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What is it ? : This season seems to be developing into one long story arc, which is nice. Following on from the last episode, the Republic has won the second invasion of Geonosis and captured the planet, leaving only mopping up action to be performed. Ahsoka and Barriss Offee are allowed to leave the planet and rest, which Luminara Unduli tracks down Poggle the Lesser who is fleeing with a small force.
She tracks them into a desert in an area of the planet thought to be uninhabited as a large storm arrives, and reaches an abandoned temple shortly after him. But as she communicates this back to Obi-Wan, Anakin and Ki-Adi Mundi, she is ambushed and captured.
The Jedi must wait until the storm clears before they can attempt a rescue, and when they do they discover that Luminara has been captured by the Geonosian Queen, a creature never before encountered. The Queen recognises that killing the Jedi will just lead the Republic forces to her in ever larger numbers, so reveals that she has brain worms, which force those the worms infest into the Geonosian Hive Mind. Using these the Jedi will work for her and help protect her and her hive.
The Jedi escape, and bring down the Temple on the Queens head, presumably crushing her to death.
High Points : There's a lot to talk about in this episode, mainly good, but one pretty bad element too, but on with the good.
The early part of the episode deals with tracking Poggle the Lesser, this made me think of the mop up operations after World War 2, when Axis Generals and leaders were fleeing their conquered countries. It was really nice to see the operations continuing to secure the planet after the battle is over, wars don't just end when you declare victory, the battle to win the peace continues, and although this is mainly a kids show which won't go into that, it was lovely to see the action continue in the aftermath of the invasion.
As Poggle flees, Luminara's efforts to track him are hampered by a Sandstorm, which I felt was done especially well. Both sides continued, but were hampered by the storm, the difficulty in communicating was sold well, and Luminara using her brain (and a knowledge of the planet) works out where Poggle is going, out-thinking problems the storm is causing. The slight problems with this was that she's travelling almost full speed on speeder bikes towards the ruins of a temple, and I half expected her to discover the temple by crashing into it at a couple of hundred miles an hour.
The Geonosian Queen was an excellent opponent, not just twirling her metaphorical evil moustache and threatening to kill the Jedi, she realises that their deaths will just bring more, and she comes up with the best solution available to her, to force them onto her side, and the Brainworms were an interesting idea. She called them her Brainworms, so I'm not sure if she naturally produces them, or they're engineered in some way, but they seem to be natural as they bring others into the hive. This seems a fantastic advantage for the Geonosian Hives, able to bring other species, maybe even animals into the hive for it's advantage. A really good idea, and one I'd like to see explored further (if the Queen isn't dead).
Low Points : There's a major problem with this episode, but lets start with a minor gripe. How far to Macrobinoculars see? Luminara spots a crate dropped by Poggle and his guardians from 150 clicks. Now unless clicks means something else in Star Wars, then that is hell of a long way to spot a crate dropped from. And if clicks does mean something else in Star Wars, then damn that's confusing for no reason, if you want to have strange space measurements then use Kranga, or Marks, or Spaceticks or something, but don't use the name of an actual method of measurement as a fictional one, that's just being a pain.
Now, onto the big one.
Told you it was a big one. Given that the Geonosians seem to be insect like, living in hives, having drones, etc. Their Queen is in all likelihood the only way of the species reproducing itself. So burying the entire future of the species in rubble amounts to nothing less than complete Genocide. While Anakin may prove to be okay with that sooner or later, we're led to believe that Obi-Wan and Luminara Unduli are made of better stuff, and would kind of not be for that, but kill the Queen they appear to do, and doom a species.
(Oh, as mentioned before I've seen Rebels, so I'm aware that series revisits this story and introduces a Queen egg which can be nurtured and used to allow the species to survive.)
So what do you really think ? : I liked this one, even given it's really genocidey ending. The story moved along well, and while the ending seemed to be a little generic, everything up until that point was excellent. Luminara tracking Poggle across the planet, the negotiations with the Queen, the introduction of the Brain Worms, all really good stuff and really enjoyable.
Final Words : It's a pity that the writers never really thought out the killing of the Queen to it's logical conclusion, as everything else in this story was really well done. This seems to be a weakness of this series, killing enemies off without considering the consequences. While I'm aware this is supposed to be about a war, and people die in wars even important people, but I'd like the consequences to be considered and explored somewhat, or at the very least mentioned.
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