Since the last episode of Star Wars Rebels aired, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hit theaters. The first Star Wars stand-alone movie was notable for featuring Saw Gerrera, a character who first appeared in The Clone Wars series. Forest Whitaker played the role on the big screen and he returned to voice the character in the Rebels hour-long midseason premiere, “Ghosts of Geonosis.”
The Ghost team heads to Geonosis to find a missing rebel team, and that mission brings them face-to-face with Gerrera. This also gives us a glimpse of the planet after the Clone Wars and following the last time the team visited. In Marvel’s Darth Vader series, it was revealed that the Empire exterminated most of the Geonosians, the bug-like creatures in Attack of the Clones, as retribution for their role in the Clone Wars. The Empire also used the planet to build a certain weapon that can be mistaken for a moon.
Here’s a look at all the action in “Ghosts of Geonisis.”
Returning to Geonosis
The first half of the episode begins with the Ghost team flying in Hyperspace, towards Geonosis. Senator Bail Organa himself explains the mission to them. The Rebellion heard about the mysterious disappearance of the entire Geonosian race and sent a team to Geonosis. That team never came back, so Hera’s team will have to find out what’s up. The team reported that there was an energy source on the planet.
By the way, that team was led by Saw Gerrera. “I’ve learned when he’s concerned about something, it’s usually worth taking a closer look,” Rex tells the team.
After the title, the group arrives at the familiar, ringed Geonosis, which looks completely deserted. As they try to land, storms in the atmosphere wreak havoc on the ship. Rex had hoped he’d never have to return to this “dust bowl.” Once they land, they try to track Saw’s team. Rex, Kanan, Chopper and Ezra will try to reach the coordinates of Saw’s last transmission. Sabine, Hera and Zeb will stay at the Ghost in case the Empire comes along. Sabine did pick up readings of a possible power source, but getting Saw is the priority.
Ezra, Kanan and Rex enter a Geonosian temple, that is also deserted. Once inside, Rex tells Kanan all about fighting alongside Saw on Onderon during the Clone Wars. Ezra interrupts them when he spots the entrance to a tunnel. They think Saw might be down there, but Chopper isn’t picking up any signals.
In the tunnels, they spot helmets with markings that match Saw’s emblem. They don’t see bodies – just helmets and blasters. They hear some weird chattering and go deeper in to the tunnels. But the sound disappears and Kanan suggests that they leave because there’s “something working against us.” He doesn’t know what it is, but he thinks they are out of their element. Ezra doesn’t buy that and suggests they just call Hera for backup. Unfortunately, they’re too deep already to get a signal to the Ghost.
Rex and Ezra say they all keep going on, but Kanan is still unsure about it. As they keep going, they reach a dead end (“Did you have to call it that?” Kanan asks) and are met by battle droids and a destroyer droid. “OK, we can probably do this,” Ezra says.
Just as the droids start attacking, there’s a blast behind them. It is Saw Gerrera, who is happy to meet Rex again, along with Ezra and Kanan. Saw hints that he’s found something on Geonosis.
Curiosity Kills The Lasat
Meanwhile, Sabine and Zeb try their best to find the power source they picked up, but the sandstorm isn’t helping. Unbelievably, it’s an old shield generator that’s fully operational. Hera wants them to pull out the deflector core to get Chopper Base a shield. Zeb realizes that it must be protecting something, so they better work fast.
Back in the tunnels, Saw tells Rex about the old shield generator, which has been sitting there since the Clone Wars. Saw doesn’t even know who is keeping it operational. He suggests that it’s some Geonosians, who also killed off the other members of his team. Kanan really doesn’t like this and insists they report back to Hera. Saw doesn’t want them to go back because he thinks the Empire is hiding something really important on Geonosis and that’s why most of the Geonosians were wiped out. Saw believes that the surviving “bug” will know the answer.
After Saw’s speech, they all agree to help them, but they want to send a message to Hera first about the droids. Saw leads them to an open shaft, where they can get a message to Hera, warning her about the operational battle droids. Now she has to warn Zeb and Sabine, and tells them to get back to the ship immediately.
But they get curious – which is never a good thing. Sabine and Zeb spot what looks like rocks hidden under sand. Even though she doesn’t think they are rocks, Sabine still goes towards them. They are actually destroyer droids! If they bump into one, they’ll all wake up and the Ghost‘s guns are clogged by sand. Sabine and Zeb try to carefully carry the deflector core to the Ghost.
