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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
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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.


Tropes:

  • 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.
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  • The Bus Came Back: Rex, Wolffe, and Gregor.
  • Call-Back: Rex, Wolffe, and Gregor have removed the control chips which would have turned them against the Jedi. Rex's comments indicate they did so before Order 66.
  • Call-Forward:
  • 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:
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    • 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.
  • 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 the clones' betrayal (as well as lying about Zeb being bait during the hunt) rather quickly.
  • 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?
    • 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...
  • Mind-Control Device: The three clones removed the Order 66 chips in their brains. 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 did sell 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 realizes the men they've been sent to find are clones, his first move is to get in front of Ezra.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.


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