A Chopper and AP-5 buddy cop caper featuring bonus Josh Gad certainly doesn’t sound like it has the makings of a classic Rebels episode on the surface, but goodness me, was this a delight. To the jump!
Plot synopsis out of the way: Hera’s pulling the strings to get some intelligence, sends Wedge, AP-5, and Chopper to an Imperial base to retrieve it. An Imperial “Controller” voiced by Josh Gad catches on thanks to a memo disseminated by Thrawn and manages to commandeer control of Chopper. After AP-5 gets the data, he recovers Chopper and notices the surly astromech is behaving oddly (read: nice). A series of unfortunate events occurs in which AP-5 tries futilely to point out Chopper has been compromised. By the time everyone figures out what’s going on, the Josh Gad controlled Chopper attempts to Laura Roslin everybody aboard the Ghost.
AP-5 goes on an extravehicular journey, Hera gets pissed and manages to blow up the Controller’s starship with nothing more than an overloaded subspace radio transmission. Note to all: do NOT piss off Hera.
Okay, yes, this is a bottle episode. It’s the sort of installment that has fans groaning “ugh filler.” But you know what? This was a brilliant episode of Rebels, because this was an episode that cranked the fun to eleven. Fan service Wedge as the getaway driver. AP-5 paying homage to Alan Rickman and Douglas Adams. Hera showing why no one should mess with her ever. Stephen Stanton performing a musical number as AP-5 floats through the vacuum of space.
This episode was silly, perhaps the silliest episode of Rebels ever. But good heavens it was fun and one that had me laughing constantly. If we were to put this in Legends parlance, this is the kind of episode that would have been right at home in an Aaron Allston novel. Sometimes Star wars can just be fun for the sake of being fun. If it’s going to do that? Star wars should do what this episode did.
So here’s to Double Agent Droid, an episode that shows “filler” isn’t inherently bad. In a show that features a 22+ episode season, there’s room for little side quests that can remind us all that Star Wars is allowed to be fun without requiring justification. There have been a lot of great episodes of Rebels this season, and despite all the criticism, I’d put this one near the top of the list.