We get some more Jedi and Sith action in “The Gungan General” – and that’s good! But we also get more Jar Jar – and that’s bad.
“Fail with honor rather than succeed by fraud.”
1. Sigh, Jar Jar
Before someone points it out: yes, I am aware that I’m watching a cartoon originally aired on a children’s television network. I know that by calling Jar Jar childish, it is like calling the sun hot or water wet, but hear me out. This episode has some seriously great moments, and almost all of those moments are instantly sullied by Jar Jar lingering in the background.
Not only that, but Jar Jar’s inability to properly wear a seat belt (a trait he shares with my 5 year old daughter), more or less, leads to the death of a senator. Yes, their ship crashes, and that is technically why he dies, but he wasn’t in his seat because Jar Jar is a fucking waste of blood and can’t sit still. Not only that, but then Jar Jar is the ranking member of the expedition! Lovely.
2. Force(d) team up
Seeing Obi-Wan and Anakin reluctantly team up with Count Dooku was actually a ton of fun to see. They never quite gel as a team, for obvious reason, but it is still cool to see everyone try to win the dick-measuring contest that becomes their inevitable escape. We see Obi-Wan’s typical playfulness on full display, and he is able to balance out the two sourpusses he’s chained to.
3. Anakin showing dark traits
While his reactions are the same as any sane person’s would be when dealing with Dooku, Anakin shows a real temper and lack of patience, whereas his master is cool as a cucumber. Obi-Wan is such an interesting character in this series, as he could easily be portrayed as a goody two shoes boy scout, but he never comes off that way, because there is both a sarcastic edge to almost everything he says, as well as a real feeling that he’s doing his absolute best. He doesn’t come off as sanctimonious, like literally every other Jedi we meet, but instead helps everyone he comes into contact with (more on that later), and seems to be good at, oh, everything.
I want to be like Obi-Wan, is what I’m saying.
4. Fucking Jar Jar
He’s just the worst.
5. Jedi being honorable
It shows you how much the prequels have messed with my appreciation of the Jedi that just showing them doing honorable things makes my list. But here, they – specifically Obi-Wan – do two really interesting things that show that they, in fact, are not the ones who are evil.
The first is Obi-Wan’s refusal to let Count Dooku fall to the pirates – he could have escaped much, much more easily without literally holding Dooku’s dead weight. But he doesn’t let go of him – he makes sure that he gets out of there alive. Anakin, just a few years later, would have the option to let Dooku live and, well, watch Revenge of the Sith.
The second is that the Jedi do not try to retaliate against the pirates who held them captive. Obi-Wan basically says “no harm, no foul, brah” and then flies away. This is certainly a stretch for ‘what’s an appropriate response when being freed from improper capture,’ but it is a super admirable one. I don’t think any of us, put in this situation, would respond this way.
And that’s the point – one of the problems with the prequels is that they rarely give us an example of a Jedi that we would look up to. When I was a kid, a school friend wanted to know who would win in a fight, Luke Skywalker or Superman? That may sound dumb, but it illustrates an important point: we thought of the Jedi the way we think of the Justice League. Would anyone – anyone – really want to be like Mace Windu?
But Obi-Wan constantly shows what the Jedi could be, if they lived up to their values. It’s inspiring to see.