Way back in episode 1, we learned that Thall Joben and his buddy Jord were getting ready to enter the big Boonta Speeder Race. Now we finally get there. The episode opens almost exactly like the second one, with C-3PO and R2-D2 outside the ship making repairs as it drifts through space. I guess the bit worked so well before, they decided to go back to that well. In this case, rather than hijinks, the ship is attacked by a beat-up looking Imperial shuttle.
Unsurprisingly, it's that darn Fromm gang again. Fortunately, R2 knows how to work the hyperspace from outside and saves the day. Somehow the droids are able to hold on tight and make it to the other side.
Arriving on Boonta, the crew meets one of the coolest characters in the series, Proto One. I don't often advocate for action figures of obscure figures, but Hasbro should definitely make Proto One in the Vintage Collection. He's a crotchety old droid who claims to have built himself. He's way cooler than Finn. R2 takes an immediate shine to the new guy, which really upsets C-3PO, who warns his companion about befriending strange droids.
Meanwhile the Fromms have arrived on Boonta and have hired BOBA FETT! You've heard of him! If you forgot who he was, the Fromms remind you. He's a dangerous bounty hunter, after all. Boba Fett has a plan to murder those meddlers and fulfill his debts. But Tigg and Vlix don't trust him so they throw together a plan to blow them up themselves.
Boba Fett's plan involves infiltrating the hero crew by using his own protocol droid BL-17. Despite 3PO's previous warnings to R2, he makes fast friends with BL-17. Like, they seem to be really close friends very quickly. In a special way. Anyway, BL-17 betrays his new buddy in record time, and R2 has to save the day (again) with some help from Proto One.
Now, it's time for the race. The mechanics of the race are similar to The Phantom Menace's podrace in that it's very unclear what's going on. All we know is that there are 10 laps, and Boba Fett has entered the race for some reason. In the course of events, Thall outmaneuvers Fett and, through no fault of his own, the thermal detonator cleverly implanted on his seat falls off and lands on Boba Fett's speeder instead. Thall wins, while Boba Fett escapes and decides to just turn the Fromms over the Jabba the Hutt for a bounty. Everything is wrapped up in a neat little package. Thall and Jord get a job designing speeders, and C-3PO and R2-D2 launch themselves out an escape pod to search for a new master.
This is a pretty good episode overall. There's a nice balance of action, and the story flows well. To some degree Boba Fett is shoehorned in, but in a post-AOTC world, this feels like one of his most unforced appearances. I'm not sure if we're supposed to learn a lesson about talking to strangers or something. Or maybe just to trust our friends. The ending is a bit sad, with the droids choosing to sever ties with their masters as to not get in the way. The model of this show was risky. It would be like only having Ezra, Kanan, and Sabine in the first four episodes of Rebels, then changing the cast. Actually that seems like it would have been a fabulous idea. Anyway, I'm glad to have the Fromm gang behind us and we'll see what crazy characters we meet next.
Best Moment: (13:20) C-3PO straight-up murders BL-17.
Most WTF Moment: (2:31) The Fromms accidentally jump into hyperspace backwards. I don't think that's how that works.
Released Action Figures: Boba Fett. Also our only Droids figures in the modern line: Boba Fett and BL-17! It was a Walmart Two-pack. It was awesome. Somebody should review it.
Unreleased Figures: Admiral Screed (we'll see more of him later).