Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Season 4 Episode 16: Friends and Enemies
What is it ? : Obi-Wan, still in disguise, Cad Bane and Moralo Eval arrive at Nal Hutta in their stolen ship, to avoid arriving in a vessel being hunted across the galaxy they crash it in the swamps to sink without trace.
Walking to a settlement, they head into a pawn shop to re-equip, and then split, with Obi-Wan to get a ship, and Bane and Eval to get weapons. When they meet up again, Bane betrays Obi-Wan, leaving him to the Hutt authorities, and taking the ship with Eval.
However, Obi-Wan placed a tracker aboard the ship, and gives it's frequency to the Hutts, letting them shoot it down.
Meanwhile, Obi-Wan escapes from captivity, and contacts Mace Windu and Yoda to ask them to call off the manhunt for them, to make his job somewhat easier, plus send him some money for another ship.
Meeting up with Bane and Eval again, they join forces, and take Obi-Wans new ship to get some fuel.
Mace and Yoda call on Palpatine to call off the manhunt, but he sends Anakin and Ahsoka instead, who catch up with the fugitives and a fight ensues on the outside of the vessels, with Bane and Anakin fighting. To try to dislodge Anakin and save him, Obi-Wan crashes the ship into the one piloted by Ahsoka, and the two ships crash. A fight breaks out on the surface, which ends with Obi-Wan choking out Anakin, and Bane facing off against Ahsoka. With their ship still functioning, and Anakin unconscious, the fugitives escape, leaving Anakin confused as he has sensed his connection with the supposedly assassinated Obi-Wan.
High Points : The story moves on well in this episode, and it has a far better sense of progress than the last which really felt like it was just setting things up.
The unique look to Nal Hutta must be noted, although we've seen this world before, the look of the pawn shop embedded into a massive tree stump is fantastic, and I'd love to see more of this location.
I love that Anakin sets the precedent for Skywalkers bullying Gamorreans using the force, a nice call forward without being overly fan servicing.
The Ithorian barkeeper wears a translator device over his two mouths to allow him to communicate in Basic, something which makes a lot of sense, and makes me wonder if Wookiees could get something similar if they so desired.
Lightsabers in the Mist (well Smoke). The fight at the end takes part in the smoke and dust cloud kicked up by the crash of the two starships, and similar to the fashion used on Umbara, with the lightsabers glowing diffusely through the hazy atmosphere, it just looks great.
Low Points : Although I feel this is a better episode than the last, it raises a bunch of questions for me.
Why break out Moralo Eval in the first place? The Jedi plan is to help Eval escape from prison, but have a disguised Obi-Wan tag along to discover his plan for assassinating Palpatine. But surely just making sure he doesn't escape, and therefore can't organise his plan would be a far better idea? Simply remove him from the cell he shares with Cad Bane, throw him in a solitary confinement holding cell until after Palpatines visit to Naboo (since they're aware this is when the assassination is set for), and make sure he can't speak to anyone to organise his plan.
What kind of name is Moralo Eval? I know Star Wars has a pretty bad reputation for names, with Savage Opress, Darth Sidious, and Rancors, but a bad guy basically called Evil, seems to be just lazy writing.
Why is Eval and Bane scared of being recognised on Nal Hutta, are the Hutts likely to arrest Republic fugitives? As far as I'm aware the Hutts while liking to do business with the Republic, don't have any kind of extradition treaties, and I'm pretty certain they don't care who is wanted in the Republic enough to actually arrest anyone. So why are Eval and Bane concerned about being recognised? Is the great Cad Bane actually frightened of being caught by a Bounty Hunter?
During the episode Palpatine seems to know that the Jedi are up to something, so he sets Anakin to hunt down Obi Wan, but why? It appears that he knows it's Obi-Wan, and is finding a sick pleasure about setting student against master. But if he is aware that it's Obi-Wan undercover, why doesn't he just tell Dooku, who Eval speaks to at one point during the episode? Obi-Wan's mission would definitely end if he was outed to Dooku, and without his lightsaber, Obi-Wan would definitely be challenged to deal with a hostile Cad Bane.
Also even if Palpatine isn't aware of Obi-Wan being in disguise, I'm not clear on the plan here. Dooku is organising an assassination attempt on Palpatine's life, a person he knows is his master. Palpatine is setting Anakin to kill or capture the assassins? The only way I can see for this plan to benefit Palpatine is if the Jedi are supposed to look incompetent in their efforts to protect Palpatine, but Anakin is supposed to be Palpatine's man and successful in saving Palpatine where the Jedi Council could not. I just can't see the sense in this plan, unless it's just messing with the Jedi for fun.
And lastly, not only does the one shop they go into sell a hat virtually identical to Cad Banes old one, but also identical rocket boots. And this one shop is a pawn shop, did Bane sell all this stuff one time he was on Nal Hutta and down on his luck? Or is Nal Hutta just a prime location for Cad Bane cosplayers?
So what do you really think ? : I quite enjoyed this one, it's a little messy in the storyline, but once the action kicks in towards the end of the episode it's really enjoyable. I did like that Bane accepted Obi-Wan a lot more after he betrayed them, either thinking he was a similar type of scum to Bane himself, or thinking that Obi-Wan had now gotten his betrayal done and out of the way, so could be trusted a little more now.
Final Words : I've got a sinking feeling that I know where the plot is going to go in the next episode, and the plot will be treading water for the next episode before getting on with things the episode after, but I hope to be pleasantly surprised.
Score : 7.5/10
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