Rise and Shine, Starship! (Japanese: 輝け星舟テッカグヤ！The Shining Starship Tekkaguya!) is the 69th episode of the Sun & Moon series, and the 1,008th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on April 12, 2018, in New Zealand on August 3, 2018, in Canada on August 25, 2018, in the United Kingdom on August 27, 2018, and in the United States on September 8, 2018.
One of Sophocles’s favorite fairy tales is “The Celestial Starship,” which tells of a brilliant star that landed in a bamboo grove and lived there until it returned to its home on the moon. When our heroes learn of an Ultra Beast named Celesteela who’s in a similar situation, they’re amazed—but Sophocles isn’t surprised at all! The Ultra Guardians spring into action to help Celesteela get home, but they have to be careful, as the Ultra Beast is filled with explosive gas. Thankfully, our heroes’ efforts pay off, and Celesteela returns home safely, leaving the bamboo unscathed!
Sophocles and his parents are enjoying the view of the full moon in the middle of the Bamboo Hill that they are camping on. Once his parents have gone to bed, Sophocles heads out with Togedemaru and Charjabug to get a better look at the full moon, which inspires him to tell the legend of "The Celestial Starship".
According to the legend, there was once a mysterious object that fell from the sky, and an old man and woman discovered what looked like a large bamboo shoot with a charming, infant-like face. They named the creature "Celeste" and cared for it, though as it grew it caused the other plants around it to wither and die. The other villagers were outraged by this and tried to attack Celeste, but as the old couple protected her, Celeste transformed once again into a large ship and flew back to the moon, leaving a prosperous bamboo grove behind.
While his Pokémon don't seem too impressed by the story, they spot an odd clearing without any bamboo which Togedemaru, and soon Sophocles and Charjabug, tumble into. Here, Sophocles finds a metal point sticking out of the ground and starts digging, soon discovering that buried a bit deeper is a face. The face, belonging to the currently unknown Celesteela, proves to be alive when it smiles upon seeing the light of the full moon.
Sophocles brags to his friends the next morning that he discovered the Celestial Starship, based on Celesteela's bamboo-shaped arms. While they initially don't believe him, Ash and friends agree to take a look after school. While still skeptical that the discovery is the Celestial Starship of legend, Sophocles provides everyone with shovels to begin digging. While upset that they were clearly tricked into helping him dig Celesteela out, they agree to help and spend the day excavating it, with the help of their Pokémon and a swarm of Grubbin that Charjabug calls on. Throughout this, Celesteela remains motionless and indifferent, only smiling once the moon rises.
Once Celesteela is free, Rotom states that the mysterious creature is not in the Pokédex, causing Kiawe to suggest that they might have unearthed an Ultra Beast. Sophocles is upset when Lillie says they should inform her mother and begs for more time to research Celesteela, who he has taken to calling "Celeste". He continues his research, finding that Celesteela had been buried there for a whopping two hundred years.
However, Celesteela is spotted by someone the next morning and the call for the Ultra Guardians goes up. Once inside their base, they learn that Celesteela is a confirmed Ultra Beast, which surprises everyone. Wicke states that they were also inspired by the Celeste legend and named the creature "Celesteela". They also state that it has been storing flammable gas during the time it was buried which would allow it to take off like a rocket, causing untold devastation from its burning fuel, which requires it be removed.
While Sophocles is distraught over this, the Ultra Guardians rush to Celesteela's location. Team Rocket is nearby harvesting bamboo shoots when they overhear that the Ultra Guardians are there to capture a "rocket Pokémon". Team Rocket decides that any "rocket Pokémon" should belong to them for it fits their namesake.
Sophocles and his friends discover that Celesteela's roots are buried too deep to allow capture via Beast Ball, and that it is mere minutes from takeoff. It is at this moment that Team Rocket attacks in a Meowth-shaped mecha to capture Celesteela.
Now fighting off Team Rocket while Celesteela's engines fire up, Ash and Kiawe try to hold off the Ultra Beast while Lillie and the others use their Ride Pokémon's attacks to create a barrier of ice and stone to try to contain Celesteela's blast radius. After building the barrier, they retreat. Team Rocket sees it as a chance to capture Celesteela and fire off a punch at it. It is at this moment that Celesteela's engines ignite and the force blows the fist away, heavily damaging the Meowth mecha in the process. However, Bewear arrives riding the mecha's flying fist to rescue them before they are blown away.
Celesteela manages to take off while leaving the grove unharmed. Sophocles watches bittersweetly as it disappears into the atmosphere.
The story of The Celestial Starship (Japanese 星舟かぐやStarship Kaguya) is a modified version of The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, a Japanese folktale in which a human child is found inside a stalk of bamboo and grows to be so beautiful that she gets suitors from around the country. However, Kaguya turns them all down as she will soon have to return to her true home: the moon. This story is also what Celesteela is based on.
Sophocles and Togedemaru read the Who's That Pokémon? segment in the English dub. This is the first time that a Pokémon reads the segment in the English dub.
The TVNZ OnDemand website incorrectly lists the episode as having aired on July 25, 2018, nine days before it became available to watch on August 3, 2018.
Sophocles originally offers his classmates to select from four shovels and two spades to help dig out Celesteela. However, when they start digging, three of them use a shovel each and the other three use spades.