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Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Season 5 Episode 17: Sabotage

What is it ? : Anakin and Ahsoka are leading the defence of Cato Neimoidia from a Separatist attack, and Anakins Starfighter gets hit with Buzz droids leading to Ahsoka rescuing Anakin and saving his life. After which they receive a communication from Yoda summoning them back to the Jedi temple.
There has been an act of sabotage, with an explosion occurring in a hangar, which could have been anyone in the temple, so Anakin and Ahsoka who were away are the few who are above suspicion who can investigate.
Along with an analysis droid they discover that the explosion occurred due to a quantity of Nano Droids in the bloodstream of one of the workers, while in the background there is a rising tide of anti-Jedi sentiment. The war has led to the populace distrusting the Jedi, and demonstrations from the families of those killed in the explosion are held outside the temple.
Checking the workers background they discover he has expertise in munitions, making him look like the terrorist, especially when they discover traces of nano-droids in his home. However, the traces show that the worker ate the droids, which may mean he was not aware that he was becoming their carrier. Ahsoka and Anakin try to question his wife, who flees leading to a chase through the streets of Coruscant, and her eventual capture. The droid announces that no Jedi were involved in the explosion, and Mace Windu remarks that this attack was supposed to drive the anti-Jedi sentiment already rising.

High Points : This is a nice little episode, which although is the first part of a four part story, feels very much stand-alone, and I'm concerned that when burdened with further storyline won't come out of it looking as good. However, it's nice to see the continuing effects of the war, and a fairly simple investigation.

One of the things that most impressed me about the episode was it dealing with the Anti-Jedi sentiment rising due to the Clone Wars. These guardians of peace are draining the resources of the Republic in a drawn out war, which has led to the destruction of the power grid in the past, and massive inconvenience to the people. Not only that, and something which the episode doesn't really touch on, but the Clone Wars must look like a Jedi on Jedi squabble to the ordinary people, as the enemy is being led by a Jedi (Dooku).
It's nice to see the Jedi's fall from grace actually occurring, showing why people don't seem that bothered by the start of A New Hope, that the Jedi Order, guardians of peace for a thousand generations got wiped out only a couple of generations ago.

Also, Ahsoka, the standout character of the series, and very much the heart of it too, displays disbelief in a Jedi possibly being responsible for the terrorism. Ahsoka still very much believes in the Jedi as unshakable bastions of morals, despite anything she's seen, and the very possibility that one of them could be to blame is almost unthinkable to her. And given what I know is to come, her assumptions about the Jedi are going to be challenged quite significantly.

Low Points : While not too much happens in this episode, there no major problems with it by this point n the Clone Wars production.
However something which bothered me quite a bit was the buzz droids which hit Anakins starfighter. He uses the force to clear the ones within his view, and Ahsoka declares his ship clear. We then see a couple of pretty clear shots of his fighter showing no Buzz Droids on it. His cockpit then gets drilled through from below, and Ahsoka moves to get a view of his fighter from below, revealing a massive swarm of Buzz droids almost completely covering the lower hull of his ship, so many they would be clearly visible from the views we've previously been shown. We then get other views from above and to the side where it's free of droids again.
Come on, make up your mind, there's either lots of droids there, or there's not, there can't be both. A single droid would be enough to take out his fighter as shown, and would be fairly easily concealed. However the writers wanted to get a joke in, showing dozens of the droids concealed just out of sight. Making the impossible happen, just for a joke is weak writing, and just made me annoyed.

So what do you really think ? : I liked this episode, Ahsoka gets some genuinely good lines, especially when Anakin awakens from his crash.

Ahsoka: Are you okay, Master?
Anakin: Yeah, what'd I miss?
Ahsoka: Oh, not much.
Anakin: Wait a minute. Wasn't I flying?
Anakin: Where's my fighter?
Anakin: How did I get here?
Ahsoka: Fighter crashed.
Ahsoka: I saved the day.
Ahsoka: You're welcome.

She's bright, quick witted, and a joy to watch as always. As the heart of The Clone Wars series, I'd have loved to see more on her feeling about the fact that people are turning against the Jedi, but Ahsokas shock and disbelief that a Jedi could be accused of the sabotage is perhaps enough.

Final Words : Well, I know where this storyline goes, but I have to admit it's hard to see how it gets there from what's been presented in this episode, so I'm interested to see how it twists and turns.

Score : 7.5/10

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