In episode six of Star Wars Rebels season 3, “The Last Battle,” Captain Rex must confront the demons of his past when the rebels stumble across a still-functioning unit of Separatist droids.
In the newest episode of Star Wars Rebels, the Clone Wars are not done with Captain Rex.
While on a mission to recover supplies from a derelict Clone Wars-era Republic command ship, Rex and the rebels discover a still-functioning unit of Separatist battle droids. Not only are the droids armed and dangerous, they are commanded by a highly intelligent tactical droid named Kolani with plans for his new captives. Kolani wants to prove once and for all that the droids were superior to the clones before they and the clones were phased out after the rise of the Empire.
An unexpected turn of events, however, leads to an outcome neither the droids nor the rebels ever dreamed could happen.
The episode opens on Hera and Sabine dropping off Captain Rex, Kanan, Ezra, Zeb, and Chopper on an abandoned planet. This planet houses a crashed Republic command ship which Rex hopes will still have some supplies – like proton torpedoes – on board. Hera and Sabine leave on The Ghost to make a supply run while the others see what they can find on the Republic command ship.
As they walk towards the command ship’s derelict hangar, Ezra finds the head of a B-1 battle droid half-buried in the dirt. He makes the comment that the droids don’t look very dangerous. Rex turns on him and reprimands him, saying that the battle droids wiped out plenty of clones; some of whom were his friends. In an aside, Kanan tells Ezra that war leaves scars, some of which you can’t see. Rex still has those scars.
The rebels enter the hangar and spot an armory stocked full with proton bombs. As they head for the explosives, Chopper hears a noise like a B-1 battle droid and, unbeknownst to the others, speeds off to investigate.
While approaching the armory, Rex warns Ezra, who is in the lead, to watch out for ray shields protecting the room they are about to enter. No sooner does he say that than a ray shield is activated around the rebels. Then a group of battle droids comes out of the shadows, much to everyone’s surprise; Rex thought all of the Separatist droids were shut down after Order 66. The droids, very much animated, prepare to kill their new captives, but then one of them receives an order to bring the rebels to the command center. They stun the rebels and drag them away. Chopper, meanwhile, saw everything that happened and is staying well hidden.
The rebels wake up in the command center. They discover that the battle droids are being led by a Super Tactical Droid named Kolani, who is programmed to be a highly intelligent strategist. Rex tells Kolani the Clone Wars are over and to let them go. Kolani knows the battle between the Separatists and the Republic is finished. He also knows that most of the Separatist droid army was disabled, but he assumed the shutdown command was a Republic trick and prevented it from being enacted on his unit. He believes that because the droid army so outnumbered the clone army, the Separatists would have won the war if Order 66 had not ended everything prematurely.
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To prove that the droids were superior to the Republic forces once and for all, Kolani decides to stage a battle. The Jedi and Captain Rex will be sent outside, and Zeb will be kept in the command center. The other rebels are to stage a rescue, which Kolani says occurred often during the Clone Wars when Jedi were involved. If the rebels can get past Kolani’s droid army and capture the command center, Zeb will go free and Kolani will give the rebels the proton bombs they wanted. Ezra is eager for a fight and a chance to experience the Clone Wars alongside two Clone War veterans, Rex and Kanan. With no other alternative, the rebels agree to the mock battle.
Back in the hangar, Chopper discovers an old shuttle. With some work, he is able to get it running again and sends out a coded distress signal. Unfortunately, it is not Hera and Sabine who get his message. Governor Pryce and Agent Kallus catch it first on board Pryce’s Star Destroyer. Pryce realizes the message came from some rebels, and she orders the forces at the Imperial outpost nearest the planet the distress signal came from to mobilize.
Meanwhile, Captain Rex, Kanan, and Ezra prepare for their battle with the Separatist droids. Kanan tells Rex, who has the most battle experience, to lead the mission. For the first attack wave, Kanan and Ezra guard Rex from the droids’ blaster bolts with their lightsabers while Rex throws detonators into the droids’ midst. The detonators take out most of the first wave of droids, and the three rebels continue into the hangar. Kolani then sends out Destroyer droids, whose shields Rex knows to be nigh impenetrable. Ezra has a plan, though; he will use the force to slam a crane into the platform the Destroyers are crouched on. Rex and Kanan distract the droids so Ezra can execute his idea.
