This week, I’m talking about a stand alone episode that’s a sequel to an arc from last year, as well as a huge, really important three-parter. So, I needed an extra thought, what of it?
1. Lux and Deluxe
Lux Bonteri is back, attempting to avenge his mother’s death, but unwilling to join the Republic. This actually tracked pretty well with what has happened to him thus far: he’s seen what his mother believed in betray her, but he hasn’t seen enough on the other side to totally disengage from them, either. Even after the events of this episode, fighting Death Watch and all, he’s still forging his own plan.
On one hand, good for him. Why bind yourself to any one ideology when none really fits your needs? On the other, he’s got to see that the Republic is not as actively evil at the Separatists, and he may be able to help the Republic take them down.
Aside from some flirting/making out with Ahsoka, this episode didn’t have all that much going on, other that what you’d expect: Death Watch being dicks, Dooku being even worse, Ahsoka being dope, and Lux being sort of a shit. But the romantic stuff between he and Ahsoka continue her mirroring Anakin’s life in problematic (for the Jedi) ways. I hope this isn’t the last we see of Ahsolux (my couples portmanteau for them).
2. Jedi deception
Now, I’m not saying that from my point of view, the Jedi are evil, but they are certainly far more comfortable with deception and trickery than I would have thought possible. The plot to foil Dooku’s plot to kidnap Palpatine through a faux-assassination of Obi-Wan makes for good television, but seems pretty against most of the Jedi teachings that I’m aware of. It is especially cruel to Anakin, who clearly loves Obi-Wan and feels incredibly indebted to him; to allow him to be part of the ruse is just pushing him further into uncharted territory. Territory, mind you, that everyone seems to be weary of; Anakin is consistently going off the reservation, much to the chagrin of the Jedi Council. Here, they are practically begging him to overreact.
Now, the actual machinations of Obi-Wan being put into a machine to change his appearance, as well as swallowing the largest bug I’ve ever seen to change his voice, are pretty ridiculous. They really wanted to tell this story, and so didn’t mind taking the silliest possible route to get there. I mean, it made for an excellent trio of episodes, but it takes a really strong suspension of disbelief to even get there. Rako Hardeen, luckily for Obi-Wan, isn’t really known to anyone he interacts with, so there’s no situations where he has to pretend to know Hardeen’s favorite meal, or sing the Hardeen family song, and so he passes reasonably well as Hardeen.
There may not have been dementors in this prison, but it did have lots of Star Wars rogues, including Boba Fett and, more important to this episode, Cad Bane and Moralo Eval. Eval is the supposed mastermind behind the kidnapping, but the Jedi did not foresee Bane’s involvement.
The prison itself actually reminded me a bit of the prison from Deadpool 2, and I’m always a fan of a good, old-fashioned breakout. This scene also showed Obi-Wan’s depth of purpose in this mission, allowing himself to lie next to a corpse in order to go along with the plan. A few times, his hesitation almost blows his cover, but he manages to be careful enough, and quick enough with an excuse, to pass.
4. Cad Bane
Bane is one of the more fun characters in The Clone Wars, as he is a true free agent, doing what he pleases. He shows some interesting loyalty here to Hardeen, something we’ve not seen from him before. He seems like someone who is in it for himself, whatever that means, and therefore can make his own decisions. A friend of mine – what’s up Matt? – said that he thinks Bane should get a live action feature, and I can’t really disagree with him. If you want to do a Solo-style story, but from the perspective of someone without the same moral compass as Han, he’d be a good choice.Continued below
5. WHAT’S IN THE BOX?
Eval is renowned for designing ‘The Box,’ a test of will/strength/cunning that Bane and Obi-Wan, just barely, escape from. The scene was a pretty standard test sequence – it’s no Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, where only a penitent man shall pass – but it was fun to see Obi-Wan continue to display just how awesome he is. Seriously, if he’s not your favorite Jedi, I just don’t get it.
Eval is a relatively one-note character, and Dooku even seems to notice that he’s not quite what he appears to be. The Box does not appear as difficult as Eval claims, and Dooku nearly loses patience with him. But Dooku has a plan in place, and while he doesn’t get away with Palpatine, he does get away. Dooku, in the prequels, is a relatively hapless character, whereas here, you see why the Jedi fear him.
6. Anakin’s reaction
The biggest surprise of these episodes are that Anakin, relatively speaking, keeps his cool. For a hot head with a history of overreaction, he actually manages to keep a lid on his emotions here. This is a sign of his maturation, but it is met head-on with his anger over being kept in the dark by Windu and Yoda. This does a really good job of showing just how far Anakin has come, but also how perilous his trust of the Jedi are.
Overall, this is an incredibly strong run of episodes that really highlight the best parts of the series. Can the rest of the season follow suit? Tune in next week to find out!