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Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Season 1 Episode 18: Mystery of a Thousand Moons

What is it ? : Following on from the last episode, Anakin and Obi-Wan are about to escort the captured scientist back to Theed for interrogation, when the scientists assistant steals some of the Blue Shadow Virus and releases it within the Separatist installation. The installation is sealed off, with Ahsoka, Amidala, Jar Jar and some Clone Troopers inside, along with the remains of the Battle Droid force manning the installation.
Ahsoka and the others must stop the Battle Droids from breaking out of the installation, and releasing the virus into Naboo's atmosphere, while a number of the team inside become increasingly weakened by being infected with the virus.
Meanwhile, Anakin and Obi-Wan are directed to Iego, planet of a Thousands Moons, where a certain plants roots can provide a cure to the virus. They travel there meeting up with Jaybo, a young boy who has been rebuilding and reprogramming Battle Droids, since he and the other inhabitants are trapped on the planet. He helps them find the roots, although the plant they are from is carnivorous and they have to fight for their lives.
Attempting to leave they discover that every vessel attempting to leave the planet, is attacked by a Separatist weapon which the inhabitants are convinced is the Ghost of Drol. Getting Jaybo to reactivate some Vulture Droids, they lead an attack on the weapon, and escape from the planet freeing its inhabitants. They return to Naboo and free those trapped in the installation, curing them using the roots.

High Points : Iego, Planet of a Thousand Moons is a brilliant setting, with numerous moons, asteroids and wreckage from destroyed vessels surrounding the planet. The inhabitants are worn out and broken from being stranded here. Visually interesting, it has a nicely set up backstory and would make a fantastic setting to game in.

The inhabitants of Iego, as mentioned above are also as interesting as the Planet, from the broken down Quarren his tentacles just hanging limp, Jaybo who seems to believe all sorts of rumours and legends, through to the patchwork army of droids Jaybo has pieced together, two especially I found visually interesting, the one with an RA-7 head, and the one with a jagged smile painted across its face.

The action within the installation I've glossed over in my description of the episode, but it's also really excellent, with the heroes fighting to save the planet even though they believe themselves doomed. The Clone Troopers especially, with Commander Rex explaining to Amidala at one point that dying is what the Clone Troopers are born to do, a grim but fascinating glimpse into the psyche of these soldiers.

Low Points : I'm becoming a stuck record on this, and although he redeems himself somewhat as the episode goes along, the initial scene of him running around flapping his arms around in panic is ridiculous and made me seriously worry that this episode was going to be as bad as the last one.

So what do you really think ? : This was really good, totally redeeming the story, Jar Jar is barely featured, mad Nazi scientist was kept to a minimum. The two threads of the story were amazing, with both the Anakin/Obi-Wan visit to Iego being a brilliant setting, and the action within the Separatist bunker with doom hanging over their heads being absolutely gripping.

Final Words : I've not marked this as highly as I probably believe it deserves, as it's still the second part of a story which had an absolutely horrible beginning. Sad the quality is so up and down. But I think there's lots to make stats from in this episode, something the last few have kind of been lacking.

Score : 8/10

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