I’ve mentioned this before, but it is really hard to give any real criticism to the episodes in the sixth season of The Clone Wars in the realm of ‘with only 13 episodes left, you did this?‘ criticism. They didn’t know the show was ending, and we need to cut them some slack. That said? A Jar Jar/Mace Windu team up was probably a bad idea for any season.
1. Buddy cops!
These episodes do the standard fish out of water team up stuff that you’d expect. Jar Jar is the clumsy goofball, Mace is too old for this shit. It’s a clever idea in theory, but in practice, it just plays out exactly like you’d think it would. The biggest problem, really, isn’t even Jar Jar, it’s Mace. Windu is just a dick; he is never given any moment in Star Wars media where he has any sort of character trait given to him. You put up with Yoda because you saw him be playful on Degobah – what does Windu have in that regard?
Part of the buddy cop drama is seeing a ‘good’ guy get annoyed. But Windu isn’t that. Now, I’m not exactly rooting for Jar Jar here, but I think you get my drift. There wasn’t anything really surprising about their team up at all.
2. Jar Jar’s getting laid?!
What was surprising was that, apparently, Ladies Love Cool Jar Jar (LL Cool JJ). The fact that the queen was both attracted to Jar Jar and had, in the past, boned down with him, was shocking to me. I guess intellectually, I knew that Gungans had to fuck, but I never really wanted to consider that. Thanks, Clone Wars, for making me think indirectly about Jar Jar’s dick. I’ll never recover from this.
The meditation that the Bardottans do reminded me, more than anything else, of Miss Lippy’s dancing from Billy Madison. I don’t have too much more to add to this thought, except that you should watch this if you want to see an actress be really funny, but also really accurate to the type of thing she’s lampooning. It’s some solid work.
4. Still pretty racist – maybe?
There’s this reputation that Star Wars has, especially in the prequel era, of being inadvertently racist when portraying aliens. Nute Gunray is undoubtedly modeled on Asian stereotypes, Jar Jar is basically a slur towards folks from the Caribbean, and there are a number of aliens here, the Bardottans included, that might be considered a little racist if looked at in a certain way. I spent a lot more time than I thought trying to actually parse this out. Do we think it is racist because there are some shared qualities in speech pattern, and we think that Lucas is making fun of those similarities, or point them out and, therefore, using them as an object of jest?
I really, really don’t know what the answer is, but I am glad that Star Wars seemed to have stopped doing this for the most part.
5. Nightsisters. Why does it always have to be Nightsisters?
I kid, but it seems like the Nightsisters have taken on a level of import in the tail end of The Clone Wars that few other ‘new’ characters have received. The characters are interesting, as they aren’t exactly evil, but certainly aren’t good. The idea of ‘grey’ characters in Star Wars is hardly new, but that doesn’t lessen the impact of a new character that can’t be easily boxed into a preconceived notion.
Having the Nightsisters so involved also leads to questions like, “well, what other characters have more import than we initially believed?” Those sorts of queries are what make properties like The Clone Wars work because, honestly, what is the show other than filling in gaps in our collective Star Wars knowledge?
Next week: A stand alone episode, before the series (for now) finale.