Season Three, Episode Six — “The Last Battle”

© Copyright & TM 2016 Lucasfilm Ltd.

© Copyright & TM 2016 Lucasfilm Ltd.

By Jason GibnerA long time ago, in Midwestern state far, far away… specifically, in Detroit… a man with the last name “Starr” asked the very important, absolutely immortal question, “War, what is it for for?” The only answer this Starr man gave? “Absolutely nothing.”  

That sentiment is echoed in the latest episode of Star Wars Rebels as our heroes begin to see through the layers of government dealings (and sometimes decades-long Sith revenge plots) that feed the hunger machine of war. Like World War II soldiers stuck on an island for decades without knowing their war is long over, “The Last Battle” introduces us to the last remaining fleet of the late, great Separatist army from The Clone Wars: Alone on the dusty planet of Agamar for almost 20 years, this rusty group, led by the fancy tactical droid General Kalani, has run the numbers and done the math and just doesn’t see how the mighty droid army could have been defeated by the Clones and their Jedi leaders. Surely it’s a trick from that sneaky Republic, right?

Looking for some extra weapons and ammo, our heroes land on Agamar. As they wander through the graveyard of crashed ships, they’re given a history lesson on the Clone Wars from team member and one of the last living clones, Captain Rex. Before you can say Roger Roger, a group of still functioning Battle Droids come out and it’s back in the saddle again for Rex and Kanan. (You can almost feel Dave Filoni yelling “’The Clone Wars’ are back, baby!” during every commercial break.)

“The Last Battle” is a love letter from The Clone Wars series veterans who still work on Rebels, and it really, really shows. Just as our characters revisit that era and end up giving some of its last remaining soldiers a sense of closure, this episode does precisely that for the show’s creators. The Clone Wars was created with the concept that it would run well beyond its six finished seasons. (The general thought was that the show would lead right up to the opening battle scene in 2005’s Revenge of the Sith.)

While the show did manage to tell an epic, beloved, and greatly appreciated story during its run, much like Palpatine cutting the Clone Wars off at Order 66, the series ended abruptly once Disney bought Lucasfilm. Now that all the dust has finally settled here is Dave Filoni and Henry Gilroy, basically going all Return to Gilligan’s Island with one final bow for The Clone Wars — one that happens to feature special guests from Rebels.

In fact, the episode is so meta, it could have easily become a mere vanity project for Filoni and his crew. For fans of The Clone Wars however (and remember, there’s a whole generation out there that consider the entire Prequel saga as “their Star Wars”), the episode feels like trying on your favorite pair of old jeans, only to find they still fit perfectly, which gets you thinking of an often less-than-appreciated era of your life. I gotta admit, the sight of Jedi, a Clone, and Battle Droids teaming up at the end was like watching a kid play with their Star Wars figures, where rules are out the window and a Destroyer Droid is shooting at an AT-AT just because “wouldn’t it be cool if that happened?”


If none of you won, who did?” – Ezra

We all just won the Clone War, and you ended it.” – Captain Rex

If we’re going to survive this, we’re going to do it with strategy and discipline!” – Captain Rex

We clones were bred for combat… There was no other way of life for us.” – Captain Rex

Battles leave scars. Some you can’t see.” – Kanan

Battle Droid: “Roger Roger.” Ezra: “Wait, who’s Roger?

Rex: “What do you want us to do? Surrender?” Kalani: “On the contrary. I want you to fight.

Kalani: “I am not programmed to comprehend your humor.” Zeb: “I’m not joking.” Kalani: “Ha. Ha. Ha.

BEST MOMENT: So Kalani presents Kanan, Ezra and Rex with a game to finally settle whose army was truly worthy of winning the Clone Wars. It’s an intriguing idea that, much to all the character’s initial dismay, ends with a tie. That is, until Ezra starts to really think long and hard about the fate of the war. He states that he knows the Jedi were wiped out, the Clones were decommissioned and the Droid army was shut down. Finally a character in the Star Wars universe acknowledges the big, smelly Bantha in the room and asks a question that may have been lost on some fans back in 2005: Why did the Clone Wars happen?

Did it have a point if nobody was actually victorious? Sure, the story goes that the Jedi turned against the Clones and that sealed their fate, but did the Clone Wars ever really end when the Republic became the First Galactic Empire? And if someone benefited from all that crazy, who was it? With that question, our heroes look out the window to see a fleet of Star Destroyers headed their way. Star Wars has never really taken the time to spell out Palpatine’s grand scheme in such a literal way, and just hearing someone run through the meat and potatoes of Star Wars history is a thrill. A cheap thrill, maybe, but a thrill nonetheless.

EPISODE’S MVP: I’m giving this one to The Separatist Droid Army. The goofiest bad guys anyone had ever seen and about as menacing as a pile of twigs, these droids almost never, ever got the love. Built by those hard-working (and equally doomed) insect alien race, The Geonosians, the Droid Army was created to fail. But along the way we got really used to seeing them: From Super Battle Droids, to Commando Droids, to Destroyer Droids, and back to the basic B-1 Battle Droid, we grew to know them, and maybe (for some of us), we grew to love them (a little).

Seeing them in “The Last Battle”, fighting side by side with the heroes of Rebels made a old Prequel-era droid lover like me smile quite a bit. It even made me dream of the next Star Wars animated series, which would follow a brave group of desperate and lost droids led by a Force-sensitive Droid leader named Roger. (It could happen.) If you’re listening, Lucasfilm, you know how to find me.

© Copyright & TM 2016 Lucasfilm Ltd.

© Copyright & TM 2016 Lucasfilm Ltd.


– If you weren’t sure this was a final hug and kiss goodbye to The Clone Wars, the end credit music for this episode is the end credit music from The Clone Wars series. Also, the Rebels logo has been changed around to give it more of a Clone Wars look.

– Never one to shy away from the details, Filoni got original Kalani voice actor Gregg Berger back to do the voice of the laughing tactical droid.

– Also filed away under massive attention to detail, composer Kevin Kiner uses his Battle Droid march music here that he first composed for Season One of The Clone Wars.

– The Clone War ship graveyard on Agamar looked eerily familiar to the Galactic Civil War ship graveyard seen on Jakku in The Force Awakens. Perhaps another subtle/not so subtle way of connecting all the eras here in this episode.

– Has Rex had his Clone armor upgraded? He takes a couple shots to it in this episode and seems totally okay, while in the Clone Wars series they would have been enough to take a Clone down.

– While it’s cool that the new Phantom mini ship for the crew is a former Separatist ship, I’m still not sure how Chopper was down there by himself searching around and didn’t get caught. And for the second week in a row, the feisty astromech just seems to be randomly showing up and solving problems for the crew once they are in over their heads. Also, where’s AP-5 these days?

8 out of 1o

Next: “Imperial Supercommandos,” soon.

Before: “Hera’s Heroes,” here.