It was nice to have a double shot of REBELS to kick off the second half of season 3. And even better having Forest Whitaker on board to reprise his role as Saw Gerrera.
These episodes served as a nice bridge between the CATALYST novel and the ROGUE ONE movie, giving a little more background about the workforce that was used to build much of the first Death Star, and what became of them when the Empire deemed that they had outlived their usefulness. And Hera's callback to the episode where the Ghost had previously been in Geonosis orbit and seen the manufacturing stations helped flesh things out, too.
There were a couple of details that I really appreciated. First? The language barrier. All too often characters seem to be able to understand one another perfectly, despite speaking different languages. Or there's a protocol droid that can translate everything. This was different. And when Click-Clack drew what appeared to be the Death Star the message was lost on the Rebels. When they found the toxic gas cannisters they quickly assumed THAT was what the Geonosian was referring to.
It's insidious that the Empire would kill all of the Geonosians in order to cover their tracks with the Death Star project. But having seen ROGUE ONE and how quickly the Empire destroyed Jedha City and their own base on Scarif? It makes it very clear that the Empire has become far more ruthless than some of the hapless Imperials we saw on Lothal in season 1.
I also appreciated getting some more background about Saw. He's clearly lost a lot. And because of that he's willing to do a lot more than the crew of the Ghost in pursuit of the cause of the Rebellion.