargo hold. A labyrinth of shipments provides excellent hiding places, and time to formulate a plan. The Imperial droid follows him, telling him he’ll be captured, but at a threat from Chopper’s spark projector, he doesn’t take action.
Instead, the sight of the spark projector sparks a memory. The Imperial droid realizes that Chopper is an older model, because newer astromechs aren’t equipped with electrified attachments. Chopper tells him he served the Republic during the Clone Wars. The Imperial droid says he was a military analyst aboard a Republic starship during that time, and introduces himself as AP-5. Chopper says his Y-wing was shot down over Ryloth, and AP-5 replies that the Y-wings were always a little unstable. He asks how the astromech survived, and Chopper tells him he was rescued. AP-5 says droids don’t get rescued, but Chopper shows him a holographic image of Hera.
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AP-5 says that when the Empire took over, he was reassigned to inventory duty. He says he must obey orders, even though he doesn’t like his new position or his new masters. Chopper says there’s another way for droids function, and that is through free will. AP-5 says, that sounds nice, but free will doesn’t really exist for him.
At this point, the captain of the freighter contacts AP-5 through a comlink, impatient for the manifest he ordered the droid to make. He tells AP-5 to watch out for rebels on the ship. AP-5 hesitates, then tells his superior that he hasn’t seen any. The captain is still angry, and orders him to hurry up with his job.
Having decided to help Chopper, AP-5 is shocked when Chopper pops out his spark projector. But with a well-aimed bolt, the astromech removes the restraining bolt that was attached to AP-5’s torso. With the Imperial droid finally free, Chopper tells him of his plan: he will lure the stormtroopers on the freighter into the cargo hold and detach the hold from the main body of the ship. After that, they will be able to take over the bridge with ease.
AP-5 thinks it’s a terrible plan, even more so when the captain appears, livid that the droid hasn’t been obeying orders. He notices that AP-5’s restraining bolt is missing and starts to replace it, when Chopper starts attacking him with his stolen leg. The captain realizes Chopper is the rebel they’ve been looking for. He comms his troopers for backup, but with a zap from his spark projector, Chopper beats the captain into unconsciousness. AP-5 helps Chopper hide the captain’s body, still muttering about how this is all a bad idea.
Chopper proceeds with his plan to trap the stormtroopers in the cargo hold. He does so, and he and AP-5 barely makes it out of the cargo hold in time to seal their enemies inside. Their next stop is the bridge. AP-5 says he should be captain because of his military history; Chopper provides the diplomatic solution of, whoever gets to the bridge first is captain. He whizzes away, leaving the slow and ungainly AP-5 shuffling behind.
They reach the bridge, and AP-5 tricks Chopper into letting him take the pilot seat. Chopper inputs the coordinates for the rebel fleet. AP-5 has doubts that the rebels will accept him, an Imperial droid, but Chopper says they will because AP-5 is his friend.
Back at the fleet, The Ghost has just pulled out of hyperspace and into a firefight. Imperial Star Destroyers have found their way to the rebel fleet’s location. Commander Jun Sato can’t take the carrier into hyperspace until the Ghost crew brings them the fuel the ship needs. The Imperials soon realize that The Ghost is the ship the stolen fuel was stored aboard, and they turn their TIEs and laserfire to stop them from reaching the carrier. Luckily, Ketsu, a bounty hunter and an old friend of Sabine’s, is there to help. She draws enemy fire so that The Ghost can make a hard and fast landing on the carrier. They wheel out the fuel tanks and the hangar crew get to work getting the fuel in the ship.
“C1-10P, where have you been?”
As they’re waiting for the carrier to refuel, Hera receives a transmission from Chopper. She tells him that they’re heading to the Yost system. Back on the Imperial freighter, AP-5 hears that and says that’s not a safe location. He pulls up the data on Yost from his memory banks, revealing that there are Star Destroyers positioned around Yost. It appears to be a huge trap. Chopper tells Hera this, and she asks how he knows. He tells her he stole an Imperial freighter. While Hera recovers from being flabbergasted, AP-5 says he can find another planet that will be free of an Imperial presence. He gets to work, but then trouble arrives. The captain of the freighter has awoken, and he’s back on the bridge with his blaster pointed at the droids.
AP-5 tries to pretend Chopper captured him, but the captain is not having any of it. He’s furious at AP-5. While he’s distracted with verbally attacking the droid, Chopper attacks him with the stolen leg again. He manages to fend the captain off for a few seconds, but then the Imperial lets off a blaster bolt that sends Chopper crashing into the wall.
AP-5 finally has the coordinates, for which Hera is now desperate. He reaches for the button that will send the coordinates to her, but the captain shoots him in the back. AP-5 smokes and sputters, but manages to press the button before the captain shoots him again, immobilizing him.
With the new coordinates in The Ghost computer, Hera is able to transfer them to the rest of the fleet. They all escape into hyperspace.
Meanwhile, Chopper realizes what the captain did to his friend. He charges the captain using his jet attachment, and the captain is unconscious once more. The astromech moves quickly to AP-5’s side. AP-5 touches Chopper, and Chopper holds his hand with his tiny arm attachments. AP-5 says he will never forget Chopper. Then he shuts down, for what appears to be the last time.
Later, Chopper’s freighter has joined with the fleet in front of their new home base: a dusty brown planet swirled with reddish-brown. On board The Ghost, Sabine has been working hard on repairing AP-5, and at last he’s ready to be turned on. He comes to life again; disoriented, he asks where he is and what’s happened. Sabine tells him he’s safe, and that she fixed him using parts from Chopper’s stolen leg. AP-5 is touched at Chopper’s sacrifice…at first. Then he tells him he shouldn’t have done that, and adds, “I knew you had a malfunctioning logic circuit!” As he and Chopper bicker, the Ghost crew looks on, probably wondering what they’ve gotten themselves into.
Tune in next week to see what the rebels find on Chopper’s new planet in Star Wars Rebels: “The Mystery of Chopper Base.”