But He’s No Skywalker
Underground, Kanan received an order from Hera to get back to the surface ASAP, but Saw keeps pushing them to find that bug. They order Chopper to light up the other side of the open shaft, where they spot a living Geonisian! “Still ugly,” says Rex. The bug spots them and activates the destroyers Zeb and Sabine were trying to avoid!
Saw thinks they can’t escape now. They have to reach the Geonosian and get it to deactivate the droids. Surprisingly, Hera agrees with the plan and Kanan uses the Force to push Ezra over the shaft. Chopper uses his rocket to follow Ezra.
Above ground, Hera suggests Sabine and Zeb use the deflector core to create their own shield while the destroyers blast them.
Back in the shaft, Rex and Saw get across by blasting a higher bridge. Kanan then uses the Force to keep the bridge suspended so they can get across. Kanan then jumps over the chasm. “I always forget they can do that,” Saw says. “Yeah, but he’s no Skywalker,” Rex points out.
Ahead of the trio, Chopper and Ezra are trying to track the bug. They split up during the chase to cut him off, but the bug is much too fast for the two of them. Ezra uses the Force and realizes that the bug is above them. During the fight, the bug drops the droid remote in front of Chopper. Saw blasts it, shutting down the droids above ground. Saw gets the Geonisian to talk, but it’s all in Geonosian. That’s the end of the first half of the episode.
Aggressive Interrogation With an Extremist
At the start of Part Two, Saw continues interrogating the Geonosian about an “Imperial secret.” Rex, Kanan and Ezra try to get Saw to ease up on the alien, who appears to be scared. Remember, Saw is an extremist, whose actions – as Mon Mothma said in Rogue One – have given the Rebels a headache over time. Ezra tries a different tactic, asking the Geonosian what his name is. It’s “Klik-Klak.”
Klik-Klak seems interested in Chopper, but Ezra gets him back on topic. When he asks Klik-Klak what the Empire was doing on Geonosis, Klik-Klak draws something in the sand: the Death Star. Since no one knows this yet, Rex thinks Klik-Klak was drawing Geonosis and its rings. Saw is impatient and just sees it as lines in the dirt. Meanwhile, Chopper picked up a power source in the direction Klik-Klak was headed, so the team heads in that direction.
Saw put handcuffs on the Geonosian, forcing him to lead them to the power source. During that struggle, Saw dropped something, which only Ezra noticed. It’s a hologram projector, showing the image of Steela, Saw’s late sister. It’s all he has left of his sister.
After all that action, the Rebels logo finally shows up. On the other side of the title, we find an Imperial light cruiser heading towards Geonosis because they picked up a signal. They pick up life forms on the surface. Although the captain thinks it’s just scavengers, but still sends a group of troopers down to investigate. Hera notices the Imperials and has Zeb head into the tunnels to try to send a signal to Kanan.
In the tunnels, Klik-Klak leads them to his workshop. Saw goes through everything in poor Klik-Klak’s home to try to find the answers that will please him. But all Klik-Klak keeps doing is drawing the Death Star in the ground. Klik-Klak then scrambles to find an egg he’s been protecting. Rex says it’s a rare queen egg and it could be the last egg left.
Sand… It Gets Everywhere
Meanwhile, Zeb successfully contacts Kanan and patches him through to Hera. He reports that they found something, but she says they have to get out of here because the Imperials are coming. Saw insists that Klik-Klak come with them, but Ezra says he has to stay to protect the egg. Kanan sides with Ezra, telling Saw that an entire race doesn’t deserve to go extinct. They come up with a compromise – they’ll take Klik-Klak and the egg back to Chopper Base to interrogate him. Then, they’ll take Klik-Klak back to Geonosis alive.
The group decides that they can head back to the air shaft, but the Imperials have already arrived and start bombing the Ghost. On the light cruiser, the Imperials realize who they have a chance to kill. Hera gets the ship up in the air, and they chase the Imperial bombers. Thanks to the sandstorm, Zeb only has one barrel. “Stupid sand. It gets everywhere,” Sabine comments. (We’re heard that before.) They do destroy the two TIE Bombers and Kanan tells them that the Ghost will have to pick them up. So, Hera lowers the Ghost into the air shaft.
