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Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Season 5 Episode 13: Point of no Return

What is it ? : Stealing the shuttle and heading up to the Republic Cruiser in orbit, Colonel Gascon, R2-D2 and the rest of the squad find that the ship isn't answering communications, docking they discover all the blast doors are closed so they head straight for the bridge.
On the bridge they find republic crew members who seem strangely silent and responsive, which they then discover are holograms, and are then surprised by Battle Droids in the crew pits on the bridge.
Fleeing through the ship, they find some battle droids guarding a detonator, and they discover as the blast doors open that the vessel is loaded with the explosive minerals from the mining colony.
They then meet the remaining Republic crew of the vessel, a few droids, including a mouse droid and a treadwell. The crew droids tell R2 that the vessel is on target for a Republic base where a key meeting is being held, and will detonate taking out many Jedi and Republic leaders, and they notice they are being watched by a Separatist Buzz Droids.
Chasing it, they end up in a Gun bay and face off against many hundreds of Buzz droids, R2 holds them off by creating a ring of fire around the heroes, but the Buzz droids are only defeated when one of the Astromechs sacrifices themself by opening an airlock and blasting the Buzz droids into hyperspace.
Gascon comes up with a plan, most of the group will head back to the shuttle to prepare to leave, but also to create a distraction while R2 sets the detonator to go off early.
As the droids retreat to the shuttle under heavy fire, R2 discovers the Tactical droid in charge of the Battle Droids preparing the detonator, and fights him.
Although the Colonel orders them to wait for R2, the droids launch the shuttle as the Cruiser emerges from Hyperspace around Valor station at Carida leaving R2 behind.
Knowing time is short, R2 sets off the detonator, destroying the vessel with him aboard.
Wreckage bombards the station, but it isn't serious damaged, and the shuttle contacts the station revealing what has happened.
Anakin, who is aboard the station calls for salvage teams to search the debris field, where they discover the remains of R2, who is soon repaired and reunited with his grateful team members and owner.

High Points : This is a good final part for this story, with the heroes having stumbled on a Separatist plot, and has a great action packed ending with R2 sacrificing himself to save others, and defeat an opponent he was unlikely to win against any other way. Winning the fight by blowing the starship apart is definitely a new tactic I've never considered before.

The highlights for me definitely included the battle against the Buzz Droids in the gun bay aboard the Republic Cruiser. The swarms of Buzz Droids, easily beaten one on one, but dangerous in their sheer numbers made an interesting fight, but setting it between the massive cannons poking out through force fields on the sides of the Republic Cruiser took an interesting fight and made it truly memorable.

The explosion of the Republic Cruiser after R2 detonates it, I put up against the Hyperspace ramming in "The Last Jedi" in a very favourable light. The titanic explosion, larger than any we've seen before in The Clone Wars, and the fact the ship wasn't vapourised, but the wreckage of it crashes into the space station like a shotgun blast of scrap metal is amazing to behold. If the episode was longer I'd have loved to have seen the station saved, yet damaged, with Clone Troopers rescuing people in corridors as they vent their atmosphere into space, the fragments having torn into the station. But that's beyond the scope of this episode, but the fact it's got my imagination racing, shows how impressed and engaged with the action I had become. Spectacular.

And a mention of the wrecked R2 floating in the wreckage field, with a leg missing and panels broken open on his body revealing wiring hanging loose into space, I felt momentarily sad. I knew of course he was going to be repaired, but seeing R2 so damaged hit me emotionally for a moment or two.

Low Points : So, the heroes crashed onto the planet because of the Ice meteors in this system, but now they're gone and the Republic Cruiser has had no problems orbiting the planet all along. Even if the Ice Meteors are elsewhere in the system, the heroes had to come out of hyperspace because of their presence, but now they're gone, and never mentioned.

When the heroes are heading up to the cruiser in their stolen shuttle why doesn't it answer communications their communications? it's crewed by a Tactical droid, and they are expecting the shuttle to arrive, so why don't they talk to it? The only reason I can see is the jamming field that is mentioned later, but if in that case why can't they detect they're being jammed?

When they board the cruiser, they find it manned by lifelike holograms, which appear realistic and solid, only detectable when they touch them. But why? They plan on blowing the ship up long before they're close enough to let someone peek in the window. And how long has this technology existed? Why haven't we seen it until now? All we've seen even up until Return of the Jedi is the same old flickery blue holograms, but they've had these hi-def ones apparently and just no-one uses them until Snoke is introduced in The Force Awakens.

Throughout this story arc I've made it clear I've not been keen on the Pit Droid and Colonel Gascon, two comedy characters as mainly the only speaking character throughout. In this episode, they're treated much better, and don't grate as much, until the end however, when they reveal that the droids are permanently assigned to Colonel Gascons brigade and he breaks down in tears in a very looney tunes kind of fashion. Oh the hilarity . . . .

So what do you really think ? : A nice solid episode, which I enjoyed a whole bunch. I'd have been happier without the Pit Droid or the Colonel, one comedy character I could stand, but the two were annoying. The arc has been pretty good, but with only two more storylines going until the end of the season, I'm hoping for something which feels more important to take us forwards.

Final Words : Well, we're back to Maul and Oppress next time, in a story we've been following for around 2 seasons now, maybe it'll give me the meaty story I've been wanting.

Score : 8.5/10

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