With a potential new base found, the Rebels need fuel, and the Ghost crew is once more on the case. Heading to a well-guarded Imperial refueling outpost, Hera puts Chopper in charge of staying with the Ghost and monitoring Imperial transmission, but he instead gets distracted by a new leg strut at a nearby shop.
Chopper being Chopper, he ignores his orders and instead steals the leg. After being accidentally abandoned by the Ghost crew, he is chased by stormtroopers into an Imperial cargo ship, where he meets an inventory droid, AP-5.
In The Forgotten Droid, we learn a bit more about Chopper’s backstory and his character beyond the fact he is a somewhat malicious, unpredictable droid. He’s a veteran of the Clone Wars, where he was a military droid, saved from a crash by Hera on Ryloth. AP-5, too, is a Clone Wars veteran, having been a tactical droid during the same Ryloth campaign. The two droids bond over their war stories, and Chopper shows he can care about something other than himself, surprising even Hera. This episode helps to build upon previous episodes, such as Homecoming, with little tidbits of character history.
I know I talk about it all the time with the new season, but the animation this episode is gorgeous, especially the colours and the lighting at the outpost. AP-5’s reflective bug-like eyes show just how good this show’s art direction has gotten, they are such a little detail, and yet they are stunningly animated.
AP-5 is a great new character with great potential, especially in his interactions with Chopper. His design is very slick and perfectly fits both the Rebels and the general Star Wars aesthetic, and Stephen Stanton brings him to life as a comedic, yet logical character. Droids within the GFFA act so obviously human, clearly having varying levels of artificial intelligence, but we see droid like AP-5 bound by their restraining bolts and unkind masters. Yet, AP-5 fights against these things to become his own droid, building a beautiful friendship with Chopper over the course of the episode.
Filled with Chopper shenanigans and hints at droid agency—and the differences between how the Imperials and the Rebels treat non-human sentients—this episode is a funnier, more lighthearted episode before the upcoming final episodes. Though nowhere near as serious in tone as other episodes, the season’s plot is still driven forward. Also a bonus: Ketsu Onyo pops up a couple times.
Rebels is largely about freedom in many ways, especially freedom from the Empire, and while the rest of the main cast has had opportunities to explore their various feelings towards the Empire and how it’s affected them, this is the first time we explore Chopper’s point of view when it comes to the crew, the war, and to himself.