On the way to the crane Ezra is stopped by Chopper. Chopper shows him the shuttle and Ezra tells him to keep it running. He has lost precious time, though. Rex and Kanan are about to be cornered by a second wave of battle droids when Ezra finally reaches the crane. He uses it to knock out the platform the Destroyers are on. When the platform falls, it crushes the battle droids that had Rex and Kanan flustered.
Despite the success of Ezra’s plan, Rex is livid. Ezra had a mission, and that mission required proper timing and execution. Rex emphasizes the importance of discipline, which the Jedi Padawan clearly doesn’t possess. When Rex turns away, Kanan comforts Ezra by saying Rex’s anger is not about the Padawan. The clone captain just wants to win this battle his way. Much like Kolani, Ezra thinks.
Along the way to the command center, the rebels are cornered once again by Destroyer droids. Rex and Ezra are thrown off by the droids’ powerful blaster bolts. One of the Destroyers’ shield temporarily malfunctions, allowing the rebels to destroy it. But there is still one left to deal with. In desperation, Rex flings his helmet at its shield. To the clone’s surprise, the shield deactivates, and he shoots the unprotected droid underneath. Shaken but alive, the rebels continue on to their goal.
“Battles leave scars. Some you can’t see” – Kanan Jarrus
Finally, the rebels reach the command center. Rex tells Kolani that they have won. Kolani, however, is not convinced they would have succeeded had his droids not been so archaic. Technically, he says, the Separatist side would win. Rex is angry, but Ezra tries to negotiate between the two Clone War commanders. He says there could be no victorious side in the Clone Wars because both the Separatists and the Republic were set up for failure: the clones were phased out, while the droids were shut down. He wonders why the war fizzled out in this way, and Zeb says it was because of the Empire. Ezra asks him how he knew that, and Zeb replies that the Empire is coming right now.
Sure enough, through the command center viewport, a Star Destroyer looms in the sky. Ezra wants the rebels and the droids to work together. He convinces Kolani that the Separatists, whose purpose in the war was to liberate themselves from the Republic’s tyranny, are natural enemies of the tyrannical Empire. Kolani, in turn, reasons that since the Republic has now become the Empire, it is logical for the droids to fight them. Rex, a little hesitantly, agrees to work with Kolani.
Kolani admits that his droid forces are greatly depleted, meaning they can’t take on the Empire all at once. But with the rebels, there is always hope. Together, the rebels and Kolani decide to use proton bombs to take out one of the AT-AT’s the Empire is dropping off. They roll the bombs toward the feet on an approaching AT-AT. The remaining B-1 battle droids shoot at the Jedi, who are standing in between the droids and the Imperial forces. The Jedi then redirect the droids’ clumsy shots toward the bombs for a direct hit. The bombs explode and the AT-AT starts to fall.
As a cloud of smoke rises, the rebels and the droids escape in the shuttles Chopper has been keeping warm this whole time. One of the shuttles containing droids doesn’t turn fast enough and is taken down, but the other two carrying the rebels and Kolani escape into the atmosphere.
Once they reach the safety of space, Kolani contacts the rebels. He is pleased by their success, and so is Rex. Rex thanks Ezra for pointing out what neither he nor Kolani could see: the middle ground where the Separatists and the Republic could at last achieve peace. Kolani tells the rebels he doesn’t think they have much of a chance of defeating the Empire, however, so he and his battle droids part ways with their new allies.
Hera contacts Kanan and asks him if they got the bombs. Kanan tells her they didn’t get the bombs, but that they did acquire a new shuttle. The Clone Wars-era ship will make a nice replacement for The Phantom.
The Ghost and the new Phantom jump into hyperspace.
“The Last Battle” is finally over! What did you think? Was it fun to throwback to The Clone Wars? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below, and head back here next week for our recap of Star wars Rebels “Imperial Supercommandos.”