Star Wars Rebels starts 2017 strong with a direct connection to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Ghosts of Geonosis features, drum roll please, Saw Gerrera voiced by Forest Whitaker, and Bail Organa (Phil LaMarr). Once again Disney skillfully intertwines the animated series with the films. We are now seeing the first clues of the Death Star's construction. Also, Kanan (Freddie Prinze Jr.) continues to show that he is becoming much stronger in the force. I cannot wait to see the fate of his character.

"Ghosts of Geonosis" begins with a holo-briefing to Phoenix Squadron from Bail Organa and Commander Sato (Keone Young). The rebellion had sent a team to Geonosis to investigate what happened. Phoenix Squadron had previously discovered that the planet was abandoned and the Geonosians wiped out. The team, led by Saw Gerrera, never reported back. Their mission, travel to the planet and find out what happened to Gerrera.

The Ghost lands on Geonosis in a dust storm. Hera (Vanessa Marshall) orders Kanan, Ezra (Taylor Gray), Rex (Dee Bradley baker), and Chopper to head into the catacombs. Zeb (Steve Blum) and Sabine (Tiya Sircar) will go out into the storm to find a mysterious power source.

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Kanan's team goes deep underground. They find that tunnels have been blocked on purpose and the helmets of Gerrera's men. As they advance, Kanan senses something before them. They try to intercept, but are attacked by battle droids and destroyers with shields. They are about to be overrun when Saw Gerrera comes to their rescue. His entire team was wiped out by the droids. Someone has been repairing them. Saw and Rex embrace as old friends. They are unable to contact Hera from their depth.

On the surface, Zeb and Sabine plow through the storm. They come to the power source. It is a field generator. Zeb wonders what it could be protecting, but Hera orders them to remove the core. A shield generator would be a tremendous boost to their weapons cache. The pair get to work as the storm begins to subside.

In the tunnels, Kanan's team comes to a massive chasm. It is a giant hole from the surface to an unseen end. This is obviously a test blast from the Death Star laser. Kanan senses they are being watched from the other side. Chopper shines a light across the gulf. A Geonosian scatters away. Kanan uses the force to throw Ezra to the other side. Chopper rockets across. They chase the Geonosian.

On the surface, the storm has ended. Sabine successfully removes the giant power core. Zeb notices they are surrounded by strange rocks. They dust one off. They are destroyers in standby. Hera orders them back asap. They cannot leave the shield. It's too valuable. They proceed slowly to the ship, trying not to awaken the droids.

Ezra and Chopper are on the heels of the bug-like creature. Back at the chasm, Kanan asks Rex and Saw to destroy the ends of a rock bridge above. As it falls, he grabs it with the force. Rex and Saw jump on, then gingerly walk to other side. Kanan lets the bridge drop. Then leaps spectacularly across. Saw is impressed. Rex mutters, "He's no Skywalker."

As Kanan's team corner's the Geonosian, it activates the droids on the surface. They surround Zeb and Sabine. She activates the shield to protect them as the droids open fire. Ezra and Chopper finally catch-up. The Geonosian is fearful and skittish. Ezra calls him Click Clack as they try to communicate. Saw bursts in and throttles the creature. He destroys the droid controller, which saves Zeb and Sabine.

Above the planet, an Imperial Cruiser is on patrol. They detect life signs on the surface. Captain Brunson (Leslie L. Miller) orders a scout team to investigate. Two Tie-Fighters drop from the hull and descend. On the Ghost, Hera sees the incoming ships. Sabine and Zeb get the shield core on the ship. They still cannot reach Kanan. Zeb goes back outside to bring a signal booster into the catacombs.

Saw begins to beat up Click Clack, much to everyone's dismay. It takes them to a chamber where it has been fixing the droids. Saw begins to trash the place. Screaming at the Geonosian to tell them what the Empire was doing. Click Clack scurries to a hidden point. It pulls out a Geonosian egg. Kanan surmises that is the egg of a queen. Click Clack was protecting the last hope for his species. Saw and Kanan agree to take Click Clack back to be questioned. Saw slaps handcuffs on him. As Ezra protests, Kanan uses a communication station to contact Hera. The Empire is here, get back to the ship.

Zeb races back to the Ghost as the fighters attack. Half of the turbo lasers are filled with dust and won't fire. They still shoot down the fighters. On the Imperial ship, Brunson scans the Ghost and identifies it. She knows catching them would mean a promotion. She brings the ship down and drops a squadron of stormtroopers in jet packs.

Hera lowers the Ghost into the chasm to pick-up the team. As they run to meet her, Saw drops a holo-image projector. Ezra turns it on. It is a picture of his beloved sister who was killed in the Clone Wars. Saw snatches it back. They jump on board the Ghost, but not before the stormtroopers arrive. They fight them on the hull. Sabine straps on her newly acquired Mandalorian jetpack. She soars above and wipes out the remaining stormtroopers. On the Imperial ship, Brunson is furious to see that all her men have been killed.

On the Ghost, Hera decides that it is better to leave Click Clack here with the egg. Saw refuses. He grabs the egg and puts a blaster on it. Click Clack is terrified. Saw demands the Ghost II. He wants to return to the rebellion and beat the truth out of the Geonosian. Ezra begs him to stop. He knows what its like to lose everything. At that moment, the Imperials begin to bombard the chasm. Hera decides to go lower to see what Click Clack is hiding.

They come to the bottom of the chasm. At the base are giant tanks of spent Imperial poison gas. They have proof that the Empire killed the Geonosians. They attach the canisters to the base of the ship. Saw realizes the folly of his ways. He releases Click Clack and the egg. The Geonosian crawls to a secret entrance. Other Geonosians have survived. They have been hiding the entire team.

The Ghost rockets out of the chasm as the Imperials try to collapse it. Hera unleashes a volley of proton torpedoes. Brunson's ship takes heavy damage as the Ghost soars into space. Phoenix Squadron reports back to Organa and Sato. They rescued Gerrera, stole a shield generator, and found the Geonosians; a successful mission. But they still have no clue what the Empire was up to. And that ends Star Wars Rebels midseason premiere.

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Julian Roman