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Recap / Star Wars Rebels S3E17 "Double Agent Droid"

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Wedge Antilles: AP-5 and Chop were playing some spy game the whole trip . . .
AP-5: It was not a game, this is a serious matter! I have grave concerns about Chopper—

Chopper and AP-5 team up to infiltrate an Imperial station to steal needed codes, but an Imperial specialist turns Chopper against the crew to cause chaos.

Tropes in this episode include:

  • Bavarian Fire Drill: When AP-5 is caught by another protocol droid of the same model, he hastily claims to be that droid's replacement, which the droid buys without question.
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  • Breather Episode: While it's still a pretty serious situation, the episode centering around the comic relief duo, AP-5 and Chopper, eases things a bit, especially after the last few episodes.
  • The Bus Came Back: Wedge returns for the first time after his cameo in "Warhead" and his first major role in his debut episode, "The Antilles Extraction".
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": "Refresher", as opposed to "toilet". The term comes from the X-Wing Series.
  • Call-Back:
    • The Imperial Information Office was previously mentioned back in "Empire Day", when Tseebo was introduced and Ezra explained that he's one of their workers. A group of them finally debut here.
    • The Controller and his team are trying to get the coordinates of the rebel base to help Thrawn, which has been the entire overarching story for this half of the season.
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    • AP-5 and Chopper were sent to Killun-71 to retrieve access codes to get past the Imperial blockade around Lothal, which is also the overarching story for the season.
  • Call-Forward: Just like Tseebo, the Controller has Lobot-style cybernetic implants.
  • Cassandra Truth: Wedge tells the crew that AP-5 and Chopper were goofing around as spies, which causes them to dismiss AP-5's concerns about Chopper, as they're assuming AP is just going to say something snarky and Chopper is just being a gadfly again.
  • Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: AP-5 is not happy when he discovers the Ghost has arrived to save him.
  • Continuity Nod:
  • Creepy Monotone: The Imperial analysts, with only the Controller seeming to retain any free will and emotions. Like Lobot, it's likely their implants have overriden their minds.
  • Didn't Think This Through: The crew should have known that the ISB is more thorough with its security (it's what the "S" stands for). As such, the whole mission really would have gone better if they had just sent AP-5 and Wedge. AP-5 was the only droid who could pass through the scanner, likely because he's still registered as an Imperial droid. Since Chopper isn't registered, the Imperials run a profile on him since he set off the alarm.
  • Distaff Counterpart: AP-5 meets a female version of him, PZ-7. He's rather embarrassed to be the same model as her after she buys his Bavarian Fire Drill ploy.
  • Dramatic Irony: The Imperial Information Controllers didn't identify AP-5 as a rebel spy, but they later think he betrayed the Empire just now. They don't know that he defected a whole season ago.
  • Dressing as the Enemy:
    • Chopper takes up his Imperial astromech disguise once again. It backfires this time, as the Empire has set up scanners that can detect unauthorized droids, and Chopper's outdated design (and history of causing trouble during infiltrations) makes it easy for the Controller to identify Chopper as Hera's droid.
    • Since AP-5 is a former Imperial droid, he doesn't need a disguise, so he blends right in. Additionally, his status as a former Imperial droid allows him to pass through without setting off the alarm.
    • Wedge still has his Imperial pilot uniform. He doesn't have to leave the ship, so it doesn't really need to pass inspection, but keeps his disguise in case Stormtroopers board the shuttle and check.
  • Eye Am Watching You: AP-5 does this to Chopper, and by extension the Controller, on the shuttle ride back from Killun-71.
  • Foregone Conclusion: We see Chopper make a cameo in the background of Rogue One, still on the side of the Rebels, so he'll be fine after this.
  • Foreshadowing: The Controller says that the rebels have a 31% chance of actually using the clearance codes for Lothal that they stole, yet again hinting that the planned assault on the Imperial factories won't go as planned.
  • Full-Name Ultimatum: AP-5 refers to Chopper as his operating number, C1-10P, when he gives the codes to Hera. Since no one ever says his full name unless it's someone who he's never met before, Sarcasm Mode, or a scolding/something serious, combined with AP-5's default mode arguably being Sarcasm Mode, it backfires on him and causes the crew to believe he's just trying to be a hero as a part of his and Chop's joke.
  • He Knows Too Much: When AP-5 starts catching on to Chopper, the Controller considers dealing with him if necessary.
  • Ignored Expert: Pretty much nobody takes AP-5's concerns about Chopper being taken over seriously for a big chunk of the episode, largely because of his You Have to Believe Me! attitude and their constant bickering throughout the mission.
  • I Know You're Watching Me: Hera directly addresses the Controller through Chopper's camera just before she sends a large amount of power back to the Controller's ship.
  • Kick the Dog: Chopper bullies a mouse droid during the infiltration mission just because he can.
  • Mama Bear: Hera is pissed that someone would dare mess with her droid, and uses the signal that's controlling Chopper to overload the Controller's systems, causing his ship to blow up.
  • Middle-Management Mook: The Controller is little more than a mid-ranking Imperial Intelligence official.
  • Musicalis Interruptus: Floating in space with a flock of neebray, AP-5 starts to sing about how happy he is before the Ghost rescues him.
