Spoilers ahead if you haven’t watched ‘The Last Battle.’
Aaron: I loved The Clone Wars animated series. This episode was fun because it gave us some familiar elements from that series and gave our characters, especially Rex, some closure. Kanan, Ezra, Zeb, Chopper, and Rex were sent to Agamar in search for weapons they could use for the rebellion. They happened upon Kalani, a tactical droid who was able to bypass the shutdown command at the end of the Clone Wars.
Kalani had previously appeared in three episodes of The Clone Wars and was one of the more memorable tactical droids that appeared in that series. Don’t remember him? He was the one who appeared in the Onderon episodes and mercilessly killed the leader of that planet after the Separatists were defeated. I really enjoyed his return. His logical yet obsessive nature made for a very interesting opponent. I’m glad he ultimately lived and I hope we see him again.
The war game, or reenactment, that Kalani put our heroes through was kind of pointless but pretty fun to watch. Ultimately this episode felt like a big nod to fans who loved The Clone Wars and have continued to show their support for Star Wars Rebels after the cancellation of their beloved series. As a fan of both shows I’m not sure I needed this, but I appreciated the connections.
Side note: I was really hoping one of the battle droids was going to turn out to be Roger from The Freemaker Adventures.
Teresa: This episode definitely had its charm and it was, in my opinion, geared towards the fans of The Clone Wars. Ever since Rex appeared in Rebels there have been some questions in my mind about his stability. In this episode we got to see just how affected by the Clone Wars he actually was. The whole storyline seemed a little forced, and I did not really understand why it was necessary. Perhaps this was for Rex fans to get to see him in action again, but I find it hard to follow when he is only wearing half his armor. I think the outfit worked when they found him in Season 2 but watching him run around and fight in it felt out-of-place.
I remember Kalani from The Clone Wars series, and his logic to me was one of the best parts of this episode. Also Ezra had some stand out moments where he was literally the “bridge” between those who fought in the Clone Wars and the fighters of today. I think that it really helped for him to talk to Rex in the way he did and help open his eyes. In war things are not just black and white, won or lost. I also think the point he made about the faulty droids was great. When you do not have matched opponents in my opinion the fight really is not fair.
I am glad to see there is a new Phantom, but this new Phantom does not really seem capable of what the old one could do. I am however looking forward to what Sabine can do with it.
Aaron: This episode gave Rex one more chance to face off against old foes. It quickly became evident that Rex still needed some sort of closure. He fell right back into battle mode and even ended up scolding Ezra for his lack of discipline on the battlefield. I could imagine him talking the same way to a new clone back in the Clone Wars.
Although I don’t agree with Ezra’s logic that no one won the staged battle (a win’s a win’s even if the droidekas were faulty), I did agree with his point that no one really won the Clone War. He was the one to deliver the message that we all kind of knew already. But it was something Rex needed to hear even if the audience got it years ago.
I was happy to see Chopper back in action. I loved it when he scared Ezra and then physically dragged him over to see the escape shuttles. He pretty much is the reason they all ended up living and he found the new Phantom. Go Chopper!
Teresa: I am mostly going to discuss Rex because he went through the greatest journey in this episode. It was very obvious that he was suffering from severe PTSD. As a person that has suffered from Depression and Anxiety conditions most of her life I see Rex and I see a kindred spirit. The worst part about mental health conditions is that they are always there but not always manifesting themselves. They are a constant battle and one that can be very hard. I liken the struggle with something like PTSD or depression with a battle during the war. No one really wins the war but you can see winners in battle. This is very similar to what we see in the episode. While Rex can remember winning certain battles he has to understand that the war really was not truly won by anyone. This is the same for his PTSD. The moment we see him wild-eyed and flashing back to the days in the Clone Wars brought tears to my eyes. When Rex calls for Cody I lost it completely. I have been in that moment when you reach out for those who were closest to you and they don’t answer because they are not there anymore.
Rex has suffered not just the loss of his brothers but he has also suffered the loss of pieces of himself. I firmly believe that just because he was bred as a clone does not mean that he lacks a soul or a personality. I think the removal of his chip is the key here that makes him no longer a clone. We saw this with Gregor and Fives they were able to be their own people and not be subject to what their programming wanted them to be. Life finds a way, to quote Jurassic Park. No matter how much we try to engineer things to be a certain way the evolution of life will always shine through. This last battle was very important for Rex. He needed the closure but that won’t ever make the PTSD or depression he has go away. Sadly, he will always struggle with it but that does not mean that he can not be a fabulous soldier. Until he confronts and deals with his issues, however, the moments we saw in this episode will always be a problem for him.
Aaron: My favorite moment came when we saw the unlikely meeting of the Separatist’s battle droids and the Empire’s stormtroopers. Two groups who both have pretty bad reputations when it comes to being effective soldiers. Apparently some troopers had come across battle droids before, because they seemed to have protocol for just that situation. After a brief and awkward introduction, the troopers gunned down the poor battle droids.
I also enjoyed when Kanan tells Hera and Sabine that they have a new Phantom and that it would need a paint job. Sabine’s face lit up. After seeing how cool her TIE fighter paint job looked, I can’t wait to see what she does with the new shuttle.
Teresa: It sounds strange but my favorite moment was when we saw Rex struggle with his past because that was the most real this show has ever gotten for me. I was able to relate and understand him in a way that I do not relate to the other characters. This does not mean I do not love them, because I do, but there is not the same connection now.
I also loved the scene with Chopper. He was so ready to just get the heck out of Dodge, and he found a ship! His reactions are always the best when he sees a clear way out of the problem, but his lack of ability to understand complex human emotion and logic just makes him so angry!
- “If Kanan needs help he’ll call us.” – Hera
“Since when?” – Sabine
“Fine. If Chopper’s in over his head he’ll hide and call us.” – Hera
“That’s more believable.” – Sabine
- “Wait, who’s Roger?” – Ezra
- It is too much to write but I loved Rex’s entire monologue to Ezra about being a good soldier.