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Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Season 6 Episode 5: An Old Friend

What is it ? : The Banking Guild has delayed on an important loan to the Republic, so Palpatine has sent Amidala to Scipio to move things forwards. Meeting with the heads of the Banking Guild she is introduced to the individual who will be dealing with the situation, Rush Clovis. When they can be alone, Clovis tells Amidala the reason the payment has been held up is the Banking Guild is nearly out of money, and is due to collapse.
They are attacked, which seems to support his claim, and they arrange to steal files from the Banking Guilds vault for Palpatine to prove his claims. Sabotaging the power supply which Amidala is on a tour of the vault gives her the opportunity to get the files, but she is later arrested for espionage.
Palpatine sends Anakin to bring Amidala back, and she is released into his custody, but he grows enraged at discovering Clovis is behind this situation. They head to Clovis's estate to speak to him, and find the place trashed, and as they discuss the matter come under attack from the same individual who attacked them earlier.
After a chase across the surface of Scipio, their speeder is forced over a cliff, but R2-D2 is waiting in Anakins ship just beneath the cliff face to take them into space.
The bounty hunter contacts his client, Darth Sidious who says he'll deal with the situation.

High Points : Scipio is an interesting place, and the massive vault doors as they enter the banking guild are visually impressive (although the fact that the building also has open doorways to balconies reduces the effectiveness of these doors, when an individual in a speeder can just circumvent them).
And something that brings joy to my heart, the episode introduces a lot of new speeders and vehicles, which is great to see.

The story is difficult to judge at this point, it is fairly interesting, and Clovis is not obviously lying or telling the truth, with the viewer (and Anakin and Amidala) being in the dark to the truth of the situation. Therefore the characters who would normally be seen as the villains of the episode, the Muuns running the Banking Guild, may entirely be innocent and reacting perfectly normally to Amidala creating a power cut and stealing from their vault. An interesting twist on the normal storytelling of the Clone Wars series, which is usually more simplistic and spoon fed for the younger audience that the series is targeted at.

Low Points : My main complaint with this episode is Anakin. We're back to stroppy teenage Anakin, angry at any man Amidala may trust, and unwilling to have faith in any of her decisions. Although faithful to his portrayal in the movies, this is not a compelling hero, and he seemed to have grown from his time with Ahsoka, learning something from his Padawan.
But here we are back with a guy that Amidala should really have dumped years ago, he treats her poorly, even threatening to leave her in prison, even though he's been sent to get her. It's not fun to watch, and made me wish Obi-Wan had been sent instead, his sarcasm would have been more fun.

So what do you really think ? : Not a great start to the storyline, which otherwise is an interesting twist on the normal Clone Wars template. Anakin ruins what is an otherwise interesting story arc, where we are left in the dark as to Clovis's true intentions, and are not clearly shown who the bad guys truly are, but Anakin's addition to the story just brings any tension crashing down. Even if Anakin is right and Clovis cannot be trusted, I still don't agree with him.
As mentioned above, it really does away with every bit of growth they've had with Anakins character, the learning he's done alongside Ahsoka is gone in one sweep. And the tragedy of seeing the growth he'd made, which we knew would ultimately fail in Revenge of the Sith, is just wiped clean.
The story, and the entire Clone Wars series I think would have benefited from Anakins replacement in this story by Obi-Wan. The use of Obi-Wan, with his trademark sarcasm ("Oh, so Clovis can really be trusted this time") would also have given Amidala and Obi-Wan time to grow a little closer, to the situation where there would be enough trust for Obi-Wan to confront her about her pregnancy in Revenge of the Sith.

Final Words : Maybe I'm stressing the point too much, the story isn't bad, just dissapointing, and we'll see how things carry on over the next two parts (yep it's a three parter).

Score : 7.5/10

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