    AP-5: I should be frightened, but I'm strangely calm. The silence... Solitude... Ah, this is beautiful. I'm in a world all my own. I do not feel alone. (singing) It's easy to see, I fit perfectly, In this wonderful, Beautiful simply... (sees the Ghost) Oh, no, no, no! No, go away! I was so happy.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: The Controller's ambitious plan to steal the coordinates of the rebel base ultimately helps the rebels succeed in stealing the codes. Had he simply reported Chopper to the ISB the moment he was identified or at any point chosen to inform Thrawn of his findings, the entire mission would have failed, as the codes would've been replaced. Now he and his crew have taken their knowledge to the grave.
  • Nobody Poops: Played for laughs. Wedge tries to use the refresher, but AP-5 interrupts to express his concerns about Chopper.
  • Noodle Incident: When Wedge mentions AP-5 barging in on him in the refresher, Zeb notes that he's done it to him.
  • Not Helping Your Case: In a case of Skewed Priorities, upon getting back to the Ghost, rather than immediately urge them that something is wrong with Chopper, AP-5 vaguely says that he "saved the codes from C1-10P" like he's some hero that won a game rather than he might have literally rescued the codes from an unwell Chopper. Wedge clarifies that it must be a part of the duo's antics continuing off from the mission, leading to everyone shrugging off AP's concerns that he follows up with and believing he and Chop just don't know when to knock off their jokes.
  • Not So Above It All: After retrieving AP-5, he and Chopper have another one of their sessions, leading to Chopper trying to hit him and accidentally hitting Wedge, who's had enough of their antics and runs after Chopper to beat him up with AP-5 not far behind.
  • Oh, Crap!: The Controller's reaction when Hera reveals that she knows what he did to her droid, and is about to send him something back.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: Chopper is much quieter, less snarky, and more poised after he gets hacked by the Controller, just like a majority of astromechs and droids, especially Imperial droids. This, coupled with his use of Imperial codes, leads AP-5 to suspect he's been compromised. Everyone else is initially dismissive, but Hera quickly changes her mind when Chopper tries to access restricted data in violation of protocol.
  • People Puppets: Chopper is hacked by Imperial analysts, who remote-pilot him in an attempt to steal the location of the rebel base.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Hera delivers a message to the Imperials who hacked Chopper.
    Hera: Hey! You! Imperial sleemo! Keep your hands off my droid! [...] Say good-bye to your memory core.
  • Properly Paranoid: It's revealed that Hera always wipes Chopper's memory of hyperspace coordinates after every jump as a security precaution, which is why the Controller ends up taking over Chopper to try and steal the location of the base.
  • Rank Up: Wedge Antilles has been promoted from cadet to Lieutenant by this episode. It is implied the Controller seeks to elevate his status by discovering the location of Chopper Base.
  • Reverse Polarity: Hera destroys the Controller's ship by reversing his signal and supercharging it, causing the systems on his ship to overload and explode.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The argument between AP-5 and Chopper in the Cold Open references the song "Anything You Can Do (I Can Do Better)" from Annie Get Your Gun.
    • The Controller is modeled after Lucasfilm Story Group member Pablo Hidalgo, who also provided temp dialog during production of the episode before Josh Gad was cast as the character.
  • Space Whale: AP-5 finds a school of young neebray after he's sent drifting into space by Chopper.
  • Status Quo Is God: The Controller and his team are stopped before they can retrieve the coordinates of Chopper Base and are completely wiped out by Hera. And because they never reported in their findings, the rest of the Empire doesn't have anything to build off of from their new discoveries.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Pulling the same gambit too many times is bound to backfire. In this case, Chopper wearing the same Imperial astromech paint job over and over again gets him flagged by the Empire, and they set a trap specifically to capture and reprogram him.
    • In addition, checkpoints like metal detectors to verify droid programming have been added to the Imperial bases. If AP-5 had gone in alone to retrieve the codes, the mission would have gone off without the Empire noticing because he cleared the checkpoint, while Chopper didn't.
  • Take That!: AP-5 is all alone in space with only a school of neebray surrounding him like a flurry of butterflies and is about to break into a musical number until the sudden arrival of the Ghost cuts him off. For the viewers that think the show is "Disneyfied", this is as close as it gets to a traditional Disney movie and never again.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Double subversion. The Stormtroopers at the main gate of the Imperial outpost insist that the droids pass through the checkpoint one at a time. AP-5 cleared the checkpoint, but Chopper didn't. Of course, the Stormtroopers literally two feet away, didn't notice that. Lucky for them, they didn't need to.
  • Thinking Out Loud: AP-5 talks to himself while infiltrating the ISB base (which really would've gotten him into trouble had anyone been nearby to hear him) and when he's drifting alone in space.
  • Thrown Out the Airlock:
    • Chopper opens the forward cargo hatch in the Ghost after trapping the crew there. They just barely manage to hang on before Hera uses the manual override to close it.
    • When AP-5 is trying to bypass security protocols on the outer hull, Chopper flies into him and shoves him off, causing him to drift uncontrollably.
  • Unwanted Rescue: AP-5 complains when he's scooped up by the Ghost, as he was enjoying his time with the neebray.
  • Waxing Lyrical: AP-5 and Chopper argue out the lyrics to "Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better".
  • We Want Our Jerk Back!: As much as they are loathe to admit it, the crew missed the old grouchy Chopper and are glad he's back to normal.
    Zeb: I Can't Believe I'm Saying This, but I'm glad you're okay, Chop.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: AP-5 finally obtains some measure of happiness and peace floating through the void with the neebray... and then the Ghost shows up to save him. But hey, at least they respect him a bit more, and then he happily goes on with his usual business.