As Chopper leads the group back to the air shaft, Klik-Klak tries to get them to go in another direction, but Saw refuses to go that way. Chopper does lead them to the shaft, where everyone jumps onto the ship. Once they got on the ship, Hera asks what Klik-Klak wanted to do – which is stay on Geonosis and go even deeper underground. Saw reminds them of the compromise.
Kanan and Hera have a private chat. There’s more to Saw than even Rex knows and Hera tells Kanan that Saw has a reputation for being extreme. After the chat, it looks like Saw was living up to that reputation. He keeps shocking Klik-Klak and now wants to take the Phantom shuttle with Klik-Klak! “Your methods are soft, Jedi. We lost the last war because of you. I won’t lose this one,” Saw says.
Ezra tries to stop Saw, but he throws the kid across the ship. Even Rex can’t stop him. Saw threatens to shoot the egg, just as the Imperial ship gets closer. The Ghost team tries their best to convince Saw that this is a bad idea. They remind him that he knows what it’s like to lose his family. But the Empire is coming and, even though Ezra still wants to leave Klik-Klah on Geonosis, there’s no time to get him off the ship. They have to leave before the Empire makes it impossible to.
The Empire sends Rocket Troopers down the shaft. Ezra, Zeb, Kanan and Saw try to pick off the soldiers while Hera takes the Ghost even deeper, since they can’t go up. Sabine later uses her jetpack to join the fight.
After picking off all the troopers, Klik-Klak continues leading them down into the shaft and Chopper picked up a signal. Saw still isn’t sure about this, but Hera is curious to see this out too. At the bottom of the shaft, they find Imperial weapons division canisters for poison gas. Since the Imperial logo does have a circle within a circle, Rex thinks that Klik-Klak kept drawing that.
Saw has a change of heart and lets Klik-Klak go, realizing that the Geonosiann does belong there. All they need to take are those canisters to prove that the Empire was behind the eradication of the Geonosians. “Everyone loses family in war, even the enemy. The Geonosians deserve the same chance to rebuild that we do,” Saw says. Klik-Klak then takes the egg and goes deeper into another tunnel.
As the Empire tries to seal the Ghost underground, the team grabs the canisters and then tries to fly directly up through the shaft. Sabine launches proton torpedoes to destroy the Imperial ship, but they lose the canisters in the process. All they could get were images.
During the debriefing, Organa tells them that the images won’t be enough to prove to the Senate that the Empire has committed atrocities on Geonosis. They could help the Rebels recruit more supporters though. Unfortunately, the Rebels still don’t know what the Empire was building on Geonosis.
“Maybe not, but they can’t keep it hidden forever,” Kanan tells Saw. “We’ll deal with it.”
“I just hope it won’t be too late,” Saw replies.
As Saw walks away, Kanan and Hera remind Ezra that not everyone fights the Empire the same way. Saw might have shown his extreme tactics, but at least he proved that he’s not the Empire.
What’s Next for the Ghost Crew
There certainly was a lot to process in “Ghosts of Geonosis.” It acts as a fascinating prequel to Rogue One, revealing just how close the Rebels were to learning about the Death Star before Galen Erso sent Bodhi Rook to Saw. It was also peppered with other references to Rogue One, like the Rebellion’s obsession with getting evidence to prove to the Senate that the Empire is evil. Just after the events of Rogue One, the Senate is extinguished.
The episode also bridged the gap between the Clone Wars and a sequence in the Darth Vader comic series, where Vader went to Geonosis to try to find droids to create a personal army. While there, he found a Queen Geonosian, who had fused Geonosians with Battle Droids. We know that Klik-Klak is the one who made sure a Queen would survive the Empire’s genocide on Geonosis. Vader killed Karina The Great in Darth Vader, so it looks like Vader didn’t kill the last of the Geonosians. There’s still Klik-Klak’s queen out there.
The next episode of Rebels is titled “Warhead” and airs on January 14. The episode description reads, “Zeb and Chopper bring a damaged droid found in the Atollon wilderness back to base, only to discover that the droid is a new Imperial probe programmed to spy on and destroy rebels.”
click here for previous recaps of Rebels episodes: