This week’s story may be a side quest, but it does such a fantastic job of eliciting emotion that it shouldn’t be consigned to the scrap heap. It might not be heaped in lightsabers and it might not progress the overall story, but it’s extremely enjoyable.
Though he’s clearly meant to be the Ghost’s RD-D2 equivalent, in reality Chopper is quite different. His bleeps whirs form syllables a lot of the time, giving you the gist of what he’s saying, whilst his manipulators resemblance to hands and arms allows him to project a lot more. He’s also far more troublesome than R2, but as proven this week, he ultimately has a circuit board of gold.
Basing an episode on a droid might sound like an odd choice, but Chopper’s history hasn’t really been explained before. We just know he’s old, has quite the personality, and is Hera’s. Now I think about it, I’ve not complained about a lack of backstory for Chop in the same way I have for Hera, Sabine and Zeb. Am I droidist? Did I view him as less, and not care about his past because he was made?
Perhaps, but now we’ve got some more I’m glad we do. I’ll let you in on cool thing that doesn’t spoil anything; he was on a Y-Wing, one of my favourite ships. Hera saved him, and now we have a good idea how long he’s been around. It explains a lot.
The episode wouldn’t be anything if he didn’t have a good foil though, and AP-5 is well up to the task. I had to check the credits, as I could have sworn that his low tone and cadence sounded like Alan Rickman. Alas, it was not Hans but long time Star Wars voice artist Stephen Stanton providing a ‘Paranoid Android’ vibe to the mistreated droid. Throughout the series we’ve seen droids treated differently, but this is the first time I recall we hear their take on things. They know they were useful, and if given a chance could be again. They have memories and feelings, despite what those around them may think. It’s a surprisingly deep tale if you think about it.
The Forgotten Droid is first and foremost a fun episode. But it’s also heartfelt and gives us some more history on an important member of The Ghost. Don’t judge this book by it’s cover and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.