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Recap / Star Wars Rebels S2E01 "The Lost Commanders"

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"My name is Rex. Captain, 501st Clone Battalion. And any friend of [Ahsoka's] is a friend of mine."
Captain Rex

The Ghost crew is sent to find and recruit a veteran war hero with valuable experience and leadership qualities. Problems occur when they discover the hero is an old clone trooper.


  • All There in the Manual: According to the episode guide, the emblem on Gregor's undershirt is the logo of the Power Sliders diner where he worked on Abafar.
  • Break Out the Museum Piece:
    • The clone troopers are still wearing parts of their old clone trooper armor, are traveling in a repurposed AT-TE walker, and armed with Clone Wars-era DC-15A blaster rifles and DC-17 blaster pistols. Wolffe, in a fit of paranoia, fires his rifle at Kanan before Rex can calm him down, though the shots are deflected, and Rex uses one of the rifles to destroy an Imperial probe droid.
    • The Ghost crew also use a Separatist tactical droid's head to locate the clone.
  • Breather Episode: After spending two episodes getting their butts kicked by Darth Vader, our heroes take some time to hang out with old clones and catch a joopa.
  • The Bus Came Back: Rex, Wolffe, and Gregor.
  • Call-Back: Rex, Wolffe, and Gregor have removed the control chips which would have activated during Order 66. Rex's comments indicate they did so before they could hurt any of their Jedi compatriots.
  • Call-Forward:
  • Cloning Blues: Kanan aged from a 14-year-old Padawan to a man around thirty, while Rex, Gregor, and Wolfe aged from 20-year-old soldiers to 70-year-old veterans.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Gregor's gone a bit senile since the Clone Wars. Guess that head trauma from before didn't mix well with old age.
  • Comically Missing the Point: During the fishing scene, Gregor reflexively calls Kanan “General” and then corrects himself to “Commander” after Kanan protests. Also doubles as Innocently Insensitive since Gregor is oblivious to Kanan’s disgust for military conventions due to the latter’s Clone Wars PTSD.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The crew receives the information about the clones' location from the head of a Separatist tactical droid.
    • Rex hasn't heard his birth number in... a long time, perhaps?
    • Rex mentions having first fought alongside Ahsoka during the Battle of Christophsis. He also makes an offhand mention of the Siege of Mandalore, the focus of the intended Grand Finale of The Clone Wars, which at the time of this episode's initial broadcast hadn't been made due to the series' initial cancellation.
    • It would be impossible to bring back the clones without a mention of Order 66.
    • Rex quotes Anakin to Ezra.
    • Hera mentions clones having saved her life to convince Kanan to trust them.
  • Cool Old Guy: The reintroduction of Rex and Gregor in this era of the Star Wars canon establishes them both as this; the former as an Old Soldier and the latter as an endearing Cloud Cuckoolander.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: If Ahsoka had just told Kanan she was sending him to recruit a Clonetrooper, instead of dropping cryptic hints, they could have hashed out Kanan's issues regarding Order 66 and let her explain about the chips and how Rex had removed his. Instead...
  • Cryptic Conversation: Instead of telling Kanan the old friend she's sending him to find is a former Clonetrooper Commander, she just reiterates that he should "Trust him". Kanan does not understand and there's a lot of friction.
  • Death Glare: Kanan shoots quite a few throughout the episode towards the clones. Ezra also glares at Wolffe when he sells them out.
  • Easily Forgiven: Aside from Kanan, most of the crew get over Wolffe's betrayal (as well as the Clones' lying about Zeb being bait during the hunt) rather quickly. Zeb tries to be mad about being used as bait (and being Swallowed Whole), but can't hold it and admits it was actually fun.
  • Fantastic Racism: Kanan gets hit with a bout of this thanks to encountering clones after experiencing Order 66. Wolfe gets some, too, assuming Kanan is one of the Jedi that "betrayed" the clones. His actual experience is shown in another show, and it's not pretty. Kanan has reason for his feelings.
  • Feed It a Bomb: Once they manage to drag the joopa above ground, Rex uses the main gun on the AT-TE to shoot it in the mouth.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing:
    • Ahsoka doesn't explicitly tell the Ghost crew who she's sending them to get, but the hints pile up quickly: how many experienced military officers does Ahsoka actually know, anyways? And why is she so very stern in telling the Order 66 survivor of the crew to trust her friend? Kanan himself clearly suspects where this is heading from his cautioning Ezra before The Reveal.
    • As the Phantom flies over the desert of Seelos, it starts repeating the numbers "7567", which The Clone Wars fans will recognize as Rex's clone ID number.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Each of the clones has a scar on his head from where they removed their control chips. Wolffe, who betrays them, also has a big sinister scar over his right eye, which he received back in the Clone Wars.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Wolffe has been intercepting Ahsoka's messages and sells out the Ghost crew to protect his brothers. He apologizes when he's caught.
