We’ve only got three-ish arcs left of The Clone Wars, and this looks to be the last Padme-centric arc of the show. Padme is an odd character in the series, as she’s never given too much to do, but is never too far from import. Sadly, her last arc is populated with Clovis, one of the least interesting characters on the show. Let’s dig in.
1. War on a new front
One of the things that I appreciated about this arc was that it gave a new area of the war to focus on: the money. We’ve seen how the Separtists are militarily fighting, how they are trying to turn people away from the Republic through politics, but now we also see them putting the squeeze on the banking systems. This adds a layer of complexity to the war that hasn’t always been there, and shows that the Separatists, though often portrayed as sort of dumb, are anything but.
2. That said…
Banking disputes are almost as boring as trade disputes, and trade disputes are why we are in this mess to begin with. If the prequels had focused less on blockades and tariffs, perhaps there wouldn’t need to be The Clone Wars to rehabilitate an entire era of Star Wars. The minutia of this arc was really dull, and without the show’s strongest characters – Ahsoka, Ventress, Maul – to anchor it, it felt especially frustrating.
3. You need to chill out, bruh
The one core character that is around for most of this arc is Anakin, and boy does Clovis reveals his jealous nature. I know that Clovis is a creep and that Anakin has every right to be suspicious of him, but he’s acting like a freshmen in high school who catches his girlfriend talking to someone else in the lunch room. It was incredibly childish and annoying, and worked to undo some of the growth that Anakin has seen in this show.
Now, maybe that’s intentional; maybe the producers wanted to show a less stable Anakin, one that is veering toward the Dark Side. If that’s the case, I don’t know if getting butt-hurt over your wife having a male friend is the best way to go. When the lure of the Dark Side is its strongest is when we see why someone would want to turn that way. There’s nothing appealing about Anakin kicking some dude’s ass over a perceived slight.
4. That said…
Despite all I just said, Padme probably should’ve seen this coming, no? Anakin doesn’t exactly process his emotions very well, and Clovis sets Anakin off. Padme was trying to be both a good politician and a stable romantic partner, but the problem is that Anakin doesn’t know how to be someone’s partner. All he knows are masters and apprentices, and he talks to Padme the way he talked to Ahsoka when she was not doing what he wanted. Padme wants to be an equal, and Anakin has no idea how to deal with that.
5. A line never crossed before
I believe this is the first time we’ve seen a Sith literally force someone’s hand to kill someone else. When Dooku forces Padme to shoot an innocent, it was a jarring moment. It was an important one, too, for it reminded the viewer that the Separatists aren’t just committing bank fraud; they’re killing folks. It also gave Padme the first ‘real’ consequence in a long time, and forced her to get dirtier than we’ve seen in a long time.
Overall, this arc felt a little slight, but it did a few important things, and connected certain actions – Anakin’s turn, a few Dooku moments – to the ‘upcoming’ Revenge of the Sith.
Next week: Mace Windu and…Jar Jar? Ugh.