Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Season 4 Episode 13: Escape from Kadavo
What is it ? : Following on from last time, Anakin is in the Queens service, Ahsoka in a cage, and Rex and Obi-Wan in a slave camp with the Togruta. Obi-Wan is forced to grovel to stop the slavers hurting the Togruta, and Anakin is being promised that if he gives his oath to serve the Queen, she'll free the others.
However Count Dooku is ordered by Darth Sidious to go to Zygerria and kill the Jedi, when he arrives and the Queen is distracted, Anakin escapes and free's Ahsoka. The Queen explains to Dooku, she intends to break the Jedi, and turn them into warriors for the separatists, and while impressed he demands she obey and kill the Jedi. When she refuses an order in her own palace, Dooku reveals that the Prime Minister is ready to take charge and he force lightnings her. Anakin duels with Dooku, then escapes aboard their ship with Ahsoka and the Queen. The Queen with her dying breath realises she was just another slave, and reveals Obi-Wans location (no one seems bothered about poor old Rex).
As Anakin heads to Kadavo to rescue Obi-Wan, Rex and Obi-Wan are brought before the prison governor, and he is ordered by Dooku to put them to death. As Ahsoka and Anakin assault the base, Obi-Wan and Rex break free of their restraints, as a Republic fleet comes out of hyperspace to aid in their rescue.
Anakin disarms the base, while Ahsoka heads to the Togruta, and Rex and Obi-Wan take on the governor and his men. Once the weapons are disarmed, a Republic cruiser moves beneath the base to rescue the Togruta, as the Governor opens their cells to the volcano below. Rex kills the governor, and they all flee with the rescued colonists, and the fleet destroys the prison camp.
High Points : This episode is absolutely amazing, I really, really enjoyed it, it looked great, sounded great and had tense amazing action throughout.
The duel between Anakin and Dooku was brilliant, especially arming Anakin with a electrowhip instead of a lightsaber made it different and interesting. But the scene was capped with Anakin jumping out the window with the Queen in his arms and boarding their stolen ship. If this was the ending scene of the episode, it would have been great, but the episode isn't half done yet.
And once again I must complement how good the animation has become, the force lightning Dooku uses against Anakin looks spectacular, possibly better than it's ever looked in one of the movies.
The writing is excellent throughout, and for once Dooku is a credible threat, and his tactics, playing his puppets off against one another is sensible, and he doesn't throw one of his minions lives away stupidly as he so often does. He actually seems in charge for one, and is actually a bad guy you could feel threatened by, something he so often fails to be.
I love how after Anakin and Ahsoka arrive, the slavers blow up their ship, essentially trapping them there with no method of leaving. Again a sensible tactic, and one so often forgotten in Star Wars. In a New Hope, Tarkin has a reason for not disposing of the Millenium Falcon (his plan is to let them escape, and track them to the Rebel Base to superlaser it to bits), but all too often this move is repeated without having any such reason and the bad guys allow the heroes an easy method of escape.
The music in this episode must also be complemented, it matches the scenes perfectly, being action packed when necessary but mainly building the sense of danger and complementing the growing tension in the storyline perfectly.
Speaking of tension, it is palpable throughout, because while the heroes may be indestructible (we know they don't die here), the Togruta Colonists have no such plot armour, and the feeling that some or all of them might die was palpable, and made the episode actually feel as if there was risk here.
And finally, the Prison Wardens death. While I'll discuss Obi-Wan's variable pacifism below, it was an excellent moment where Obi-Wan wouldn't kill an unarmed opponent, but Rex happily would. (Then they blow up the base, killing everyone inside, armed or not).
Low Points : The episode is excellent, but that doesn't stop me picking faults, although some aren't actually aimed at this episode.
Why are slaves even a thing here? I can understand it on a world like Tatooine, a long way from the worlds where they build droids, but why on Zygerria do you want a fleshy slave, who needs food, sleep, medicine and may very well be plotting to kill you while you sleep, when you could buy a droid? Droids are skilled, they're essentially tireless, and need minimal care and attention. However, I must admit the scenes of them using droids to round up slaves amused me while considering this point.
Also, what is the value of starving slaves, they'll not work as hard and probably become tired and ill, especially Slaves you've had to pay to ship across the galaxy.
I was seriously disappointed with Obi-Wan for much of this episode, he's so easily manipulated, do as we say or we'll hurt the other slaves and it'll be your fault! Obi-Wan is a clever guy, and although his morality may want him to minimise the harm done to others, he should be smart enough to know that the slavers will probably hurt the slaves no matter what. Also at the end of the episode, the Prison Governor has just opened the hatches to dump the innocent Togruta Colonists into the heart of a Volcano, then he turns to Obi-Wan, say's I'm unarmed, so you can't kill me. A statement Obi-Wan agrees with, then signals Rex to kill him instead. Surely ordering someone to kill someone is as bad as killing them yourself, perhaps even worse, or does the dark side only count what you do yourself.
So the billions of deaths by Death Star don't count towards Palpatine being a bad guy, and it's possible to be as light side as possible, as long as you take your executioner along with you to do your murdering for you?
I'm also curious about the censorship of killing in The Clone Wars series, at one point Anakin throws someone of a building, but they land in a hay cart and the show makes sure to demonstrate that they survive, but minutes later he stabs someone through the chest with his lightsaber killing them instantly and the camera lingers on this action. So, Anakin throwing someone to their death is all Dark Side, but stabbing someone is fine? Both were armed, both were in combat, but unless it's with a lightsaber, Anakin (who we know is skirting the Dark Side at the best of times, since after all he does become Darth Vader) doesn't kill?
And finally, the destruction of the slaver base at the end of the episode. The Togruta Colonists have been rescued, the heroes have all escaped, the slavers are disarmed and are helpless against the Republic forces. So the Republic bomb them out of existence. The only reason for this can be for revenge, they were bad guys so deserve only death. Seems a little extreme, especially for pacifist Jedi like Obi-Wan has been demonstrating himself to be all episode.
So what do you really think ? : This is without doubt one of the best episode of Clone Wars I've seen so far, even though I argue about the morality shown in the episode, the fact it's bringing up an argument about morality and the Jedi is excellent. An all round great episode.
Final Words : Not much more to say about this one, where I thought the first two parts were good, but a little lacking, this final part of this storyline was an absolute stormer, excellent.
Score : 9.5/10
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