  • I Never Got Any Letters: Ahsoka had been sending messages to Rex for years, but he never answered because Wolffe was concealing them from him. The trope is almost namedropped, even:
    Rex: What? I never got any messages from Commander Tano.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Gregor calls Kanan "General", which Kanan objects to, because he really hates being around clones. Gregor apologizes and calls him "Commander" instead.
  • Mind-Control Device: The three clones removed the Order 66 chips in their brains following the Great Jedi Purge taking place. Fives' death wasn't entirely in vain after all. ;;
  • Not Helping Your Case: Kanan's distrust of the clones is not helped by the fact that one of them sells out his crew to the Empire.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Zeb, just as he realizes he's been made into bait for a joopa.
      Zeb: Oh, karabast...
    • The rebels also have this reaction when they realize Wolffe sold them out to the Empire.
  • Old Soldier: The clones and especially Rex fit the bill.
  • Papa Wolf: When Kanan suspects that the men they've been sent to find are clones, he warns Ezra to keep his guard up. When one of the clones gets defensive and begins shooting, his first move is to get in front of his Padawan.
  • The Paranoiac: Wolffe has become incredibly paranoid, which is why he'd been intercepting Ahsoka's messages for years, and why he sent a message to the Empire when the Ghost crew arrived.
  • Plot-Driven Breakdown: The Ghost's hyperdrive breaks down when they enter orbit, so they just can't leave immediately when the Empire learns they're there.
  • Properly Paranoid:
    • As soon as Wolffe realizes Kanan's a Jedi, he assumes Kanan's there for revenge. Not hard to imagine why.
    • And as soon as Kanan realizes the men Ahsoka sent them to find are clones, he pulls his lightsaber.
    • Kallus doesn't turn away intel just because the clone sending it is supposedly unreliable. He dispatches a probe droid to investigate.
  • Recycled In Space: Three retired war veterans living in a mobile home in the middle of nowhere, who spend their days telling stories and fishing. Only in this case the war vets are genetically-engineered clone soldiers, their mobile home is a modified AT-TE assault walker, and they "fish" for giant, carnivorous sandworms.
  • Retcon: Rex says here that he, Gregor, and Wolffe removed their chips, stating he didn't betray his Jedi and "we all have a choice", implying that he figured out what Fives was talking about and got it removed before Order 66 went out. The last season of The Clone Wars (released after this, because fans were so adamant about wrapping up some storylines) changed that, but in a way that still fits with the ambiguity of his phrasing.
  • Retired Badass: Rex insists that his days of fighting battles are behind him, though he's still a very good shot with a rifle.
  • Sand Worm: The joopa. The clones hunt them for food.
  • Scenery Porn: There's some gorgeous shots of the Seelos sky when the Phantom discovers the AT-TE and when the sun is setting. Fitting for an episode inspired by Miyazaki.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Encountering the clones brings up some rather painful memories of Order 66 for Kanan. Likewise, with the other clones, Rex has to occasionally remind them they're not at war anymore and that the Jedi are not their enemy (despite what their minds may tell them).
  • Shout-Out:
    • The modified AT-TE walker the clones use as a mobile home was clearly inspired by Howl's Moving Castle.
    • The Joopa fishing sequence is an homage to Jaws, crossed with more than a passing resemblance to Tremors.
  • Single-Biome Planet: Seelos is a desert planet, complete with Sand Worms.
  • Small Role, Big Impact:
    • Ahsoka Tano only appears at the beginning, but gives the Ghost crew an old tactical droid's head to lead them to their next destination.
    • Agent Kallus doesn't have much screen time, but dispatches a probe droid to investigate the planet the heroes happen to be on.
  • Still Wearing the Old Colors: All of the clones living in the AT-TE still wear parts of their old armor. Gregor's tank top is emblazoned with the emblem of the diner he worked at while he was suffering amnesia.
  • Swallowed Whole: Poor Zeb has an extended stay in the mouth of a joopa.
  • That's an Order!: Rex orders Wolffe and Gregor to drop their blasters to defuse the confrontation with our heroes.
  • Took a Level in Badass: The Imperial Probe Droid does a hell of a lot more than most of their kind, sneaking onto Rex's walker and stealing a lot of intel.
  • Walking Tank: The clones have an old AT-TE they use as a mobile home.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Rex tears into Wolffe for intercepting Ahsoka's messages and selling out the Ghost crew to the Imperials.
  • You Are Number 6: The tactical droid head Ahsoka gives the Ghost crew to help find Rex repeats his designation number of "7567" while leading the Phantom to the clones' AT-TE, so after Rex reveals the number's significance, Ezra initially calls him that due to not knowing his name, which Rex is quick to correct.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: According to Rex, the Clone Army has been retired.